National Review has a new editorial complaining about the answers from Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio on Selective Service registration during the Republican debate on Saturday. They frame this as men cowering behind women for protection in Only a Barbaric Nation Drafts Its Mothers and Daughters into Combat (H/T PokeSalad)
Men should protect women. They should not shelter behind mothers and daughters.
This is all part of the fantasy which has brought us to the situation we find ourselves in. The problem isn’t that men are cowering behind women. The problem is that men are cowering in front of women. The idea that sending women into combat will lower the number of casualties for men is pure fantasy. Adding women to combat roles will increase, not decrease the number of men wounded, captured, and killed in future battles. The National Review touches on this fact in their editorial, but still pretend that this is about men wanting women to protect them. It is not. This is about women demanding to usurp men’s roles, and men being too terrified to say no. You can see this by the way the three Republican candidates framed their answers. The focus is on empowering women and not restricting their feminist rights. You can see the full transcript here (do a word search for selective service), but here are the highlights.
I want to move on to the military. Senator Rubio, all restrictions on women in combat as long as they qualify. Positions including special operations forces, like Navy Seals. Just this week military leaders of the Army and Marine Corps said that they believed young women, just as young men are required to do, should sign up for Selective Service in case the Draft is reinstated.
Many of you have young daughters. Senator Rubio, should young women be required to sign up for Selective Service in case of a national emergency?
First, let me say there are already women today serving in roles that are like combat. That, in fact, whose lives are in very serious danger, and so I have no problem whatsoever with people of either gender serving in combat so long as the minimum requirements necessary to do the job are not compromised. But, I support that, and obviously now that that is the case I do believe that Selective Service should be opened up for both men and women in case a Draft is ever instituted.
RADDATZ: Do you believe young women should sign up for Selective Service, be required to sign up…
BUSH: … I do, and I do think that we should not impose any kind of political agenda on the military. There should be — if women can meet the requirements, the minimum requirements for combat service they ought to have the right to do it. For sure. It ought to be focused on the morale as well. We got to make sure that we have readiness much higher than we do today. We need to eliminate the sequester which is devastating our military.
We can’t be focusing on the political side of this, we need to realize that our military force is how we project our word in the world. When we’re weak militarily it doesn’t matter what we say. We can talk about red lines, and ISIS being the J.V. team, and reset buttons and all this. If we don’t have a strong military than no one fears us, and they take actions that are against our national interest.
[Moderator repeatedly redirects Bush to the fact that Selective Service would determine who was drafted if a draft were implemented.]
BUSH: … we don’t have a draft. I’m not suggesting we have a draft. What I’m suggesting is that we ought to have readiness being the first priority of our military, and secondly, that we make sure that the morale is high. And right now, neither one of those are acceptable because we’ve been gutting the military budget.
Finally Christie goes full feminist:
CHRISTIE: Can I — can I be really — can I be really clear on this, because I am the father of two daughters. One of them is here tonight. What my wife and I have taught our daughters right from the beginning, that their sense of self-worth, their sense of value, their sense of what they want to do with their life comes not from the outside, but comes from within. And if a young woman in this country wants to go and fight to defend their country, she should be permitted to do so.
Part of that also needs to be part of a greater effort in this country, and so there’s no reason why one — young women should be discriminated against from registering for the selective service. The fact is, we need to be a party and a people that makes sure that our women in this country understand anything they can dream, anything that they want to aspire to, they can do. That’s the way we raised our daughters and that’s what we should aspire to as president for all of the women in our country.
Rubio says Selective Service should be “opened up” for women. Bush says women have a “right” to be in combat, and argues that by allowing women into combat we are allowing the best qualified to be selected and thereby avoiding playing politics with the military. Christie says women should not “be discriminated against” by denying them the right to register for the draft. The pandering to women by the candidates is undeniable.
What very few have noticed though is it isn’t just Bush, Christie, and Rubio who are afraid to say no to women. The authors of the National Review piece are just as afraid to say no to women on this issue as the candidates are. The candidates framed this as a women’s rights issue, and National Review framed this as a women’s safety/privilege issue. Both are avoiding saying no to women, they are just using different methods of avoidance. The former assures women their desire to usurp men’s roles won’t be hindered. The latter complains that men are forcing women into usurping men’s roles. This is the real cowardice.
Men aren’t cowering behind women, men are cowering in front of them.