The transition to adulthood is exciting. But for males, adulthood comes at a price. A draft may require you young men to go to war in the future. Girls, don’t worry about it.
Excluding women from signing up for the draft is an outdated principle. Women may not be naturally engineered to be as strong as men — though it is possible to achieve with training — combat positions are only about 20 percent of jobs in the military. Given this, if we must continue to have a selective service in the U.S., women must be required by law to sign up at age 18 just as their male counterparts are.
Top generals in the Army and Marines recently expressed this sentiment and were met with both positive and negative reactions. Some outright ridiculed the idea. Ted Cruz argued against the proposition because to him, “the idea that their government would forcibly put them [his daughters] in the foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them doesn’t make any sense at all.” But if that is the case, why do we force anyone to sign up for a draft?
Grace Gilker, director of the Women’s Resource Agency, said in an email that women must be required to have the same responsibilities as men. “One unfounded critique of feminism is that it advocates for the privilege of equality without the responsibility,” Gilker said. “While many argue that the draft should be eliminated completely, as long as the policy is in place, women should have the same responsibility as men.”
Women should not be exempt from signing up for the draft because lawmakers do not want their daughters fighting in combat, especially when they are not asking the same for their sons. This sentiment stems from a broader, outdated belief in gender roles. Gender equality should not be limited to only some aspects of society.
Major Christopher Stelle, associate professor of military science at UT, pointed out in an email that women will soon be able to fill all positions in the military, including the front lines. “We look forward to continuing to bring talented recruits into the Army as soon as our plan is approved,” Stelle said. “We’re confident this move will increase the pool of talented people willing to take on the challenge of becoming Soldiers.”
Given women will soon be able to fill any and every position in the military, they must be required to also sign up for the draft at age 18. While having a draft in the first place may not be favorable or necessary, it is only fair to include all genders in it.
Vernon is a a PACE freshman from Houston. Follow Vernon Twitter @_emilyvernon_.