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April 24, 2008


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I pick no SSR for anyone.


this is crazy. selective service, seems very draconian and weird.

Domestically Challenged

Hi Jenn,

This is a toughy - twenty years ago I would have agreed with you wholeheartedly, but in the intervening years I have witnessed lots of serious problems with women in the UK military, and have ended up with the belief that actually woman aren't best suited to this type of work. I hate to admit it, but sadly it has less to do with what we are capable of, and more to do with the effect on others.

That said, I don't think anyone, male or female should be conscripted - it should be personal choice.
Surely that choice is a basic human right?


At 5:30am, it is difficult to gather my thoughts on this one...but I suspect that the "only boys allowed" sign has remained as-is on this law because it would mean political death to suggest that gender equality should apply here.
My oldest of 4 boys just turned 17. His brother pointed out that he will be able to vote next year; my own brother pointed out that in just one short year, he will be able to buy cigarettes (thanks, Uncle J). But I find it curious that you should blog on this, because my unspoken thought on Tuesday was "In one short year, my baby will have to face the SSR."

Reluctant Blogger

Well, I am as you might expect an ardent feminist and I do not buy the line that women are not up to military service. Anyone who wishes to do any job should be thoroughly evaluated for their suitability to do it and sure there will be some women (and some men) who are not suitable.

But I find the whole idea of conscription archaic and terrifying.

Green Girl

While I despise the very notion that SSR exists, I wish there was a draft because I believe if every single person was equally vested in our nation's security there'd be a lot less war and a lot more negotiation. I'll go riff off on "Senator's Son" for a bit now...


Girls, boys. Women, men I'm not such a huge fan of SSR. Then again, I don't like being forced to do anything without REALLY good reason.


Leave it to you Jenn to make me think of something I hadn't before. But I totally agree with you, girls should have to register too.


I agree with you totally.
It should be equal for both men and women.
I had no idea this was even going on.
Thanks for opening my eyes.

My cousin is going to Afghanistanin July for his first tour...I was SO hoping this war would be getting over....does not look like it though.
I pray for our service men and women every night.


I'm not a feminist. I know I am in a HUGE minority these days, but I stick to my beliefs for my faith based reasons.
I really don't believe this should be totally equal. What about a family? What about a stay at home mom? What about a single mom? Shouldn't that female be at home? I guess the same could be said for a single or stay at home dad, though.

I believe as a whole, though, woman are not as suited for military work. Am I still alive? Did I get stoned to death? No? okay. I seriously do not think the MAJORITY of women are suited for this, although some are and I am grateful to them and admire them.

Scientifically, though, women and men are different and we react/respond to situations differently. We use different emotions to dictate our decisions, etc, and that is part of why I am not a feminist either. We are different and I think we should respect those differences instead of trying to get rid of them.



Smalltown Mom

My son will be turning 18 in September, thanks for warning me what to expect in the mail.

As a mother of sons...
I don't like the idea of drafting anyone, male or female.


I agree with you. Wish no one had to register, but if they do, then I do not think it should be gender selective.


As a mother of boys, I too will be faced with this realization. Its definitely something that I don't look forward. However, I would have to agree with Angie. I am glad that woman have so many more opportunities than those of previous generations, but I also realize that there are great differences between men and women. While some womean are more than suitable for the military, I think the majority are just not suited for war. God made us different, both phsyically and emotionally, and its these differences that seperate us. Its just a reality.

I hope we can agree to disagree. =)

The Mom Bomb

Hmm . . . now you got me thinking. I honestly don't know whether women are less suited for warfare. Aren't women drafted for war in Israel? Maybe a compromise solution is to draft for medical/operational support.

Deb D

As a mother of two sons I'm grateful to live in a country without SSR. I also believe that as a woman I can't choose when I want to be equal if I really want equality. I personally could not see myself ever being able to fulfill a combat role but surely there are many other roles and I'm sure there are many men out there no more suited to combat than I. Maybe they need to do psychological testing before placement (or do they already) because anyone not suited to the role will become a danger both to themselves or others and I don't care if it's a woman or a man.

What happens if someone doesn't register? Are they then considered an evader?


DEFINITELY something to think about.
And I have to say my initial response is that men and women should both be drafted (a concept which I loathe), but I agree that they should be drafted for different things. I do side with CC who said that physically/emotionally many women would respond differently to a war situation...so maybe a draft for war support, but not combat.

