Women and Draft Registration ("Selective Service")
"Will women be drafted? Will women be required to register for the draft?"
In June 2016, the U.S. Senate approved a "National Defense Authorization Act" (NDAA) including a provision that would require young women to register for the draft on the same terms as young men, starting on January 1, 2018 with women born on or after January 1, 2000. A similar provision was removed from the version of the bill approved earlier by the House, and after the November 2016 a House-Senate conference committee of the lame-duck Congress decided to remove this provision from the final compromise version of the bill. That leaves the status quo intact: men, but not women, are still required to register, and that male-only registration is vulnerable to Constitutional challenge, as discussed below. Meanwhile, a separate bill was introduced, H.R. 4523, which would end draft registration, abolish the Selective Service System, and restore the eligibility of nonregistrants for Federal student aid and all other Federal programs.
Why is Congress talking about this now? In 1981 the Supreme Court upheld requiring men but not women to register for the draft. The court based its decision on "deference" to the military policy which, at that time, excluded women from combat assignments. Now that this policy has changed, it's likely that continued registration of men but not women will be found unconstitutional. Lawsuits against male-only draft registration are already working their way through the courts.
Several lawsuits again challenging males-only draft registration were filed as soon as the Pentagon announced that it would begin considering women for some combat positions. It's unclear which of these lawsuits, or which new one, will be the first one to be decided. But if Congress takes no action, Federal courts are likely to rule that the current requirement for men but not women to register is unconstitutional, and prohibit enforcement of that male-only requirement. Such a court ruling would force Congress to choose whether to extend draft registration to women, or to let a court decision ending registration stand.
One of the lawsuits challenging male-only draft registration, "National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System" was reinstated by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on 19 February 2016. On 9 November 2016, a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles ruled that this case had been filed in the wrong place, and ordered it transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston, where the plaintiff lives. The case will have to start over, with the next step probably being a status conference by a judge in Houston, not yet scheduled, to set dates for further briefing (written arguments).
Under current law, the courts can't order women to register. Nor can the President or the Pentagon, without action by Congress to change the law. So unless Congress extends the registration requirement to women, registration of men will have to end if courts find that it is illegally discriminatory. On the other hand, the current males-only draft registration could be ended by Presidential proclamation, by Congress, or by the Federal courts if they find that it is unconstitutional. A third option is that President and Commander-In-Chief Trump could rescind the orders opening all combat assignments to women, thus restoring the situation in which male-only draft registrtation was found by the Supreme Court to bear a Constitutional relationship to providing male-only combat military forces.
The draft and draft registration, for both women and men, are bipartisan issues. Bills to extend draft registration to women have been introduced by both Democrats (H.R. 1509) and Republicans (H.R. 4478), and questions about whether women should be required to register were asked in both Democratic and Republican Presidential primary debates.
H.R. 4523, a bill to end draft registration entirely, abolish the Selective Service System, and repeal the Federal "Solomon Amendments" linking draft registration to Federal student aid, job training, and other programs has also been introduced in the House by a bipartisan group of sponsors.
Most members of Congress and Presidential candidates would prefer to avoid the issue of the draft, however. Hillary Clinton waited until after the Presidential primaries to announce that she supports extending draft registration to women. Bernie Sanders was one of only two Senators absent from the vote on this issue in the Senate in June 2016. Donald Trump has not announced any position on this issue.
Regardless of whether Congress or the President think that young women "should" be ready and willing to be drafted, the only realistic choice for Congress is not to extend draft registration to women, but to end it for all.
Congress could enact a law extending draft registration to women. But draft registration isn't self-implementing. Extending registration to women would require getting women to comply with the law, and enforcing the law if they don't do so voluntarily.
Is there any reason to think that young women would be more willing to sign up to be drafted than young men have been? I doubt it.
There's a long history of anti-draft activism by women, incluiding advocacy of resistance to draft registration by women as well as men. As Dorothy Day, founder of the anarchist-pacificst Catholic Worker movement, wrote during World War II:
I will not register for conscription, if conscription comes for women.... Instead, I publish my statement here, my declaration of purpose, and if it encourages other women not to register, I shall be glad at such increase in our numbers.
I shall not register because I believe modern war to be murder, incompatible with a religion of love. I shall not register because registration is the first step towards conscription, and the only way to do away with war is to do away with conscription.
