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.
“9.334. But to serve Brahmanas (who are) learned in the Vedas, householders, and famous (for virtue) is the highest duty of a Sudra, which leads to beatitude.” –Manu Smriti
“All your talk is of caste and creed
Is it even as natural as the spider and its web?
The four blessed Vedas, were they created by Brahma?
Is caste and creed worthwhile, ye elders of Paichalur?” -Uttiranallur Nagai
Hinduism is in a constant state of transformation through internal discourse and dissent. Image source.
(This post mostly consists of quotes from Manu Smriti and Medieval Hindu Bhakti poems, so if you want to skip my spiel just hit the “read more” link at the bottom.)
People in the west tend to have an odd outlook on the ethics or “doctrines” of Hinduism. In most religions, doctrine works something like this: There is a core text, or set of texts, which contain precepts. Early in the religion’s history some sages write commentaries on these. The rest of the reasoning and doctrine formation of the religion continues by referring to these sources for legitimacy. Innovations occur, but normally only if it can somehow be “textually justified.”
Certainly there is a part of the Hindu religion, which operates very similarly to this—the religion of the Brahmins. But Hinduism cannot be thought of as just that. It is the religion of all Indians, except perhaps those who explicitly decry the label, like the Buddhists, Jainsm and Sikhs (and even those divisions are sometimes blurry. Even some sects of Islam are pretty heavily syncretized.)