December 7, 2021

Congress drops the proposed requirement that women register for the draft.

 Politico reports.

One of the people with knowledge of the move said the provision was stripped as a trade-off so Republicans would accept reforms to the military justice system....

Calls to expand the draft beyond men have grown recently, particularly after the Pentagon opened all combat roles to women in 2015....

This article isn't very informative.  I suspect that requiring women to register for the draft isn't popular, but only certain Republicans want to speak against it publicly. On an abstract level, it's about treating men and women equally, and only social conservatives want to say anything other than that. 

No one is actually drafted these days. Registering for the draft is symbolism, so why not have the symbolism of everyone registering? But why have registration at all? The government knows where to find us if it ever gets in the mood to use us against our will.

Personal note: My mother was one of the first women to join the Women's Army Corp (which began in 1941). That was a choice. My father was drafted.

59 comments:

Earnest Prole said...

Obligatory: I had heard the WACs recruited old maids for the war.

John said...

Doesn't equality require equality in all things, not just the things you want? Don't we now have a "Brown versus Board of Education" standard where we have "separate but equal? In the unlikely event of resuming the draft men would go, while as your mother did women would have a choice.

Harry Lime said...

Registering for the draft will cease to be symbolism the minute the U.S. gets into a shooting war with China. Then it will be young men that do all the dying.If you think wars between great powers are a thing of the past you are fooling yourself.

gilbar said...

You know what clearly violates the 13th amendment*?
Selective Service


13th amendment* Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction

Chris said...

Women: "We demand equality!" Ok then you'll need to register for the draft then. Women: "Not that kind of equality!."

rhhardin said...

There's no reason to protect women if they're not going to have babies. They're just bullets like the men in any conflict.

tim maguire said...

The draft is a form of slavery, and therefore unconstitutional. Applying it only to men is discriminatory, and therefore illegal.

We look the other way under the assumption that it will be used only in emergencies and we're used to suspending the rules during emergencies. But modern warfare does not favor vast hordes of people attacking other vast hordes of people, most of the dirty work will be done by machines operated by carefully screened and highly trained professionals. So far from passing strict scrutiny, the draft doesn't even survive rational relationship.

R C Belaire said...

Equal rights, but not equal obligations. Got it.

Lucien said...

I'd be interested in the comparison of those opposed to women registering for selective service and those who think some kind of obligatory national service would be a good idea. Of course no one ever suggests conscripting 50 year olds to learn to code and join the cyber-war force, or to learn how to pilot drones, etc. Only young folks are supposed to lose years of their lives to involuntary servitude. (BTW, I'm 61, and opposed to the national service idea).

Howard said...

Good. We will need to save the handmaid's so we can replace the drafted fodder lost in war.

Harry Lime is having a morning wargasm with his Vienna Sausage.

Ann Althouse said...

"Then it will be young men that do all the dying..."

One reason to limit the registration to men is that it underscores the reality people that people don't think about when they indulge in thinking about the abstraction of equality: The draft will come back only if and when we need a lot of extra bodies to throw at the enemy, and when that happens, the government will want men. Creating opportunity for some unusual women to compete will not be a priority. And in this truly existential war, women's bodies will be wanted for the thing they can do that men cannot: Create the next generation of soldiers.

cubanbob said...

Harry Lime is right. Any war that requires conscription is going to have massive casualties and our society will not accept woman as cannon fodder. Woman will be accepted for things that don't need to be anywhere near combat such as weapons maintenance and repair. Men are more expendable than woman and that has been true throughout the ages.

Richard said...

Napoleon blew off his casualties with Ann's last sentence. Takes time, though. Point is, however, killing. And women slow down any of the killing except, possibly, in aircraft.
Ran into a lady whose daughter had maxed the men's PT test. Big deal. Her commander ws so impressed that he visited her in the hospital.

Darkisland said...

I spent the summer of 1968 in the Navy's training facility in Bainbridge/Port Deposit Maryland. In addition to several schools, such as the Nuclear Power school where I was, the Navy's boot camp for WAVES was there. They were kept very segregated from the rest of the base. As guys in basic at Great Lakes were as well.

At one point there was an official looking memo floating around, under the signature of some admiral. It discussed how the draft was untenable. As an alternative it suggested mating the women in basic with the men in the schools. Offspring would become the property of the Navy and would be raided by the Navy to become the next generation of sailors.

I think it was a joke.