"Nothing would sooner free the world from the scourge of war, the most deadly plague with which humanity is at present threatened," wrote E.I. Watkins some years ago, "than the resolute refusal of a sufficient number to serve in the army. Even a small minority would prepare the way for the future refusal of large masses. All who are not willing to be conscripts from whatever motive, should unite in proclaiming this refusal."...
"But why object to registering? Why not register and then refuse if your number is called?"
By little and by little we must resist. Why take the first step if we do not intend to go on? Why count on exemption... and so lose the opportunity to testify to the truth that we feel so strongly?
When President Carter announced his proposal to reinstate draft registration in his State of the Union address in 1980, some of the strongest initial grassroots opposition came from women. Many women remained active in the resistance, including in the National Resistance Committee, even after the bill approved by Congress was narrowed to require only men to register, though the press tended to focus on male draft resisters.
As illustrated in the poster above by Yolanda V. Fundora, the draft was one of the major issues raised by 2,000+ participants in the Women's Pentagon Actions in November 1980 and November 1981, well after draft registration had been limited to men. According to their Unity Statement:
We are in the hands of men whose power and wealth have separated them from the reality of daily life and from the imagination. We are right to be afraid. At the same time our cities are in ruins, bankrupt; they suffer the devastation of war. Hospitals are closed, our schools are deprived of books and teachers. Our young Black and Latino youth are without decent work. They will be forced, drafted to become the cannon fodder for the very power that oppresses them... We do not want to be drafted into the army. We do not want our young brothers to be drafted. We want them equal with us.
A report on the anti-draft movement by the New York Times in August 1982 noted that, "Some feminist organizations are attracted to the issue. After many women's groups opposed President Carter's unsuccessful proposal for registration of women, they have tended to line up against the peacetime draft of men, too." (The same article reported that, "Some antidraft activists ... say ... that if thousands fail to respond, the Government will not be able to track them down. 'For every one of those who openly say, 'I'm not going to register,' there are probably 50 to 100 who are doing it privately,' said Fred Moore of the National Resistance Committee in San Francisco.")
Women have been among those health care workers most concerned about Selective Service preparations for for a draft of doctors, nurses, and many other medical professionals, which would include women but could be based on professional licensing lists rather than on self-registration of potential draftees.
The split between liberal advocates for gender equality and radical feminists who oppose war and the draft as sexist, even when only men have been drafted, is not new. When men fight, women die. (For similar arguments about LGBTQ "equality" and inclusion in the military, see the Web site of Against Equality and their anthology Against Equality: Don't Ask to Fight Their Wars, also included as a section in their larger collection, Against Equality: Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion.) Hillary Clinton's endorsement of the proposal to expand draft registration to women has renewed a debate that also occurred when draft registration was reinstated in 1980:
When President Jimmy Carter revealed his proposal to register women and men for the draft,... organizations took positions varying from WILPF's total opposition to registration to Phyllis Schlafly's opposition to drafting women. The National Organization for Women and the National Women's Political Caucus changed their posiitons from January 25 to February 8  from total opposition to the draft to opposition coupled with the idea that if there were to be a draft, it had to include women. The debate was on between feminists who believed in equality within male power structures and feminists who believed in changing male structures of power, in this case, in opposing war and militarization altogether. ("Women Leaders in the Peace/Antiwar Movements", by Carolyn M. Stephenson, Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution, University of Hawai'i, in Gender and Women's Leadership: A Reference Handbook, SAGE Publications, 2010.)
In July 2016, the National Organization for Women co-signed a letter to the House-Senate conference committee, along with the ACLU and other organizations, in support of extending the current Selective Service registration requirement to women in the name of "equality" rather than feminism. "The undersigned organizations urge you to retain the Senate language (Section 591) requiring women to register for the draft."
Women share many of men's reason not to register for a military draft, and have other reasons of their own. Today, people of all ages and genders question why the U.S. is supporting the fundamentalist (and supremely sexist) monarchy in Saudi Arabia, or its dictatorial allies in Yemen, among others. There are both feminist and sexist arguments against subjecting women to the draft and draft registration.
[Teenagers Against the Draft, Boston, MA, 21 March 1981. Photo © Ellen Shub.]
