Contact Marc Angelucci, NCFM VP
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta removed the military’s ban on women serving in combat.
In the 1981 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981), the Court held that since women are excluded from combat, men and women were not similarly situated, thus women did not have to register for selective service.
In 1980, a year earlier, a group of uppity men from the National Coalition for a Just Draft proposed the radical notion that men and women are equal and should be treated as such (see: Hayward, F., Appeal on Behalf of Coalition for a Just Draft, American Male, Fall issue, Vol. 1, No. 4 ).
In particular, “We must demand that every legal expectation—military or otherwise—be equally applicable to males and females” (page 8).
Men failing to register with Selective Service can be fined up to $250,000, sentenced to up to five years in prison, and become ineligible for a number of federal and state benefits including: jobs, financial aid, citizenship, loans, and job training.
NCFM President Harry Crouch noted that, “It’s about time. Women now have the same benefits, opportunity, and risks that come from combat.
Unfortunately, they don’t have to register for Selective Service. So they don’t have equal responsibility. Women cannot be penalized for failing to register.”
Equal opportunity must include equal responsibility. Women have supported wars at about the same rate as have men. Either extend the Selective Service registration requirement to women, including penalties for failing to register, or end military conscription.
AVFM Editorial Opinion:
With the Pentagon to open combat jobs to women in the near future, we are reminded of one of the most glaring kinds of systemic sexual discrimination still thriving, and it is occurring in the US Military, which fostered racial integration and inclusion before they were accepted in civilian life.
Death on the battlefield has remained an almost exclusively male affair. Depending on your perspective, this is either discrimination against men, burdening them with the most overarching hardship of military life. Or, you may see it as discrimination against women, preventing them from realizing their full potential as soldiers based on their sex. It would seem to work against both sexes, though it is ludicrous to compare the unfairness of exclusion on the battlefield to being targeted for sex-based inclusion in coffins and wheelchairs.
AVFM supports the spirit of the new Pentagon Directive, set to be announced on Thursday. However, any blanket approval of the new measure thus far would be premature. There are at least two matters yet to be resolved.
First, the only way this new policy will have any meaning will be if it is mandatory that women face combat on the front lines. With 20% of the military being comprised of women, that means roughly 20% of combat related fatalities should be female. 1 in 5 of body bags being filled overseas should contain the bodies of mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and girlfriends.
Additionally, we fully expect feminist pushback against any efforts by the Pentagon to make combat service compulsory. What they will push for is what they always push for. Choice; choice that male soldiers do not, and have never had.
This is aptly illustrated in the letter above from the National Coalition for Men, pointing to the double standard faced by men from Selective Service. The Selective part means selecting men, not women, and that should change as well.
The defense of a nation, whether with conscripted troops or an all-volunteer army, does not run on democratic options or the personal preferences of those serving. Women should be no less subject to that and men no more burdened by it.
No doubt there will be abundant opportunities ahead for MRAs to make their voices known, both with elected officials and in media forums where news stories on this will be discussed. We also appeal to writers for AVFM to submit news and opinion pieces regarding what could be a historic event.
We urge you to make your voices heard in the coming days. PE