Military Women

(P1) President Obama and I agree: Equality for women should mean equal SUBJECTION to DRAFT REGISTRATION.

(P2) Will America’s military be FUNDAMENTALLY transformed? Maybe.

(P3) I’m against a draft in general, despite ONGOING efforts by people like  Congressman Charles Rangel to bring it back. But if we’re going to have a draft, I don’t see why it shouldn’t apply to women, too. And I’m happy to see that President Obama agrees with me.

(P4) In the old days, a nation could lose a large CHUNK of its FIGHTING-AGE men and still BOUNCE BACK, so long as its FERTILE women remained.

(P5) But nowadays, women’s primary activity is no longer childbearing, and many women will never have kids at all. And even those who do have kids often delay childbearing until their late 20s or even 30s, long after any draft-induced military service would end.

(P6) There’s also the question of fairness. In the past, it maybe made sense to require men to PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE for their nation. But we have equality, now. Women vote, are overrepresented among college graduates, live longer than men, and so on.

(P7) Meanwhile, to be CONSCRIPTED into the military is to be ripped from your home, friends and family, to see your life plans PUT ON HOLD, and to be subjected to a kind of harsh DISCIPLINE that civilians never encounter — while being placed at the risk of death. If men, who have historically been subjected to this, are to remain subject to it in the future, then why shouldn’t women?

(P8) In today’s modern society, I see no reason why men should be subjected to the draft, or to its PRECURSOR, registration, while women are not.

(P9) This puts me ON THE SAME PAGE as President Obama, who has backed draft registration for women. Here’s what Obama said in 2008: “I think that if women are registered for service, I think it will help to send a message to my two daughters that they’ve got OBLIGATIONS to this great country as well as boys do.”

(P10) I agree. Women should be just as subject to draft registration as men. That’s what equality means.

WORDS: 361

SOURCE: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/10/15/glenn-reynolds-draft-women-why-not-equality-sexes-column/73930900/


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. In Israel, there is MANDATORY military service for both men and women; in South Korea, only for men. Which system do you think is better?
  3. Do you think that women in the military should serve in COMBAT, or not?
  4. Has anyone in your family served in the military?
  5. Is the idea of equality between men and women completely accepted in your country?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Draft registration
  • Fighting-age
  • Bounce back
  • Put life on the line
  • Put on hold
  • On the same page

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