Gender equality doesn’t mean drafting women

Daniela Perez/ Staff Writer

Despite not using a mandatory military draft since 1973, the Senate voted to require women to register in June of 2016.

Though the House’s version of the Selective Service amendment bill did not include this requirement, “this is a “profound shift,” said Jennifer Steinhauer from the New York Times.

Steinhauer feels that, should the Senate’s version of the bill make it through the House, women will be “forced” to register for The Selective Service, “just as men do right now,” when they turn 18.

While this seems like an achievement towards breaking the glass ceiling, it really should have been last on the senate’s list when it comes to gender equality — especially in the military.

The vote has a striking “Women want equality? Well here it is” tone.

Before forcing the draft onto young American women, the Senate should have focused on looking inside the military.

Women in the military are not safe. We put a band-aid on it and then require women to register for the draft, even though women in the military are suffering.

According to the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 1 in 3 women are raped in the military. Female veterans are at a higher risk for unemployment and homelessness, according to a 2012 study by the Veterans Health Administration.

Therefore, why is the U.S. focusing on enforcing the draft to meet a pseudo-equality complex when we are disregarding the women that are already in the military?

The vote to pass the bill was supported by a majority of Republican senators, but was argued by the ultra-conservative bunch, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Cruz, a father of two young daughters, said in a statement. “I could not, in good conscience, vote to draft our daughters into the military, sending them off to war and forcing them to combat.”

The bill was generated just to create discussion, according to Republican Representative Duncan Hunter.

In his article, featured on Fox News, Hunter said “Let me be clear: I don’t support women in the infantry or special operations, nor do I support women registering for the draft.When I proposed my amendment, I even did so with the intention of voting against it.”

According to Jennifer Bendery from The Huffington Post, Hunter thought that “people would have to face the fact that women might have to ‘rip the enemy’s throats and kill them for our nation.”

However, Hunter never expected that the amendment would pass 32 to 30, with five Republicans joining the Democrats’ endorsement of the bill.

Ishanti Marshall Holmes, a junior majoring in health services administration, is a retired United States Armed Forces veteran. When not battling senioritis, she is battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

According to Holmes, the purpose of the draft registration now is questionable.

“Are there not volunteers?” Holmes asked. “Because all of the volunteers have been keeping the draft from happening.”

Holmes, as a retired veteran, woman and feminist, has felt ignored by the country and finds it mildly suspicious that women now have to register for the draft. However, Holmes finds light in this situation.

She alludes to Cruz’ dilemma of having daughters and admits that this will make citizens realize what the military does for the United States.

There have been times, Holmes said, that she has asked for a “measly” military discount and has been told things along the lines of  “You think you’re owed everything,” and “What are you really doing for us, anyway?”

So, all that Holmes can wish for, despite her ambivalent feelings towards this draft, is that people treat their veterans with more respect now that their daughters have to enlist as well.

The country is lacking sympathy for women in combat and is generating a false resolution in regards to gender inequality. This bill is a mere band-aid over a deep gash that is hurting our country.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Photo taken from Flickr.

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