December 10, 2015

"Should women now be drafted? Why many women answer 'yes.'"

"In some ways, the debate is largely a symbolic one – at least for now...."

Making women part of the draft is a good way to create resistance against ever restoring the draft. I find it extremely hard to picture the government ever forcing women into combat, and at the same time, it seems wrong to take nonvolunteers and put them in jobs structured by gender. (And I say that as the daughter of a woman who joined the Army in WWII and worked in the care of men who suffered from combat fatigue until she was seen as more useful for her typing skill.)

I've taught the Supreme Court case Rostker v. Goldberg for many years, and I feel I've seen opinion change on this subject. I usually at some point say something like: I don't think the American public would accept requiring women to go into combat. And in recent years, it seems, the reaction from law students is puzzlement. Why am I even saying that?

ADDED: If my mother had not been transferred into typing, she would not have met my father, and I would not be here to tell you about it.

130 comments:

Witness said...

There's probably never going to be a reason to reinstate the draft anyway. Adding a bunch of draftees to the current military would make us weaker, not stronger.

Rob said...

You may be correct about American public opinion, but is there any principled reason why women should be treated differently from men with respect to the draft, being compelled to engage in combat, etc.?

mccullough said...

220,000 combat troops out of a 2 million person military.

The demographics on who serves in combat troops shows that it's disproportionately middle class white men from more rural areas.

It would be interesting to see if urban/suburban upper class white women applied for combat positions.

Anyway, now Hillary can try and join the Marines again

Bill Harshaw said...

Define "combat". A good bit of the impetus for removing the barrier came from the experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, where there were no "front lines", and everyone outside the bases faced the possibility of IED's, etc. Assume that's the direction of future wars, I don't think there's a problem with women in "combat". Now as far as the Marines, Rangers, and Special Forces go, they'll resist lowering standards, which means only exceptional women will qualify.

YoungHegelian said...

Hey, female soldiers were good enough for the Red Army, they're good enough for us!

Draft away, honey!

Todd said...

Ann says: I usually at some point say something like: I don't think the American public would accept requiring women to go into combat.

So your main reason for wanting women in the draft is not out of any sense of equality and/or shared responsibility but because you believe that it would act as a brake on US involvement in wars?

tim in vermont said...

Yes. They can no longer be "drafted" into bearing children, so it's the least they can do to be forced to carry a gun through the mud and kill and/or be killed, or disfigured or crippled or brain damaged, be captured, tortured, or whatever for their nation, same as men have always faced.

Not that it would make much difference, if we ever face a war again that requires a draft, nobody in the world is out of reach of the weapons that will be used.

rhhardin said...

The reason not to draft women is sperm is plentiful and eggs are scarce.

Talents and inclinations evolved that way.

Bill R said...

My Israeli friends tell me that in Israel, the draft applies to men and women but they sensibly keep women out of combat.

The main reason is that women in combat bear an additional and unreasonable risk. They will almost certainly be raped upon capture.

Another reason - the Israelis found this through experience - is that the male soldiers cannot be stopped from coming to the aid of a wounded female soldier. Soldiers are supposed to get on with the mission and leave the wounded to the medical teams.

The Israelis have a lot of experience with this. We should pay attention.,

fivewheels said...

This is off the topic of the post, but not off the topic of "the post" itself: I think when you say things like "If this event hadn't happened I wouldn't exist," it's some kind of fallacy of attribution. Obviously, a million different events go into every other event, and there's no reason to attribute your existence to any one outside, distant factor.

You could as easily say that if Hitler hadn't annexed the Sudetenland, you wouldn't exist. Should that affect your view of the event? There are too many butterflies flapping their damned wings to worry about them all.

James Pawlak said...

In the field or collapse of a camp I doubt that even a trained woman can move as quickly as men with an full pack, personal weapon, ammo and the extra load of, for example, a mortar base place or 20-rounds of mortar bombs or a 50-caliber MG/tripod---As is a common requirement.

Will being raped by an enemy soldier or terrorist yield a "Purple Heart"?

Are female sanitary product issued? Would any civilian use them?

How do female troops urinate without the, perhaps deadly, handicap of taking their pants down?

Ann Althouse said...

"So your main reason for wanting women in the draft is not out of any sense of equality and/or shared responsibility but because you believe that it would act as a brake on US involvement in wars?"

My main reason? I've never said I want women in the draft. I do think that those calling for a restoration of the draft have long been people who are trying to reduce military actions and leverage more protest, as we had in the Vietnam era. I don't want a return to the draft myself. Registering for the draft is a Carter-era idea that similar to restoring the draft (in its politics). Including women in the registration probably has more to do with an independent sense of wanting to express something about women's equality. But I am saying that once women are registered, it will increase the pressure against military actions because the sense that women should not be forced into combat would have that effect.

Fernandinande said...

Should women now be drafted?

No. The draft is unconstitutional "servitude". But it'd be less unconstitutional if women weren't excluded.

gcochran sez:
"So why are we doing this [women in combat]? We sure don’t do it in professional sports – because there, winning matters. We don’t seem to care if the offensive line ‘looks like America’ – sheesh, we don’t much care if they’re all felons.

Judging from our actions, winning is the only thing in football – but not in war."

Ann Althouse said...

"You could as easily say that if Hitler hadn't annexed the Sudetenland, you wouldn't exist. Should that affect your view of the event? There are too many butterflies flapping their damned wings to worry about them all."

Yeah, I know, but it's still true. I assume that most of the population of Earth would be different people if it were not for Hitler. But I feel a special tie to that weird, disturbing truth because my parents met in the Army.

David said...

. I usually at some point say something like: I don't think the American public would accept requiring women to go into combat. And in recent years, it seems, the reaction from law students is puzzlement. Why am I even saying that?

They American public isn't even in favor of permitting volunteer women to go into infantry combat, I would guess. But our nation's policy is otherwise.

I wonder how many of your students have a real appreciation of what combat is like? The only combat most of them know is video games. Nor are they likely to know people who have been in combat.

Women are already in combat in the air force and women fly combat helicopters in the army. That's a lot different than infantry.

At some point we will find out about how this works in the real world. I don't think we are going to like the results, at a lot of different levels.

MikeR said...

We should restore the draft - in the way it was historically used. The United States has traditionally had a career Navy, whose job it was to protect sea lanes, and to enable quick reaction to trouble spots when they erupt. It wasn't supposed to be able to fight a full-fledged war. For that we had a _non_-volunteer Army, with a small number of career soldiers and officers and a large number of people drafted in a real emergency. It was only used when we seriously felt threatened. Everyone was subject to the draft, not just Southern conservatives. Traditionally, as a result, the US would do pretty badly at the beginning of wars with all its raw recruits, but would get up to speed and win in the end, pretty angry with the barbarians who forced a peace-loving nation into the draft.
The current volunteer Army leads to us getting into all kinds of conflicts much more easily, and leads to the Army feeling dissociated from those who would never fight in it but send it into their battles.

