Ferguson: Draft women? (1-3-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (January 3, 1944)


Ferguson: Draft women?

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Much money has been spent on recruiting for the women’s army. Coaxing girls to join up has been the wartime job of a large number of men who might otherwise have been fighting. The longer these efforts continue, the more we have a right to wonder whether the movement is justified. All the drives have been disappointing. Women are eager to help win the war, but they seem reluctant to put on uniforms.

Does the Army need them as desperately as it says it does? If so, why not draft the girls as well as the boys? And if not, why did we start the thing at all?

The end of the war may find us convinced that girls in uniform could have made a better contribution by donning overalls to take the place of men in essential industries.

Much as we admire the spirit and patriotism of those girls and women who have answered the call, time has proved that the whole idea of putting women into the Army was conceived too hastily and set up too hurriedly.

A small clique of women who no doubt saw in this move the way to new power for their sex, and others who were committed to the doctrine that the USA must pattern its war habits after those of England, were the promoters. Before the country had time to catch its breath, the women’s army was reality. But the men didn’t like it. Blame for lack of enthusiasm goes directly back to the fathers, husbands and brothers who could not change their thinking so quickly.

If they are really needed, it would save money, feelings and face for Congress to draft women.