The top officers in the Army and Marine Corps testified on Tuesday that they believe it is time for women to register for future military drafts, following the Pentagon’s recent decision to open all jobs in combat units to female service members.
Gen. Mark A. Milley, chief of staff of the Army, and Gen. Robert B. Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, both said they were in favor of the change during an occasionally contentious Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the forthcoming full integration of women in the military. They offered their opinions in response to a question from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who said that she also is in favor of the change.
“Senator, it’s my personal view that, based on this lifting of restrictions… every American who’s physically qualified should register for the draft,” Neller said.
The main reason that we ought to oppose this is because men and women are different. I know it’s not popular to say so, but that doesn’t make it any less true. This used to be obvious to everyone, but now it’s not. We would do well to remind ourselves what our grandparents and generations before them have always known.
Not only are men and women different dispositionally, but they also have fairly profound physical differences. On average, women are weaker than men. And you don’t have to be a bible-believing conservative to acknowledge this (e.g., 1 Pet. 3:7). It’s an empirical fact observeable by anyone with eyes to see. This puts women at a distinct disadvantage in combat.
One recent item that illustrates the point. MMA fighter Tamika Brents describes what it was like to face a man in the ring:
I’ve never felt so overpowered in my life. I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night… I can only say I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female.
What happened to Tamika during her fight with this man?
What Brents reportedly experienced at Fox’s hands was a concussion and a broken orbital bone that required staples. In other words, this woman was savaged by an opponent that was genetically advantaged with a thicker bone structure, longer reach, and denser musculature—or, put more simply, was a man. Fox was able to do this despite hormone treatments that made him more feminine in certain aspects.
Can you imagine this experience played out countless times on distant battlefields in places where women are treated as little more than chattel? You need to imagine it because it may be your daughter or mother or niece called up. Can you imagine sending your daughter or mother into the maw of deadly conflict with men who will do much worse to them than what happened to Tamika Brents in the MMA ring?
In a widely circulated letter, a female Marine named “Sentry” puts a fine point on it:
This country and our military are NOT prepared to see what the enemy will do to female POWs… How is our 24/7 news cycle going to cover a captured, raped, mutilated woman? After the first one, how are the men in the military going to treat their female comrades?… Men in the military will move heaven and earth to protect women, never mind what it does to the mission. I present you with Exhibit A: Jessica Lynch. Male lives will be lost trying to protect their female comrades. And the people of the US are NOT, based on the Jessica Lynch episode, prepared to treat a female POW the same way they do a man.
I know that many women have served admirably in our military. And there are certainly some who are physically exceptional and who may show some aptitude and interest in combat. But that’s just it. They tend to be exceptional. They are not the norm. And opening the draft to all women and potentially exposing all women to combat service is treating the exception as if it’s the norm. This is absurd and dangerous.
In addition to these issues, there is the very real possibility that physical requirements will have to be lowered in order to achieve the egalitarian ideal of women in combat units. If this happens (and many believe that it certainly will), our force will be weakened as a result. This too is absurd and dangerous.
At the end of the day, this issue is irreducibly moral. It goes to the heart of what kind of people we want to be. Are we really so beholden to feminist propaganda that we are willing to send our daughters and mothers to be ground up by the rigors of a combat unit? I hope not.
Men ought to bear the burdens of combat. We are all diminished by foisting this burden on our mothers and daughters and nieces. We can do better. We must do better.