Physiology doesn’t lie: Women are less effective than men at meeting military objectives, and far more likely to be injured in combat. Let’s stop denying reality in a misguided effort toward “equality” and agree that women should not be drafted to combat roles.
Men were built for fighting. Women were built for childbearing. It’s interesting to note how stubbornly true—even obvious—these statements remain, despite aggressive efforts to bury them.
Modern people have a penchant for denying obvious things. Dysfunctional politics and political correctness have brought us to the point of potentially approving women’s inclusion in a military draft. The Senate Armed Services Committee recently entertained arguments in favor of requiring women to register for the selective service, and three candidates endorsed the plan in New Hampshire’s Republican debate. The trickle is turning into a stampede. Suddenly political correctness requires that we all agree that girls can fight just as well as boys.
The problem is that it’s just not true. We need to return to some basic Aristotelian principles in order to explain why drafting women would be both imprudent and unjust.
From a political standpoint, it’s easy to understand why Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie were all prepared to agree that women should register for the selective service. (Senator Mike Lee is pushing legislation to block the drafting of women, which has won support from Rubio and from Ted Cruz.) Somewhat farcically, all three candidates treated selective service registration as a wonderful new “opportunity” for women. That’s silly; the system exists to enable conscription in a time of extreme need. Women already have the opportunity to enlist in the military if they meet the relevant requirements.
Rubio specified that most likely a draft would apply only to women who met the physical requirements. But this would be a foolish policy in an emergency scenario. If you desperately need a large number of soldiers in a hurry, is it sensible to start screening populations of people that will mostly be unfit for the job? Should children and retirees also be included, in case a few turn out to be suitable for active service? This is nonsense. Every society in history has built its armies primarily of young men, for an excellent reason: They are overwhelmingly the most fit for the job.
If the Republican candidates were thinking clearly, they would be racing to specify that they support drafting women only to non-combat roles. This is a more sane position, modeled on the example of other nations (such as Israel) that use female conscripts primarily in supporting roles (as medics, logistical support, etc.). Considering that a draft would only be implemented in a time of extreme need, asking unattached young women to serve their country in these capacities could be reasonable. Demanding that they serve as infantry would not be.
The Collapse of Gender Sanity
It’s disconcerting to see even Republicans sanctioning this kind of foolishness, but there may be a silver lining here. There is value to discussing this issue at a moment when we desperately need a starting point for a more reasonable conversation about sex and gender. Sending thousands of young women to die in battle would be morally monstrous, but luckily, we are not currently threatened with a draft. Instead we are facing a near-total collapse of gender sanity.
With schools banning the concepts of “boyhood” and “girlhood,” single-sex restrooms being treated as an affront, and even the Olympics allowing anatomical males to compete in women’s events, American gender politics has reached freakish levels of absurdity. If there is any chance of returning to sanity, our understanding of gender will need to be rooted in reflections on something objective and measurable: the body.