From a feminist perspective, "I wouldn't mind the privilege of being among the first women to burn their draft cards", Karen Lindsey said at an anti-draft rally in Boston in 1979 or 1980, before Congress decide to enact a draft registration requirement for men but not women. (Speech reprinted as "Women and the Draft" in Reweaving the Web of Life: Feminism and Nonviolence, New Society Publishers, 1982.) One feminist group adopted the following statement in January 1980:
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom strenuously opposes the conscription of men or women for war or preparation for war and we oppose registration as the first step toward conscription.... Sisterhood is international -- it does not stop at international borders. If we embrace militarism and conscription as part of equality we will be declaring our sisters as enemies. That is something we as women and as feminists WILL NEVER do.... Sisterhood is powerful. Say NO to registration; say NO to the draft!
As an example of the anti-feminist case against requiring women to register for the draft, consider this statement (worth reading in its entirety) from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the the Southern Baptist Convention: "A military draft of women ... isn't just a military proposal; it's about an entire worldview built on the bankrupt ideology of egalitarianism.... Policy-makers are asking men to comply before a culture of emasculation by surrendering their innate gifting and their innate calling."
Extending draft registration to women will provoke at least as much resistance as did draft registration for men in 1980. It will force the government, once again, to choose whether to turn the country into a police state to round up all those who fail to register on demand, or to try (probably unsuccessfully) to terrorize them into compliance through show trials and incarceration of a few of the people seen as "leaders" of the resistance.
Draft registration of men has been a fiasco for the government since its resumption in 1980. But the government has never been able to find a face-saving way to end registration and shut down the Selective Service System without admitting that its scare tactics failed, or dealing with the implications of young people's insistence on making their own choices about which wars they are willing to fight.
The likelihood and imminence of a court ruling that males-only draft registration is now unconstitutional provides the perfect opportunity for Congress to end draft registration entirely.
Are you a young woman who is thinking about whether you would register for the draft, if draft registration is extended to women? Would you register? Would you speak out publicly about not registering? Is there anything we can do to support you? Have you written things about registration and the draft that you would like us to publish -- anonymously, pseudonymously, or in your real name -- or link to? Are there resources already published about this that you would like us to link to? Groups of women who are working on this together? Individual or collective "I Won't Go" or "We Won't Go" statements? Are you working together with other young women who don't want to register, and/or other supporters? What can men, older people, and other organizations do to help you and other young women? Please suggest links, things you are doing that you want others to know about, or things you would like men and older people to do to help.
[Women in the front ranks of the West Coast mobilization against draft registration on Market St. in San Francisco, 22 March 1980. Photo by Chris Booth for Resistance News.]
- Leaflet: Calling All Womyn to Oppose Draft Registration! ¡Llamado Para Que Cada Mujer Se Oponga Al Registro Obligatorio De Servicio Militar!
(by womyn in the San Diego Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft and Project YANO, Mujeres en Resistencia, San Diego City College Visionary Feminists Club, and Mujeres de Maiz, July 2016)
- Fighting the New Draft
(by Edward Hasbrouck, Fifth Estate #397, Winter 2017)
- House votes down proposal to defund the Selective Service System
(by Edward Hasbrouck, 7 July 2016)
- Senate approves "Defense" bill including expansion of draft registration to women
(by Edward Hasbrouck, 14 June 2016)
- Op-Ed: Dump draft registration, don't extend it to women
(by Edward Hasbrouck, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 June 2016; paywalled original)
- Women: Do not register for the draft.
(by Rivera Sun via PeaceVoice, 17 June 2016)
- Young women organize against draft registration
(By Edward Hasbrouck, 5 May 2016)
- Feminists weigh in on draft registration for women
(by Claire Schaeffer-Duffy, National Catholic Reporter, 28 June 2016)
- Talk Nation Radio: Extend Selective Service Registration to Women or End it for Men?
(Edward Hasbrouck with Davisd Swanson, 19 July 2016, 29 minutes)
- Don't Draft Women -- Or Men
(by Jack Perry, 23 June 2016)
- House Committee votes to extend draft registration to women
("What does this mean? What happens now? What can we do about it?" By Edward Hasbrouck, 27 April 2016)
- Extend draft registration to women -- or end it?
(by Edward Hasbrouck, 11 December 2015; also reprinted or excerpted by permission and with updates and variations by the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft (COMD), the San Diego Free Press, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Jewish Peace Fellowship, The Oregon Peaceworker, and elsewhere.)
