A federal judge in Texas has ruled that America’s all-male military draft is unconstitutional because women are now serving in combat. The National Coalition for Men brought the case in response to the military’s decision in 2015 to open combat roles to women despite studies by the Marine Corps that female units underperform in combat scenarios.
Historically, women have never been required to register for the Selective Service because women did not serve on the front lines. The only time women were considered for the draft was when there was a shortage of military nurses in World War II. That female draft was avoided because of a last-minute increase in volunteers.
Since the Supreme Court ruled in 1981 in Rostker v. Goldberg that registering only men did not violate the due process clause of the Constitution, government officials have occasionally considered registering women. In 1992, however, a presidential commission on the assignment of women in the Armed Forces rejected this proposal, citing that exclusion from combat forces was fundamental to excluding women from registration.
With the decision to include women in these roles, it was inevitable that the male-only draft would prove to be unconstitutional. The National Coalition for Men, as a vehicle for addressing men’s rights issues, naturally filed the complaint.
I don’t begrudge the coalition for doing this. It’s logical that if women serve in combat—no matter how few—then they should register for the Selective Service. This is an unintended consequence of the claim that “If a woman wants to serve, then let her,” assuming no one else would be affected. But once one was accepted, all women were caught in the net. We warned that this would happen. Few listened.
My issue isn’t with the legalities or constitutional points on equality. My argument is that opening women to be drafted propels equality over common sense, equality over civility, and equality over everything groups concerned about masculinity and femininity in our country should be fighting for.
The problem started with feminists, of course. Instead of being satisfied with being equal before the law, feminists want to be equal to men in every way. “If a man can do it, a woman should too.” Sounds fair. Sounds good. But it’s a lie. Women can’t do everything a man can do, and even if a singular woman can do everything a man does, this doesn’t mean she should or that this woman who deviates from the norms of femininity represents all women.
Once our government decided to cower to feminist demands that women be accepted into combat positions simply because a few women wanted the experience of fighting alongside men, the door opened to requiring all women to do the same. The response from men was inevitable: If you want to be equal, you need to carry the same burdens as men.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard typically right-thinking men who believe in protecting women and value the distinctions between the masculine and feminine bitterly repeat this mantra. They’ve thrown up their hands and decided that if it’s all about equality, so be it. Principles, chivalry, male sacrifice be damned. The women are men now.
I understand their feelings, but this doesn’t change the fact that the fundamental conflict here has not been resolved. Women are weaker than men. Women bear children. Women nurture children. Human history, theological belief systems, and evolutionary psychology have all taught us that humanity survives and flourishes when men courageously protect women.
As difficult as it is, a man’s response to women being accepted into combat should not be “You get what you deserve,” but “I’m still going to protect you.” This is a difficult, often unappreciated, sacrificial position. But it’s what a real man does. Men should be pushing back against the decision to allow women to fight in combat, not to make it easier for more women to be forced into combat. The issue we’re facing is ultimately not one of equal rights but of what is right.
Ironically, men who want to be treated as men have rejected their fundamental masculine role as protectors, all in the name of equality. Admittedly, they were pushed to this point. But how is this any different from the error of feminism? Masculinity and femininity are tossed to the wind all for equal treatment, all for erasing sexual lines, all for making a point of pride.
This is one of those instances when we must balance two contradictory ideas. While it is understandable and even right that the all-male draft be deemed unconstitutional, the answer isn’t opening the draft to women. The answer isn’t even eliminating Selective Service (I would advocate that, but the draft as a concept is another issue altogether).
The answer is going back to the beginning, getting to the root of the rot—pushing back against this false notion of equality, particularly as it applies to the military. Women should never be in combat except as a last resort—and by then you’ve already lost the war.
If we can win two world wars without a single woman fighting on the front lines, we can continue to do it. If this seems unfair to men, then my response is man up. You are tasked by nature and God to protect women, to sacrifice your life for those you love, to be courageous, and to provide life and liberty—even for an ungrateful lot like many women are today.
Men haven’t been appreciated for this sacrifice, so they’re angry and bitter, but this doesn’t excuse letting go and giving way to the insanity of feministic doctrines of faux equality. More than ever, men need to stand up as men and fight for women—even if this means fighting against women.
Men, of course, aren’t alone in this fight. Women like me who appreciate the role of masculinity in society will stand beside them to restore civility to our country and respect for the distinctiveness of men and women. We are not the same. Women are weaker than men, and technology hasn’t changed that fact. We need men to be strong even now. Choose what is right over what is equal. It’s a sacrifice our nation needs men to make—and we will be grateful.