I feel sensitive about the draft. I was not drafted but would have been had I not joined up instead. I have a lot of doubts about women serving in the military other than as auxiliaries. And I have even more doubts about women serving on ships. (Except nurses and medical staff on hospital ships)

I do firmly believe that there should be no separate but equal. If women are going to serve, they need to be up there at the tip of the spear, rolling around in the mud, and bleeding and dying with the men. Otherwise, keep them out of the military except perhaps in the rear with the gear.

John LGBTQBNY Henry

Jersey Fled said...

Camille Paglia writes very eloquently about how feminists want equality until they run across something that only a man can do.

D.D. Driver said...

What about FTM trans men? Are they legally required to register for the draft? If not, why the hell not?

@Earnest Prole: Mommy isn't one of those. I've known her all these years.

RoseAnne said...

As an academic advisor for a state community college, I consistently checked the tuition bill for young men to see if they had been charged double for tuition. If the college had no record of the student's Selective Service registration (because they hadn't done it at all or because the school simply hadn't been notified to add it to their file), they charged the student double tuition. Since I did not have access to their SS information, the bill was the only place I could check to see if there was a problem. I then would walk them down to the Student Records Office to get it updated.

Female students did not have to worry about it because they were not required to register for Selective Service.

If it was discovered during the student's semester, the school would make an adjustment but would not refund the money for any previous semesters when they were charged double. I have no idea if this is a federal or state rule to double charge but obviously the college benefitted by not pursuing the issue more.

Either register women too or do away with the whole thing.

Joe Smith said...

'The draft will come back only if and when we need a lot of extra bodies to throw at the enemy...'

All those men dying at the front will need support from the rear.

Since it is mostly symbolic (registering), I don't se why women shouldn't register.

You want 'equality'? Here it is.

A national, universal service makes more sense to me. Do your two compulsory years of service, get some training and learn some discipline, and get on with your lives.

It works for South Korea and Israel and countless other countries.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I encountered students in the U.S. who were all for women being equal to men in the military. I think they said if there is a draft, it should apply to both. I tried to raise the question: does it make any difference if the bodies coming home in bags are males or females? There is sometimes a concern that living soldiers have been tortured, and/or bodies have been subject to indignities. Is all of this more likely, or more of a concern, in the case of women? The students didn't want to consider this very much, and I think I heard that Israel had achieved integration and equality, so the U.S. should do the same. I believe it is still true that Israel is much stricter than the U.S. about keeping women out of combat roles.

DarkHelmet said...

A country that drafts women to fight a war deserves to lose a war.

Women and men are different, popular culture fantasies notwithstanding. From a civilizational perspective young men are expendable and young women are not.

The draft itself is a bad idea who time is well past in any event. But if we do have a draft it should be of 50-65 year old men. They can run the battle computers as well as the younger folk.

tim maguire said...

John said...Doesn't equality require equality in all things, not just the things you want?

What if we interpret equality to mean balance? Women get to choose abortion without any input from men and men get be drafted without any accompaniment from women. Each individually is unequal, but put them together and you have balance.

DarkHelmet said...

A draft would be useless in a shooting war with China. There is no way the U.S. would ever send an invasion force to fight on the landmass of China. Any fighting would take place in the air, in space and on the sea as well as in the cyber realm. And it would be over before any draftees could complete basic training.

In the unlikely event that China decided to send an invasion force to the continental U.S. a draft would be irrelevant. Every American household with firearms would become part of the defense force -- officially or not.

China wants to dominate Asia and eclipse the West in economic power. I really don't think they want to attempt to rule over Texas and Montana. The government is run by wicked communists, but they're not stupid.

jk said...

Yet another incentive from The Man for folks to transition.

gilbar said...

Our Professor points out, that...
in this truly existential war, women's bodies will be wanted for the thing they can do that men cannot: Create the next generation of soldiers.

This is the way biology (and sociology (and GOD)) planned it to be.
a) the guys get called up
b) while waiting for Training to start, the guys meet the gals
c) the guys go to Training, and see the gals at dances
d) after Training the guys and gals have Just Enough Time to
..i) get married
.ii) get pregnant
e) the guys go off to war, the gals go to the maternity ward
f) repeat

SGT Ted said...

Young men cannot get student loans in they haven't registered for the draft.

That is why women should have to register.

Narayanan said...

A country that drafts women to fight a war deserves to lose a war.
-----
A country that drafts to fight a war deserves to lose the war since it has already lost its freedom.

Narayanan said...

From a civilizational perspective young men are expendable and young women are not.
----------
more correctly : From older men perspective young men are expendable and young women are not.

MadTownGuy said...

