Commentary

Tony Perkins: We Do Women No Favors Pretending They Are Same as Men

Tony Perkins
By Tony Perkins | February 26, 2019 | 4:08 PM EST

ANNAPOLIS, MD - MAY 17: Male and female members of the U.S. Naval Academy Freshman class perform exercises during an event called 'Sea Trials' at the Naval Academy May 17, 2005 in Annapolis, Maryland. Sea Trials is a 14 hour event which tests physical endurance in varying scenarios. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

It's getting old to say “we told you so,” but in the three and a half years since Obergefell, conservatives have been proven right in ways most of us wish we never were. Remember the days of “my same-sex marriage won't affect you”? Well, according to U.S. District Judge Gray Miller, it's affecting you – and every single daughter in America.

Sixty-five hundred U.S. girls turn 18 each day – and every one of them will be eligible for the military draft, if Judge Miller's ruling stands. Historical restrictions on women serving in combat “may have justified past discrimination,” he argues – but no longer. Quoting from the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage, he ruled that gender restrictions “must substantially serve an important governmental interest today.” A men-only draft, he insists, is unconstitutional under the mandate that “no person be denied the equal protection of the law.”

The suit, brought by the National Coalition for Men, is an eye-opening one. The plaintiffs say they wanted to raise “awareness about the ways sex discrimination affects men and boys” – but they've raised awareness about a lot more than that. Namely, how the radical LGBT agenda is deconstructing society and putting every woman in harm's way in the process. Apparently, it wasn't enough to throw privacy out the window and subject girls to peeping toms, sexual predators, or worse – now, in this phony race for “gender equality,” we're willing to force them on the front lines too.

We've already lived through one administration – Obama's – assigning America's wives and daughters to ground combat units. Now, it looks like the courts are continuing that surrender to the forces of radical feminism. “The average woman,” Miller writes, “could conceivably be better suited physically for some of today's combat positions than the average man, depending on which skills the position required. Combat roles no longer uniformly require sheer size or muscle.”

That's not what the military's studies have found. “Marine teams with female members performed at lower overall levels,” the Corps' year-long study found, “and completed tasks more slowly and fired weapons with less accuracy than their all-male counterparts. In addition, female Marines sustained significantly higher injury rates and demonstrated lower levels of physical performance capacity overall.” No one is suggesting that women are not capable or have not served their country with distinction. They are and have. FRC's Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.) knows several of them. But we don't do women any favors by pretending that they're the same as men.

Unfortunately, Barack Obama paved the way for this misguided attempt at parity when he opened up true combat positions to women. Once the Defense Department removed the barriers to women serving in all positions, it removed most barriers to drafting them as well. And let's remember, if (or, under judges like Miller, when) America drafts women, they'll have no say in where they're assigned, including the infantry. Most parents would agree that it's one thing to let our daughters choose this kind of life – and quite another to force it on them. But then, this is the natural consequence of a nation redefining the genders with no thought to the practical outcomes.

As we've said with the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the push for open transgenderism, women in the infantry, and now the draft, the military wasn't meant to be the great societal equalizer. But that's exactly what it becomes when you decide there's no distinguishing between the genders and no recognizing or respecting their differences. That kind of policy “inverts natural law and the rules that have grounded our civilization for thousands of years,” the editors of NRO argued. “Men should protect women. They should not shelter behind mothers and daughters.” “Ground combat is barbaric ... It is not a video game. It is not a movie, where young Hollywood starlets karate-kick their way through masses of inept thugs and goons. When we order women into ground combat, we are ordering them into situations where men larger and stronger than they will show no mercy.”

This matters, Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis points out, because the military is “running out of qualified personnel to fill our ranks.” Inevitably, “war will happen in the future that requires some form of conscription, the mission of the Selective Service. Then, women will be part of the conscripted force – and yes, young women will be forced into places they don't belong except in the eyes of those who are driven by politics and gender equity and not by the realities of ground combat.”

The far-left is emasculating the culture one radical policy after another. And women are the ones paying for it – with their lives, if we aren't careful.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by the Family Research Council.

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