Should We Draft Women?


Once individuals are locked into defending the repeal of restrictions against women in combat, they can travel down some ideologically bizarre territory.

Former President Jimmy Carter, an avowed feminism supporter, worked hard to expand the role of women in the military. A couple of crises late in his administration prompted him to call for a reinstatement of the draft. The legislation presented to Congress the next week said the draft needed to include women. Despite overwhelming public resistance, Carter defended the idea, saying: “There is no distinction possible, on the basis of ability or performance, that would allow me to exclude women from an obligation to register.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Organization for Women (NOW)—which both opposed the draft in principle—now supported the draft for women, calling it a greater sin to draft only men. NOW countered resistance to drafting women by calling a men-only draft “blatant and harmful discrimination” against women, depriving them of “politically maturing experiences.” Just what that meant became clear when the Supreme Court ruled that a men-only draft was constitutional: NOW’s president complained that the court had “taken away our voice of protest. We can’t even say, ‘H—- no, we won’t go.’”

What an impossible moral morass: Preaching like an apostle on a holy mission for a two-sex draft—simply so you can dodge it!