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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » New Drafting Rule

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Author Topic: New Drafting Rule
CuriousGeorge85
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I just read an article in a magazine stating that women are now going to be drafted should the armed forces need bodies. It stated that new recruits are down significantly since Iraq and because of that the government may have to begin drafting. What do you guys think about that? I have to say that I am from Canada and this article was in an American magazine. None the less, I feel that this effects us all reagardless of what country we are from. I for one am stongly apposed to this new rule. I'm all for equality of the sexes, don't get me wrong, but this is different. It's not that I want to have it both ways, but I just believe as far as physical strength and endurance goes men are stronger. There are always exceptions to the rule, but for the most part I think that it is true. I know that I could never do "battle", if you will, with a man who is larger and stronger than I am. I would be toast before I knew there was a struggle.
Anyway. What's your opinion? I would really love to hear what you guys think about this.

Posts: 3 | From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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My training partner in kickboxing is 6'3 and well over 200 pounds. I'm 5'3 and around 140. He may be stronger, but I'm often faster, and my movements more efficient because of it. I get winded less easily. His jab punches are more forceful than mine, but my backhands and some of my kicks beat his and are usually way faster. We have different strengths, not greater or lesser ones. Even though he's substantially larger than me and has years and years more training, I've still whooped his butt a few times.

In other words, you can't accurately talk about the strength of men and women as greater or lesser: it's just often different, especially since our general health, levels of training and skills differ so much. If my level of training was identical to that of my partner and we were just as fit as one another, I can pretty much assure you we'd be an equal match.

(I think you also have to take a lot of social issues into account. Motivation can differ: men are often supported in being -- even encouraged to be when they don't want to be -- violent rather than merely defending themselves. many women are socially reared ot be physically meek or unaggressive. Too, inequities still exist when it comes to supporting sports and physical fitness for girls, so many men wind up with greater muscle mass when they develop not just physiologically, but because they actually use it. That's not even getting into how life in the military is for many women in terms of sexual assault and harassment.)

I am an antiwar activist who supports NO draft, for anyone. I grew up with a father who resisted very actively and with a helluva lot of struggle for our family. So, doesn't matter to me what gender is being drafted, I don't support it. I never did for men, I don't for women. In my book, compelling anyone to wage war and fight under threat of legal action IS terrorism.

But the idea that men are naturally stronger all around, have greater endurance or are more fit than women just doesn't have any accurate physiological basis.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 07-15-2004).]


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JamsessionVT
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Well, since you are asking for our opinions, I have to disagree with you on one point. While it is a fact that men have more muscle mass and tend to be stronger than women, it is not always so. There are many women out there who are as strong as men, if not stronger, and there are men who are stronger and weaker than women. And as far as endurance is conerned, that really has nothing to do with muscles (it has an indirect connection). Endurance is not based on your muscle mass, but your ability to endure long periods of work, be it running or physcial labor...sry, just had to bring that up.

As far as the war is concerned, as an American I'm a bit disgusted with Bush and how he has handled the situation (this is JUST MY OPINION...I'm not meaning to start any argument here about how everyone else feels about Bush). I do not agree with the war in Iraq, and I'd like to find out how people from different countries have reacted to the war. I am opposed to the draft completely...I do not feel it's necessary, but that's just my humble opinion

(I did not mean to repeat anything Miz Scarlett said...I was typing my post, and found out after that she had posted almost the exact same thing...funky huh?)

[This message has been edited by JamsessionVT (edited 07-15-2004).]


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windycityskacore
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Yeah, as a 20 year-old American Male opposed to the war in Iraq, this really really upsets and disturbs me. The law would draft women and men, in or out of college and going to Canada to seek refuge would not help. I think that's really scary. Really really.

But I firmly believe that no law of this sort would realistically be passed. I take that back...it COULD be passed, but probably won't and I HOPE WITH ALL MY HEART that it wouldn't. Politicians have to be smarter than that, right?

But I think the issue with women being drafted is quite a tricky one. Equal-rights are incredibly important...but where does equal rights come in when it may be sending people over-seas possibly to die (for their country, but die nonetheless). My issue (and maybe Curious George's) may not actually be with women's rights, but with the draft in general. I'd say no to drafting women to go to war (espeically in Iraq), but I'd also say no to drafting men...

