Recently, the Senate passed a defense authorization bill that requires women to sign up for Selective Service once they turn eighteen on January 2018 or later. The bill hasn’t been implemented into law but it could be the law of the land soon. Although some people applaud the bill, other believe that requiring young women to sign up for the Selective Service is a disastrous decision. However, I believe that the bill doesn’t really implement equality between the sexes and doesn’t ensure that women are protected from abuse while serving their country in the military. Hence my opposition to the bill and hoping that it isn’t signed into law.
Women(White) are still paid 78 cents to the dollar White men make. Black women are paid 64 cents to the dollar White men make and Hispanic women 53 cents to the dollar White men make. According to Pew Research, White women make 84% of the money White men make while Black and Hispanic women have to work nineteen months more to make the money White men make. Globally, women make 77% of the money that is paid to men. Also many women especially women with children are disenfranchised and marginalized in society. It is worse if the woman is Black or Hispanic. Many women also lack access to adequate education, housing, healthcare, food and live in impoverished conditions. Even upper middle to wealthy women experience sexism and the glass ceiling in their work environment. Women are underrepresented in the government and make up only 20% of the elected officials in government positions. Women only make up 32% of those in the news media and are hardly represented in the field of Science, Math and healthcare. Worst of all, women still face sexist double standards that police their bodies and still shoulder the burden of taking care of their families, are more likely to be victims of rape, face disparities in the workplace, more likely to retire in poverty and more likely to live in poverty. What is the point of mandating women to sign up for the Selective Service as a ploy to ensure equality between the sexes when women are still not being treated fairly?
That being said, women serving the military is not a bad thing in itself. Many women have very good and patriotic reasoning for why they decide to serve in the military. And I also heard that serving in the military gives many women more experience and insight into how to navigate the world around them. However, studies have shown that one in three women are raped while serving their country in the military. 37% of women reported that they had been raped more than race. 14% of women in the military had been gang raped. 75% of women never report their rape because they fear reprisal and fear losing their jobs. Unfortunately, women have been fired for speaking out and reporting their rape in the military. Most of all, men often get away with raping and sexually assaulting women in the military
Here is a video of a woman telling her story about being raped in the military
How will this law affect Black women if it is implemented into law?
Black women, Hispanic, Native American and other minority women will be the most affected of the law if it is implemented into law. Historically, it has always been those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and members of various minority groups that were heavily drafted into wars particularly the Vietnam War. Those who resisted the draft were penalized and put in jail for a certain amount of time. Example: the late Muhammad Ali was arrested and put in jail for refusing to be follow the draft and fight in the Vietnam War in the 1960s. It is not to say that White women and those of upper class backgrounds don’t get drafted however due to their Whiteness and privilege protects them from being automatically drafted as opposed to a working class, single Black mother raising two children on her own. If this bill is enacted into law, women from lower income backgrounds and women from various minority groups will be one of the main components of those that would be drafted. Any of them that refuses to sign up for Selective Service and refuse to be drafted will either be penalized or spent some time in jail. Fortunately for me, I have aged out of the demographic of women who turn eighteen on January 2018 or later but many other young, Black girls aren’t so lucky. The reasoning why I oppose the bill is because I believe that the bill will have negative repercussions on the lives of women of color and women from lower income backgrounds.
Again, this is not an anti military stance nor do I disapprove of women who choose to serve in the military. I am also aware that not every woman, who serves in the military experiences rape and sexual assault. However, the disparities that women face in society along with the sexual abuse in the military exemplifies the fact that sexist and sometimes racial and class inequalities wouldn’t be solved by having women sign up for Selective Service on their eighteenth birthday. Hence I hope this bill isn’t enacted into the law of the land nor is approved by any sitting president of this country.
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