- Future of Draft for Men and Women Goes to Court and Congress
(by Edward Hasbrouck, World Beyond War, 20 February 2016)
- Support H.R. 4523: End draft registration -- Don't extend it to women. (OpenOffice version)
- Petitions to Congress (they were started independently, and there's no reason not to sign both and also contact Congress directly):
- Don't Force Women to Register for the Draft, Dump the Draft Entirely (petition started by Julie Mastrine)
- Pass the new bill (H.R. 4523) to abolish the military draft (petition started by David Swanson
- Petition urges lawmakers to keep women out of the military draft
(by Rebecca Kheel, The Hill, 4 May 2016)
- Petition to U.S. Presidential Candidates: Don't draft our daughters. (Petition started by the Family Research Council against extending draft registration or the draft to women, but expressing no opinion on whether men should have to register or be drafted: "Should a draft occur, there is no need to conscript our women into service that would ultimately include infantry and Special Forces. The current national discussion on the issue places a liberal social agenda over and above military readiness and respect for the value of America's young women. I urge you to reject required selective service registration for all American women."
- National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System
(Originally filed as case 2:13-cv-2391 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, filed 4 April 2013; dismissed by the District Court 29 July 2013 as not "ripe" for decision; reversed and remanded by the the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 19 February 2016; complaint, opening brief on appeal part 1, opening brief on appeal part 2, video of oral argument, memorandum opinion by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, press release from plaintiffs; PACER docket) lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of requiring men but not women to register for the draft; note that the complaint seeks a court order that males-only draft registration is unconstitutional, which would leave Congress the choice of whether to amend the Military Selective Service Act to require women to register, or to allow registration to end. On 9 November 2016, a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles ruled that this case had been filed in the wrong place, and ordered it transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston, where the plaintiff lives. The case will have to start over, with the next step probbaly being a status conferecne, not yet scheduled, to set dates for further briefing (written arguments) in Houston.)
- Kyle v. Selective Service System
(filed 3 July 2015, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey; lawsuit brought on behalf of Elizabeth Kyle-LaBell, who tried to register when she turned 18 in 2015 but was turned away because she is female)
- Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Selective Service and the roles of women in the military
(Testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services, 17 March 2016)
- Hillary Clinton on women and draft registration
(CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall, Derry, NH, 4 February 2016)
- Women and the Draft
(survey of Presidential candidates' positions by Carol Giacomo, Editorial Page Editor's Blog, New York Times, 9 February 2016)
- Clinton, Sanders respond to questions
(by Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 April 2016)
- Joint letter to the House-Senate conference commiteee supporting the expansion of draft registration to women
(co-signed by the ACLU, national Organization for Women, and other organizations, 22 July 2016)
- Interview with Lawrence Romo, Director of the Selective Service System
(with Garland Robinette, The Think Tank, WWL-AM, New Orleans, LA, 21 January 2016; interesting for the opinions expressed, but note that there are numerous factual errors in the statements by both the host and the guest on this program)
- Draft Registration for Women Would Stir a Sleepy Government Agency
(by Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times, 7 February 2016)
- Draft Rosie!
(syndicated column by Cokie Roberts and Steven V. Roberts, 23 March 2016)
- Top U.S. generals: Women should have to register for draft
(by Patricia Zengerle, Reuters, 2 February 2016)
- The American Legion support legislation to amend the Selective Service Registration Program to include the mandatory registration of females between the ages of 18-25 years of age
(Resolution approved unanimously by national convention of the American Legion, 26-28 August 2014)
- Selective Service needed to protect national security
(American Legion, 25 April 2016)
- Articles in National Review, February 2016:
- Draft Registration Should Remain for Men Only (Editorial, 4 February 2016)
- Only a Barbaric Nation Drafts Its Mothers and Daughters into Combat (Editorial, 9 February 2016)
- Republican Candidates Fall in Line with Social-Justice Warriors on Selective Service (by Rich Lowry, 9 February 2016)
- No, Women Should Not Be Included in the Draft
(by Jude Eden, Daily Signal, 16 February 2016. "Drafting women is a bad idea because putting women into combat units is a bad idea... The policy [on women in combat] is in place, but policies change.... It may take the next president to reinstate women's combat exemption, but it can be done.")