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...or is that just me being naive
again?


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froggy_dear
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The last that I heard about this proposal, it also made no exception for married couples with children. Or couples with children, period. That would create some very difficult and probably necessary draft dodging for families with no other options.

But I too hope that this proposal never comes to fruition, so we need not worry about it.

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I see you shiver with antici......pation


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wobblyheadedjane
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I would also like to point out that warfare in this day and age rarely comes down to hand-to-hand combat; and gender doesn't have much to do with how well someone carries/cleans/fires a weapon.

I'm not a big fan of the idea of a draft, especially when it comes to such a polar issue as Iraq; when they had conscriptions during, say, the World Wars, there was a very obvious reason for people to fight. Here, so many people are against the idea that randomly recruiting people who may or may not be for the Iraq war would do more harm, than good.

I do want to temper my opinion that I think that having one year of mandatory military service, such as in places like the Netherlands and Israel is a good thing, and should be more widely implented, but that certainly does not apply so much to sending conscripted kids off to war as it does create a sense of order and discipline that is sorely needed among youth these days (nearly joined the Canadian Army myself, until they turned me down due to illness).


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Heather
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It's worth mentioning that in the US, Selective Service has to OKAY a draft: our president can't just order one because he feels like it or because he's got the country embroiled in a conflict which the existing military forces don't want to support. He's got to prove that there is a need, and for that matter, that there is a crisis which earnestly threatens our security. A crisis that isn't he himself, for that matter.

I have to say, wobbly, that if when I was of age, any country would have obliged me to serve the military, you would have found me fleeing to a country that didn't, or which truly allowd for conscientious objection. I could find disclipline myself, just in pursuing my goals and supporting myself: serving an industry I profoundly object to as a whole wouldn't have done that at all.


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wobblyheadedjane
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No doubt, Miz S, but I felt it was necessary to make clear that even though I very much support my military and military service/servicepeople, I object to the concept of a draft overall.
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Londongirl
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quote:
I would also like to point out that warfare in this day and age rarely comes down to hand-to-hand combat; and gender doesn't have much to do with how well someone carries/cleans/fires a weapon

Wobblyheadedjane, I think you made a very good point here. I would find it hard to justify why men should be conscripted and not women. I don't want to be subject to conscription, but I don't expect men to do it instead of me either.

That said, I would hate to be conscripted, can't imagine being involved in a war. I never had any interest in being in the forces. I would hate to have to fight to defend myself, or to kill people. It seems like a horrific idea.

But if my country was being attacked and we had to defend ourselves, and conscription was necessary to do that.......I find it impossible to say how I would feel or what I would do if I faced conscription. I just can't imagine it. I saw a scary TV programme here in the last couple of weeks about how close Hitler came to invading England, and how ill prepared the country would have been - Britain could so easily have become occupied. It really makes you think.......

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Londongirl
Mature Student in Psychology(About to graduate - what do I do now??) Read about me here


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CuriousGeorge85
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Thanks everyone for all of your feedback. There were some very good points made. One of the posts included some points regarding college students. I thought this was a really good point to bring up as the previous law exempted Universitiy students from serving. I cannot believe that the gov. would consider drafting students. I know it's true, but I just cannot believe that. I'll be coming down from Ontario to study and this is something that I would definitely worry about (even though I will continue to be a Canadian citizen).
I believe that there was also a point made about defending your country and how they needed drafting for WWI and II. This is a war that, in my opinion, should never have happened. Therefore, I think it wrong to draft people for the sole purpose of cleaning up the mess caused by the governement. I really liked that one.
Finally, there was a point as well about how women would be respected within the service. Sexual harrassment and abuse have always been a majour problem in the Armed Forces.
Anyway. I'm forgetting that this is Scarleteen not some political activist site. Sorry!
I have to say that when I worte my first post I was agaisnt the drafting of women... drafting anyone for that matter, but I have to say that I really don't know what to think now. So many different things to consider. I doubt that there are a lot of men out there that are eager and willing to be drafted. It's a very bad situation all around and I really hope that it never comes to the point where we do have to start worrying.

