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Enterprise Journal

The gray area of the modern-day draft

Jan 08, 2020 03:55PM ● By Savannah Howe

And the undefined role of the new-age woman

Let me repeat something that you undoubtedly already know. Last week, a United States military drone struck and killed an Iranian security and intelligence commander, a tidal movement which caused a tsunami of online chatter and anxiety amongst young people about the start of a war and a draft. If you’ve spent any time on a social media platform lately, you’ll have seen the clamoring from 20- and 30-somethings regarding a hypothetical “World War III draft,” and you may have caught wind of an interesting commotion that has been more and more on my mind as voices continue to rise about what a modern-day draft would look like.

Let’s not forget that the use of military drafting was abolished in the 1970s following the Vietnam War, and to reinstate involuntary military service would require a whole circus of political hoops to jump through, but I want to talk hypotheticals anyway just for the sake of argument. Political leanings and support or disapproval of the Commander in Chief’s decision aside, too.

Here’s what is curious to me: feminists of today have an unwavering and streamlined agenda to enforce themselves as equals to men in all ways, including mental, physical, and intellectual capacities. That is, until just lately, when we have all been reminded that, in a reality of true gender equality, women have no more freedom of choice in a modern day draft than men do.

Twenty-first century feminists have battled for equality amongst the sexes, and you might call their success relative based on your own personal experiences or opinions, but one thing has become clear: in terms of patriotic obligations, young females who call themselves equality crusaders have definitely pumped the brakes. In the online platforms and forums that I’ve followed in light of the events in Iran, those women cite the very domestic duties that they’ve fought to detach themselves from,reminding their male counterparts of a woman’s natural tendency to be a parent or homemaker.

This is kind of one step forward for feminists and two steps backwards, yeah?

To truly consider an able-bodied man and an able-bodied woman of completely equal caliber, should a modern-day draft be imposed upon the nation, a woman would answer the call for service just as much as a man, regardless of career status, children, or domestic obligation.


Is the reluctance from 1980s- and 1990s-born women stemmed solely from fear, or an unspoken acknowledgment that gender equality isn’t as utopian of an agenda as it seems?

If we were all equal players in a modern-day draft, uninclusive of those with ailments or disabilities that make them unfit for service, what would the new rules of involuntary military service look like? In a home of one man, one woman, and young children, if the mother was chosen to respond to the draft instead, would there be societal outage?

Do you think that a modern-day draft in which women are just as vulnerable as men are would be a chaos-inducing mistake or a monumental leap in gender equality? In your own home, if one adult were required to answer the call, would you and your spouse have a serious discussion about who would go, or would your household default to the traditional rules of the draft, which is that men owe that service to their country while women “hold the fort down”?

Some supplemental nuggets of thought:

-Males who don’t register in the government Selective Service (drafting) database are not eligible to receive federal financial aid for college.

-In 2019, a Houston-based federal judged ruled that granting women immunity from a military draft is unconstitutional.

-According to a New York Times columnist, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service is considering looping in women on the required military registration database, Selective Service.

Whether you are for or against a modern-day draft, I think it can be definitely said that the waters are murky right now for the feminists of this day and age who are grappling with the decision of whether or not to embrace a brazen advancement in the fight for equality, or cling to the historical roles that gift them comfort, at the price of their core convictions.

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