Home  »  Respectfully Quoted  »  Margaret Mead (1901–78)

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1190
AUTHOR: Margaret Mead (1901–78)
QUOTATION: Women should be permitted to volunteer for non-combat service,… they should not be accepted, voluntarily or through the draft, as combat soldiers…. We know of no comparable ways of training women and girls, and we have no real way of knowing whether the kinds of training that teach men both courage and restraint would be adaptable to women or effective in a crisis. But the evidence of history and comparative studies of other species suggest that women as a fighting body might be far less amenable to the rules that prevent warfare from becoming a massacre and, with the use of modern weapons, that protect the survival of all humanity. This is what I meant by saying that women in combat might be too fierce.
ATTRIBUTION: MARGARET MEAD, response to question asking her views on the draft, June 1968.—Margaret Mead, Some Personal Views, ed. Rhoda Metraux, pp. 35, 36 (1979).
SUBJECTS: Military service