In a move that is already sparking widespread criticism from a range of commentators, as part of its yearly defense policy bill, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted last week to amend the Military Selective Service Act to compel women to register for the draft, according to The Hill.
As the outlet noted, the U.S. has not utilized its military draft mechanism since the Vietnam era, and Defense Department officials have provided ongoing assurances of their intent to maintain the nation’s fighting forces all-volunteer status.
With that said, however, males between the ages of 18 and 25 are still required to formally register with the Selective Service System, and failure to do so is categorized as a felony punishable by substantial fines and imprisonment, which can also result in a number of other potential sanctions, including the denial of access to federal financial aid for higher education, as The Hill further emphasized.
Though there has been a debate about adding women to the registration requirements in recent years, conservatives have pushed back on the idea, causing the expansion to be dropped from prior years’ versions of the annual National Defense Authorization Act.
Instead, funding was appropriated to form a commission to review the matter, and in 2020, that panel recommended the inclusion of women, declaring such a move “a necessary and fair step.”
It was not long after the change was announced on Thursday, however, that negative reactions began to mount, with Daily Wire podcast personality Matt Walsh declaring on Twitter, “It’s absurd and gross and immoral for a nation to draft its daughters into combat. But this is what you wanted, feminists, and now you got it. You have only yourselves to thank. Congratulations.”
“By the way, I’d go to prison before I’d register my daughters for the draft,” Walsh added. “But I never believed in gender equality so that’s a position I can take without self-contradiction, he continued.
Radio host and military veteran Jesse Kelly echoed and expanded on Walsh’s sentiments, opining, “Women shouldn’t be part of the draft. They shouldn’t be part of any combat unit. They shouldn’t be on Naval vessels. I don’t have to prove to you why they shouldn’t. It’s the military. It’s life or death. YOU have to prove to ME why a country with 150 million men needs women.”
Comedian and podcast host Bridget Phetasy offered perhaps the most effectively succinct takedown of the decision to force compulsory draft registration on females at a time when the Biden administration is referring to mothers, for example, merely as “birthing people,” tweeting, pointedly, “Oh now we’re women?”