Women in the Draft

The Apologist/Father

By Jeff Laird

The Series

The Millennial Theologian
The Apologist Father
The Female Veteran

Should women be subject to the military draft? This is "be careful what you wish for" on full display. Our approach has to be consistent with the rest of our views on gender, warfare, and so forth. Policies have consequences, intended or not.

Ultimately, women have to be drafted, according to modern social "progress." If gender differences are mythical, society can't have it both ways. Either we acknowledge that women and men are not entirely identical, or we force women to fight men. Rationally and morally speaking, we should not. Women are not identical to men, either biologically, emotionally, socially, or in the roles they are intended to fulfill. Those who say otherwise display remarkable sexism, both in theory and in practice.

Before anyone gets riled up, carefully consider what's been said. There's a difference between "equal," in a spiritual, ethical, and moral sense, and "identical" in a material sense. Biology, not sexism, says the two sexes tend towards different physical and psychological traits. Lame criticism from the ignorant aside, the Bible gives clear indications that men and women are absolutely equal in their spiritual, moral, and personal value. At the same time, the Bible doesn't give "identical" roles for men and women to fill.

Modern man has a bad habit of confusing "equal" with "interchangeable." The myriad differences between men and women won't go away, despite our best efforts to play "let's pretend." Rebelling against reality produces the rank sexism of seeking right results by treating women the wrong way.

A pertinent, hypocritical example is how women are allowed to serve the same military roles as men, despite lesser physical abilities. The reason persons below a certain physical threshold are not enlisted is simple: they're a risk to themselves and others. Lowering those requirements isn't helpful, it's pyrrhic nonsense. Rather than simply declaring "any human meeting X requirement can serve," the system disguises condescension as opportunity.

In practice, gender hypocrisy bleeds over, and everything is Doublethink. Condescending physical standards, we accept. But public schools don't let men clumsy at nurturing or communication teach kindergarten simply because they're male. The angriest reactions to men hitting women come from those who claim there are no meaningful differences between genders.

Please note, the point is not that every job on earth is meant to be gender-designated. Nor that woman-beating cowards have an excuse. But ideas have consequences. Rationally, you either follow doctrines to their logical conclusions, or change your doctrines. And, on that point, modern gender views are completely scrambled.

In 1981, the Supreme Court declared it constitutional to exempt women from the draft, on the grounds that women weren't eligible for combat. That distinction, as of late, no longer applies. Therefore, every practical case against drafting women has dissolved. Under "progressive" feminism, reality be damned, drafting women is logically and legally inevitable. There is no room for "yeah, but" exceptions. There is no debate: Women must be drafted, and they must fight.


Outside the gender-nonsense straightjacket, the specter of drafting women into combat is barbaric. Conscription into non-combat roles, or combat training for the sake of defense in a crisis, are not the same as "preparing to go to war." But there's no ban on combat service anymore, and the few restrictions left won't last. Remember, the draft, per the Supreme Court, is about putting boots into battle.

To ask, "should we draft women," is really to wonder, "should we forcibly send women to fight to the death against men?" Doesn't sound so highfalutin enlightened when we put it that way, does it?

The question is even more pungent considering why militaries, historically, have habitually avoided putting women in combat roles. Hint: mixed-gender fistfights aren't even the primary concern. There's a drastically greater risk for women of rape and sexual assault. Sadly, that's both in case of capture and at the hands of their male allies.

Even Israel, touted as an example of egalitarianism, doesn't put women in regular front-line combat positions. The IDF makes it extremely easy for women to opt out. And, still, they've had tremendous problems with assault and harassment. Those issues are not problems with Israeli culture, or the IDF. They're human problems. The same issues appear in US military ranks.

These are not merely testosterone-and-scripture driven myths. Take it from the Israelis, who quickly discovered that neither war nor biology are socially progressive. Or, from one of many studies showing that women suffer an embarrassingly high rate of assault in the military, even outside of combat. Even better, take it from an actual female combat veteran.

From a biblical and historical standpoint, there are precedents for women serving in military and leadership roles. Scripturally, there's nothing explicitly barring women from battle, or any non-combat role they're capable of. And volunteer service shifts some (not all) of these points into a separate discussion — but this is a question about the draft.

What's really at stake when it comes to drafting women is how we, as a culture, value two things: truth and women. Do we listen to biology, morality, and experience? Or do we succumb to the head-spinning doublespeak of "equality" which claims the average female is interchangeable with the average male in battle? Do we, a male-dominated culture, consider women something precious to be celebrated, or a commodity to be exploited?

In short, do we sever decision-making from reason and compassion, to satisfy political pipe dreams? Or do we listen to scripture, history, and common decency, which uphold the true "equality" of women?

Personally, I prefer the view which says women weren't created to do everything men can do — they were created to do everything men cannot do. They are not identical, but they are invaluable. That's the true strength of women: that they are differently empowered by God and nature, and wonderfully so.

For that reason alone, combat — and by extension, the draft — ought not be open to women. Not because men think women are pathetic, but because men think they're priceless.

Image Credit: The U.S. Army; untitled; Creative Commons

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Published 3-7-16