“Second verse same as the first…”

It seems that the bill the Democrats have passed in the House (and passed on to the Senate) to keep the country going yet another little while has something in it saying 18 year old women have to register with the Selective Service. Right wing loud mouths are spinning this so it says that women are about to be drafted into the military. Never mind that — at this point in our history (thank goodness) — NO ONE is being drafted into the military.

I remember big arguments around the family dining table about women serving in the military at all. It was a noisy discussion between WW II veterans and my Aunt Martha who’d gone to Washington DC in 1941 to work for the OSS which, in time, evolved into the CIA. She had a gesture, she would stand up, raise her arm in the air, raise her index finger and say, “Anything a man can do a woman can do.” These embattled dinners that stopped short of mashed potato fights happened during the Vietnam War.

My two uncles who saw action in the Pacific said, “I don’t want any woman to see what I’ve seen.”

“You think women can’t take it?” my aunt would counter.

Right wing female traditionalists are up in, uh, rolling pins over this with their “A woman’s place is in the home” hoo-haw. “Feminism has ruined this country!”

Two thoughts in my mind. “Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have war any more and no one ever needed to put on a uniform and go kill people and risk dying?” And “Maybe they need to remake Mr. Mom.”

But what I’m (mildly, imperceptibly) upset about is that after ALL THIS TIME, in other words for MOST OF MY LIFE, here we are on September 23, 2021, another day, and this stuff is still being hashed out.


15 thoughts on ““Second verse same as the first…”

  1. Yes. If all children are required to register then perhaps those politicians with only daughters (GW Bush, Mitch McConnell, John Thune, Dan Sullivan, John Boozman, Rick Scott) wouldn’t be so hawkish!

  2. “I don’t want any woman to see what I’ve seen.”

    That is the modern version of chivalry. Men viewing themselves as being disposable and women as being precious. At least that’s how I grew up. I heard a general, baffled by demands of women to serve in front-line combat say, “Why would a woman want to give up all the goodness of women to gain all the violence and cruelty of men?”

    • That is the kind of “chivalry” I grew up with. But…some men (including that general) have a very sentimental view of women and the dark side of THAT is the idea that women are dependent, need to be protected, can be owned, are somehow mentally and physically inferior to men and (therefore) are chattels and can be dominated and abused, that women are basically baby-bearing mammals and fair game. The same ugly violence that general claims for men is not limited to the battlefield. Women are not all that “goodness.” Some of us are sinister, duplicitous, violent, sadistic MOFOs. That said, I don’t think men should go to war, either.

  3. I love your Aunt Martha. As a father of three daughters yes they can do anything although one day I needed a bit of a hand working on the property and my youngest complained “with these hands” 😂 I wonder what the world would be like once there is a balance of gender in the decision makers? Thanks for joining in Martha 🙂 🙂

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