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Women in the draft

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Women in the draft

Women in the draft

Women in the draft

The Prowl Staff

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In June of 2016, Congress decided on a momentous bill: starting January 1, 2018, women would have to register for the draft. This bill called for all women born on January 1, 2000 and later to register for the draft upon turning 18. However, on November 22, they overturned this decision – “a victory for social conservatives who decried the move as another step toward the blurring of gender lines,” according to the New York Times.
There is a lot of dispute over female conscription, but ultimately, women should have to register for the draft. In order to fully achieve the gender equality that both men and women advocate, women and society at large need to accept one of the less attractive, and arguably ironic, pushes towards equality between the sexes. Otherwise, we are not “walking the walk” and are favoring women over men, rather than exemplifying true equal treatment.
What makes the issue all the more contentious is that, despite consistent opposition by the GOP, neither political party unanimously favors women in the draft. Many women favor female conscription and see it as a step forward for women’s rights, as women have only had the right to serve in the military since World War I, according to History.org.
However, many women do not want to have to enlist, either because they simply do not want to serve in the armed forces, or because of more deeply-rooted issues, like the notion that women do not have the physical ability it takes to serve in the armed forces or that they should stay at home to care for children in the event of war.
The Daily Wire has even proposed the idea that women may be targeted more so than men in conflicts with the Middle East or tortured worse in the event of capture. It’s important to remember that these fears are mostly ill-founded considering that women already do serve in the military and that the draft hasn’t actually been used since the Vietnam War.
A recent Rasmussen Reports poll found that “while 61 percent of male voters believe women should be required to register for the draft, only 38 percent of female voters agree. Most women (52 percent) oppose such a requirement, and 10 percent more are undecided.” Though not one of the quintessentially partisan issues, like the heated arguments over abortion, gun control and gay marriage, the debate over whether or not women should be required to enlist has made waves on various ends of the political spectrum and in arguments boiling over in the general public.
With all of this in mind, it’s important to take a look at the seditious rhetoric that has engulfed many debates, namely on various forms of social media. Much of the call for women being included in the draft and other similar demands for legislation and social changes concerning equality come from angry men who subscribe to the belief that women have it better than men nowadays: women don’t have to register for the draft, women get shorter jail sentences and the public continually ignores male rape victims.
These are not groundless claims, but they oftentimes come from rage and spite for feminism, rather than legitimate concern for men or the fight for equality. Because of this inflamed distaste for what feminism stands for and does, both in theory and actuality, there has been more of a push than ever for this sort of change – a push for equality whose endgame isn’t to benefit women.
No matter where the call to action comes from, whether a thoughtful discussion about the state of equal treatment or an ingrained and silent disdain for feminism, the argument that in order to achieve equality women need to “walk the walk” and face decisions that don’t expand our privileges is still valid.
This is why the original Senate decision was the right one. Though it’s not a particularly pleasing shift, women and men need to be treated as equals in every arena, including the military.
That being said, there are still valid arguments against women in the draft, despite their typical use as an excuse to cling to past gender and social norms. The military has guidelines concerning who can serve in the armed forces; however, the selective service system has rules so lose, almost anyone is deemed eligible, including the disabled.
Women, biologically, are weaker than men are. Many fear a weakened military in the case of women being pulled from the draft pool.
Again, it’s an important reminder that we have not used the draft in decades.
At this point, it’s a decision that has more weight in principle than in practice. If and when Congress makes its final decision to put women in the draft pool for good, arguments will still rage on over the justness over women in the draft and the armed forces in general.
Ultimately though, it will be a monumental step forward in the right direction for equality.

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Women in the draft