Ann Althouse said...

"The reason not to draft women is sperm is plentiful and eggs are scarce."

The service of women is needed in reproduction, the capacity to carry though a pregnancy. It's not the scarcity of eggs, but the use of the entire female body for human reproduction and the length of time that is required.

I've used this point in teaching Rostker: If there is ever a point at which we go back to the draft it will be that the U.S. faces a dramatic, existential threat, and if that is the case, the reproductive function of women will be especially important, and that's why government can and will want to make the distinction between men and women. The students never buy into that idea.

Bay Area Guy said...

After Nixon already got rid of the Draft during Vietnam, now we're talking about requiring females to risk their lives and fight for their country.

I question the timing:)

damikesc said...

But doesn't your assumption show the problems of having women in combat?

Can people handle women dying in a war? Even the most just war in history would have people pissy if women were being killed and shown on TV.

retired said...

This is a bs topic ginned up by libtards trying to get women into jobs they they aren't strong enough to do. Meld that with progtard pols talking about reinstating the draft as a political tool and we have this rediculous argument about forcing women into combat. Whats next, forcing men to become nannies because all nannies are women.

khesanh0802 said...

As to eggs and bodies, Ann, you are right and the students are wrong. They will learn over time.

MayBee said...

Could we draft women into pregnancy brigades?

If we can draft men to use their bodies to fight and die, we should be able to draft women to let the country use their bodies for 9 months.
What's the argument against that?

tim in vermont said...

the reproductive function of women will be especially important, and that's why government can and will want to make the distinction between men and women.

That's a dangerous idea right there. Next you will be saying that the decision to ban or allow abortion is the legitimate business of the legislature. SCOTUS says? No!

One could also say that the legislature, per your theory, has a legitimate say over whether to subsidize marriages that have the possibility of producing children. SCOTUS says? No!

In both these cases, when the SCOTUS speaks, it is for all time, and the legislature is then denied options in the case of a "dramatic, existential threat."

chuck said...

I think the question of using women in combat comes down to whether we want to win wars or congratulate ourselves on our progressive wonderfulness. Of course, in practice I expect a lot of women will become pregnant.

Sebastian said...

"I find it extremely hard to picture the government ever forcing women into combat"

Wait, so you're saying that Ashton Carter/O spiel about opening "combat" positions to women was just for show? You mean, just symbolic politics that has nothing to do with actual fighting for actual defense? Or are women in combat so hard to picture that allowing them into combat positions prevents us from engaging in any future, you know, combat?

SteveR said...

So I am told the sexes are "equal" but that's obviously not true. Who decides how they are not is important, just like who decides what a man is and what a woman is. I'm pretty sure some gender studies prof would not be a good place to start.

jr565 said...

"I've used this point in teaching Rostker: If there is ever a point at which we go back to the draft it will be that the U.S. faces a dramatic, existential threat, and if that is the case, the reproductive function of women will be especially important, and that's why government can and will want to make the distinction between men and women. The students never buy into that idea."

Thus highlighting that there are fundamental differences between men and women and that the law can't treat them the same.
But I do want feminists to have to face combat just so they can stop with the male privilege arguments already.

Lyssa said...

I strongly dislike the idea of drafting anyone.

It seems to me that this question should be purely practical. I assume that some percentage of the male population is draftable (that is, physically capable to serve), and that some lower percentage of the female population is. I'm not sure what those percentages are or by how much the differ. If they differ a lot, say, 50% of males are draftable but only 10% of females, it seems like drafting women, only to have to screen out the vast majority, then this would be a silly waste of time and resources in possibly desperate times. But if the difference is small (or if the majority of non-draftable folks could be put into non-combat roles), then women should definitely be drafted equally. The answer to this could change based on our needs and military technology advancements.

campy said...

"Another reason - the Israelis found this through experience - is that the male soldiers cannot be stopped from coming to the aid of a wounded female soldier."

So keep males out of combat. Problem solved!

traditionalguy said...

Saying women are useful for procreation may be a reality bridge too far. They are Cannon Fodder too, because Women are equal to Men who are equal to Women. And if the traditional human society said otherwise, then the speakers shall be shunned. It may be in the 14th Amendment, if we just look for it.

Anonymous said...

If the draft would be reinstated women should be subject to it. As for registering for the draft women should be included. Women in combat? They already are. Someone up stream said that in Afghanistan and Iraq there are no clear cut front lines and women have been in the thick of a battle. I do agree that were the draft to be reinstated there would be less Americans who would shoot from the cuff and call for boots on the ground. If the war would be so severe that there would be a danger of losing a certain percentage of the female population, we'd probably see some exception for having women in war zones.

Biologically speaking women are indeed precious as are their eggs (which are limited) and their bodies, as Althouse says. I hope men are appreciative of the nine month sacrifice to the continuation of the species that women provide. Women work while pregnant and are expected to go back to work almost immediately. If we truly cared about women we would ensure they are given longer paid maternity leave and given more consideration during pregnancy. I hear complaints and concerns about women abrogating their duties regarding having children, yet in the same breath I hear callous disrespect for women regarding family leave and employment protections for new mothers and pregnant women.

Todd said...

The students never buy into that idea.

Well that is the difference between idealistic and realistic.

The issue with reproduction and with a draft is "what is the spin-up time". One of the benefits of a large standing army is the spin-up time to be "battle ready" is relatively short compared to the time it takes to dramatically increase the size and effectiveness of an army that is comprised of a professional core directing a draft body. The obtaining and training of a draft contingency is [obviously] much harder than simply moving an existing, trained group into a combat situation. Somewhat the same is Ann's issue. If the population is under such a threat that extinction is possible and/or likely, reserving women due to their ability to produce more humans is only an issue if there are any humans left to reproduce. If it is a grave threat, women would likely be pressed into service. If it is not, they likely will not. In less grave instances, we would have the "luxury" to leave women out of it, in order to carry on the race.

~ Gordon Pasha said...

My Anatomy prof opined; "Anatomy is destiny. Always has been, always will be." In 45 years of medical experience I have yet to see this refuted.

Alexander said...

"The reason not to draft women is sperm is plentiful and eggs are scarce."

The service of women is needed in reproduction, the capacity to carry though a pregnancy. It's not the scarcity of eggs, but the use of the entire female body for human reproduction and the length of time that is required.

I've used this point in teaching Rostker: If there is ever a point at which we go back to the draft it will be that the U.S. faces a dramatic, existential threat, and if that is the case, the reproductive function of women will be especially important, and that's why government can and will want to make the distinction between men and women. The students never buy into that idea.