- Congress Opens the Door to Drafting Women
(by Carol Giacomo, Editorial Page Editor's Blog, New York Times, 28 April 2016)
- Instead of Drafting Women, Dump the Draft
(by Lucy Steigerwald, Playboy, 28 April 2016. "Some have argued that since conscription affects more people than today's wars fought by a small number of Americans, bringing it back might paradoxically make the U.S. more cautious about engaging in conflicts. When taking this stance, people will point to Vietnam. And yep, anger with the draft did help end the war.... after 60,000 Americans and two million Vietnamese died. You don't stop the runaway truck of U.S. foreign policy by throwing a man in front of it, and you definitely don't stop it by throwing a man and a woman, just to make things equal.")
- White House press briefing on women and draft registration
(Video, 28 April 2016. Questions to White House Spokesperson Josh Earnest about whether President Obama would sign a bill extending draft registration to women, and how President Obama feels about the possibility of his daughters being required to register for the draft)
- Rep. Zinke playing the woman's draft card, sort of
(Editorial, Great Falls [MT] Tribune, 29 April 2016. "We think the federal government should shut down the Selective Service system and place it in the scrap heap of history.")
- Drafting Women Means Equality in Slavery
(weekly column by Ron Paul, 1 May 2016)
- More Women Will Make a Stronger Military
(by the Bloomberg editorial board, 2 May 2016)
- Experimental barbarism: Why drafting women is wrong
(by Andrew T. Walker, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention, 8 February 2016)
- Women and the Draft: The Consequences of an Ugly Ideology
(by Eric Metaxas, Breakpoint Radio, Colson Center for Christian Worldview, 17 February 2016)
- Female military draft proposal critiqued
(by David Roach, Baptist Press, 2 May 2016)
- A Twist in the Fight for Women in the Military
(by Nicholas Clairmont, The Atlantic, May 2016)
- Women, War, and Draft Registration
(by Prof. William "Woody" Woodruff, Campbell University School of Law, retired former chief of the Litigation Division of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps; 11 April; 2016)
- Women, War, and Selective Service Obligations
(Center for Military Readiness, April 2016)
- Congress Should Overrule House Committee Vote for "Draft America's Daughters" Amendment
(Center for Military Readiness, 2 May 2016)
- Congressional Committee Says We Should Draft Women
(by Max J. Rosenthal, Mother Jones, 28 April 2016)
- Gender-Neutral Draft Registration Would Create Millions of Female Felons
(by Steven Nelson, U.S. News & World Report, 3 May 2016. "'It will inevitably lead to massive resistance, whether visible in the streets or women just blowing it off the way men have,' says Edward Hasbrouck, prosecuted for not registering in the 1980s. 'Congress is smoking crack if they think women can be forced to register.'" My analysis: Government admits resistance made draft registration unenforceable)
- Women and the Selective Service: Two Steps Back for Everyone
(by Jessica Pavoni, Antiwar.com, 6 May 2016. "Jessica Pavoni is a former Air Force Special Operations instructor pilot. She has 1,335 combat hours, and has deployed eight times to three regions of the world.")
- Would integrating women into draft registration be good for equality?
(by Dorit Geva, in the "Policy Trajectories" blog of the American Sociological Association's Section on Comparative and Historical Sociology, 20 February 2016. "Women's conscription is no silver bullet for gender equality, and can even serve to reproduce traditional gender roles and societal inequality.... The Selective Service System is a bad conscription system and needs to be dissolved.")
- Dependency as a Keyword of the American Draft System and Persistence of Male-only Registration
(by Dorit Geva, in Polity, Vol. 47, No. 2, April 2015. Includes a detailed account of the Congressional debate in 1980 on whether to include women in draft registration when it was reinstated.)
- The Way of the Warrior: The Draft
(by Nancy Jane Moore, Book View Café, 14 January 2010. "The issue of who should fight our wars is at least as important as the issue of whether we should fight a particular war in the first place.")
- Drafting Women Means Equality in Slavery
(Weekly column by Ron Paul, 1 May 2016)
- Registering Women for the Draft: A Charade, Not a Necessity
(by Earl H. Tilford, Center for Vision and Values, Grove City College, 9 May 2016. "Ultimately, the issue of conscripting women is a political charade. Republicans support it to avoid being accused of starting a 'war on women.' Democrats do so as a matter of social justice and social engineering and not national security. Either way, drafting women is inane.")
- Senate defense authorization bill sets up congressional funding fight
(by Leo Shane III, Military Times, 12 May 2016. "The full House is expected to debate its version of the budget policy language next week, and several lawmakers have said they'll move to strike the draft requirement for women from the legislation. No timetable has been set for when the full Senate will debate its draft of the bill.")
