Women and the Draft

Students give insight to whether or not it is acceptable for women to register for the draft

Katharine Walker, Online Editor

     After Judge Gray Miller of the U.S. Southern District of Texas ruled that the Military Selective Service Act discriminates on the basis of gender; women, 18 to 24, may have to register for the draft.

    The Marines opened all of its positions to women in 2013, making the idea of women being forced to register for the draft alongside men a relevant topic. This proposition raises questions and concerns among citizens about whether or not it is acceptable to force women, who are stereotypically deemed as more combat-averse, to sign up for selective service.

     “It doesn’t make any sense that only men are required to sign up for the draft,” sophomore Aidan Reeves said. “Women don’t have to, and that’s not fair.”

     Currently, Bolivia, Chad, Eritrea, Israel, Mozambique, Norway, North Korea and Sweden all require women to be conscripted. Recently, Norway became the first NATO country to have both genders register for the draft.

     “I agree with how other countries force women to sign up for the draft,” sophomore Adam Nachtrab said. “It’s more equal to require this.”

     A common complaint among citizens is that women, because of their nature, “aren’t physically fit to be in the military.” This brings up the issue of pregnancy affecting a woman’s ability to sign up and other issues regarding the nature and physique of women.

     “Nowadays, women want equality,” junior Kenny Potts said. “If they really wanted true equality, they should have to sign up for draft like us men have to.”

     If women were required to sign up for conscription, this raises the question of what types of roles they should be drafted into.

     “Women should be drafted into any role that they are capable of achieving,” senior Madison Howell said. “They should be drafted into combat, non-combat, whatever they can physically do.”

     Regardless of one’s personal opinions on the issue, women may have to come to terms with having to visit the selective service office on their eighteenth birthday. Whether they embrace or protest it, in 2019 America, the idea of conscripting both men and women may become more plausible to the eyes of the U.S. government.

“If women claim to have equal rights to men, they should enlist in the draft as all men do,” Potts said. “You can’t pick and choose which equal rights you want and which ones you don’t.”