From the post:

"No one is actually drafted these days."

Unless, of course, something big happens. Like Pearl Harbor.

Mark said...

Registering for the draft is symbolism

Registering for the draft is compulsion. Yet another assault on one's liberty and dignity.

rcocean said...

Was your father in the chemical corps?

The whole draft thing strikes me as ridiculous. Mass armies are a thing of the past, and in today's society with computers and instant communications, a draft pool could be set up in no time at all.

In any case, having a draft just encourages our Neo-Cons and assorted warmongers to rope us into unneccessary wars and foreign adventures.

Not only shouldn't women register, neither should men.

Narr said...

Any shooting war will be very fast, and setting up a draft system will take too long to matter. American youth at large are not mentally, physically, or for the most part morally fit for war. The American populace at large will NOT accept large casualty numbers (with the left being particularly outraged by enemy losses of course).

Social and economic collapse will accompany any big war anyway, so it's all moot.

Clyde said...

"Men are expendable; women and children are not. A tribe or a nation can lose a high percentage of its men and still pick up the pieces and go on... as long as the women and children are saved. But if you fail to save the women and children, you've had it, you're done, you're through! You join Tyrannosaurus Rex, one more breed that bilged its final test."

-- Robert A. Heinlein, The Pragmatics of Patriotism (1973)

JK Brown said...

No one seems to want to point out that being registered for the draft doesn't mean that women would be drafted for the infantry only. It simply means their skills will be taken for use by the government against their will.

It all smacks of the Muller v. Oregon. 208 U. S. 412. 1908 concept of women being 'wards of the state' and there for subject to more protection. But these days they aren't subject to more limitations as in that case where women's work hours were limited, whereas men could work as many hours as they chose because they had full liberty over their labor. Later labor laws simply reduced men to the "wards of the state" status by imposing minimum wages, work hour limitations, etc.

=======
Observations by General Sherman that conscription is not a good choice. If the government need soldiers it should pay wages at a level to gain volunteers. Of course, paying soldiers their due is not popular with those who send men to war while they seek to bathe in the glory and power in Washington. Having to pay, at least before uncontrolled government debt, limited the foreign misadventures using troops.

"But the real difficulty was, and will be again, to obtain an adequate number of good soldiers. We tried almost every system known to modem nations, all with more or less success —voluntary enlistments, the draft, and bought substitutes — and I think that all officers of experience will confirm my assertion that the men who voluntarily enlisted at the outbreak of the war were the best, better than the conscript, and far better than the bought substitute."

"Toward the close of the war, I have often heard the soldiers complain that the " stay-at-home " men got better pay, bounties, and food, than they who were exposed to all the dangers and vicissitudes of the battles and marches at the front. The feeling of the soldier should be that, in every event, the sympathy and preference of his government is for him who fights, rather than for him who is on provost or guard duty to the rear, and, like most men, he measures this by the amount of pay. Of course, the soldier must be trained to obedience, and should be " content with his wages ; " but whoever has commanded an army in the field knows the difference between a willing, contented mass of men, and one that feels a cause of grievance. There is a soul to an army as well as to the individual man, and no general can accomplish the full work of his army unless he commands the soul of his men, as well as their bodies and legs."

Memoir of General William T. Sherman, Vol II, pg 387.

Clyde said...

Also Heinlein:

"I also think there are prices too high to pay to save the United States. Conscription is one of them. Conscription is slavery, and I don't think that any people or nation has a right to save itself at the price of slavery for anyone, no matter what name it is called. We have had the draft for twenty years now; I think this is shameful. If a country can't save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people, then I say : Let the damned thing go down the drain!"

-- Robert A. Heinlein, Guest of Honor Speech at the 29th World Science Fiction Convention, Seattle, Washington (1961)

His books contain a lot of wisdom, much of it now politically incorrect.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am all for it. I was a year ahead of Ann in college, The guys, for the most part, worried that, upon graduation, they would be drafted and sent to die in a rice paddy halfway around the world, thanks to the draft. The girls didn’t face that prospect. They weren’t subject to the draft . I resented that. A lot. They could plan out their lives. Halfway through, we had the lottery, and my number was low enough, that I figured that I would likely end up in the military, shortly after graduation. I didn’t, because Nixon was President, and was running for re-election. Plus, over the four years I was in college, he had taken Patten’s (and, somewhat, Goldwater’s) advice on how to win a war (by killing the enemy), instead of the LBJ/McNamerra strategy of winning by attrition (at the cost of a lot of American boys dead). My senior year, instead of applying for grad school, I spent worrying about Vietnam. Then I graduated, was classified 1A a couple weeks later, and waited with dread for the draft notice. It never came. By September or so, they quit drafting, as the population at nearby Fort Carson swelled with troops who had been scheduled to go there, and weren’t going to be sent there. We had effectively won the war, at least until Watergate destroyed Nixon’s Presidency, and the Dems threw our hard fought, bloody, victory away, mostly, I think, because they could, it was Nixon’s victory, and they hated Nixon.

