Even though the United States does not currently enforce an official military draft, all young men are required to register for Selective Service once they turn eighteen. Recently, proponents of feminism and gender equality have begun to advocate for a mandatory female draft– a topic which sparked much discussion following the most recent GOP debate.
Though I am a huge supporter of gender equality, I think that requiring women to register is foolhardy. Quite, frankly, I think that requiring anyone to register (regardless of gender) is unconstitutional. The U.S. Military is currently ‘all volunteer’, and it should remain as such.
Before proceeding, I want to make something clear: I firmly believe that women and men are equals. Members of both genders possess the same social and intellectual capabilities, and are equally competent when it comes to making sound decisions. Therefore, everyone should have equal access to all opportunities.
However, it is foolish to believe that men and women are physical equals.
Now, I do not want to downplay the bravery of women who freely choose to serve. They are heroes, and should be recognized as such. Their courage matches– and likely surpasses–that of their male colleagues. All women should have the freedom to pursue a career in any military branch.
That being said, women are, as a rule, physically weaker than men (though there are exceptions). Combat situations could potentially be higher risk for women, as they may be more easily overpowered. Therefore, I do not find it offensive that my gender is not currently required to register. On the contrary, I feel honored that our country values us enough to want to protect us from the horrors of war.
Furthermore, data from the Marine Corps shows that all male squads outperformed mixed squads “in 69 percent of the tasks evaluated”. Not only were all male squads more efficient, they handled their weapons with greater finesse, and were less injury prone. Again, it is not my intention to disregard the contributions of women in the military– I am simply suggesting that forcing women to register might not be the most lucrative way to strengthen our military.
I’d love to hear any thoughts on this topic, or on military registration in general. Is requiring women to register empowering? A necessary evil? Unneeded?