Drafting women

In this thread I asked questions about the draft coming back and realized I missed some points. Since I don’t want to sidetrack the original I would like to know:

  1. If the draft was brought back, should it include women? Why or why not.
  2. If women were drafted, do you think they should be allowed in combat positions? I don’t just mean in support (mechanic, medical, logistics, etc) positions but actual ground pounder grunt roles. Why or why not.

I think women should be included. The women I served with were, for the most part, as good as if not better than the men. The soldier of the year at one unit I was stationed at was a woman and was the the toughest, most hard-core kick ass soldier I ever met. And she was gay, so FO to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” BS.

I think if a woman wants to be in a infantry position, then good for them and let them in. Hand them an M-16, point them at the enemy and let them go to town. I would never push a woman into that position if she wasn’t interested, though. Women on average seem to have smaller frames and weaker upper body strength (YMMV) which could be a detriment in a situation that requires you to carry extremely heavy loads and equipment for extended times. I know some people have said that the “maternal instinct” might suppress the killer edge needed by a grunt but I do believe that some women (not all) would be just as tough and deadly as a man.

And think of a platoon of women, menstrual cycles in synch, all with PMS at the same time! :eek: That would scare the crap out of any enemy. :wink:
Kidding! In all seriousness, let them fight if they want to.

  1. Yes. Absolutely. I don’t know why women’s lib groups aren’t advocating for this more.

  2. I don’t know enough of the pro and con arguments on this one to make an informed decision.

Slight hijack.

Have women’s groups ever advocated for something that is fair equality wise, but not beneficial to them?

I think that women could be included, but that is a good way to have a huge population boom. I know personally I hate kids and I don’t want to have any ever, but if uncle sam ever comes knocking on my door I would be pregnant so fast it would make your head spin. I think the draft itself is wrong and unnecessary, but I also think that if you have a cause that is really worth fighting for people will defend it of their own will.

If the draft is brought back, and I’m fairly sure that’s a horrible idea, then yes, women should be allowed to serve wherever men do.

As a reference point, I’m a 25-year-old female who’s more than likely not draft eligible. But if I was called up, I would. I’m trying to get into medical school, so maybe they’d be more likely to take a doctor with epilepsy and hydrocephalus than a regular soldier.

If the world were a perfect place, and for some reason needed a draft, I’d be all for including women in it. However, the world is not a perfect place, and there are too many reasons I could see this being an issue, a big one being the whole “taking a mother away from her children” thing. I know as well as everyone else that a dad or a mom can do just as well as anyone else raising a kid by themselves, but society doesn’t seem ready to accept it. And I don’t think that the fact that a mother has a child is a really good reason to say she’s not elligible for draft - if, for instance, the husband couldn’t be in the service due to asthma, diabetes, or something like that. At least, I don’t think the government would.

And I’m going to have to second what someone said above about women’s rights groups never advocating equality unless it benefits them. It’s something I’ve noticed a lot lately, and it almost makes me ashamed of my uterus. You’re not going to find women’s rights groups advocating for a female draft any time soon.


We still have the draft in Korea, but only for guys. There’s been a lot of debate about whether to include women. Most people are against it, women and men alike, but for very different reasons, obviously. While I am for women being included in the draft (although I am against the draft itself), I don’t support it in Korea, because I think Korean society is still way too sexist to make such a draft fair. If Korean society every acheived gender equality (and I doubt that’s going to happen any time soon) then by all means, draft the women as well. (Preferably after I get US citizenship, though. :wink: )

More specifically, only for guys who are not mixed-race. If a mixed-race male wishes to serve in the military, he is now permitted (due to a very recent change in the leglislation owing to the football skills of Hines Ward*) to serve providing that he’s a mix of two Asian races. Such a male will be permitted to serve; however, he cannot be drafted under the current legislation. Mixed-race Korean + non-Asian are not permitted to serve in the South Korean military.

Another recent change in the conscription legislation is that a male South Korean citizen may not renounce his South Korean citizenship until after he has performed his national service (providing he is eligible, of course). So, if he becomes naturalized as a US citizen, has not yet peformed his military service in South Korea, and returns to visit friends/family, he will be drafted. This particular change was brought about to make it so the children of the rich would also be serving in the military instead of just having the poor blokes in the draft. FTR: South Korean conscripts get paid literally almost nothing.

*Nope, I’m not kidding. And, yet, you’ll notice that the legislation passed after his feat (MVP) still would not permit him to serve

Hell yes. I’m all for total equality of the sexes. Any rights, or duties given to one should be given to to the other too. If it is right to conscript men against their will, then also conscript women too. It’s only right.