At that point, it will be irrelevant.

The time to address demographic concerns is 25 years before they occur. It's a bit disingenuous to have a culture where large numbers of women vote based on their right to terminate offspring, and then demand that those self-same individuals be exempted from combat, because reproduction capabilities.

But I'm curious: do you believe that the US government has the constitutional authority to force women to be impregnated and carry to term, should it feel the need to do so?

Dan Hossley said...

Not a very good argument. Eggs aren't that scarce. There are just fewer of them than sperm.

Unknown said...

“I usually at some point say something like: I don't think the American public would accept requiring women to go into combat. And in recent years, it seems, the reaction from law students is puzzlement. Why am I even saying that?”
This is interesting, have any of your students in recent years ever served in the armed forces, or ever thought about it? I imagine none of them have, so they’ve never tried to understand what it entails. They don't understand your point because they don't have any empathy for the person in uniform.

“Making women part of the draft is a good way to create resistance against ever restoring the draft.”
The purpose of conscription is providing an adequate number of service personnel, not social engineering (which includes forcing shared responsibility).

Kristian Holvoet said...

Yeah, I know, but it's still true. I assume that most of the population of Earth would be different people if it were not for Hitler.

Yeah, the nuclear family might still exist as the principle organization building block in society. For that alone, I'd really like to go back and kill the dumb sob again.

Dude1394 said...

It would appear to me that having a law that effects men but not women is inherently sexist and unconstitutional. Like affirmative action.

tim maguire said...

fivewheels said...
This is off the topic of the post, but not off the topic of "the post" itself: I think when you say things like "If this event hadn't happened I wouldn't exist," it's some kind of fallacy of attribution


It's not a fallacy. Every one of countless trillions of variables going all the way back to the big bang are make or break moments. The professor's mother being reassigned to the typing pool is one of them. It may not have special significance among those trillions of variables, but it's no less special to her.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I've used this point in teaching Rostker: If there is ever a point at which we go back to the draft it will be that the U.S. faces a dramatic, existential threat, and if that is the case, the reproductive function of women will be especially important, and that's why government can and will want to make the distinction between men and women. The students never buy into that idea.

Then they're idiots. And if they are correct, then the U.S. will be dead.

Though I can't say I'm surprised by their attitude. I remember reading an article by a doctor where he states mentioning to a young female patient that women are unlikely to win a fight with a man, I forget why he made the observation, she told him that the statement was sexist. And I have personally seen a young man, who has never been in the Army, dispute the veracity of a veteran's account of his service in Iraq because he stated that men often had to assist women with carrying their rucksacks.

The idea that men and women are interchangeable and that there are no differences between them (and that there should be no differences in how they are treated) is religious dogma. Biology be damned.

Rick said...

Bill Harshaw said...
Now as far as the Marines, Rangers, and Special Forces go, they'll resist lowering standards, which means only exceptional women will qualify.


This is naive. They may "resist" for a time. But the self-appointed champions of women will get themselves appointed to the various committees and block further advancement to senior leaders who resist their efforts to water down requirements. At that point the senior leaders will change their tune and watering will commence.

Look at firefighters and police academies across the country for examples of the process.

As long as there is a disparate impact between men and women there will be pressure to lower standards. And since that pressure comes from people who control the institutions they will grind down resistance.

tim maguire said...

Ann Althouse said...The students never buy into that idea.

That's because, if the U.S. faces an existential threat, they can worry about repopulating some other time. The struggle for survival does not reward planning for the future at the expense of today.

JPS said...

MikeR:

"We should restore the draft - in the way it was historically used....The current volunteer Army leads to us getting into all kinds of conflicts much more easily, and leads to the Army feeling dissociated from those who would never fight in it but send it into their battles."

Interesting points. I swear I'm not playing the chickenhawk card, but may I ask whether you've served in the Army or Marine Corps?

I've always disliked the idea of a draft. Obviously if the survival of the nation is at stake you do what you have to do, though in that case I hope a draft would be unnecessary. (Ideal vs real world, I get it.) But the idea that I, in my position of societal power, get to tell some nineteen-year-old to give up years of his life and go in harm's way, not because he wants to but because I demand it of him, is loathsome to me. What gives me that right? What gives you that right, so that you don't have to worry about the Army feeling dissociated from society, or about our nation's proper threshold of getting into combat?

Then I went in (older than most). I chose a tough path, and sometimes it sucked. No matter how bad it got, I could tell myself, You wanted this. You sought this out. You made a choice. The corollary was, I can't imagine doing this because someone else made me. And now I'll say I don't need, and don't want, anyone in my unit who didn't want to be there.

(Ah, well. Witness said it better and shorter, in the very first comment.)

Hagar said...

Your law students are puzzled because they - or even their parents - have no experince with serious warfare.

And the idea was that citizen soldiers would fight to protect the girl back home, not the broad in the foxhole next over.

Robert Cook said...

If a draft is reinstated we will see the (long-overdue) rise of a protest movement against our various and sundry wars.

Roughcoat said...

The main reason is that women in combat bear an additional and unreasonable risk. They will almost certainly be raped upon capture.

If you're fighting Arabs or Turks or Pashtun tribesmen, male prisoners are also likely to be raped. If the male captive is clean-shaven, he's probably at more risk than the women.

campy said...

"we should be able to draft women to let the country use their bodies for 9 months.
What's the argument against that?"

Women have rights. Only men have responsibilities.

Roughcoat said...

Althouse: I subscribe to the theory set forth in The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: namely that soulmates are destined to meet and that nothing, not even changing historical circumstances, can prevent that meeting.

Rick said...

MikeR:

"We should restore the draft - in the way it was historically used..


This can't be done. Historically military technology was limited and what did exist was similar to that civilians used. Now the critical systems are vastly more complicated and thus require significant experience to use at a high level. People can't be taught to use these tools effectively in the time available.

tim in vermont said...

If a draft is reinstated we will see the (long-overdue) rise of a protest movement... - Robert Cook

That's why I read Bobby. To get new and original insights.

Todd said...

Rick said...

Look at firefighters and police academies across the country for examples of the process.

As long as there is a disparate impact between men and women there will be pressure to lower standards. And since that pressure comes from people who control the institutions they will grind down resistance.

12/10/15, 12:17 PM


You have a point and I am [like] 90% to 95% with you here BUT there is a reasonable counter argument that when the standards were originally set, they were set somewhat arbitrarily and not necessarily due to the actual requirements of the position.

