TikToks circulate rumors about women being drafted, experts respond

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Rumors on social media state a draft may be reinstituted soon in which women will be included. Experts think this is unlikely. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Over the past few weeks, discussions of global war have been prevalent. On social media, talk about the U.S. entering war and reinstitution of a draft has been circulating as well.

In mid-September, a popular TikToker, Timothy James, posted a TikTok in which he said women aged 18-26 are likely to be drafted in the next U.S. military draft.

“There are several … senators that are in support of women being required to register for the draft,” James said in the TikTok.

It is a conversation many senators and other politicians have been having, he said, because “nearly every branch in the military has not been meeting its recruiting goals.”

Economist and influencer Timothy James responds to a comment about men being drafted soon. He explains women will likely be included in the nation’s next draft to reach recruiting goals.

James’s TikTok bio describes him as a “Data Lover” and “Economist.” He has 512.4K followers.

A month later, other TikTokers brought back James’ video to highlight the humor in many of the comments written by women.

Some of the comments included, “Like who all is gonna be there?,” “What are you guys wearing? Are we going for a cute or comfy look?” and “Sorry I’m just seeing this it’s been a crazy week. Let’s make plans soon tho. Miss you (heart hands emoji).”

Women have also reacted with other humorous TikToks to show what life would be like for them in the military or in war.

The U.S. Military’s Selective Service System has not said there is currently a draft. Their classification system only includes men and does not mention women at all.

Gabriella Ruiz, a BYU freshman, shared her thoughts on women being drafted.

“I think it makes sense but I don’t want to do that,” she said. “I think it should be optional … they shouldn’t exclude women but also not force them to.”

BYU Law professor Eric Jensen explained a draft being reinstituted in the U.S. is not likely.

“If we got involved with a legitimate peer competitor, such as China, a draft might become necessary, but I am optimistic this will not need to happen any time soon,” he said.

Jensen shared he thinks the possibility of women being drafted is also unlikely even though this conversation has occurred internally in the Department of Defense as well as in Congress.

“However, I still think it is unlikely that the draft would include women,” he said. “Because the military would still allow volunteers, women who were interested would still be able to join, even if not involved in a draft.”

It would have to take “a really big fight” to reinstitute a draft, let alone include women, he explained.

“I think it would be very hard politically to institute a complete draft,” Jensen said. “Not very many members of Congress will want to be involved in pushing that unless the survival of the country is truly at stake.”

Another BYU student, Joshua Johnson, talked about research he has done on this topic. He explained he does not think a draft will be happening soon.

Israel has drafted both its women and men in their current conflict against Gaza, Johnson explained. A country like Israel cannot sustain a draft for too long because it will impact their work force and drop the country’s GDP, he said, therefore, these will occur only in desperate times.

“The United States, having the highest GDP, it will be too much of a risk to involve women,” Johnson said. “In WWI and especially WWII, women were encouraged to be an intricate part of the work force and to help with rationing and food production … so I disagree with the idea that women will be drafted soon.”

He explained, like Jensen, neither women nor men will have anything to worry about, at least not soon.

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