Girl Power & Gunpowder

A Soldier with the Minnesota National Guard's 1/34th Brigade Combat Team buttons her chin strap before heading out on a mission May 13 in Iraq.

Feeling patriotic in the month of BBQ and bottle rockets, an 18-year-old girl tries enlisting in the Selective Service, but enters into a legal battle with the Supreme Court after gender-based denial. By filing a class action lawsuit, the young woman referenced as E.K.L. questions the constitutionality of the obligatory defense of Old Glory.

Sexist and despotic, the Selective Draft Act initiated in the midst of World War I creates a conundrum within a conundrum.

While women continue to take on more and higher positions within the military, one would think the gov. would be willing to take advantage of the other half of its population.

While waging war becomes increasingly unpopular throughout modern culture, whether blockbusters and big bands criticize American aggression or celebrities weave awareness for imperialism into Emmy speeches, one would think something as passé as a draft would be left in the past.

With the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing indentured servitude, the Fifth guaranteeing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and the Fourteenth’s Equal Protection Clause furthering these ideas, the Supreme Court fails to concede contradiction.

Combatting the civil liberties of its citizens, the U.S. continues the tradition of violence and ignorance with the allure of false freedom.

An entity operating on the chaos of indifference, the gov. discriminates against either sex in assuming women are too delicate to provide proper munition or that only droves of men deserve to be sent against their will into deadly situations.

In 1981 and as iterated in many fashions in many fights before it, six Justices pled, “[M]en and women are simply not similarly situated for purposes of a draft or registration for a draft,” and “Congress was entitled, in the exercise of its constitutional powers, to focus on the question of military need, rather than ‘equity.’”

Whether an agreed upon matter of fundamental physical and mental might or not, conscription presents an excellent opportunity for the “My Body, My Choice” campaign to extend its clout.

For men failing to register with the Selective Service System before they turn 26, penalties such as exclusion from Federal financial aid, public sector employment and citizenship will be faced.

The steepest consequence is a $250,000 fine and a five-year prison sentence.


If draft dodgers are looking for an alternative way to serve their country, they may even endure public ridicule for political gain as played out in Bill Clinton’s initial bid for presidency.


Nonetheless, the draconian program is not as cloak-and-dagger as it seems, often revealing itself to be an institution more concerned with numbers than people. Caring less for the sex or creed of members, the SSS is a cracked bucket, slowly leaking its identity through ambiguous statements.

Giving a wink and a nod to its true colors—more green than red, white or blue—the SSS states at the bottom of its website that they have “not now, or in the past, collected or shared any information which would indicate a man’s immigration status, either documented or undocumented. The Selective Service System has no authority to collect such information, has no use for it, and it is irrelevant to the registration requirement.”


Careful not to disrupt the surface tension with overuse or recruiting all its citizens, the System ensures apathetic acceptance.

About the Author

Paige Butler
Political blogger and author of three politically tinged fiction books (under the pen name Paige Johnson), Paige Butler is a junior at FIU.

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