I resented very much that males faced the reality of dying young in a war halfway around the world, and females did not. They demanded equal treatment, but refuse, to this day, to accept equal responsibility.

Critter said...

Registration facilitates a call-up if needed. It’s pragmatic.

Israel requires service of women as well as men. For Israel it is existential. So far, America has had the luxury of only needing men. I don’t see us going to women unless absolutely needed.

I believe that the push for women comes largely from leftists who see that as a way to reduce the effectiveness of our military through reduced fighter strength, the turmoil introduced through fraternization in the ranks, and a softening of military attitudes in war. All against our country’s survival in war.

effinayright said...

"The government knows where to find us if it ever gets in the mood to use us against our will."
********************
Funny, innit, how the 18-year-olds landing under fire at Normandy on those tiny boats didn't bleat "My body, my choice" and refuse to serve.

0_0 said...

Women in the military should meet the same standards as men. If standards are lowered for women, lower them for everyone.
We currently have women in the volunteer military. It isn't working out as well. Many women use the possibility of claiming harassment or worse for preferential treatment.

Temujin said...

Next, can we remove play-women from admiralty positions?

I'm Not Sure said...

"And in this truly existential war, women's bodies will be wanted for the thing they can do that men cannot: Create the next generation of soldiers."

No abortions permitted, I presume?

Real American said...

The purpose of the draft is to raise an army of soldiers in a relatively short order. If we need to implement the draft, then it's because we need a lot of people quickly, not a bunch of trained specialists who can sit at a monitor and fly a drone halfway around the world. Calling up all of the men of eligible age will likely produce many more able-bodied soldiers than the women. Men are, on average, bigger, faster, and stronger than women, on average. That's just a biological fact.

That doesn't mean there aren't a bunch of pajama boys out there who'd get destroyed by relatively the average woman in hand to hand combat, it just means there are many more men than women who'd fill the need. Spending that much time and effort sorting through the women looking for a handful of prized female specimens simply isn't worth the practicalities of the situation.

Also, someone needs to take care of the kids.

That said, the left's interest in forcing women sign up for the draft isn't about military service or "equality" or even their commie beliefs in "equity." It's about being able to mobilize the civilian population to fight their political battles (i.e., "climate change") for them - an Army of Karens, whose job it is to narc on you when you don't do whatever it is they think you ought to be doing so 1000 years from now the north pole isn't .00000001 degrees warmer.

readering said...

selective service started with WW2 and ended with US exiting Vietnam. Registration returned with USSR invading Afghanistan and never stopped. Should have stopped with fall of Berlin Wall.

Joe Smith said...

'A tribe or a nation can lose a high percentage of its men and still pick up the pieces and go on... as long as the women and children are saved.'

Sure, but who is going to replace the bowls on the high shelves, check the air in the tires, kill the spiders, and open the pickle jars?

Rollo said...

Drafting women wouldn't necessarily mean putting them into combat.

During WWII, the Germans did what they could t keep women at home. The Russians threw them into the war effort, and even into combat. The experience of the Russians (and the Israelis) suggests that Heinlein didn't speak the last word on this. Also, not to be anti-gun, but an armed society isn't necessarily a polite society either

Howard said...

There's a biological reason why it's harder to get doe tags relative to bucks.

wayworn wanderer said...

I volunteered.

n.n said...

Equal in rights and complementary in Nature/nature.

n.n said...

Equal in rights and complementary in Nature/nature. Men are tasked with protection, and women are tasked with preservation. Most men and women willingly or grudgingly agree with the implicit conditions and reconcile with Her Choice. A nation, a society, a community constructed to server "the People" and "our Posterity".

n.n said...

No abortions permitted, I presume?

While Her Choice is an inclusive fate, her Choice will be restricted in not only the second and third trimesters, but the first, too. In fact, as a civilized society, we will take affirmative action... nay, employ affirmative discrimination to mitigate the risk and progress of elective abortion for light, social, medical, redistributive, and fair weather causes.

Richard Aubrey said...