It is easy to say "job X requires someone to be able to carry 55 pounds 100 yards in 90 seconds" and require that all applicants pass that test IF that is actually needed to do the job. If the reality is that the weight need only be 30 pounds but was set / left at 55 pounds because all (nearly all) men could do it is not the same thing and that would unfairly leave out too many women "just because". I DON'T want job standards changed to accommodate any group IF those are the actual requirements. I have heard of different police and fire departments having to lower standards to accommodate women that then put lives in jeopardy. I do not support that at all. If the requirements / standards are truthfully set, they are what they are and if you can't cut it, so sad too bad - as long as they are honestly set.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Women work while pregnant and are expected to go back to work almost immediately.

A state of affairs never before seen in the history of the world!

Men and women are just alike, except for situations where women should get special privileges, cause they are different.

Bruce Hayden said...

Ann's point on an existential threat is interesting. And she may be right. But, I will never get over the rank unfairness of facing dying in the rice paddies of Vietnam, while Ann, and the other women of my generation were fat, dumb, and happy, safe from being drafted by the luck of that second X chromosome. I count myself lucky, that when my student deferment expired, and I went 1A, the war was winding down, and the draft was suspended later that year. But we all knew guys who were drafted and died. Not women, just men. And if I had been two years older or younger (because we went from student deferments to the lottery, and my lottery number wasn't that good), one of those guys might have been me.

So, my answer is that I don't care about any existential threat. If we need them to, women can physically have a dozen or so kids, not just the 2.1 or so they have now. Wth over 150 Million American females, I just don't see a couple fewer being all that important to the survival of the country. If they want equal rights to careers in the military, they need to stand up and demand equal responsibilities, which means demanding being subject to the draft.

mikee said...

The draft is not desired by the military because conscripts are not as effective as the volunteers currently comprising our professional military.

So go ahead, require women to enroll for a draft which won't happen unless US cities - on the mainland - are falling to an invading enemy. Your social signaling of moral superiority over those who think the military should be structured to be an effective defensive and offensive force for the nation, rather than as a lab for societal evolution, will be impressively enhanced.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

If a draft is reinstated we will see the (long-overdue) rise of a protest movement against our various and sundry wars.

I agree with Robert Cook.

By the way Robert, what does that say about the motives behind the protest movement against the Vietnam War?

Scott M said...

Adding a bunch of draftees to the current military would make us weaker, not stronger.

Not necessarily. The number of non-combat troops far outnumber those in the combat arms by a factor of about seven (last I checked...might be less today). Those positions (admin, chow, motor pool, facilities, etc) are current staffed with soldiers. I would suggest that it's far easier to move already extant soldiers into combat arms than it is to move untrained civilians into combat arms.

You take the draftees, which will be overwhelmingly the lowest ranking now in the service, and you move them into the "in the rear with the gear" support positions with experience NCO supervision.

tim maguire said...

Robert Cook said...
If a draft is reinstated we will see the (long-overdue) rise of a protest movement against our various and sundry wars.


Nah, we just need a Republican president. Seriously, you want a vigilant press and protest movement? Vote Republican. That's the only way you're getting it.

But as for the draft--it's based on the notion that the person is the property of the state. It is fundamentally at odds with American principles (not for nothing was the first draft instituted under our most dictatorial president--Abraham Lincoln). In the War of 1812, the leaders of our country were so anti-draft that they chose to let the capital burn rather than raise an Army through conscription. It's a sign of how far we've fallen that today some politicians argue for the draft for tactical reasons and would support one even without a war.

traditionalguy said...

Don't underestimate the value of petite women in tanks. There will be more room for ammunition.

Dopey said...

The conscript army is dead as a military concept. The demands of modern warfare require much more in the way of technical skills, intelligence, and initiative than the typical World War II or Vietnam draftee could provide. These demands are best met by a motivated volunteer military. So this discussion about the draft is entirely academic.

While I can only speak from my experience in the Army, women have proven to be excellent soldiers, not just in the administrative branches (Duffel Blog had a very funny must-read article about the last male officer in the Army's Adjutant General Corps)but also in the combat support branches as the Engineers, the Chemical Corps, Military Intelligence, and (most significantly) the Military Police. Personnel in these branches are exposed to ambush and IED's, and women have fought well in these encounters. Likewise some of the combat service support branches like Transportation and Medical Service Corps (Medevacs).

One war story to address an apparent obsession of my fellow commentators. In Saudi Arabia in late January, 1991 there suddenly appeared a spontaneous shortage of feminine hygiene products. This was due to a dispute between the Medical folks, who were in charge of providing Class VIII medical supplies, and the Quartermasters, were in charge of providing Class VI personal demand items like soap, razors, toothbrushes, etc. This was resolved (I'm told, fairly volcanically) at the very highest levels which directed that the Medical people were to be in charge of this. Within days several truckloads of "Lucky Lady" brand sanitary napkins suddenly appeared for distribution. I believe that they came from Pakistan. They were not greeted enthusiastically.

Later, a group of nurses wrote Dear Abby discussing what they couldn't get in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. A tremendous outpouring of "any soldier" packages was the result. There were so many of these that there was a huge backlog at our unit, which was a headquarters. I came into my tent one afternoon and saw one of my tent mates eating a Snickers bar. Like fresh vegetables, booze, and porn this was not something one regularly saw in the Kingdom. "Where the f__k did you get that?" said I, in purest Army Creole. His response was that there were in huge bunch of parcels in the mail tent and that I should go help myself. I went to the mail tent and looked and hefted a lot of boxes. Visions of Butterfingers ran through my head. I took the most likely box back to my tent and opened it with great anticipation. What was it . . . a huge box of tampons.

Rob said...

As for repopulating, remember that immigration is an easy alternative to reproduction by American women. Unless you're hopelessly nativist, of course.

Hagar said...

A good side effect of the draft was that we met and learned to get along with a lot of different people we would not otherwise have met and get to know.

Getting to know women though, could be very disillusioning to idealistic young men.

campy said...

"By the way Robert, what does that say about the motives behind the protest movement against the Vietnam War?"

Protests against the Vietnam war declined precipitously after conscription ended in late 1972.

Jason said...

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Air Force is expanding maternity leave to 18 weeks.

It's not like military units have to function as teams in high stress environments where manning is short compared to mission requirements or anything.

Rick said...

Todd said...
there is a reasonable counter argument that when the standards were originally set, they were set somewhat arbitrarily and not necessarily due to the actual requirements of the position.


While this is theoretically possible the standards were arbitrary it is not possible the arbitrariness was designed to keep out women. Since they were excluded by fiat the standards did not consider them at all.

So there are two facts:

1. The original standards were not designed to exclude women, and
2. The effort to change standards is driven by the goal of making women eligible for combat positions and not to improve the readiness of our forces.

Given these circumstances the most reasonable conclusion is that the former standards are far more likely to be appropriate for combat training and and revised standards.

Bob Ellison said...

Several of the above arguments rest on an unstated, unproven assumption: that most people give a crap about the continuation of human life and especially American life.

