GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES MILITARY DRAFT To secure the continuing existence of the United States democracy against intractable religious fanaticism, whose goal is nothing less than a Muslim theocracy for all of Planet Earth, it is inevitable that general military conscription will again be implemented following the 2004 Presidential Election, despite political protestation to the contrary. Indeed, a 'backdoor' draft, imposed by the Bush administration, has existed in our military for more than a two years, whereby current personnel are forced to serve past their retirement or end-of-enlistment dates. With very rare exceptions, every male residing in the United States 18 to 26 years of age is required by the Military Selective Service Act to register with the Selective Service System, and thereby subject himself to the possibility of involuntary military service. Yet, with the ongoing War on Islamic Terrorism, the prosecution of which has required the deployment of hundreds of thousands of U. S.
military personnel, and stretched the National Guard and Reserve to its limit, absolutely no female in the U. S. is required to register. This clear fact of gender discrimination has not been focused upon in public discussions because an active draft has not been in effect since 1973. The United States Selective Service System offers on its Website a short history of the draft with respect to women. The primary reason given for non-registration of women is a Supreme Court decision, Roster v.
Goldberg, 453 U. S. 57 (1981). Simply stated, it says that since all men registered with the Selective Service are considered combat replacements, and since Congress forbids women to go into combat, women should not be registered.
Of course, this reasoning is absurd, since it presupposes that absolutely every male called for involuntary military service will be used exclusively for combat, and conversely that absolutely no male called will be used for the approximately 90% of military jobs which are non-combat related. Two identical pieces of legislation before the U. S. Congress, H. R. 163 and S.
89, referred to as Universal National Service Act of 2003, amend the Military Selective Service Act to authorize the registration of females. Unless exempted, they obligate the performance of a two-year period of national service either in the armed forces or in a civilian capacity that "promotes the national defense," for all United States residents, male and female, between 18 and 26 years of age. Further perusal of this proposal reveals Section 5 (d), which authorizes the President "to apply different classification standards for fitness for military service and fitness for civilian service." This Section clearly permits the President to perpetuate the current double standard and pander to the female voting majority. Because of a Congressional rule exempting females, only males will be placed involuntarily into direct ground combat. Females, although subject to national service, will be spared the dirt and danger that is inherent in facing our country's enemies.
Section 5 (d) guarantees that virtually all females will return whole and well to enjoy equal civil rights and equal veteran benefits, while those of their male peers who do return will have had a vastly different experience discharging their 'male-only' civil responsibilities. Some questions arise as a result of these blatant facts of continuing gender discrimination: 1. Do equal civil rights for females obligate females to equal civil responsibilities? Should the absence of female civil responsibilities, vis-'a-vis military service, commensurately diminish female civil rights? In light of the fact that only males are required by Federal Law to serve involuntarily in direct ground combat for up to six years of their lives, and to risk their very existence in that service, to what quantum degree should females' civil rights be diminished? Why is the pretext of a logically flawed Supreme Court decision, and continuing legislative gender discrimination, allowed to exempt the female majority of the population from any possibility of involuntary direct ground combat? . 2. Should female members of the Legislative and Executive branches of government be permitted to vote for war or military conflict, i. e.
to place only males into involuntary direct ground combat, while they and their daughters enjoy gender exemption from such civil responsibility? 3. Title IX demands that proportionately gender-equal funding be used for all school-based activities, including athletics, in schools that receive any federal funding. Many schools have had to abandon male team sports that earn revenue in excess of their costs and which aid in the preparation of males for the teamwork and organization of military service that only males must (under Federal Law) perform, in order to provide gender-equal funding for female sports which perennially lose revenue. Yet there is no imperative for females to utilize the skills and strengths learned on the athletic field and in the classroom for the military defense of their country. Should Title IX continue? 4. Arguments, based on strength and speed, against placing females involuntarily into direct ground combat, are here repudiated: Gender-nor ming has been extensively used to affirmatively place females ahead of males into civilian positions requiring physical strength and speed, such as firefighters, police, smoke jumpers, and cadets in service academies.
Historically, males, and only males, have borne the civil responsibility of involuntary direct ground combat. Why not use these same gender-normed standards to affirmatively place females ahead of males into involuntary direct ground combat? Females cannot be simultaneously too weak and slow to perform as equals to males on the battlefield, and still be affirmatively placed ahead of males into civilian occupations that require similar strength and speed. David W. Behrens 10 High Point Terrace Sussex, NJ 07461 973-875-9793.