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Selective Service (military conscription)

No gender oppression is comparable in magnitude to the deaths of males in war, which includes forced conscription. Over 20 million male soldiers died in WWII alone, about 500,000 of them U.S. soldiers.

In the U.S. males must still register for the draft by age 18, including “only sons” and even disabled men if they can move about. Historically, a large percentage of men were drafted before they were old enough to even vote. The Vietnam Memorial has 58,000 male names and 8 female names. Males throughout the world are still forced to fight wars, even at ages as young as 6 in some countries.

People who say “men make war” are the same ones who find it sexist to say men make science, medicine, etc., as women were restricted from participating and still did contribute in many ways. The same is true of war. Women leaders supported and declared wars, and women in the general population have supported wars at almost the same rate men have. E.g., 76% of women and 86% of men supported the U.S. military attack in Kuwait and Iraq during the Gulf War.

In his report, “War and Gender,” University of Massachusetts political scientist Joshua Goldstein documents how women have actively encouraged military adventurism, both in modern and indigenous societies, and that in the face of imminent conflict, women goad their men into combat. In the Revolutionary War, women were known to withhold sexual favors from reluctant fighters. During the Civil War, Southern belles refused to accept suitors who did not take up arms. In World War I, British women organized the White Feather campaign in which they gave a white feather to men who refused to fight, as a sign of their unmanliness. Among the Bedouin, frenzied Rwala women bare their breasts and urge their men to war. Before the 1973 coup in Chile, women threw corn at soldiers to taunt them as “chickens.” During the era of the Soviet Gulag, female interrogators were just as ruthless as their male counterparts in extracting confessions. In the Rwanda genocide, Hutu women played a major role in killing Tutsi men.

“Women of every social category took part in the killings. … Some women killed with their own hands. … Women and girls in their teens joined the crowds that surrounded churches, hospitals and other places of refuge. Wielding machetes and nail-studded clubs, they excelled as “cheerleaders” of the genocide, ululating the killers into action.”
African Rights report, Rwanda – Not So Innocent: When Women Become Killers, August 1995.) http://www.gendercide.org/case_rwanda.html

24 Responses to Selective Service (military conscription)

  1. Eric Matteson on September 19, 2019 at 6:37 PM

    The biggest reason that Congress is considering a return to compulsory military service is
    that there is so little opposition to mandatory jury duty. In mandatory jury duty people
    of both sexes are compeled to travel long distances to distant courthouses and threatened
    with very large fines for failing to show up. Many jurors die in traffic accidents going
    to court and end up every bit as dead as military draftees.
    With jury duty already mandatory many elected
    Congresspeople think that people will also submit to a even larger mandatory miltary service
    requirement with little or no opposition. Both sexes have enough physical strength for modern
    military weaponry so women will be required to register with Selective Service to be
    eligible to receive student financial aid or a abortion.
    If anybody of either sex wants to prevent a draft then start by requesting the legislative
    branch develop an all volunteer jury system where volunteers choose a starting week
    and a courthouse without choosing a specific trial. Making jury duty voluntary will show
    Congress that people prefer voluntary service to country and will guarantee that the
    U.S. military remains all volunteer.

  2. michael on May 14, 2019 at 11:10 AM

    Yes I agree. If women were in the selective service maybe because of political pressure and outrage leaders would think twice. Men are considered expendable and disposable. It would be good for women to have to register for the draft at least to experience the sense of foreboding or at least humbleness which comes from doing so. When we experience what the other sex feels at times maybe we would not see them as expendable. Basically after registering you are like a criminal over the next 8 years of your life, as if wearing an ankle bracelet so the government knows where you are at all times. And your only crime was being cursed by God and having been born male. Honestly I don’t believe women will ever be required to register. The congress will fight to keep it all male and women as they did in the past will fight being included. They have not marched on Washington the past 40 years for men to be excluded but they will fight for themselves as they did in 1980. I personally don’t care if women get drafted. Not that I hope for it but don’t care just as they never cared about the men who have died since the Garden of Eden. Indifference fosters indifference. Some of us have imagined if our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters are drafted and die. It would just be nice for once if women imagined their fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons being drafted and dying as well and felt something. Why fight for a sex who cares less about you? If females care so much about their young then why is there an only male draft? I think that females care about their female young is more accurate. At least this. I believe God is ultimately in charge and his will be done. I think in his eyes all people are created in his image and likeness and all war is abominable. Anyone registering therefore is an abomination to him. Thanks for the chance to respond. With Respect