Dark Helmet. No masses needed Nam was going to be won with advisers and choppers.
In war, the enemy has a vote. If China deploys mass armies, they won't be dismayed by your opinions. Then what?
Took an awful lot of killing to deal with the Chinese in Korea--reportedly a million of them dead. And, ultimately, we got a draw. And close to 40k of our guys killed and, depending on reports, maybe 150k RoK and a million civilians.
And we had the killing stuff. One attack by two rifle companies was supported by seventeen battalions of artillery. Would have been fat city in WW II, but routine in Korea.
Nearly broke the logistics chain shipping 155mm ammo.
Today, we're looking at precision munitions, not masses of HE and tubes to deliver it.
We might, say, blow the Three Gorges Dam, which would be a war crime dwarfing the Holocaust, given who's downstream. But that might be the only way tio put them back on their heels.

The other guy gets a vote. Sun Tzu or somebody.

Gospace said...

gilbar said...
You know what clearly violates the 13th amendment*?
Selective Service


You know what clearly doesn't violate the 13th amendment? Selective service. One of the few things I disagree with Robert Heinlein on. For all the service he did for the country- this country has had draftees since before it's founding. The militia in the Revolution wasn't an all volunteer force.

And the milita, the armed forces, isn't treated as slavery in the Constitution. Or anywhere else. Draftees are not slaves. Nether are volunteer soldiers, sailors, airmen, or Marines. The miltia is regulated under Article 1, Section 8:

The Congress shall have Power
15. To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
16. To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;


Calling forth the militia can be done by asking for volunteers, or drafting bodies into the force. Under 10 US Code § 246 most every male is or has been or will be a member of the militia- whether they're ever aware of it or not. The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

Doug said...

Way to go, Congress. Now, since we decided that womyn shouldn't be drafted, how about we repeal the 19th Amendment?

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

SGT Ted said...

Young men cannot get student loans in they haven't registered for the draft.

That is why women should have to register.


About 10 years ago I knew a guy who was working for a managed service provider. They won a bid on a big DOD contract and everyone had to get a background check. The company found out that he hadn't registered for Selective Service like he should have back in the 1980's and fired him. The DOD was going to be their sole client in the near future and he couldn't work on any of the projects because of that.

So, yeah, I'm with Sgt Ted. Women should have to register.

Drago said...

D.D. Driver: "What about FTM trans men? Are they legally required to register for the draft?"

No.

D.D. Driver: "If not, why the hell not?"

Because they are women.

gilbar said...

Gospace said...
this country has had draftees since before it's founding. The militia in the Revolution wasn't an all volunteer force.
And the milita, the armed forces, isn't treated as slavery in the Constitution


i never said it was 'slavery' i said it violated the 13th amendment
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime ...

If you want to talk about pre USA militia, and how That justifies involuntary servitude,
please explain
a) how the draft is NOT involuntary servitude?
b) how the early parts of the Constitution supersede the 13th amendment?
(the early parts talk about slavery too, and All that IS nullified by the 13th)

Of Course, the Constitution is WhatEver 5 justices SAY it is...
So; locking up Japanese Americans, or locking down the whole country for covid is just peachy

Gospace said...

Gilbar, you can argue all you want. The courts have never equated the draft with involuntary servitude, and even though you could probably find a Hawaiian judge to declare it so, the SC would overturn the decision.

Now the courts might think differently were draftees unpaid. Or treated differently than volunteers. But they're not. Up to and including that at some point in the whole process draftees, like volunteers, have to raise their right hand and state:

I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

Now there's some coercion involved. Trial and possible jail time for refusing. But no one is actually Shanghaied into service. It's not slavery. It's your choice- Option A or option B. That you don't want either is immaterial. Life doesn't always give you good options.

And that makes me wonder. Why Shanghaied? That practice for bringing new sailors aboard existed in every port city in the world. Why not Liverpooling?

Gospace said...

Meant to mention- I served with a few that had another option- the recruiters in the front row of the courtroom. Enlist- or be tried. Marines and Army used to get a number of recruits that way, less often the Navy. Not allowed anymore. Officially.

Narr said...

In 1966, my older brother tried to shoplift some beer and the juvie judge gave him a choice of finishing highschool on probation or joining the military.

He chose door #2, and off he went. To his credit he got an honorable discharge after serving in Thailand (shhh!) with the Signal Corps, and if the army made a man of him it was a temporary arrangement.



Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

@DD Driver: Mommy’s all right, Daddy’s all right, they just seem a little weird