Womens’ rights groups can only speak for the women they represent. As young women come into these groups, I think this mindset will change.

My daughter was in history class when the teacher was mocking young girls’ ability to change their flat tire. My daughter was the only one to raise her hand. “Yes sir, and I change my own oil too.” She’d be the first to pick up a weapon and defend her country. I think young women of today have had enough of the tired old femm-speak. I don’t mean to speak ill of my mom, or the feminists who came before her; I just think that today’s girl is ready and willing to stand with her brothers. Yes, they’ve learned much from Granny’s travails, but it’s their world soon (if not now). Onward and upward.

Oh, BTW I would serve gladly if it were a war for real reasons. As mentioned in the other thread, we have one son already fixing to ship out in the Marine Corps. Were the draft enacted for males and females alike, we would be looking at all four of our young people in military service. :confused:

We will not win this war without a draft. If we decide we want to win, we will need every bit of strength we can muster. We will need womanpower.

I third the bit about feminist groups not advocating equality when it bites.

But here’s another side of it - would female hostages have better propaganda value? You’ll remember that when a female US private in Iraq was captured; she was given much more media attention than your average hostage. And she was merely held captive; imagine the new ways of Abu Ghraib-imitation torture possible, and what great propaganda value that would have.

Why should pregnancy be grounds for exemption? Delay, sure. Give women a month or two after they give birth and then ship 'em of to basic training. If the father of a newborn can be sent into combat against his will then there’s no reason why a mother can’t.

Absolutely. My mother (short, low blood pressure, nearsighted) served during WWII (granted, stateside).
I’m not sure about combat infantry, but that is the very sharp edge of a very large wedge.

Pregnant women could certainly serve in logistics, inteligence, meterology, etc.


What about the kid? You need at least one parent to stay home and take care of it, no? I don’t think it necessarily has to be the mother - it should be up to the family to choose who stays and who goes - but the child shouldn’t have to grow parentless because of the draft.

They can’t take both. It would be considered a hardship waiver. Volunteers have no choice in the matter as seen many times in the current conflict (he’s infantry and she’s a doctor or she’s in a support position, etc), but there is no way both parents would be called. A couple news stories about how dad has off in Crapistan and mom has just had her number pulled and the draft board will stamp her as ineligible in a blink. You know how the news would do it. They would be interviewing mom in her living room, baby in her lap. Behind her would be the photo of dad in his dress uniform with the flag as a background. She’ll show her notification letter and talk about how hard it is with dad gone and the new baby. There’s no way in hell she’ll get sent away.

Well, that’s definitely true of the mythological women’s rights groups that Rush Limbaugh & Co make up and rail against. But in the real ones that I’ve seen and been a part of, that isn’t even remotely true. Though they may be against the draft and or military service in general, I’ve never IRL heard a women’s or feminist group that’s wanted the draft or military service to be only for men. They’ve always advocated for equal responsibility along with equal rights.

I believe NOW has unequivocally supported a coed draft since its inception. Pretty sure they’ve argued that women should be in direct combat along with the men as well.

No, they should be forced to serve whereever men are forced to serve. Equality of the sexes, remember?

And becoming pregnant after receiving a draft notice with the aim of avoiding service should be a criminal offence.

But, short of WW3, there’s never going to be a draft.

Eh, how could they ever prove it? You can’t force your soldiers to use birth control. I just agree with what someone said above – if a woman gets pregnant, let her have a few months delay as necessary (or however they do it for women soldiers currently serving), then back to work. And if you have a mother and father who are both called up for service, I don’t think both should be taken – just whoever’s randomly chosen draft number comes up first, and the other one gets a deferral.

That’s good for those who actually advocate it, but there are more than just mythological feminists who don’t want that aspect of the responsibility along with the equality. I went to college near a famously liberal all-girl’s school (one of the seven sisters, I won’t say which here for my privacy), and used to sometimes ask my friends there the draft question. I was amazed how many of them balk and waffle at the idea. Some, to be sure, would stick to their principles and be for a coed draft, but most would just hem and haw a bit then finally say we just shouldn’t have a draft for anyone. One even told me that if women were drafted there’d be no one to stay home and have the babies!! Even among those who agreed intellectually that we should have a coed draft, I never heard anyone actively pursuing it, even though (AFAIK) it is one of the few solid, comletely sexist pieces of legislation still on the rulebooks (as opposed to more nebulous cultural sexism, stereotypes, etc.).