Ever since the entrance of females in the military, most of the developed world has avoided the thorny question of ‘to conscript or not to conscript.’ Quite simply if we conscript every able bodied young person then the home front falls down.
We used to get away with just conscripting the men, aged 18 to 40, who are in nonessential work. Even if homemaking were nonessential, women are putting off having a baby to later and later. They have more years being eligible to soldier in a war. But some men choose to stay home with baby. Shouldn’t they get the conscription exemption?
And, in fact, if we base exemptions on whether the couple have a baby or not, mightn’t there be a baby boom? At least half of the people in couples with a baby would be exempt from the war. The fight to stay at home with the kid might escalate. The males and females would both want to stay home. So how does the government decide?
Don’t we all think that girly girls should be exempt? By the same token, females could still fight in the war, if they are tomboys.
Both are loose definitions. Perhaps the female could decide for herself. Indeed she may have already done so in a more official manner. Perhaps she has registered as a feminist at some point in her life. Or taken part in a feminist rally. Perhaps these females will be seen as being outed and have to serve if conscription comes about.
Some men would enjoy seeing feminists put in a war situation against their will. But would they enjoy seeing girly men staying home? The men who are prejudiced against feminism are almost certainly homophobic. Their opinion on girly men is probably just as low.
Do females even want to see equal rights on the battlefield when the decisions are still made by male commanders and commanders in chief? Most of the deciding about the battlefield is decided by men to this very day.
If a war came about that needed conscription in a developed country, I would bet with great certainty that they would conscript the men and leave the women as voluntary participants. I could be wrong but that’s how I see this. Because the issues are just too thorny for some leader who relies on the votes of its populace to decide. But even this ‘compromise’ hasn’t happened yet.
So I just want to thank all our women in uniform. Thank you for making the issue of conscription so thorny for our society that since the women’s movement got going strong in the seventies, there hasn’t been one act of conscription that I know of.
I do know that it has been hard on the enlisted, though. The government keeps forcing the enlisted to go back for another tour of duty so society never has to decide these thorny gender issues. I credit the women in uniform for having stopped conscription from being enacted. Yes, I know this might just be a temporary era. But it is an era nevertheless.