Eggs more important than sperm? Why? What if you don't care whether our species procreates?

Women weaker than men in combat? Who cares? What if you don't care whether our species procreates?

If you're an atheist leftist, the world ends when you die. Doesn't matter what happens afterward.

n.n said...

Make abortion, not life. That's right. It's not about life.

The inertia resisting entry into wars could be increased with a vote or choice. It doesn't require holding women, and babies, hostage... or their men, and fathers, either.

Human societies have historically expended a lot of time and resources to recognize and protect the differences between men and women. At least some of the motive was based on physiological differences that are requisite to evolutionary fitness (e.g. stability, viability).

Anyway, the takeaway is that women were removed from the kitchen in order to become taxable commodities, womb banks (e.g. transgender normalization), political blocs, and sacrificial lambs.

The Communists were insidious bastards. Not only did we construct the abortion and Planned Parenthood clinics, but we also renegotiated the very terms or axioms of reality.

Jason said...

Soo... They don't have a right to choice, after all?

My Body, the Draft Board's Choice!!

exhelodrvr1 said...

David,
"At some point we will find out about how this works in the real world. I don't think we are going to like the results, at a lot of different levels."

Unfortunately, if the results are negative that won't matter to the politicians.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Should women now be drafted?

Yes, but only the attractive ones. Otherwise all the foxhole jokes don't seem so funny.

mikeyes said...

I agree with Dopey and had similar experiences in Desert Storm. We were trained to available to defend our units and in my case, a medical unit, the majority of soldiers were women. I can tell that many of you have not served in the military or been in a combat situation, but the issues of sex, bathrooms, ability differences, etc. have been dealt with in the military for decades. Nothing is perfect and there are plenty of problems in the military, but we train to do our jobs and part of the job is to defend our selves and our team members.

As for the dratft, there are plenty of ways to get out of being drafted: I can name many politicians who have done so, and it is very unlikely that we will be in a situation like the Civil War where such a draft is needed. If we were, I suspect that women and men would be drafted in the same way that it was at the end of Viet Nam.

Victor Ulmer said...

The caption for your blog entry refers to the draft. The body of your blog entry refers to “forcing women into combat”. Military service does not necessarily involve combat. Even if there is justification for not forcing women into combat, what justification is there for not otherwise subjecting them to the inconvenience and servitude of the draft?

n.n said...

Based on the equivalence principle, and the progress of anthropogenic womb banks, we must conclude to send in current and future abortionists. The terrorists won't expect a cannibalistic response.

Make abortion, not life.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Amanda said...

If we truly cared about women we would ensure they are given longer paid maternity leave and given more consideration during pregnancy. I hear complaints and concerns about women abrogating their duties regarding having children, yet in the same breath I hear callous disrespect for women regarding family leave and employment protections for new mothers and pregnant women.

I provided my wife with all the maternity and family leave she wanted. If you want those things maybe you should find someone who cares about you enough to offer them to you freely, rather than you taking them from the unwilling by (government) force.

Rick said...

I took the most likely box back to my tent and opened it with great anticipation. What was it . . . a huge box of tampons.

You should have been pleased. In that environment they should have had high trade value.

holdfast said...

Although Obama has now opened all branches to women, the unspoken reality is that, aside from a few career-minded female officers, very few women want to serve in the infantry, and so female recruits will generally sign up for the same specialties as they do today (with maybe some in armor and arty).

But what happens if one of our deployed forces gets into a deep sh*t situation, and they are forced to comb support units for additional "infantry", like during the Battle of the Bulge? This wouldn't be just positional or convoy defense (which women have been doing bravely and well in Iraq and Afghanistan), but dropping warm bodies into depleted infantry squads to take the fight to the enemy. Would men and women be redeployed in proportionate numbers? Would it be based on physical ability, which would presumably mean redeploying men disproportionately? What if some women decided that they didn't sign up for that infantry sh*t, and they're not going to do it? Jail them? Shoot them?

tim in vermont said...

If you're fighting Arabs or Turks or Pashtun tribesmen, male prisoners are also likely to be raped.

Qadaffy was raped after he was deposed based on Hillary's urging. I even heard a rumor that they used Obama's Nobel Peace Prize to do it.

john mosby said...

Instead of a draft, what about impressment, like the Royal Navy?

A new use for Laslo's Van....

JSM

Coupe said...

The thing that is driving all this, is that the pool of men is dwindling. The military is struggling to find men who can pass the physical.

They need to take women, to fill the quota.

Besides, hegemony and imperialism should be all or none.

Todd said...

Rick said... [hush]​[hide comment]
Todd said...
there is a reasonable counter argument that when the standards were originally set, they were set somewhat arbitrarily and not necessarily due to the actual requirements of the position.

While this is theoretically possible the standards were arbitrary it is not possible the arbitrariness was designed to keep out women. Since they were excluded by fiat the standards did not consider them at all.

So there are two facts:

1. The original standards were not designed to exclude women, and
2. The effort to change standards is driven by the goal of making women eligible for combat positions and not to improve the readiness of our forces.

Given these circumstances the most reasonable conclusion is that the former standards are far more likely to be appropriate for combat training and and revised standards.

12/10/15, 1:14 PM


I don't disagree and I was not specifically referring to military service (though that was the initial point of this thread). I think, in the case of military service, the standards should be set high enough to allow 1/3 less individuals than is needed to do the job (i.e. if a task needs 9 people, figure out what it would take for 6 to do it and that should drive the standard). The military should not (haha) be a social experiment. Its sole purpose is preservation of the homeland. You want the toughest, meanest, smartest SOBs you can find for that responsibility, PC be damned.

Anonymous said...

Ignorance,
It may be news to you, but there are families that require both incomes to survive. Should the woman instead have an abortion, or should she be given support by the society she belongs to when pregnant and after giving birth? Pregnancies happen unexpectantly and while it's ideal to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, when a woman decides to not abort, do we not have a duty to provide a social structure that will be supportive to her and her family and the child? Do conservatives not respect women's decision to bear children? What about the declining birth rate? Why punish a woman who must work for deciding to keep her child?

Fritz said...

tim in vermont said...
the reproductive function of women will be especially important, and that's why government can and will want to make the distinction between men and women.

That's a dangerous idea right there. Next you will be saying that the decision to ban or allow abortion is the legitimate business of the legislature. SCOTUS says? No!

One could also say that the legislature, per your theory, has a legitimate say over whether to subsidize marriages that have the possibility of producing children. SCOTUS says? No!

In both these cases, when the SCOTUS speaks, it is for all time, and the legislature is then denied options in the case of a "dramatic, existential threat."


Does a pregnancy and birth affect interstate commerce? Of course the Congress has the right to regulate it and I assume the Supreme Court would so rule.

jaydub said...

