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View Diary: If women are going into combat, then it's time to ratify the ERA [Important Update] (181 comments)

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  •  Very mixed feelings (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kareylou, randomfacts

    about this particular rationale for ERA.

    It seems to imply that because women can now serve in combat, women are now REAL PEOPLE, just like men always were.

    I totally get it that women should not be excluded from combat units on account of sex. I totally get it that right-wingers are freaking out because the power to kill is, unarguably, power.

    At the same time, I am revolted by the concept that eligibility to specialize directly in killing, as part of a military machine under the direction of the state at any particular moment, right or wrong, is the quality that determines whether a person or group deserves full civil rights.

    Moreover: granting me certain rights because another person of the same race/gender/sexual preference/shoe size now serves in the military and even specializes in killing people directly  makes no logical sense.

    Logically, moreover, this type of thinking lends itself to the corollary that it makes sense to take away voting rights from individuals who do not or have not served in the military. If you haven't noticed, there are already those inclining in this direction.

    And it glorifies military action, a direction in which it is possible to go too far, and I think as a society we are treading on the edge of viewing military membership and military action with too much of what I can only call unthinking piety.

    Women got the vote after an unflagging 70-year campaign, followed by WWI during which women voting-rights activists agreed to shut their pie-holes for duration and do what they could in a civilian capacity to keep the country united through that struggle. Women next got important rights in the 1970s, on the amazing basis of justice.

    Women almost got ERA on the same terms, justice. On the verge of ratification, ERA was barely derailed by a paroxysm of well-moneyed, right-wing, religious organizing.

    Women having the right to join combat units  is not going to change their views; just the opposite. In fact, women have joined the military and done practically everything but join combat units, took huge risks, were killed and injured and suffered more, all without obtaining a single additional civil right in recognition of that.

    Anyway, if someone is a human being, an adult, a citizen, old enough to work, pay taxes, maybe raise kids, live responsibly, do your civic duty and try to leave something good behind you when you leave this world, then this country should stand behind you.

    And if you want to join the military and serve in a combat unit, you should have the same opportunity as everyone else. If you are in the military, the brass should support you and prevent your being abused by your fellow service members. But it doesn't make you or me any more REAL PEOPLE than we were before. And if being REAL PEOPLE means signing up to kill people, maybe I'll take a bye.

    •  my point is this right has been paid for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kareylou

      In blood. The fact that women in combat was a central argument AGAINST ratification means the decision to allow women to serve in combat units renders that argument moot.  Using the analogous argument for lowering the voting age leads one to the ineluctible conclusion that this amendment should be ratified now.

      Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, before the police arrive ... teachers are first responders.

      by 8ackgr0und N015e on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:59:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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