In 1995, I stood in front of a speech class at Manchester Community College and argued that women should be eligible for the military draft. I posited that women's failure to demand this responsibility undermined their fight for equality.
My professor awarded me an A for the speech (I still have his notes and the grade sheet), but my classmates did not react favorably to my ideas. The idea that women might be drafted into the military and sent to war did not sit well with many of them.
Last year, in episode 5 of my podcast Boy vs. Girl, I made the same claim. I argued that women are just as capable of serving in the military as men, and that they should be fighting for equal responsibilities as well as equal rights. I argued that when one group of people are required to risk their lives for their country and another group is not, inequality is inevitable.
My podcast cohost, Rachel Leventhal-Weiner, was uncertain about my proposal, neither opposing it nor agreeing to it.
Last week - 21 years after I first made this argument in a college classroom - two senior United States military leaders said that women should be required to register for the draft now that the Pentagon had opened all combat roles to them.
I have just three things to say about this:
- It's about freakin' time.
- Next time I argue that my nonconformity is merely a vision of the future, perhaps more people will believe me.
- I told you so.