I’m a feminist, a law professor, a Mormon, and a mother. And in each of these capacities, I am advocating opposition to the extension of the military draft to women. Last week the Senate voted overwhelmingly in support of extending selective service registration to women. The bill is now in congressional committee before being sent to the president.
One might think that as a feminist she would support the draft for women. No dice.
I am a grateful beneficiary of the feminist movement. Because of feminism, I was able to become a lawyer and practice at prestigious firms in New York City and Indianapolis. Feminism declared that women are not prisoners forced to stay at home and to stay out of the centers of economic and political power—the core ideals of feminism being choice and empowerment. I embrace this declaration and join in advocating the empowerment of women.
“Prestigious Firms” — I like that. I wonder if she made the world better when she was there… Feminists sure do like the word “empowerment”. However, it does appear that more often than not, this empowerment leads to diminished outcomes for society as a whole. But then, for a woman, she is worth it.
But there are many women who in fact choose to be at home. Being a Mormon, I have numerous friends and family who are full-time stay-at-home mothers and/or wives. For these women, being at home is not a show of weakness, brainwashing, or subjugation—rather it is their own freely-chosen path.
But of course. Women do seem to naturally like this role. Perhaps there is a good reason why this is so…
They believe the best use of their time, talents, and life is to live for their children. They could be doctors or lawyers or CEOs. But they have chosen to employ their talents at home instead. This is an empowered choice.
There is that word again — empowered. I wish that I had intellectual property rights to it. The obvious implication here is that women are just so awesome that if they choose not to be full-time mothers, then they would naturally become doctors, lawyers and CEOs.
Which leads to my objection to extending the draft to women. Isn’t this just a matter of equality? As a law professor, I understand the importance of equal obligations in a system of justice. If men can be drafted, shouldn’t women also be subject to a potential draft? I remain unconvinced.
Note that all combat roles have in the US now been opened to women. That is why there is talk of drafting them. So, why is she unconvinced?
Several major religious traditions hold that a woman’s greatest role is raising her children at home. And many women sincerely believe as much—without cowering to husbands or religious leaders.
She just can’t help herself in taking a cheap-shot at the Evil Patriarchy. Yes indeed, it is a good role for women.
I’m asking Congress, are we building into this law a conscientious objector exception for women who devoutly believe that their God-given mission in life is to be in their happy home creating a family and then building a safe place for their children to grow in a loving and secure environment? We must continue to allow women to make that choice.
One might ask if a man should also be allowed to make that choice. Why not? After all, men’s role has traditionally been as breadwinner, which allows the safe place for their children to grow in a loving and secure environment to happen. Furthermore, he has traditionally been a large contributor to this even beyond his breadwinner role.
Even for women who have not yet had children, what are the opportunity costs to them of being able to have and raise a family if we draft them to war in their prime years for marriage and childbearing?
To be forthright, this does not seem to bother the carousel riders and watchers. So many women just want to leverage these years for fun and freebees. Probably military service would put a damper on that.
So to everyone who cares about choice, about sincerely-held religious beliefs, about motherhood and stable families, about healthy babies, about violence against women, please stand against the extension of the draft to women.
Well, to be honest, the young women of today are not particularly sympathetic figures. They deliberately choose to undermine the implied good aspects above, as they ride the carousel, not marry, abort lots of babies, throw their children’s fathers out of the house, are generally poor mothers, etc. Perhaps if they were all that were implied above, society might make an exemption from the draft for them; but they are not all that.
NAWALT applies of course.