- Senate Bill Calls for Women to Register for Draft in 2018
(by Richard Lardner, Associated Press, 13 May 2016)
- Key Senate panel endorses women in the draft, making policy change more likely
(by Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post, 14 May 2014)
- Congress to vote on women in the draft amid conservative opposition
(by Travis J. Tritten, Stars and Stripes, 13 May 2016)
- Left divided over women registering for the draft
(by Rebecca Kheel, The Hill, 14 May 2016. "Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said this week that registering women is a matter of equality.... Hoyer also argued against abolishing the Selective Service altogether.")
- Don't Force America's Daughters Into Combat
(by Jennifer Marshall, Genevieve Wood, and Steven Bucci, The Heritage Foundation, 10 May 2016. "Congress should prohibit forcing women into combat, including through Selective Service registration. And, since many voices are already citing the fact that women can serve in all combat posts to argue that women must register for the draft, Congress should also revisit the blanket policy of women in combat.")
- GOP blocks provision to require women to register for draft
(by Richard Lardner, Associated Press, 17 May 2016. "[T]he Republican-led House Rules Committee pulled a legislative sleight of hand and stripped a provision from the annual defense policy bill that would have required women between the ages of 18 and 25 to sign up for a military draft.... If the draft requirement makes it through the full Senate, then the issue will have to be settled by a House-Senate conference committee.")
- House drops plans to make women register for draft
(by Leo Shane III, Military Times, 17 May 2016. "Republican members of the House Rules Committee during a late Monday meeting stripped provisions from the annual defense authorization bill that would have required women to register for the Selective Service System.... The Senate Armed Services Committee has included provisions making women register for the draft in its initial versions of the authorization bill, meaning the issue will likely come up again before a final compromise bill is settled. But that work will happen behind closed doors, not in public debate.")
- Women's draft bid gains in Senate, stalls in House
(by Austin Wright, Connor O'Brien and Jeremy Herb, Politico.com, 17 May 2016. "[T]he ultimate decision could come in House-Senate conference negotiations later this year to craft a final version of the National Defense Authorization Act.")
- Letter to the Editor
(by Marc Becker, Freeman Courier, 11 May 2016. "In no way can including women in registration for a military draft be equated or confused with equality for women. Jimmy Carter originally wanted to include women when he restarted draft registration 35 years ago.... Then, as during previous wars and as now, women were among the strongest supporters of men who refused to fight... Equality does not mean including women in draft registration, but ending draft registration for everyone.")
- Draft could help fight for women's rights
(by Sharyn L. Flanagan, USA Today, 18 May 2016)
- For a Stronger Military, Draft Women Too
(by Jessica Trisko Darden, Huffington Post, 19 May 2016)
- The Unseemly Death of an Amendment to Draft Women
(by Nicholas Clairmont, The Atlantic, 20 May 2016. "How a fight against social progress in the U.S. military collapsed in on itself.")
- Looming debate on women and the draft puts controversial issue on South Carolina's radar
(by Emma Dumain, Charleston Post & Courier, 22 May 2016)
- Rand Paul introduces amendment to get rid of draft
(by Jacqueline Klimas, Washington Examiner, 24 May 2016)
- Senate defense bill becomes platform for controversial social issues
(by Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post, 25 May 2016)
- Will Women Dodge the Draft?
(by Kelley Vlahos, The American Conservative, 26 May 2016)
- If the U.S. Made People Do Good, Would that Be Bad?
(by Michelle Cottle, The Atlantic, 27 May 2016. "Senator Mike Lee fears enrolling women in the Selective Service is a dangerous precedent that may lead to mandatory service for things like national security and the public good.")
- This Memorial Day Is a Call Upon Our Next President and Congress, Too
(by Alan Khazei and Robert L. Gordon II, Huffington Post, 30 May 2016. "We can set an expectation that every young person, as part of growing up in this country, performs at least one year of full-time service in the military or in civilian capacities.... As the debate continues about requiring women to register in the Selective Service System, we should expand the call to service to include civilian service opportunities.")
- Make Serving in War an Option, Not an Order
(by Kristin Christman, Dissident Voice, 30 May 2016)
- "Do you think women should also be required to register with Selective Service when they turn 18?"
(Economist/YouGov poll, 20-23 May 2016. See crosstabs by age, gender, race, income, political party, and preferred Presidential nominee on p. 131 of PDF.)