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Beppie
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I too oppose the idea of the draft/conscription for any gender in any country. I just wanted to add that the Netherlands doesn't actually have a national service year, but Germany does. However, I believe that in Germany you can choose to either join the army, or work in a hospital or something like that. I have no problem with a type of national service for all where joining the army is simply one of many options.
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skrawl
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Miz Scarlet wrote:
"In my book, compelling anyone to wage war and fight under threat of legal action IS terrorism."

right now in the US, there is an *economic* draft. kids who aren't privileged enough to buy an education, some of them see the army as the only chance they have (or at least they did before the US went to war again in 2002... maybe they still do?) the army ruthlessly exploits them, luring them with promises of jobs, training, "you won't actually be in combat", and more. the movie fahrenheit 911 does a good job talking about this. AWOL magazine (online) as well.

from what info i've gathered, i think bush opposes a draft because he knows how unpopular that would make him. it's the congress that has been considering the idea, including some democrats. they are talking about taking away the college student exemption, because they know that it's a way for rich, primarily white kids to get out of killing-for-oil duty. some democrats have argued that if we had a draft, rich people might stop supporting war.

david dellinger (in his book "from yale to jail") talks about how he *could* have gotten an exemption (from WW2) because he was in theological school, but he refused to and also refused to fight because he opposed both the war and the privilege reserved for him.

i don't "hope" that the govt starts a draft... but i know that for many people my age, there already is one and it is just as coercive as a legal draft. if there is to be a draft, i don't think that anyone should be able to simply avoid having to make the decision (to kill other people or be punished by the state?) just because they have money (or even just because they're smart and got a scholarship.)

...though i have no problem with people who escape to canada -- no point in *letting* them put you in jail... (besides to prove a point as dellinger was doing)... the objective is to prevent the wars. all the wars.

[the "having kids" exemption seems reasonable. on the other hand, it doesn't stop the govt from "calling up" reservist and national guard folks who do.]

as for including women in a draft... it's an interesting idea. no reason they shouldn't... but the question is what makes them want to do that? as miz scarlet pointed out, women are basically hated on in the army. it's would be kind of weird to say "you have to join this group where you're likely to be sexually assaulted" -- then again, this society also coerces us into situations where that is a likelihood (families, schools, etc.) so i guess it's not that far out. does including women in the draft indicate that the men are getting sick of it, it's no longer a privilege but a hated burden (of course, the male supremacy has always elevated certain burdens as privileges; the benefit being that they are supposed to be the only ones who can handle it and that they are sacrificing so don't complain damnit.)

what scares me is that a hell of a lot of soldiers are coming back with PTSD (it's something like 1 in 8, and it's under-reported.) and most of them aren't getting treatment.

--jamie


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Heather
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I completely agree with you, jaime, and BOY have times changed in that regard. The first time someone told me a few years back drafters were cold-calling high school juniours to enlist them, we needed a crane to pick my jaw up off the floor and it so wasn't pretty.

Of course, it's shifty: economically right now, most college grads are going to find that their degrees do NOT get them jobs, and many who would be lured by the military for scholarships could do just as well starting work right away or going to affordable community colleges.

And of course, in this culture regardless, fighting wars is almost always about the lowest classes first, anyhow.


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Milke
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skrawl, you sound like you know a lot about the military. Which branch were you in?

As much as the military promotes, well, the military, it's not necessarily easy to get into. While I think it's fair, if there must be a draft, for men and women to be included, I neither think that's especially likely to happen, or be beneficial to anyone. People who want to be involved in the Armed Forces are going to be the most helpful to it; there's little point in having someone who'd rather be anywhere else defending the country. And there are enough people who want to be doing that, though damned if I can understand why. Might it be worth considering that if there is a going to be a military, there are going to have to be some perks involved in being a part of it so unwilling souls don't need to be dragged into it? And that those of us who don't have rich parents are going to have give up something, whether it be our opposition to war, or the time we put into multiple jobs to pay the bills, if we want to go to college? It's not fair, but then again, what is?

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Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

You who're so good with words
And at keeping things vague


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