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Tuesday, June 6, 2023


Focus Friday: Women in the draft

The Senate on June 14 approved a polarizing military policy bill that would require women to register for the draft at 18, a first for the nation. For this week’s Focus Friday, we will focus on whether this bill represents gender equality. 

Reagan Earnst, sports editor: At first glance, making women enlist in the draft at 18 seems a little obtuse. I’ve always held the belief that a man’s job is to protect women and children, domestically or internationally.

Where society is currently at, however, I understand why the government would pass legislation mandating women to sign up for the draft. Equality is a hot topic across institutions in our country. I think it plays an important role here.

Women and men should be treated equally, and for this reason I don’t have a problem with women being drafted. Any person who undergoes the rigorous training prior to deployment will be made capable to serve in a war. That said, there’s no reason to be against women being drafted into the military unless they don’t support full equality. All of this is theoretical considering we aren’t at war, but it would be best for our country to allow men and women to serve in whatever facet that will most benefit our forces.

Ashley Toma, opinion columnist: The need for military enforcement hasn’t an issue like was in previous decades. The number of volunteers for service has increased significantly. With more and more women enlisting, it would make sense to include them in the draft.

It would be difficult for me if I was drafted, since I lack strength and think with my emotions. The environment would be harsh on me. But I feel a man, too, could experience these same thought processes. I don’t think the draft should include only men.

I believe that women should be held to the same standard. Women are equally as capable as men to hold political offices, be firefighters, cops and so on. To make the draft men-exclusive would be a giant step in the wrong direction for women’s rights. Future generations would adapt to the idea that just because they are of a certain gender, they are excused from such principles in U.S. society.

Thomas Dwyer, assistant opinion editor: Since we try our best to be a progressive society, it only makes sense that women should be required to take part in the draft. Although women and men should be held to the same standard in the military, fitness tests show otherwise.

I don’t think the military should have combat roles available to females unless they pass the bare minimum requirements that govern the males. It sounds sexist and rude, but life-threatening jobs are better suited for those who have passed the tougher standards.

The Army took a big step forward last year by making its legendarily difficult Ranger School available to 19 women.  Three have graduated the course and earned their Ranger tabs. I believe the military should give all of its members the same opportunity to try and excel. Don’t, however, confuse equal opportunity with equal outcome.

Jorden Smith, opinion columnist: Our push toward so-called “equality” has meant leaving our own rationality on the side. It’s absolutely terrifying to discuss the notion of women being drafted in the military. This is a political stunt to appease those who fall on the sword of social justice.

A Rasmussen poll shows that only 38 percent of women are OK with women being included in the draft.

Also, women and men are physiologically different. This is just a fact. Men have more muscle mass than women. Does this mean we will lower the required physical standards in the military whenever advocates for “equality” are upset at how many women are turned away? This is not about a better military, it’s about an agenda.

It’s immoral to send our mothers, sisters, and daughters to fight. They will return changed and psychologically damaged. As someone whose sister turns 18 in 2018, I hope the U.S. takes a long look inside itself. Think about whether we’re doing this for the nation’s betterment or to give people a false sense of “equal.”

Odus Evbagharu, opinion columnist: I don’t see the problem of having a man or woman required to enter for the draft, as long as they are 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen. This is most definitely a sign of equality.

Women have proven, time after time, that when the occasion calls for their services, they deliver in more ways than one. Just ask the women who helped the U.S. win World War II by being as versatile as the men who went overseas.

Nonetheless, I despise the draft and it needs to be gotten rid of. If you don’t believe in the war the country is fighting, you shouldn’t be forced to fight in it. The draft infringes on the First Amendment because it limits self-expression when an individual refuses to be in the Army. When drafted, it’s a federal crime to not report it. This is wrong.

Focus Friday contributors can be reached at [email protected]

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