The men’s rights movement, as it’s come to be known, has scored another victory in federal court. This one could have some profound implications for women in the United States, however. A judge in Texas has now ruled that restricting the military draft to only men is unconstitutional, putting the possibility of women being forced to participate on the table. The other, less likely possibility is that we might finally do away with the draft entirely. As far as I’m concerned, having women register for the draft is such an incredibly bad idea that perhaps it’s time to just do away with the whole thing. (USA Today)
A federal judge in Texas has declared that the 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 in 1981. In Rostker v. Goldberg, the court ruled that the 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.
This is yet another case of the law of unintended consequences coming back to bite us in the butt. When the Obama administration decided to apply the whole concept of a “genderless society” to the military by opening up combat roles to women, I somehow doubt they saw this case coming. The courts were satisfied to allow the “discriminatory” practice of only having men register for the draft stand based on the already shaky premise that women weren’t allowed to go into combat. (That 1981 decision was dubious to begin with because it takes a lot more than just the soldiers on the front lines to keep an army running.)
The plaintiffs in this case were basing their argument on the fact that the current draft system constitutes a double standard based on gender. Not to put too fine of a point on this, but… of course it’s a double standard. We’ve always had these double standards because men and women are very different when it comes to questions of physical ability. And we were generally fine with that because, as a society, we’ve traditionally considered protecting women to be a virtue, not an insult.
But if we’re going to take gender equality to a preposterous extreme, you wind up with things like women being subjected to the military draft. And to what purpose? The number of women qualifying for full combat roles remains dismally low. Let’s just say that some global conflagration broke out and we needed to bring back the draft. If you start randomly drawing the draft numbers of thousands of ladies and only a handful can qualify for combat, what do you plan to do with the rest of them?
We’ve moved so far away from the draft at this point that it’s difficult to imagine us needing it again. The all-volunteer model has produced a better crop of highly motivated military personnel and they serve us well. Rather than reimagining the draft in this fashion, perhaps it’s just time to do away with it entirely.