Horace’s dictum, “dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” will soon no longer be exclusive to American males. Sometime in the near-future, women will have the honor of being forced to leave their families, enter bullet-ridden battlefields, and risk having their limbs blown apart.
Surely, Virginia Woolf is cheering in her grave.
Last week, the chief of staff of the Army and the Marine Corps commandant came out in favor of lifting the exclusion of women from the Selective Service. Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Robert Neller, the highest ranking U.S. Marine Corps member, told lawmakers, “it’s my personal view that, based on this lifting of restrictions… every American who’s physically qualified should register for the draft.”
Congress must act to lift the males-only condition for Selective Service. But is there any doubt this will eventually happen? In the name of equality, Democrats will joyfully embrace the proposition. Republicans are already coming around: A bill to lift the female draft restriction was just introduced in the House of Representatives by two GOP reps who also served in the armed forces.
It’s only a matter of time before girls, upon turning 18, sign up for the draft. And just like that, we will have slipped further into the brave new world where men and women are interchangeable cogs in the machine of society.
The openness to relaxing sexual restrictions for Selective Service comes on the heels of the military opening all combat positions to women. Last December, Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended gender-based exclusion for all military roles, proclaiming that gals will henceforth be able to “drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers”
Sec. Carter’s announcement was met with the usual cheers from the left. The New York Times celebrated the reform, calling it a “powerfully symbolic and sound policy move.” The progressive scribblers also likened opposition to women in combat to “leaders who…warned about the perils of integrating African-Americans in the military and, more recently, suggested that allowing openly gay people to serve would hurt unit cohesion.”
Right, because women, gays, and blacks are all the same.
That kind of comparison is part and parcel with the liberal view of the world: That Man has no significant traits outside of being a more-intelligent-than-average mammal. If sex is just a malleable feature with no teleological implications, then why not treat men and women exactly the same? Equal means equal, right?
The tearing down of all barriers to women in the military is just another step in the liberal crusade to rid humanity of its intrinsic limits. Their quest to abolish gender distinctions will not create coequal harmony. Rather, it will further confuse our understanding of the natural order of the sexes.
In his classic article “Modern Manhood,” English philosopher Roger Scruton decries feminism’s war on innate sexual difference. “[N]ature itself, working through our genes, decrees a division of roles between the sexes,” Scruton argues. Male biology “predisposes men to fight for territory, to protect their women, to drive away rivals, and to strive for status and recognition in the public world—the world where men conflict.”
Any man not totally gelded by militant feminism feels the urge to dominate but care for; to protect as well as serve with loyalty; to take control but also loosen their grip out of love.
Likewise, females have the disposition to be “faithful, private, and devoted to the home.” Women are meant to be caregivers, and to balance out their more combative husband. The person nurturing a child from infancy isn’t meant to go bloody themselves in war.
The traditional understanding of the sexes was never a grand conspiracy meant to tie women down to the household. Patriarchy just makes sense when observing basic human behavior. It is the rational response to the urges men and women face as they age.
Just as Hemingway didn’t write of trashy broads duking it out in drink holes, Jane Austen didn’t write of dudes bickering with one another over courtship. They simply observed the deep-seated tendencies of those around them. And what they saw was that patriarchy was the natural outcome of family formation.
Contrary to liberals (and many libertarians), social order is a very real thing. It affects how people identify with their society, with their family, and with their way of life. The West has a long tradition of looking to men to defend the homeland, and for women to keep the hearth warm for their return. If the Sexual Revolution succeeds in reversing this millennia-old dynamic, the society that emerges may be unrecognizable – possibly tyrannical.
War is a disgusting business. That’s why it should be a man’s business only. Women shouldn’t be begging to go shoot the heads off foreigners. They should be telling men to do their patriotic duty and fight for their country.
Gender traditionalists shouldn’t lose all hope as ladies enlist and enter combat. Horace had another saying: “Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret.” Deny nature all you want, but she eventually comes roaring back with a vengeance. Hopefully, by the time that happens, our armed forces won’t be emasculated to the point of ineptitude.