The House Armed Services Committee recently voted to add a provision requiring women to register for selective service to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Every Democrat and a few Republicans on the committee voted in favor of the amendment.
According to Emily Brooks from the Washington Examiner, “Women between the ages of 18 and 25 will be required to register for the Selective Service…if the annual defense funding bill that the House is likely to pass this week makes it to President Joe Biden’s desk.” On Tuesday the House Freedom Caucus came out in opposition to the NDAA because of the added provision.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) blasted representatives who voted for the amendment. Some conservatives opposed the amendment but opted for supporting the NDAA anyway. Indiana Rep. Jim Banks claims that “The NDAA is never perfect, and this is the case where the good far outweighs the bad.”
There were four House Republicans on the Armed Services Committee who voted in favor of the amendment: Reps. Liz Cheney, Michael Waltz, Jack Bergman, and Patrick Fallon.
It is not conservative to support drafting women into the military. So, it is concerning to see Republicans react with apathy or defense of this amendment. The left-wing argument in favor of drafting women makes sense because it is the natural conclusion of liberalism.
This conclusion can be traced back to the Father of Liberalism: John Locke. He proposed the blank slate theory which posits that the mind is a blank slate and people are shaped by their experiences. Not only does this contradict science and human nature, but it has paved the way for gender ideology and the belief that there are no differences between men and women. The pioneer of second-wave feminism, French feminist Simone de Beauvoir, famously said that “one is not born but becomes a woman.”
This amendment to the NDAA encapsulates the premise of the cultural left: men and women are interchangeable. Conservatives should reject this premise – even if pointing out biological differences is unfashionable.
Proponents of this amendment argue that conscripting women will improve the American military. This is naïve and contradicts Marine Corps-commissioned studies on female soldiers. The studies in 2015 showed that regarding ground combat, women tend to be more injury-prone, “less accurate with their weapons, and less capable of evacuating the wounded.” On average, the most physically adept women were only as strong as the “weakest cohort of men.” Female soldiers serve our country with honor, but this does not negate the existence of biological differences.
Israel is touted as a favorable example of mandatory conscription for women. However, Israel is a small country surrounded by adversaries. There is a more compelling argument for drafting women in Israel’s case. Israel is in a unique position – one that does not justify America adopting the same conscription policy.
In 2020, a federal appeals court ruled that only requiring men to register is constitutional. A men’s rights group called the National Coalition for Men argued that the policy is discriminatory. They partnered with the ACLU which states on their website: “As long as the government requires young people to register for the draft, requiring men but not women to do so is sex discrimination. That’s why we’re asking the Supreme Court to declare men-only registration unconstitutional.”
Robert M. Berg in the National Review notes that requiring women to register for the draft would not be beneficial for men. In the event of a major war, “men would be forced in greater numbers…into the more dangerous combat-arms roles.”
Every woman that takes a non-combat role is one less non-combat job for a man who is drafted. As demonstrated by the Marine Corps studies, increasing the number of women in combat roles would not be an ideal alternative.
A more appropriate solution to this inequality is to abolish the draft. It is unpopular and a form of involuntary servitude. In July 2021, a bipartisan coalition of Congress members supported legislation to end selective service instead of requiring women to register. They sent a letter to leaders of the House Armed Services Committee detailing the need to end the military draft.
Men and women should not be forced to fight in wars. Senator Rand Paul put it best when he said: “I’ve long stated that if a war is worth fighting, Congress will vote to declare it and people will volunteer.”
Even if a conservative supports the draft in principle, extending it to women is a betrayal of our values and a submission to the left’s view of gender. This amendment to the NDAA should be opposed at all costs.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.