  3. Isla Ferguson on March 12, 2019 at 1:25 PM

    So, I’m a little confused about this. I personally identify as a feminist, or “egalitarian” as some say I should call myself. And when it comes to Selective Service, I would love if it didn’t exist. But, because that’s unreasonable, I do believe that all genders should be required to sign up for it. However, in our current society, the military is an extremely hostile place for women. They are frequently belittled, alienated, and sexually harassed or assaulted. If women were required to register, what would your suggestions be for making the military a safer and more welcoming place for women? Also, I have often heard the argument “well, equal rights, equal responsibility!” But I don’t feel that women and men necessarily have equal rights as of right now. Well, perhaps they have equal RIGHTS (debatable), but I don’t feel they have equal treatment. What are y’all’s thoughts on this? I’m really, genuinely interested in a discussion.

    • Mark P. on July 9, 2019 at 6:35 PM

      I am also confused. In which society is the military extremely hostile to women? Not the United States. I have 10 years in the Air Force and 10 in the US Army. Never have I ever seen a woman treated in such a harsh manner as you describe. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen at all but I have seen lots of instances of men belittling, and alienating each other but no male service member that I have ever seen has done that to a female service member. I see a whole lot more of females being treated with kid gloves compared to how males are treated. Have you actually served or are you just going off of some television show?

  4. Randy on February 26, 2019 at 10:49 PM

    “Probably Not the Kind of Equality Women Had in Mind”

    https://nvf.org/probably-not-the-kind-of-equality-women-had-in-mind/

  5. Chris on February 25, 2019 at 7:31 PM

    Finally , after 200 years of having the right to vote, women now also have the same responsibilities for full citizenship. Most women would not qualify for combat roles , nor do many men, however there are plenty of of support roles most would qualify for. This weaker than men argument to avoid the draft is fallacy. This decision will certainly pave the way for progress in equality before the law and its application which will benefit both men and women. This will not weaken but strengthen the military since the talent pool for highly skilled supportive roles will be doubled and those women who are keen and able to qualify for physically demanding roles will be able to. Let’s not forget the National Organization of Women’s policy statement in 1980 that still stands, that while NOW opposes the draft in any form, but if there has to be a draft , women should be required as equals to register.
    Congratulations NCFM.

  6. Ed Kopp on February 25, 2019 at 12:24 PM

    Men and women are against this change in large majority’s and there is no reason to believe that women would comply or be judged for it, thereby diminishing the social expectation on men. Weakness tempts the war that it makes us unable to fight. You are endangering America and I am interested to know your sources of income especially foreign sources. It would also be interesting to know more about the hack judge you managed to shop this to, who apparently is unaware that women are held to a lower physical standard, without which their participation would be minuscule. Why no case addressing that disparity? Is it because America’s enemies are paying you to lower the American military’s standards?

    I applaud female participation in the military but it remains a mans duty to defend his people and nation, when called to. If you don’t like it then why don’t you give birth to a pair twins? …or do you only want equability when it benefits you?

    • NCFM on February 25, 2019 at 12:44 PM

      Mr. Kopp,

      We are approving your comment to show our readers how some people fail to understand our Constitution and its protections. This country worldwide is envied for our pursuit of justice and equality. This case, our case, against the Selective Service System takes a firm stand on our unshakable belief in the pursuit life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In fact, our court victory will surely lead the the strengthening of our military forces rather than undermining them. Regardless, thank you for you comments.

    • Mark P. on July 9, 2019 at 7:00 PM

      Mr. Kopp,

      Actually the US Army has adopted the Army Combat Fitness Test which is gender neutral.
      https://www.usar.army.mil/ACFT/
      Once the combat exclusion was removed the Army decided that all personnel need to meet the same standards in order to do their jobs. Women need to meet the combat fitness standard in order to be eligible to serve in a combat arms field. Several of the British Commonwealth militaries have made similar changes and the other branches of the US Military have moved in that direction.

      So your statement that women are held to a lower physical standard is rapidly becoming out dated. Say what you will about the fool hardiness of allowing women into combat roles; I am in agreement with you. But the US military is not going to allow readiness standards to drop because of it. Hooah!

      • NCFM on July 10, 2019 at 8:38 AM

        Thank you for the update. What you say makes sense and has made sense for a long time. All troops should meet the same high standards regardless of their occupational designation.

  7. Joe on February 3, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    I fprgot which woman said this about the subject but it was, “clearly combat is not for everyone” meaning when and if women have to sign up for selctive service the can work in desk jobs.

