The Problem With This New Step For Women

Photo: Dacotah Lane/ REX Features.
Equality is a fascinating concept. We tend to think of it as only applying to good things — equality of wages, equality of access, and equality in justice. But equality must apply, well, equally to all things, good and bad. And thus, the news today, that the heads of the Army and Marine Corps support requiring women to register for the draft.

I don’t mean to suggest the military is inherently a bad thing. Choosing to defend our principles of pluralism and equality by defending our nation is valorous and honorable. Yet compulsory military service flies in the face of the same freedom our military supposedly defends. And the Pentagon announced in December that all combat roles will be open to women, a move that will increase the number of paths open to those who choose to join the U.S. armed forces.

I no more think women or men should be forced into the draft than I think women or men should be effectively forced into military service because of a lack of meaningful alternatives — whether for a livable wage, college funding, or access to immigration. Freedom isn’t free, but the decision to risk your life defending it should be.

Personally, I want to see the U.S. military dramatically downsized from its current scale. Also, the scope of military service should be reduced alongside the scope of our military activities in other nations — which includes destroying them politically and culturally, and leaving them vulnerable to lawless terrorist takeover. And I’d like to see us stop being so trigger happy with deadly drones.

But if we’re going to have a military draft, then gosh darn it, women should get equal treatment and be required to sign up — just like men.

At this point, we don’t have compulsory military service in the U.S., nor do we have an active draft. What we have is the Selective Service, which under the current Military Selective Service Act, requires most men in the U.S. between ages 18 and 26 to register — including non-citizens such as refugees. This is the list from where an active military draft would be established, were one to be initiated. And yes, as we open all military service to women, we should equalize Selective Service mandates as well.

If we really believe in equality, it should govern not only the ranks of military service, but military philosophy — and our foreign policy advancing true equality and equity around the globe. We should not just use the rhetoric of equality to mask American opportunism and supremacy, as when we invaded Afghanistan and used the plight of women there as a fig leaf for moral justification.

Women shouldn’t just be free within the U.S. military. The military should be a true tool of freedom, equality, peace and opportunity — for women and men worldwide. Now that’s an agenda I’d march for.

More from US News

"Wrong." "That makes me smart." "Why Not?" "Ugh." No, those aren't snippets of a conversation with a cranky 5-year-old. They're just a few of the ...
When Donald Trump attacked her suitabilty for office during Monday's debate, Hillary Clinton was ready with the comeback of the evening. Towards...
People are already having feelings about the presidential debate — and no one’s even had time to finish their wine yet. Twitter was gearing up for the ...
If the chaotic party politics of the 2016 election have left you feeling completely birdbrained, this video is for you. The Founding Fathers (presented ...
Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis: Hillary Clinton from Funny Or Die Update: Hillary Clinton's appearance on Between Two Ferns may have smashed ...
We're just hours away from the first presidential debate of the 2016 election. The 90-minute showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is ...
Election Day lasts just one day — a 24-hour culmination of the seemingly never-ending campaign season. But we’ll spend the next two, four, six years ...
We share the 12 questions we want to hear moderator Lester Holt ask Clinton and Trump tonight
Step aside, old-school political merch. We're way past bumper stickers and buttons. With the election just months away, people across the country are ...
1. Here At Home: Police arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting at a Washington state mall that left five people dead. The shooting took place...
When thinking about the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) opening this weekend, the first thing that comes ...
On Saturday, police arrested a 20-year-old suspect in connection with a shooting at a Washington state mall that left five people dead, reports The ...
The 2016 presidential election has been a captivating contest. If you feel like sometimes you can't look away, well, you're not alone. Even celebrities ...
Update: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney announced in a press conference that dashcam and body cam video of the department's interaction with...