Friday, April 29, 2016

I am a Feminist, and I Don't Like That Lawmakers are Willing to Draft My Children

Today, I opened my News Feed and saw this: 
"Selective Service System: House Panel Approves Proposal Requiring Women to Register for Draft."

As a woman, as a mother and as a feminist... I have had a really hard time with this. I do believe women should be paid equally in the workforce, seen as capable and allowed to pursue the same paths as men as long as they can maintain the same standard. 
I do believe in equality in pay, opportunity, voting rights, personal rights and the law.

I also believe that certain women are capable of killing a person or fighting in battle when it is required of them, just as certain men are capable of doing the same. But I also believe that requiring registration for the draft is wrong. 

People are going to say that I cannot have it both ways. I understand that logic.
What bothers me about this is that I am a mom, and I became a mother at the age of 20. I cannot imagine being a mother facing the potential ramifications of war, a draft, and leaving my children to fight a battle I didn't agree with. Look at all of the single mothers in the United States who would be facing a serious dilemma. I personally would never agree to go fight a war that put me in the line of leaving my children behind motherless. 

I also do not care if you don't like that I said that. When I became a mother, my children became my mission. Any other job, mission, objective, want  or need that would take away from their safety or support  comes second. Period.
Additionally, if our representatives are going to institute a system that places women in  the position to be in the military, during a time of war, then they also need to spend a hell of a lot more money on training everyone from the top brass to the lowest scrub on rape prevention. The military needs to make sexual assault a severe crime... instituting a policy that not only punishes those who commit the crime, but also those who look the other way. Conscripting us to war and then subjecting us to sexual harassment is not an effective way to promote equality, or to teach us feminists a lesson. It's just another way to oppress women under the guise of good policy. So, if leaders want to do this right, they need to make sure they have systems in place to change the way the military treats those of us who volunteer for the job.

People who argue against women in the military and women in combat will use the above paragraph as a means to argue against women being in the military. This is also an argument that is unfair. We should not have to gird our loins and guard our vaginas in order to defend our country. When a woman is in uniform, she should be seen as a fellow fighter. If a woman has elected to crawl in the muck, run the miles, kill the enemy from afar or up close --she should be respected and her vagina should have no bearing on how people perceive her ability to fight.
A woman who voluntarily joins the military understands the risks and challenges that women face in an environment that has long been a duty and privilege reserved for able-bodied men. She understands that she will face harassment, scrutiny and even sexual brutality at the hands of an enemy that will use any form of punishment against the enemy. Just as any man who volunteers should (and most do) understand the same thing. That's the beauty of having an all-volunteer military.

I guess for me, as a mother ---I just don't like the idea of anyone, woman or man, forced to go into a battle they do not agree with. Vietnam veterans who were drafted but who were too young, immature, or just did not want to be there, came back changed, hated, ignored... and lives upon lives were wasted. Congressional leaders and children of the rich were given passes, and men whose parents could not afford to get them out of the draft were sent away, some never returning home. 
The draft is a system that we should not need.
As a spouse of an active duty volunteer service member, and as a mother to both a son and daughter, I don't agree with involuntary service in general. I personally feel that the draft is a system that actually can endanger the goals and lives of those who want to fight in the military, of those who WANT to fight for this country, and who volunteer to be of service to the nation. 
Forcing a person to go to battle and fight a war they do not agree with, or that they do not understand can lead to mutiny among the ranks. How do you protect the ones who are there to fight, from the ones who are desperate to escape? How do you lead an armed  person, responsible for lives, into a battle they do not want to fight?

It's not just that I don't want you drafting my daughter (if you did, you would have to enlist  her as an art therapist to rehabilitate those you broke, because that is as close as she would be willing or able to get to the front lines -- not because she is weak, but because she is emotionally deep and complex). It's that the draft is an ineffective way to support any war effort unless you are looking for bodies and  numbers.
I don't want you drafting my son, for that matter. Drafting for the front lines would take an effective battery of psychological and mental screenings, because it takes a certain person who can compartmentalize, rationalize, and who can both lead and follow directions.

So, my problem as a feminist, isn't that you want my daughter to be included in the list of  names you could pull if we ever go into a large scale war, or our leaders decided they were going to need bodies more than a good representative military of volunteers. It's that you want to force my children to sign up for a lottery where there are no winners.
Sound familiar?

No comments:

Post a Comment