The reverse nap. The Trump nomination. Female eligibility in the military draft. People thought I was crazy all three times. Now I get to say those four glorious words.

In October of 2012, I wrote about the reverse nap, a self-described practice in which I get up in the middle of the night, work for an hour or two, and then go back to bed. 

Later that month, I wrote about how my reverse nap had already been adopted by a handful of readers.

In February of 2014, I wrote about scientific evidence supporting the reverse nap.

In March of this year, in the New York Times Magazine, Jesse Barron writes about the benefits of segmented sleep.

And what is segmented sleep?

Yes, you guessed it. It's Barron's name for the reverse nap. 

Four years after I write about the benefits of the reverse nap for the first time (and readers think I am crazy), the world is finally catching up to me. 

It's the story of my life:

I have an idea that is new and seemingly bizarre. People make fun of me. They call me crazy.

Years later, the idea is adopted by the mainstream.

I predicted in June of 2015 that Donald Trump would be the GOP candidate for President. Though it hasn't happened yet, the prediction isn't looking so crazy anymore.

In this instance, I added four entries to my "I Told You So" calendar for each of the four people who said I was "stupid" and crazy" and "ridiculous" for ever thinking such a thing. I cannot wait to make those phone calls later this summer (though a Trump candidacy is admittedly a terrifying prospect).

I first argued in a speech class in 1994 that women should be eligible for the military draft and that not making them eligible for military conscription was a sexist and demeaning act. My classmates thought I was ridiculous and stupid and pie-in-the-sky.

I still have that speech.

Earlier this year, I reiterated this belief and discussed it on my podcast.  

Last week the Armed Services Committee voted to make women eligible for the military draft, just 22 years after I first spoke about this idea in a college classroom. Though the vote is only a recommendation that must now be passed by Congress, the country's top military brass now agree with the position I first adopted when I was 24 years old. 

My only saving grace in all of these cases and many, many others is that I am a writer and often record these "crazy" ideas as evidence of my prescience in the face of naysayers.

It's no fun to be told that you're stupid or crazy or ridiculous, but it's always nice to say "I told you so," even if it takes years to utter those four glorious words.

High ranking United States generals finally agree with me on the military draft - 21 years later

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.

Although the move would be largely symbolic — the draft has not been used since the Vietnam War — it would represent another step in the military’s shift toward viewing men and women as equals.

At a Senate hearing on women in combat, Gen. Robert B. Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps, said he believed that “every American who’s physically qualified should register for the draft.” Gen. Mark A. Milley, the Army chief of staff, said he agreed.

I have just three things to say about this:

  1. It's about freakin' time.
  2. Next time I argue that my nonconformity is merely a vision of the future, perhaps more people will believe me.
  3. I told you so.

Boy Vs. Girl - Episode #5: The Military Draft, Man Vs. Wild, and Grudges

The latest episode of Boy Vs. Girl, a podcast about gender and gender stereotypes, is available now. Listen here or subscribe at iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Boy Vs. Girl

The power and ubiquity of the Twitter

My wife and I are listening to Jeffrey Toobin’s THE OATH: THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE AND THE SUPREME COURT. In learning about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s views on gender equality, I found myself wanting to ask her about her position on the military draft.

A moment later, I was annoyed, realizing that it was unlikely that she was on Twitter.

It’s remarkable how the lines of communication have shrunken in today’s world. Thanks to Twitter, I now expect to be able to reach out to almost anyone in the world without any trouble, and oftentimes I have.

I’ve chatted via Twitter with authors like Margaret Atwood and Jennifer Weiner, celebrities like Mindy Kaling and Sarah Siilverman, television broadcasters like John Dickerson and a number of political figures, just to name a few. Twitter is a great melting pot, where the known and the unknown can rub shoulders and exchange ideas with relative ease.

As a result, I’ve come to expect that I can reach just about anyone I want via the medium, even though the great majority of my real life friends and colleagues do not use Twitter. And for the most part, this has been true. Even though the people to whom I am closest are unreachable via Twitter, most of the newsmakers of the world are, and I’ve been able to reach out to them repeatedly throughout the past two years. 

But a 79-year old Supreme Court Justice?

I thought the odds were extremely low.

But when I checked, I found an account for Ginsburg under @RuthBGinsburg. It’s not a verified account, so I have no way of knowing if it’s actually her, but the tweets seem to suggest that they might be coming from the Supreme Court Justice. They are tempered, reasoned and express ideas that you might expect from her. 

Still, with Twitter, you never know.

I posed my question anyway and await a reply.