- It's Just Registration, It's Not the Draft
(by Maria Santelli, Sojourners magazine, June 2016. "While much of the debate has focused on issues of gender -- will young women be required to register? -- the problems with draft registration are extensive and worthy of more thorough consideration.... Despite the spin that tries to trivialize registration ('It's just registration, it's not the draft'), the primary purpose of registration is to be prepared for war.")
- Air Force secretary supports draft registration for women
(by Richard Lardner, Associated Press, 3 June 2016)
- Drafting Women is Not Only Immoral, it is Disruptive
(by Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review, 8 June 2016)
- NO on National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 (S. 2943)
(Heritage Action for America, 10 June 2016. "Regardless of whatever merits the bill may have, it deserves to be defeated because lawmakers should not force young women into military services through the Selective Service.")
- Congress still sending mixed signals on women in the draft
(by Travis J. Tritten, Stars and Stripes, 10 June 2016)
- In Defense Bill, Congress Considering Draft Registration for Women
(by Mal Leary, Maine Public Broadcasting, 10 June 2016)
- Women and the draft: Sign of equality, or Potential consequence of it?
(by Katie Leslie, Dallas Morning News, 11 June 2016)
- Senate approves defense bill, defies White House veto threat
(By Richard Lardner, Associated Press, 14 June 2016)
- Senate passes defense bill including women in draft
by Jeremy Herb and Connor O'Brien, Politico.com, 14 June 2016)
- Senate Votes to Require Women to Register for the Draft
(by Jennifer Steinhauer, New York Times, 14 June 2016)
- Military draft should be about fundamental fairness
(Op-Ed by Vanessa Moss, Democratic party candidate for Congress, Detroit News, 15 June 2016)
- Women in the Draft: The Obama Legacy Grows
(by Steven Bucci, Daily Signal, 15 June 2016)
- Senate votes to require the draft for women, as conservatives try to undo it
(by David Weigel, Washington Post, 15 June 2016)
- You can't be for equality and oppose registering women for the military
(Editorial, Dallas Morning News, 15 June 2016)
- Registering women for the draft is right -- and also frightening for this mom
(Opinion, Leona Allen, Dallas Morning News, 15 June 2016)
- Hillary Clinton Thinks Women Should Be Included In The Draft: The presumptive Democratic nominee is on board with the Senate bill
(by Sam Stein, Huffington Post, 15 June 2016)
- Gender-neutral draft
(Editorial, Baltimore Sun, 19 June 2016)
- Senate Bill Requires Women To Register For The Draft
(WBUR public radio, 17 June 2016)
- Senate Votes for Equal Slavery for Women: A female veteran's case against the Selective Service
(by Jessica Pavoni, Foundation for Economic Education, 14 June 2016. "Many are applauding these changes as an important step towards 'equality' and recognition of women's capabilities. But the focus on equality is masking the underlying injustice of the law in the first place....")
- Should U.S. women have to sign up for the draft?
(Editorial Board Roundtable, Cleveland.com, 11 February 2016)
- Don't lace up your combat boots yet: Womens' draft registration won't necessarily happen
(by Sabrina Eaton, Cleveland.com, 16 June 2016)
- Senate Votes to Include Women in Selective Service
(by Jim Caton, Legal Reader, 17 June 2016. "There is nothing progressive, for women or humanity, in doubling the pool of cannon fodder for the American war machine.... Drafting women into the military is not a gender issue. It is a war issue")
- Don't Let Congress Draft Our Daughters"
(by Phyllis Schlafly, Columnist, Investor's Business Daily, 14 June 2016)
- Make Women Register for the Draft
(by Ellen Haring and Kate Germano, U.S. News & World Report, 22 June 2016)
- Why I Oppose The Inclusion Of Women In The Military Draft
(by Charing Ball, Madame Noire, 21 June 2016)
- If equality means sending my daughters to war, I want no part of it: Uncle Sam, don't you dare draft my daughters
(by Amy Vowles, She Knows, June 2016)
- Drafting women panders to true equality
(by Kaitlyn Buss, columnist, The Detroit News, 21 June 2016. "There are important issues women continue to battle to achieve real, tangible equality. But finally giving them the right to fight and die under a policy they and most Americans disagree with is hardly a win.")