I have some experience in this matter, having served in a primarily conscripted military (Vietnam) and an all volunteer military (Gulf War.) During Vietnam we had a majority of service members (officer and enlisted) whose main objective was getting home alive, no matter what. During the Gulf War, we had a vast majority of service members focused on winning the war and going home with honor. The difference in the two attitudes was often the difference in coming home in a box or coming home alive. Witness the differences in US casualty rates between those two conflicts.

As for the draft - neither men nor women should be drafted if the country is serious about winning a war in the most efficient manner and for the least cost in treasure and lives. If not, then it should not go to war at all. If you would like an example of the difference in combat effectivenes between a conscripted force and an all volunteer force look no further than the Gulf War. The Iraqi army order of battle was superior to the US ground order of battle in theater - but only on paper. The US forces went through the Iraqi army like crap through a goose because they had more motivated, more capable and better trained and better equipped troops. Could the US have drafted another million men and used them as cannon fodder to produce the same results? Probably, but we would have suffered Vietnam level casualties. Consider: During the Gulf War the all volunteer US military sufferred 148 KIA and 458 wounded. The largely conscripted Iraqi army suffered 100,000 KIA, 300,000 wounded and 100,000 deserters. Gen Tom Kelly probably said it most succinctly: "The Iraqi army went from the 4th largest army in the world to the second largest army in Iraq in 100 hours." There's a reason for that. Civilians like Robert Cook would be wise to better appreciate what they have now and not try to replicate the Vietnam (or Iraqi) military.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that some above have a good point - the big reason that a draft is being pushed so hard by the left these days is that the last time that we had a big protest movement against a war, it was to a great extent a result of fear of being drafted (and, then dying in a rice field in Vietnam). If you have no draft, you are left protesting a war where the people dying volunteered to fight. Which means that many/most potential protesters can just ignore it, and spend their protesting resources on something even more irrelevant, such as micro-aggressions. Back in the late 1960s and maybe into the early 1970s, males of draft age couldn't ignore what was going on, because one of the most important things about their existence then was whether they were going to be drafted and sent off to a foreign country to fight a war that they didn't believe in.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I hope men are appreciative of the nine month sacrifice to the continuation of the species that women provide.

No woman I know has ever become pregnant out of some duty to continue the species. They do it to satisfy their own needs and desires.

Since the majority of healthy females decide to procreate at some point in their lives I must assume they are already receiving something worthwhile from the experience. In fact, the mothers I know feel blessed from the experience and happy with their choice. I can't think of one that feels that society owes them some kind of debt for deciding to bring a child into the world.

Anonymous said...

Bushman, do you not consider that the biological drive most women feel to have a baby is based on the need to ensure the continuation of the species? Of course women get an emotional benefit, they also get most of the responsibilities of child care. And most women do feel blessed to have children. That doesn't change the fact that women do deserve credit and support by society. It would be pretty disrespectful to females to claim that women have babies for their own (selfish) needs alone (I'm not saying you did). No wonder more women are forgoing procreation. It's confounding to hear the outcry about the declining birth rate, while hearing from the same group of people that women serve no special purpose. Women's bodies are at the service of humanity, a little respect would go a long way.

Roughcoat said...

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was raped when the American compound in Benghazi was overrun. In the final moments of his life he was being sodomized by the Arab terrorists who killed him. A wretched way to die.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Amanda said...

It may be news to you, but there are families that require both incomes to survive.

I am aware of that. That is why I oppose these sorts of mandates on businesses that raise the cost of employing workers, thereby depressing wages.

Should the woman instead have an abortion, or should she be given support by the society she belongs to when pregnant and after giving birth?

They should absolutely be given support by society. Society != government. She has no family? He has no family? They have no church? They have no neighbors whom they've helped out in the past?

Pregnancies happen unexpectantly...

It may be news to you, but they've figured out what causes this. So it may be unexpected, but there is no reason for it to be unanticipated and unprepared for.

...and while it's ideal to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, when a woman decides to not abort, do we not have a duty to provide a social structure that will be supportive to her and her family and the child?

We do. That's why conservatives oppose most everything you stand for.

Do conservatives not respect women's decision to bear children?

We do respect women's decisions, and the women themselves. That's why we expect them to live with and pay for the lifestyle choices they make.

What about the declining birth rate? Why punish a woman who must work for deciding to keep her child?

Living with the consequences of your choices is not a punishment. It is adulthood. Maybe to a liberal that seems like punishment.

Freeman Hunt said...

No one should be drafted. In the first place, it's tyrannical, and in the second place, we have a highly professional fighting force that shouldn't be made to deal with press gangs.

Jupiter said...

"I usually at some point say something like: I don't think the American public would accept requiring women to go into combat. And in recent years, it seems, the reaction from law students is puzzlement. Why am I even saying that?"

Are they puzzled because they think it is obvious? Or because they have been conditioned never to make any truthful observation regarding men and women, and they are wondering if someone will now come and take you away?

jr565 said...

"If a draft is reinstated we will see the (long-overdue) rise of a protest movement against our various and sundry wars.
"
But women would get true equality!!!!!

AllenS said...

jaydub said...
I have some experience in this matter, having served in a primarily conscripted military (Vietnam)

Sorry, jay, but only about a quarter of the troops in Viet Nam were draftees, and I was one of them.

I have a company roster of my unit, A/3/503 Inf 173d Abn Bde. that was deployed to VN in 1967. Out of 182 men on that roster, only 11 of us were draftees.

tim in vermont said...

Does a pregnancy and birth affect interstate commerce? Of course the Congress has the right to regulate it and I assume the Supreme Court would so rule.

Yup, and I wonder how the penumbra of privacy would have turned out if Obamacare had been in the balance rather than a woman's right to abortion? Both cases are about the govt interfering in the relationship between a person and their doctor.

Bob Ellison said...

Bruce Hayden, it's a gambit. Why would leftists like Charles Rangel support a draft? What could possibly motivate them to do that? That'd be insane, right?

Freeman Hunt, it's not tyrannical. We need a fighting force, if necessary.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Amanda said...

It's confounding to hear the outcry about the declining birth rate, while hearing from the same group of people that women serve no special purpose. Women's bodies are at the service of humanity, a little respect would go a long way.

Who is it you think says that women serve no special purpose?

Over the past 50 years the amount of government support for women having babies has gone up dramatically. Over that same time period the birthrate has dropped significantly. Europe has seen the same trend, only more-so. How could any thinking person conclude that more government support would increase the birthrate? How could any liberal conclude that?

campy said...

Ignorance is Bliss @3:07 pm is found guilty of felony mansplaining in the first degree.

Jupiter said...

Roughcoat said...
"U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was raped when the American compound in Benghazi was overrun. In the final moments of his life he was being sodomized by the Arab terrorists who killed him. A wretched way to die."

