Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Equal or Free?

draft, conscription, women, servitude, military, illustration

On Tuesday, the Senate voted to force American women, in their early years, to register for the draft.

Just like men have been required to do since 1980.

The White House threatens to veto the bill, though perhaps on other grounds, since the bill also, in the words of Richard Lardner (AP), “authorizes $602 billion in military spending, bars shuttering the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and denies the Pentagon’s bid to start a new round of military base closings.”

The Senate’s social conservative ranks made the whole process leading up to the vote difficult for the mainliners, like Sen. John “Maverick” McCain, who is enthusiastic about registering women. Sen. Ted Cruz expressed alarm at the direction “sexual equality” is taking, and didn’t want to see “girls drafted onto the front lines.”

Decades ago, the Supreme Court had nixed a challenge to draft registration on discrimination lines, reasoning that since women weren’t allowed onto the front lines, there was no cause to force them to register for military conscription.

But now there are women in combat positions. So the old ruling no longer applies. If draft registration isn’t expanded to women, it’s likely to be struck down for men.

We have no draft, we are reminded, mere registration — which our government keeps in place mainly to remind men that they may be drafted.

In the House version of the bill, there’s no draft registration amendment. So there will be negotiations. Maybe a compromise can be reached where neither young men nor women face a military draft* or, likewise, signing up for one.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


* For more on why to oppose the draft, see my essay “The Draft Is Slavery” in J. Neil Schulman, The Rainbow Cadenza, edition (1999).

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draft, conscription, women, servitude, military, illustration


By: CS Admin


  1. 11th Gen American says:

    This is one of the worst ideas Senator John McCain has come up with so far! If women are inducted just as men are when and if a draft is ever initiated, we will be providing millitary training to MILLIONS of Muslim women.  Those who have already forgotten the female San Bernadino jihadist who helped slaughter 14 innocent cdo-workers of her husband at a Christmas party had better call or email their US Senators and scream bloody murder!  The last thing we should do is provide military training to future jihadists, whether male or female!  The Fort Hood massacre should have been lesson enough that we shouldn’t be inducting male Muslims into our armed forces.  Since we can’t trust them when they’re born in Muslim countries, and immigrate to the US, and we can’t trust them when they’re born and raised amongst us here in America, we obviously shouldn’t be providing the military training they can use against us at taxpayer expense!  And under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should we allow illegal aliens, especially if they’re Muslims, to serve in our military so their citizenship can be expedited and they’ll gain the right to flood in their immediate and extended family members into the US!  Any US Senator who voted for that travesty of a bill, including Senator John McCain, needs to be voted out of office in 2016!  Since Senator McCain has an F on immigration issues, he’s already proven how pro-illegal he is.  Only 12% of Republicans in Congress have F’s on immigration issues, but good old John McCain is one of them!  Those who favor foreigners and illegals over American citizens are anti-American!

    • Pat says:

      Registration is not the same as induction. Your main worry is having any Muslims or foreigners serve in our armed forces. There are American citizens who are Muslim. Does being Muslim disqualify them from serving, in your eyes? Would you turn away any Muslim man or woman who volunteers for service? The man who carried out the Fort Hood attack was born here and was a doctor. Blanket bans, such as you seem to be suggesting, are unwarranted.
      It’s my understanding that some people (Quakers?) might be excused on religious grounds. That might be an option for Muslims – excuse them from combat duty, but not from all service.
      In any case, there is little likelihood that we will face a situation like Vietnam or WWII in the future. Our next war on that scale will probably be our last.

  2. 11th Gen American says:

    My apologies to Senator McCain.  His latest ranking on immigration issues is now a C-.  That still doesn’t warrant him being  re-elected to the Senate for the NTH time!

  3. JATR4 says:

    Common Sense for draft dodgers?

  4. JFB says:

    We are damned if we do, and damned if we do not. A professional, “all volunteer” military has its set of problems, and a conscripted force another and a different set of problems. There is little question that a country where random conscription of its sons (and daughters) provides the cannon fodder tends to be “less adventuresome” . On the other hand, with weapons of mass destruction, cyber, nuclear, biological and chemical, the number of active individual participants to cause the crippling, or destruction, of countries and continents has sadly been reduced exponentially. .
    Your pointing out that the question of male and female registration misses the real point is correct. The real questions are who should constitute the standing forces, and what policies can we adopt which in the long term can minimize the necessity for them.
    Peace becomes more probable by by reducing the philosophical, religious and economic motivations for war. The weapons of peace are are freedom, individual responsibility, respect for others rights/beliefs, and open markets.

  5. Steven Sass says:

    While I oppose a n active draft, REGISTRATION is very appropriate, just as you should know how much food you have in your home should an emergency develop. FURTHER, given equality, women CERTAINLY should be registered — whether assigned duties ended up being changing bed pans or driving a tank — THAT is a later issue… the country just needs to know its resources and how to mobilize them. [I say that as one who went ROTC to NOT get drafted for Nam, but whose number never would have been called, YET as an officer I went to Nam in ’71 and would tell you 2 years in the military was a GREAT experience

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