Sunday, June 12, 2016

Women and the Draft: Gender Equality Run Amok

The fight for equal rights for women usually conjures up thoughts of equal rights under the law. But equal violations of rights?  

Yep. At least for this mother.

As NJ Advance Media’s Tim Darragh reports for

A Morris County mother [Allison M. Kyle of Parsippany], on behalf of her 17-year-old daughter [Elizabeth Kyle], is suing the U.S. Selective Service System and its director, arguing that the system discriminates against women.

Specifically, the complaint says Selective Service is violating  American women's equal protection and due process rights under the U.S. Constitution by requiring only males to register for the draft.

I can understand fighting for the equal right of women to voluntarily serve their country. But it’s hard to swallow the idea of the draft in the same bite with the idea of rights. I left these comments, edited for clarity:

This mother is essentially saying is: “It’s not fair that only men are subject to slave servitude to the state. Women deserve the same injustice!”

Kyle’s got inverted moral priorities. If anyone is being discriminated against, it is men—for being singled out for servitude. If anyone’s equal protection and due process rights are being violated, it is men’s that are. Yet, instead of fighting for the liberation of men, she fights for the enslavement of women. It’s bad enough that this woman would force her own daughter to register for selective service. But that she would force every young woman in the country to register to satisfy her own perverse obsession with equality-at-any-cost is cruel and hateful.

Never mind that we don’t currently have a draft. The compulsory selective service registry reminds us that we are only one power-hungry regime or one emotionally charged-up-by-a-demagogue electorate away from a renewed draft, in which every young person’s life plans would be disrupted just as they are starting out in life.

The fact is, compulsory service to the state, however it is rationalized (service to society or the nation, to “make the world safe for democracy,” or whatever), is immoral and un-American. Compulsory national service in any guise is an element of collectivism and dictatorship, the opposite of a nation founded on the principle of individual rights and limited, rights-protecting government.

Perhaps Kyle’s suit is just a back-door strategy to eliminate compulsory registration (“the Kyles ask that females become subject to mandatory registration as males are, or require that registration be voluntary for both sexes”). Perhaps her hope is that by threatening to subject women to compulsory service, a backlash could be triggered and result in voluntary registration. But if so, she’s playing a dangerous game. Best to attack compulsory service head-on, rather than tempt an already too-powerful government with even more power.


If kyle is indeed looking for a backdoor means of eliminating the draft altogether, she’s playing a dangerous game. Statists will love it, and U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel did introduce a bill to reinstate the draft that forces women to register for selective service. Rangel has an agenda of his own, believing that a draft would give virtually every American family a stake in going to war, reducing the chance for Washington to go to war.

But this kind of disingenuousness is dangerous. Why give the statists this power tool? We’d be better off simply to fight for individual rights.

Related reading:

July 4, 1776: Words that Will Never Be Erased

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