Ambassador Stevens was a handsome, wealthy man with a distinguished career, yet he never married. He spent most of his career in the Arab world, and no doubt had many contacts there, both professional and social. Those contacts may have a bearing on the circumstances of his death.

David said...

"No woman I know has ever become pregnant out of some duty to continue the species. They do it to satisfy their own needs and desires."

So you think we are above the instincts that drive the propagation and survival of other species? Seems to me there is a preprogrammed biological and social imperative at work here.

Anonymous said...

Ignorance,
Living with ones decisions, yes indeed, but caring about children only before they are born and to hell with them afterwards is an unfortunate trait of many conservatives. We all want to have people behave in a way in which we think is acceptable and responsible, but in real life it doesn't always work that way. I'm willing to help out a woman who chooses to carry an unexpected child to term and then raise it despite her bad decision to not use birth control. It's too bad so many conservatives complain about the birth rate and then balk at supporting working women by providing better family leave and pregnancy support. It quite hypocritical.

Dopey said...

In response to Rick --

"You should have been pleased. In that environment they should have had high trade value."

I traded the box for three onions which,, when combined with MRE bread, dried ketchup, a cheese packet, and a dried pork patty, made quite a good cheeseburger.

Rick said...

Amanda said...
caring about children only before they are born and to hell with them afterwards is an unfortunate trait of many conservatives.


There she goes again, mistaking propaganda for reality.

It's too bad so many conservatives complain about the birth rate and then balk at supporting working women by providing better family leave and pregnancy support. It quite hypocritical.

Non-leftists support women by providing a free society with the most robust economy possible which allows her to make more money and spend it as she chooses including for child support. Amanda's comments are not just idiotic they're intentionally inflammatory, disgusting, and deeply representative of the kind of hateful person she is.

The Drill SGT said...

Todd said...It is easy to say "job X requires someone to be able to carry 55 pounds 100 yards in 90 seconds" and require that all applicants pass that test IF that is actually needed to do the job. If the reality is that the weight need only be 30 pounds but was set / left at 55 pounds because all (nearly all) men could do it is not the same thing and that would unfairly leave out too many women "just because". I DON'T want job standards changed to accommodate any group IF those are the actual requirements. I have heard of different police and fire departments having to lower standards to accommodate women that then put lives in jeopardy. I do not support that at all. If the requirements / standards are truthfully set, they are what they are and if you can't cut it, so sad too bad - as long as they are honestly set.

In 2003 or 2004 the Army Center for Lessons Learned (CALL) did a study of combat loads for dismounted infantry. The averages (from memory) were roughly

1. Stripped down combat loads (e.g. no rations, minimum water, etc) 66 pounds
2. Average approach march (e.g. rations, batteries, water, etc) 104 pounds
3. going out for days without assured supplies. 144 pounds

You have be be delusional to think that many if any women can manage those loads up hill at altitude.

Short version: In combat, there is no such thing as too much ammo. There is only too much ammo to carry. (e.g. you have to leave some behind, but you really really wish you could take it...

Bruce Hayden said...

Bruce Hayden, it's a gambit. Why would leftists like Charles Rangel support a draft? What could possibly motivate them to do that? That'd be insane, right?

All that I can figure out is that he wants the protests, and knows that he isn't going to get them until America's youth again face the draft.

Bruce Hayden said...

My proposed solution to unwed mothers who magically, without any help from themselves, get pregnant, is to reinstate orphanages. You are, essentially, suggesting that we continue to subsidize these young women in anti-social and anti-family behavior, just so that their kids won't suffer. So, the question becomes how to prevent this sort of behavior, and not encourage it, without harming the innocent children. Your solution of continuing the incentivization of this sort of behavior "for the children" just condemns the next generation to follow this one. Which, is why, of course, we found ourselves in this situation in the first place - do gooder progressives worrying more about how they feel about themselves than the second, etc. order results of their misguided progressive actions.

RecChief said...

no one should be drafted

Anonymous said...

Rick,
You seem to be very upset that someone has presented an alternative view. If my comments seem inflammatory to you I have to wonder why you think that. How odd. Do you think that these comments sections are open only to a conservative point of view? I could ( but don't) find much of what I read here as inflammatory, but I realize they are the just the world view of conservatives. Althouse has invited liberals and non conservatives to post comments here. Too damn bad if you don't approve. I present my opinions, you present yours. Quit whining about liberals presenting their views here. You don't own or run the blog. If it's so upsetting to you, I suggest you take a break.

SGT Ted said...

Amanda is the poster girl for Modern Female Entitlement and Privilege. She wants other people to provide for her simply because she possesses a working vagina and if you disagree with her specific demands, you are some sort of asshole. This attitude is the entire problem with women, regardless of politics.

It's high time women got a taste of male sacrifice; to be subject to having the chance of being plucked from the comforts of life involuntarily and possibly coming home in a body bag.

The attempts to maintain female privilege not available to men, while claiming the right to be equal in all other things, should not be tolerated.

Women need to register for the draft, if only to receive Federal student aid, just like the men. If you want equality, you need to rid yourself of your unearned privilege and be equal where it counts.

Steven Davis said...

This sounds like the makings of the first pre-war baby boom.

john mosby said...

AllenS, paratroopers are volunteers. At some point, you had to step forward without coercion to go to jump school, no?

So the average draftee looking to minimize his exposure is probably not going to go airborne.

Just saying that your anecdotal experience may not reflect the larger VN infantry population.

On the other hand, your 25% overall draftee figure in theater sounds accurate, since most troops in VN were REMFs, and lots of REMFs either volunteered from the get-go or re-enlisted to get a REMF MOS and some control over their life expectancy.

JSM

Rick said...

Amanda said...
You seem to be very upset that someone has presented an alternative view.


Why do you think I'm upset? The fact that you are a hateful disgusting person doesn't effect me in any way. And why the pretense it's about an "alternative view"? Hate isn't a political position, it's an attitude.

If my comments seem inflammatory to you I have to wonder why you think that. How odd.

Your comments are so idiotic there's no other possible reason to make them. You don't really believe I think you're that stupid do you?

Do you think that these comments sections are open only to a conservative point of view?

Inflammatory and hateful are not about conservative, liberal, or any particular viewpoint. Why do you insist on pretending all scales include political beliefs?

Quit whining about liberals presenting their views here.

Rich, coming from you. But I'm not whining, I pointing out your hatefulness. Learn to live with it.

Anonymous said...

Ted, I said way upthread that I think women should be subject to the draft. Women can get blown up the same as men can nowadays. Men still can't carry and give birth.

Jeff said...