- No reason why women shouldn't be drafted
(Opinion by Raoul Lowery Contreras, The Hill, 23 June 2016)
- Draft women? Let's Abolish the Draft
(by Simcha Fisher, National Catholic Register, 22 June 2016)
- Women and the military draft: Selective Service's fate hinges on the decision
(by Leo Shane III, Military Times, 25 June 2016)
- Should Women Register for the Draft?
(by Nicholas Clairmont, The Atlantic, 7 July 2016)
- Congress Debates Expanding Selective Service to Include Women
(by William A. Estrada, Esq., Home School Legal Defense Association, 13 July 2016)
- Congress drops plans to make women register for the draft
(by Leo Shane III, Military Times, 29 November 2016. "Lawmakers have officially dropped plans to make women register for the draft, instead opting for a review of the ongoing need for the Selective Service System. The controversial provision had been part of early drafts of the annual defense authorization bill... But conservatives in both chambers objected to the provision and stripped it out of the final legislative draft unveiled Tuesday.... Instead, the final authorization bill draft -- expected to be voted on by Congress in the next few days -- calls for a review of the entire Selective Service System, to see if the idea of a military draft is still realistic and cost-effective.")
- Congress drops plans to make women register for the draft
(By Rebecca Kheel, The Hill, 29 November 2016. "Congress has abandoned plans to require women to register for the draft in an annual defense policy bill. Instead, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would require a review of the draft registration system.Senior House and Senate Armed Services committee staffers revealed the change Tuesday while briefing reporters on the final version of the NDAA after months of negotiations between the two chambers.")
- Congress kills plan forcing women to register for the military draft
(by Paul Szoldra, BusinessInsider.com, 30 November 2016. "Dropping women from draft registration may be a signal that the next Defense Secretary could reinstitute the policy excluding women from some direct combat jobs, such as infantry and artillery. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the policy change in 2013, but since Congress never passed a law affirming it, a stroke of the pen could roll it back.")
- Re-thinking the draft
(Editorial, Eugene [OR] Register-Guard, 3 December 2016: "On Thursday the White House put its support behind the idea of requiring women to register for the military draft.... Congress should ask a different question: not whether women should register, but whether anyone, man or woman, should be compelled to sign up for the draft.... Rep. Peter DeFazio has repeatedly proposed that the Selective Service System be abolished. Congress should at least debate the issue.")
- Making the Draft a Women's Issue
(by Lynn Stephen of Women Opposed to Registration and the Draft (W.O.R.D.), Cambridge, MA, in "Women: A Journal of Liberation", Volume 8, Issue 1, 1981)
- Feminism: The Hope for a Future
("A collection of feminist writings on the draft, militarism, war, technology, and the political process" from Peacework magazine, New England AFSC, 1980. Includes "A Feminist Call to Action... to resist the involuntary servitude of the draft for women or men")
- Women and the Draft
(speech by Karen Lindsey of WORD at an anti-draft rally on Boston Common, 15 September 1979, reprinted in Reweaving the Web of Life: Feminism and Nonviolence, edited by Pam McAllister, New Society Publishers, 1982; not available online)
- Speech for a Rally on the Boston Common, September 15, 1979
(by Denise Levertov, reprinted in the prose collection Light Up the Cave, New Directions Press, 1982; not available online)
- A Speech: For Antidraft Rally, D.C. March 22, 1980
(by Denise Levertov, reprinted as a prose poem in Candles in Babylon, New Directions Press, 1982, and other anthologies; not available online)
- Feminist Reaction to War and the Draft
(by Jamakaya, in "Amazon", Milwaukee Feminist Press, April-May 1980, pp. 9-11)
- If Conscription Comes For Women
(by Dorothy Day, The Catholic Worker, January 1943. "I will not register for conscription, if conscription comes for women.... I shall not register because I believe modern war to be murder, incompatible with a religion of love. I shall not register because registration is the first step towards conscription...)
- No to Equality in Militarism!
(Statement of the feminist collective TO MOV (Greece), co-signed by the Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors, 2 February 2016; from the War Resisters International project on "Countering the Militarisation of Youth")
- Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link
(by Cynthia Enloe, 2nd Ed. 2016, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers)
- Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women's Lives
(by Cynthia Enloe, University of California Press, 2000)
- Does Khaki Become You: The Militarization of Women's Lives (excerpt)
(by Cynthia Enloe, Pluto Press, 1983)
- Beyond the Band of Brothers: The US Military and the Myth that Women Can't Fight
(by Megan MacKenzie, Cambridge University Press, 2015)