Jenn wrote this post in April and has so graciously agreed to pull it out of her archives and repost it here On The Flipside. Thanks, Jenn - it's a great topic!
Big Red will be turning 18 in a couple of weeks, so he received this in the mail:
WHO MUST REGISTER
Almost all male U.S. citizens, and male aliens living in the U.S., who are 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service. It's important to know that even though he is registered, a man will not automatically be inducted into the military. In a crisis requiring a draft, men would be called in sequence determined by random lottery number and year of birth. Then, they would be examined for mental, physical and moral fitness by the military before being deferred or exempted from military service or inducted into the Armed Forces.
Guess what Grown-up Girl did not get for her 18th birthday? You guessed it--no mandatory Selective Service Registration for her.
Without going into what I think about SSR as a matter of policy, or the odds that we'll ever have a draft again, or my views on war in general, I have to note that only males are required to register. And that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to me.
I am a feminist. I happen to be a feminist who has spent my adult life fulfilling a very traditional role, that of stay-at-home-mom and homemaker, but I am a feminist. And as such, I believe that women are capable of doing any job a man can do and deserve every opportunity men have.
If a woman deserves the same rights and opportunities as a man, does it not follow that she should have the same responsibilities? I believe it does. I can't think of a single reason that my son should be expected and possibly ordered to serve his country, but my daughter should not.
I have discussed this with mothers "in real life." What I find is that mothers of only girls are appalled at the idea. Mothers of only boys have never really considered the idea. And mothers who have both boys and girls may be surprised by the idea, but they concede that it does make sense that equal rights should also entail equal responsibilities.
Personally, the idea of any of my children going to war terrifies me. It would be worse if they went because of a draft rather than having entered the military voluntarily. I just can't imagine thinking that it would be acceptable that only our sons bear this burden.
After all, we've come a long way, baby--and sometimes, along with the upside, there's a downside.
Originally posted at Juggling Life 12:46 AM 4/24/08
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