I did seven years in the Army, fortunately it was all peacetime. Some of the stuff we did in training (long marches with heavy packs, running several miles in combat boots, raising tents and putting up radio antennas and radar camouflage nets, etc.) could not have been done by the vast majority of women. I never met a single female soldier who could have done what I and other men were routinely called on to do in the field. Even driving some of the older models of military trucks, like the old deuce-and-a-half (they look like covered wagons), required upper body strength few women have.

Some day political correctness is going to get a lot of people killed.

Anonymous said...

Rick, this blog's comments sections are not your personal property, it's simply too bad if my presence or personality doesn't agree with you. I disagree with the majority of you and I'm here, aren't I? Learn to live with that. And you do sound whiny and petulant.

Rick said...

Amanda said...
Rick, this blog's comments sections are not your personal property,


As usual nothing you wrote is relevant to anything at all.

tim in vermont said...

Living with ones decisions, yes indeed, but caring about children only before they are born and to hell with them afterwards is an unfortunate trait of many conservatives - Amanda

I think you act as if a lot of the propaganda you have been fed about conservatives is factually true. Do you know any conservatives in your actual life, or do you carefully prune them, to ensure your ideological purity?

Joe said...

The draft is unconstitutional "servitude".

Agreed. Registering for the draft is a colossal waste of money.

If a war isn't popular enough to get sufficient volunteers, perhaps we shouldn't be fighting it.

Gahrie said...

reinstate orphanages.

I have long advocated the return of orphanages. In many ways they have returned, only we call them group homes instead. I've got a couple of kids who live in one locally. generally older kids who won't behave well enough to be fostered.

AllenS said...

That's all very true, John. My point was that around 25% is a long way from primarily conscripted military.

Hagar said...

I remember, maybe a decade ago, reading a post by a female cadre about a set of female recruits (volunteers!) she had been trying to teach bayonet practice. She finally sent them into the bleachers and gave them a lecture trying to impress uopn them that they really needed to learn this stuff; as soldiers, they really might have to use it some day.
She said they just sat there staring at her with big round eyes, obviously not believing a word of what she was saying, but wondering if they perhaps needed to report her to higher authority as mentally unstable and possibly dangerous.

Drago said...

Amanda: "Men still can't carry and give birth."

A key skillset required for victory in battle.

Thank you Amanda, for reminding us of many, many, Monty Python scenes which have moved from parody to actual, no kidding, democrat policy positions.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...I've used this point in teaching Rostker: If there is ever a point at which we go back to the draft it will be that the U.S. faces a dramatic, existential threat, and if that is the case, the reproductive function of women will be especially important, and that's why government can and will want to make the distinction between men and women

With no dramatic, existential threat present today fertility for American women (one hesitates to say "native") is already below replacement. In that sense we're already past the point of existential danger. How does that fact influence your policy preferences/recommendations?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Unrelated: Female Firefighter Failed Physical, Injured After 10 Days On The Job

Ann Althouse said...

"With no dramatic, existential threat present today fertility for American women (one hesitates to say "native") is already below replacement. In that sense we're already past the point of existential danger. How does that fact influence your policy preferences/recommendations?"

This is something I have blogged about in many little places (mostly in the comments) and I've had long conversations with Meade about. What are the policies that the U.S. would move to if there were genuinely a threat to maintaining the population? I like to work out an answer that does not impinge on women's freedom, that maintains freedom of choice. You add incentives and disincentives.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

What are the policies that the U.S. would move to if there were genuinely a threat to maintaining the population?

If I had to guess, I'd say The wrong ones.

If I wanted to encourage not just procreation, but the raising of children into productive adults, I'd get rid of social security and medicare. If you want to be secure in your old age, you need to ensure that you have children that become productive adults who can care for you when needed.

Churches and private charities can help the small number of people who can't have kids.

Rusty said...

No I don't think there should be a military draft. It dilutes the brand. I do, however, think that enlisting in the military should be encouraged more. And I think that the military should be able to offer scholarships in areas it deems vital with the stipulation that the recipient work off their degree in the military.

tim in vermont said...

You add incentives and disincentives.

HA HA HA HA! But not an incentive for couples that may possibly produce children to marry! Because right in the Constitution it says "Love wins!"

I am not against gay marriage, I just think that the legislature has a legitimate interest in subsidizing fertile marriages over sterile ones. It is not up the the SCOTUS to decide those issues. But I guess they have arrogated themselves the power.

Ann Althouse said...

"HA HA HA HA! But not an incentive for couples that may possibly produce children to marry! Because right in the Constitution it says "Love wins!" I am not against gay marriage, I just think that the legislature has a legitimate interest in subsidizing fertile marriages over sterile ones. It is not up the the SCOTUS to decide those issues. But I guess they have arrogated themselves the power."

That's completely different from what I'm talking about. I'm assuming the constitutional law is what the Court has said it is. Without violating any of our rights, how could the political branches adjust incentives to cause there to be many more children to be born, born healthy, and raised well.

That's the challenge. Same-sex couples can marry, and I can think of many ways that they could be involved in child bearing and rearing. First, lesbians can make great households raising many children. They can get all the sperm they need, and in the highest quantity. Frankly, I think gay women could do much more than heterosexual couples. Think about how to support and encourage them in the childbearing endeavor.

Gay married men can raise children too, but it's more difficult to figure out how to get a woman's body to do the work of gestating for them, but you could subsidize surrogacy. I'm sure there are many young women who would bear a child if the pay was enough.

I don't think married heterosexual couples were doing all that well before gay marriage came along. Look at all the single mothers, unsupported by husbands. These women could get much more encouragement. Waiting for heterosexual marriage to improve is not a very effective way to increase reproduction, but these people could be incentivized more than they already are. Don't encourage 2-family earners. Lavish the tax breaks and other subsidies on adult pairs where one stays home with the children, especially as they come out with more children.

Ann Althouse said...

I mean...the highest quality!

Ha ha.

SGT Ted said...

Ted, I said way upthread that I think women should be subject to the draft. Women can get blown up the same as men can nowadays. Men still can't carry and give birth.

Well, I am glad you are for that aspect of equality. But it doesn't follow that others should subsidize irresponsible women just because they can have babies and men cannot. That's what I mean by female entitlement; the automatic presumption that women are entitled to other peoples money for giving birth and that denying them other peoples money for their unilateral choice is wrong.

Anonymous said...

I read a synopsis of a study a few years ago purporting to show that children of lesbian couples are 35x more likely to become homosexual. Now that study may have been valid or it may have been bunk, but it does raise an interesting question from the perspective of societal needs and what 'incentives' and priorities are needed to ensure adequate procreation.

walter said...

Hey..is this like asking women if its ok to initiate dates or pick up the check 50% of the time?

Blogger Bill Harshaw said...
Define "combat".
---
Sorry to repeat it..but seems worthwhile:
The Problems of Women in Combat – From a Female Combat Vet