Equal rights across the board for women might soon spell the beginning of women in the United States being required to register for the military draft. While many champions of equality for women are happy the measure is being considered, some who are decided pro-feminist and pro-equality have been left confused by their opposition to the move.
Recently, the Obama administration made the decision to repeal the ban on women serving on the front lines in combat. That change has opened a legal loophole as only men between age 18 and 25 are required to register for a military draft. With the recent change, however, the time is fast approaching for a military draft for women.
Unlike countries like Norway or Israel, the United States does not require all of its citizens to perform military duties. In fact, never before have women been drafted into military service. While some in Washington D.C. are in no hurry to make a military draft for women a reality any time soon; legally, they may have no other choice.
Three decades ago the Supreme Court ruled that it is only constitutional to register men for a draft. The purpose of the draft is to create a pool of potential combat troops ready for battle should a national emergency demand a rapid increase in the size of the military. Until recently, women were excluded from serving on the field, leaving no reason to register them for the draft.
With front-line infantry, armor, artillery and special operations jobs open to women volunteers who can meet the physical requirements, the argument against women in the military draft is sort of null and void.
Women sounded off about what they thought about the newest ruling about women in combat. Susie Lewis from Cincinnati, OH said in response to a New York Times article: “I am all for equality for women. I read an article about Israel 30 years ago who for a time put women in combat. They said it was devastating to the morale to lose so many women in combat, so they ended the women in combat. Then in 2000, they began admitting women to the IDF and have progressed to having them in “light combat.” A few women are also jet pilots. So it will be interesting to see where the US women will actually serve.”
That brings up a good question. Should women be allowed entry to all forms of combat front-line service, or should there be limits on where in combat women are placed?
One soldier with experience on the battlefield commented, “This is a very poor decision. Why aren’t women in the NFL? Why do we have a separate professional basketball leagues for men and women? We have a WNMA and a NBA. Why don’t men and women compete against one another in USA Track and Field? Why do we still have segregated bathrooms and locker rooms? Fast moving combat units may not have the luxury of having separate shower/bathroom/changing areas. How will this complicate the Military’s problem with sexual assault? 1 in 4 women report being raped while deployed. Why hasn’t the US military in the last 40 years created physical performance standards that are equal for both men and women? Women’s standards are always lower than their male counter parts. These are all good questions we need to answer, despite how un-politically correct they are.”
While this is certainly a hot-button issue, it might be a moot point as some lawmakers are seeking to abolish the Selective Service System; taking the idea of registering for the draft with it. Should that effort pass, the military draft would be demolished.