When California Republican Duncan Hunter introduced an amendment to the 2017 defense policy bill requiring women to register for the draft, he didn't actually want anyone to support it. Hunter was trying to make a point about the opening up of combat roles to women. He figured once lawmakers were forced to grapple with the idea of drafting women, they'd realize men were the only ones who should be fighting.
He was wrong. The amendment passed the House Armed Services Committee, with Hunter voting against it. Those who supported the amendment called it another step toward equality in the military. But there's another reason why getting more women in combat roles might be a good idea: ISIS is scared to death to the them.
The Daily Show took on the topic Tuesday night in a bit that included this:
The theory is apparently a sound one. In December CNN did a story on the subject and spoke to female fighters who are a part of the Kurdish People's Protection Units. One of them said, "They believe if someone from Daesh [ISIS] is killed by a girl, a Kurdish girl, they won't go to heaven. They're afraid of girls."
They're not alone either. A group of Christians calling themselves Female Protection Forces of the Land Between the Two Rivers took up arms last year in Syria. “I was afraid of the noise of cannons firing, but the fear quickly went away,” an 18-year-old member told the Times of Israel. “I would love to be on the front line in the fight against the terrorists.”
As for American women making their way to Syria to pump ISIS members full of lead? That seems far off. But even if military commanders decide not to take advantage of the ISIS fear of women, there's another good reason to get them on the front lines—Syrian women who know where jihadists are hiding are more likely to communicate that information female soldiers.
As Gayle Tzemach Lemmon of the Council on Foreign Relations recently wrote, "women can be the secret weapon in the war against ISIS."