My body, my business?
ITEM If a fetus has a “right to life.” but eighteen years later has an "obligation to death," which sex is it?
Registering all our 18-year-old sons for the draft in the event the country needs more soldiers is as sexist as registering all our 18-year-old daughters for child-bearing in the event the country needs more children.
At this moment, fifteen million American boys are in the data bank of draft-eligible men.16 How realistic is it that the boys will, in fact, be drafted? We know only that in twenty-four to seventy-two hours the first induction orders can be in the mail.1’ That’s how fast your son’s life could change. National Guard and Reserve units are prepared to fill boot camps with 100,000 boys in four weeks.18 The units practice one weekend a month on the finer points of setting up and operating headquarters and field offices, and giving refresher courses to draft boards If there’s a war, there’s a way.19
Ironically, Selective Service officials are proud of their "equal opportun ity" system – no longer biased in favor of class, race, student status, or job status. It is a metaphor for our times that something can be called equal opportunity that registers only men for potential death.
The Selective Service does legally what the death professions do psychologically. For women, it’s "our bodies, our businessfor men, it’s "our bodies, gpvemment business." A woman has the "right to choose", a draftee has the choice of being "mined, mortared, shot, grenaded, blown up. . . you could fly apart so that your pieces would never be gathered, you could take one neat round in the lung and go out hearing only the bubble of the last few breaths, you could die in the last stage of malaria with that faint tapping in your ears ’20
G. I. still means government issue; someday G. I. will be M. I. – a men’s issue.