Should women be drafted?

Controversial question arises from WWIII memes

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Whether women should be part of the draft is up for debate.

Story by Phoebe Neff, staff writer

When the headlines were plastered with fears that America and Iraq’s current situation could escalate to war and the draft being reinstated became a real concern, many women began joking that they don’t need to be drafted because they’re perfectly fine staying in the kitchen. While on the other hand, others were claiming that if women want equal rights, they should be subject to the draft as well.

Those jokes in early January about WWIII brought up a discussion that probably wasn’t intended to be serious but resonated with me: should women be drafted? Such a controversial question of equality versus equity is difficult to concretely answer, and I come to find the answer isn’t so black-and-white.

First off, older generations who are against the draft may say that women shouldn’t be forced to enlist because they are “naturally meant for hearth and home.” That argument is simply not an accurate statement regarding today’s society where women often work alongside men in the same fields of work as well as in the military. Therefore, stating that a woman should not be drafted simply because it is not their place in the world is wrong.

While a woman is fully capable of being in a military position, it is true that on average, women are not built to be as physically strong as men. When taking muscle mass and bone structure into account, it’s not a matter of women being capable of handling warfare, it’s more so that it seems unfair to force women to register for the selective service if they are not as likely to survive in a full-combat position compared to men. This, of course, is only the average. There are a countless number of strong women who could kick almost any dude’s butt and would most definitely be fit for a combat position. However, when speaking of the average civilian woman, it seems unfair to enforce military service on them.

When many people think of the draft, they imagine boys with no training being sent to the front lines only months after they are recruited. However, combat positions aren’t the only thing people are drafted into. According to the Selective Service, there are alternative service options which many conscientious objectors (people who are morally or religiously objected to war) are assigned to when drafted, such as observational, educational and health care jobs. These occupations which require no physical engagement in active warfare would be fair for women to be drafted into.

If the draft were to be reinstated–which by the way is very unlikely–it is fair to say that in today’s society, women should be drafted alongside men. With women making strides forward in being socially accepted as equal with men, being drafted with them would only be another step closer to that goal. However, considering a woman’s physical disadvantage, it wouldn’t be equitable to force them into combat. Instead, they should be drafted into alternative service with the option of joining a combatant position if they choose. 

Women being drafted into alternative service isn’t the simplest solution, but it is the one that I believe is fitting and just. In a country of polarizing issues, sometimes it is best to blend the black and the white for a gray solution that satisfies both sides.