The Obama administration has opened all positions in the military–including fighting on the front lines–to women. With this, has come a call to require women to sign up for the draft.
The White House is considering changes to the Selective Service Act that requires only young men to register. The issue came up in last Saturday's GOP debate in New Hampshire, and Heather Wilhelm was non-plussed that three candidates on the stage seemed ready to embrace the idea. Wilhelm writes:
According to the logic of modern feminism, this all makes perfect sense. Whether it adds up under the dictates of common sense, however, is another question. So it was rather stunning to see the responses of Rubio, Christie, and Jeb Bush, who each answered the question — in front of 13 million Americans, many with jaws likely agape — by blithely equating the mandatory registration for a potential draft with an empowered woman’s “right.”
“I think that we should not impose any kind of political agenda on the military,” Bush declared. Women, he continued, “ought to have the right” to sign up for the draft. Marco Rubio agreed. The most mawkish of the three, Christie — who has since dropped out of the GOP race — was the most over the top, citing his own daughters: “If a young woman in this country wants to go and fight to defend her country, she would be permitted to do so. There’s no reason why one young woman should be discriminated against from registering for the Selective Service.”
And they say chivalry is dead! There are multiple logical problems here, but one in particular stands out: Registering for the draft is not a “right.” It is not a self-actualizing, empowering decision. It’s a draft, you dingbats. It’s the government forcing people to go to war.
Just for the record, GOP hopeful Ted Cruz has declared the idea of requiring women to register is "nuts."
Some try to dismiss the issue by saying that Americans will never be drafted again. This is a reckless approach to the issue. The debate is grounded in ideology:
In the end, the debate about drafting women isn’t as important on a practical level as it is on an ideological one. This is because it highlights, in stark and alarming relief, the wacky, contradictory, and bafflingly powerful narratives of modern feminism — narratives that have saturated our culture, our politics, and, yes, our military policy.
One strain of feminist ideology sees women as just the same as men, with a few biological tweaks, while another sees us as weaklings in need of protection from things that can offend us and hurt our feelings. Wilhelm designates these two "narratives" the G.I. Jane narrative and the "wimpy Glenn Close" narrative. Oddly enough, the wimpy narrative does not rule out women on the front lines:
Here’s feminist Amanda Marcotte, responding on Monday: In the world of Ted Cruz, she wrote, “women should be drafted into childbirth every day, not hypothetically drafted into combat.” This is the second narrative on steroids. Helpless, weak women have nothing to do with getting pregnant, you see — it just happens to them, like the draft!
A Rasmussen poll released Wednesday revealed some depressing news for these acolytes of equality: 52 percent of women in this country oppose having to register for the draft. Among men, 61 percent of respondents were just fine with shipping the ladies off to war. Think about that for a while, and then ponder what the latest iterations of feminism have wrought. It’s not a pretty sight.