Few subjects cause Men’s Rights Activists to become as irrationally angry as the requirement that young American men register for selective service.
MRAs regularly declare this obligation to be a form of “slavery,” a sign that society views men not as human beings but as “mere beasts of burden designed for the expendable whims of a gynocentric system.” If you’re a man in the United States, A Voice for Men’s “Janet Bloomfield” indignantly announces, “you must agree to die.”
Well, not so much. There is no draft, and there is approximately zero chance it will be resurrected any time in the forseeable future. But that doesn’t stop MRAs from complaining endlessly that women are allowed to vote, and own property, and do all sorts of other citizeny things without having to undergo the meaningless exercise of signing their names on a selective service registration card.
But it looks like that’s going to change. Now that women are being allowed into combat positions in the armed forces, it seems all but inevitable that women will be required to register alongside men.
You might expect MRAs to be jumping for joy at the very prospect. Nope. Because, it turns out, many MRAs don’t think women belong in combat positions — or even in the armed forces at all. Women, they say, just aren’t up to the job.
In a post on AVFM yesterday, for example, Michael Conzachi derides the notion of women in combat as a “monstrously stupid social engineering” experiment, claiming that anyone who knows anything about combat knows
that women simply do not have the physical strength nor the warrior, “Sheep Dog” mind set to do this dangerous arduous job, and to voluntarily and willingly place themselves in harm’s way; to protect the Sheep from the Wolf.
Adjusting his metaphors slightly, he goes on to declare that
You don’t hook up a covered wagon to a sheep, not even if you put a Rambo mask on it, you hook it up to a horse. Is that not clear? …
This is not an issue of equality, it’s an issue of ability.
Weirdly, Conzachi also waxes indignant at what he thinks will be the reaction of feminists to the possibility that women will have to register for the (still nonexistent) draft:
The shrill lobby who jumped up and down like circus monkeys screaming and demanding that all military combat jobs are open to women, will now start jumping up and down like circus monkeys complaining that they didn’t really mean that women will now have to actually register for the draft, and if they don’t, they will be subject to the same penalties and possible prosecution as men if they fail to do so.
The typical delusional uber-feminist speak, “we demand, we demand, we demand, combat jobs.” “Oops; well, we didn’t really mean that we would have to register for the draft, and be subject to the same penalties as men if we fail to do so, we just want equality, equality, equality.”
It’s a revealing complaint. I’ve seen precisely zero feminist opposition to the idea that women should be required to register for the (nonexistent) draft alongside men. Sure, I know plenty of feminists who would prefer that neither men nor women have to register; indeed, I’m one of them.
But the feminists who have been pushing to open the armed forces fully to women have done so knowing that equality would almost certainly result in women being required to register.
Indeed, when selective service registration was restarted back in 1980, the National Organization for Women and the League of Women Voters were two of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that would have made women as well as men subject to the registration requirement.
Yes, that’s right: they wanted women to be subject to the same requirements as men — even though at the time women didn’t have the same opportunities as men in the armed forces. As the New York Times summarized their views, NOW and the other plaintiffs felt that “women [would be] relegated to second-class citizenship by exclusion from a fundamental obligation of citizenship.”
The Supreme Court ruled against them, and male-only registration continues to this day.
Feminists don’t have a problem with equality in the armed forces; MRAs do. It will be interesting to see their reaction as they lose this favorite talking point of theirs.
Because, let’s be honest, that’s pretty much all it is. Registration is essentially meaningless. Not only has no one been drafted since selective service registration was reinstituted in 1980, but no one has been prosecuted for failure to register since 1986. (There were only a tiny handful of cases from 1980-86, mostly brought on by plaintiffs challenging the law.)
MRAs complain that — as they see it — women have been given the right to vote without taking on the obligation to serve (or at least the obligation to sign a meaningless piece of paper that in some alternate world might lead to them being required to serve). But MRAs, or certainly a good portion of them, also think that women are psychologically and physically incapable of taking on this obligation.
It seems abundantly clear that MRAs don’t really want gender equality, in the military or anywhere else; they want women to be relegated forever to second-class status.