One of the advantages of having a written constitution is that there’s a process to solve conflicts between different pieces of law. Even, there’s a process that flags up such conflicts and forces resolution. So it is with this idea of a military draft in the United States.
Not, of course, that there is a draft currently. But the possibility still exists there in law, there is the requirement still for all male youths to register so as to be available for it. And yet it is still just men that have to so register. And it would be only men who were called up.
And yet we have really rather strong laws these days about gender discrimination. The laws stating that we really shouldn’t have any such gender discrimination. This could be rather glossed over when there was allowable such discrimination within the military. Women could – and did – hold any number of positions and jobs but were not able to hold all. Specifically, direct combat roles were still reserved for men.
We can have interesting arguments about whether changing that was a good idea or not but that’s another matter. What should have been obvious when those restrictions were done away with is that the current structure of any potential draft would have to change as well:
All-male military draft ruled unconstitutional by federal judge in Texas
Well, yes, clearly and obviously. You can’t go around stealing the liberty of men only.
A federal judge in Texas has declared that an all-male military draft is unconstitutional, ruling that “the time has passed” for a debate on whether women belong in the military. The decision deals the biggest legal blow to the Selective Service System since the Supreme Court upheld the draft registration process in 1981. In Rostker v. Goldberg, the court ruled that a male-only draft was “fully justified” because women were ineligible for combat roles. But U.S. District Judge Gray Miller ruled late Friday that while historical restrictions on women serving in combat “may have justified past discrimination,” men and women are now equally able to fight. In 2015, the Pentagon lifted all restrictions for women in military service.
Given my own vehement opposition to conscription this is a good result of course. That opposition coming from the fact that conscription, the draft, is indeed slavery. Not having slavery is a good thing, therefore no draft is. That this is a good result comes from the fact that if it is to persist – even just the current registration for it – then it must include women now, on the same terms as men. Which is something I don’t think America – or indeed any society – is ready for nor possibly ever will be.
That young men can be forced into bearing arms might be uncomfortable to many but it’s not exactly an unusual form of human organisation. To ask a society to similarly put their daughters in such harm’s way isn’t something that’s ever been asked. And I tend to think the answer wouldn’t just be no but “Hell no!” For that’s just not the way that humans work.
That the draft will in future have to enslave the sexes equally tells me that the draft won’t have a future.