It does follow though, that some men are also not suited physically or emotionally for war, so why should women be given an out and not men?

It's a sticky wicket.

I say do away with the draft altogether.


I hear you. There's no good reason why boys need to register and not girls.


I think the male/female issue is ridiculous as I believe the females can do as good as if not better job in the service.
I am however against any draft/conscription of any sort, as I am ardently against any country going into another country to "help" out in a conflict.
Being at the age I am at (in my 50th year) I have met and befriended many men my age that came to Canada in the late 60's and early 70's to avoid having to go fight people they did not know.
They are good people, smart people. These Americans that came up here and lived in secret and started new lifes. They left behind everything they had. What it did to me was forge a deep animosity of the American government in my mind at the time. It went away but came back when "Bush came to shove".

the mama bird diaries

Yes... you are right. And you are also right, that I, as the mother of 2 girls, would hate to see them have to register.

But there is absolutely no reason why 18 year-old boys should have to and not girls.

mike golch

Jenn,my nephews went through this wne they turned 19 also.Of course the selective service has always been geared to men only.
Let's hope that there will never be a draft again.all the draft does is provide young men to be cannon foder.that is expendable in wars.I lost a couple of friends to the draft and they ended up in viet-nam and did not come home safe.

Jennifer H

I think I'm stunned at some of the comments, quite honestly.

Maybe we haven't come as far as we thought, especially if women are the ones saying that we can't do the same jobs as men. (My sister is in the Navy, and I'm sure she would like to meet the person who tells her she can't do her job as well as the man next to her!)

Anyway. Jenn, I agree, as much as the thought of a draft terrifies me. There are a lot of job to be done, and each person (male or female) should be put in the position that suits their skills. I'm sure there are plenty of women who could be better snipers than a lot of men, and a lot of men who who make better cooks.

But to suggest that women should not be there at all, or that their duty is less than that of men, is just wrong. The homefires can be tended by anyone.

Jennifer H

One more thing...God willing, we won't have a draft for a very long time.


A daunting milestone indeed. I remember taking The Recliner to the post office to turn in his registration. Very sobering.

Shout out to my cousin Kimmy - an Air Combat Controller deployed in Iraq. You GO girl! We love you!


I'm right there with you on this one, Jenn. As others' have already noted, I am also opposed to anyone being forced to sign up for SSR and I've also said that if a draft were imposed, I would do everything in my power to prevent my boys from having to fight in this war.


Wow. I had no idea this "gift" was bestowed upon our 18 year-old men (being that I am a woman, and my kids are 3).

I have true nightmares about the scene in Cold Mountain where the family chooses to keep their boys home and ... well, you've seen the movie. I'd struggle to do the same. In an age of CHOICE, how can this not be a choice for our boys?

It will be interesting on my girl/boy twins' 18th birthday. We'll see how far we will have come.

Don Mills Diva

I have no words. I had no idea they had any kind of registration like this in the States for men or women - I'm stunned.


You're right, 4 boys and the thought never occurred to me.

I'll tell you though, being married to a man who was 24 when the twin towers were felled and the Pentagon attacked, etc, I was shaking in my boots as I held my two babies. A draft looked very real for a few days!


I agree. And I can't write any more, because I'll og off on a tangent about war and Bush, etc.

I am so sorry that your son has to register at all.

Manic Mommy

I think the faulty logic here is the belief that the way that men conduct war is correct and therefore women cannot be equal partners in it.

Perhaps war is the providence of men but if women were to be given equal stake, perhaps the outcomes would be far different.


I think you were spot-on when you said that mothers of only girls are apalled by this, because I am. I have friends who have boys, so I know about the SSR. And I know this is completely selfish, but I've always been so glad that I have girls in this respect. I know that sounds really bad, but that's just how I feel. I can't change it.

That being said, I think it sucks that anyone has to register. At this point, and for many many years (since Vietnam, right?) military service has been completely voluntary. And I'm extremely grateful for those who volunteer for that job. But I'm still glad I have girls. And I feel horrible even saying that. Let's just hope that there is no draft again, ever.


I had never thought of it that way. But as you so wisely said...I am the mom of boys.

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