    • Raymond Lee Chastain (@Tomweya) on June 9, 2016 at 8:16 AM

      They should certainly have to fulfill equal combat roles.

      • Kirk on February 24, 2019 at 2:14 PM

        Your talking about combat so I really hope you have been there – combat veteran

    • Isla Ferguson on March 12, 2019 at 1:25 PM

      So, I’m a little confused about this. I personally identify as a feminist, or “egalitarian” as some say I should call myself. And when it comes to Selective Service, I would love if it didn’t exist. But, because that’s unreasonable, I do believe that all genders should be required to sign up for it. However, in our current society, the military is an extremely hostile place for women. They are frequently belittled, alienated, and sexually harassed or assaulted. If women were required to register, what would your suggestions be for making the military a safer and more welcoming place for women? Also, I have often heard the argument “well, equal rights, equal responsibility!” But I don’t feel that women and men necessarily have equal rights as of right now. Well, perhaps they have equal RIGHTS (debatable), but I don’t feel they have equal treatment. What are y’all’s thoughts on this? I’m really, genuinely interested in a discussion.

      • NCFM on March 13, 2019 at 11:12 AM

        First, if you read the articles on this and similar sites you will soon realize that in westernized societies women have as many if not more rights and protections than do men without any corresponding responsibility. Just so you know, in our current society, men in the military are often falsely accused of inappropriate behavior, are often disbelieved when telling the truth, alienated from they peers, social networks, and families; and sexually harassed and assaulted. More importantly, they die and suffer catastrophic injuries far more often than do women in the military. Military deaths and injuries are hardly equitable, don’t you agree?

        • Rmuffin on April 17, 2019 at 1:34 PM

          As a female, with 3 boys of my own. I do believe we devalue male life more so than female. If women are required to be drafted maybe our leaders will think more carefully about wars.

          I know this is about gender equality and the fairness of the constitution, and I agree the requirements of the selective service is very discriminatory. The women’s movement has brought this upon themselves.

          I would be careful for what you wish for. If your pragmatic about this. Imagine, as a child, if your mother was drafted. Or how would you feel if your wife was drafted and not you.

          I believe we are the only species on earth that fight our natural instincts. Most male mammals will fight for their females. And the females are the ones who care for the young.

          I pray, someday that your wife or daughter is drafted for the sake of equality.

  8. Doug on January 2, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Let’s not forget the Roman boys who were raised from birth to be soldiers. They knew NO OTHER LIFE. Honor and remember these poor souls, too… they could have been artists, poets, writers, statesmen. Instead they were raised from birth to be killers for the state.

  9. Chris on June 24, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    What is the status of the NCFM suit against the govmnt for sex discrimination in selective service now that the ban on women incombat is lifted? It will be very interseting to see what methods the feminist organisations use to try to weasle out of this one.

  10. Chris on January 30, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Selective service would now be unconstitutional since the combat restriction on women has now been lifted. This was the only reason previous law suits failed to overturn the male only registration. I hope a young man eligible for SSR will challenge this ASAP because they re not going t o address this unless there is a challenge. At this point challenge has to succeed with the combat ban lifted. this is good news for male equality despite the pumped up claim that its a women’s rights success.

  11. Peter on January 2, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    Selective Service should end, you're right.

  12. Aron on December 22, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    I fail to see your point. Women were regulated by men in what they could and couldn't do in society, and it had been this way for centuries. Women were raised to"know their place", and it wasn't to take part in war most of the time. This is why more men die in war than women. Women should have been at home making babies and caring for the family while the men were away, which was why women were not supposed to be involved in warfare on the battle fields.

    Your statistics are completely moot point. You just point out that more men die in war than women. Well DERP. This is because men are encouraged to go to war and fight for their country, because women can not really do this. Women are physically a weaker sex, therefore were expected to be useful by doing things back home.

    As "MASCULINE" males, you should know this. >_> But sounds more like you are bitching about it instead.

    Also. EVERYONE is capable of killing. Even women. And even men. Women have a natural instinct to kill just as men do.

    Your points are not impressive, and you bring no realistic points in your "issues".

    • Marc A. on March 10, 2012 at 7:57 PM

      Anon, the point is that BOTH men and women have been discriminated against throughout history, in different ways, but nobody addresses the anti-male discrimination. Men don't make war any more than women do. The elite make war, and they force males to do the fighting. That's called sex discrimination. And it's one of the worst forms of it, forcing someone to fight. That's the point. Women were forced into their role, and men were forced into theirs, and neither had much "choice" in the matter. That''s what NCFM is about, raising awareness about that side of the story that gets ignored.

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