In a historic ruling, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, has overturned sexist Selective Service registration. This landmark ruling is an important step forward for true gender equality. It’s a victory against fake gender equality — words merely twisted to increase structural injustices against men. This ruling stirs imagination of a future in which men won’t be last off sinking ships solely because of their gender. With this ruling, progressives can even imagine healthcare policy that seeks to raise men’s expected lifespan to parity with women.
Sexist Selective Service is a by-product of a traditional way of thinking about men’s disposability. The celebrated sayings of Spartan mothers in ancient Greece exemplify men’s social disposability. In ancient Rome, the structural devaluation of men’s lives produced men baring war wounds on their chests while women merely showed their breasts to gain social acclaim. Violence against men has been pervasive throughout human history, with violence against men gender-normalized as merely violence. In the U.S. today, where about four times more men than women die from violence, billions of dollars a year are specifically budgeted to lessening “violence against women.” The phrase “violence against men” is lamentably known only among persons truly awake and socially conscious.
Men’s humanity should be fully recognized and respected. Men are not demonic. Men are sons and brothers and husbands and fathers: men’s presence is vitally important to families. Men typically have distinctive capabilities for peace-making. Moreover, men’s sexuality, so terribly brutalized right up to the present, can provide the gift of life. Men are capable of amazing literary creativity. Men can speak powerful words for social justice. Men deserve much more fulfilling lives than just being soldiers trained to die for their country, or being worker drones generating resources for women and children.
Sexist Selective Service has been an egregiously explicit sexist state policy. Mainstream public institutions, while obsessively pushing fake gender equality, have largely ignored sexist Selective Service. One courageous judge has stepped up and overturned sexist Selective Service. Deserving to be a canonized hero in legal history, he has delivered justice in the face of blatant injustice.
Men have characteristic weaknesses. Men often excessively desire beautiful young women. Men are prone to abasing themselves in relation to women. Men are relatively poor at shedding tears. Perhaps men’s greatest weakness is men’s lack of concern for their own lives. Show concern for men’s lives. Celebrate the overturning of sexist Selective Service!
Update: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has overturned this landmark ruling and preserved sexist Selective Service. See 19-20272 – National Coalition for Men, et al v. Selective Service System, et al, filed August 13, 2020 (alternate source). Men thus continue to wait for the U.S. to reject men’s historical disposability and affirm the equal value of men’s lives.
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- Selective Service in ignored history of controlling men’s bodies
- the official form for sexist Selective Service registration
- the long road ahead for true gender equality and justice
The landmark case overturning sexist U.S. Selective Service registration is National Coalition For Men, et al. v. Selective Service System, et al., 355 F.Supp.3d 568 (2019), Civil Action H-16-3362, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, decided on February 22, 2019 by Gray H. Miller, Senior United States District Judge. Here’s the text of Judge Miller’s historic ruling.
Media reporting of this monumental decision has been about as bad as media reporting of men being raped. The FOX affiliate in Kansas City posted a story with the byline “CNN Wire and Matt Stewart.” FOX and CNN working together harmoniously produced no original reporting whatsoever. Matt Stewart might be the name of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) program that apparently pulled quotes from Judge’s Miller’s ruling according to an auto-summarize routine. Of course, the “reporting” provides no link to the actual decision. That makes it more difficult to learn what actually happened and how it has been reported. FOX and CNN working together to report sexist Selective Service registration being struck down demonstrates the need for truly independent and diverse media.
The Selective Service System website, rather than issuing an abject apology for the gender bigotry of its system, currently shows no awareness of the historic ruling overturning sexist Selective Service registration. The front page of the Selective Service System website declares: “REGISTER: It’s What a Man’s Got to Do. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s the Law.” There’s a lot that a man’s got to do. Standing up for himself and the value of his life as a man is the first thing that a man’s got to do.
Update: I emailed the Selective Service System with my suggestion that Selective Service update its website. Selective Service responded:
As an independent agency of the Executive Branch, the Selective Service System does not make policy and follows the law as written. As such, until Congress amends the Military Selective Service Act or the Judiciary orders Selective Service to change our standard operating procedure, the following remains in effect: (1) Men between ages 18 and 25 are required to register with Selective Service and (2) Women are not required to register with Selective Service. If Selective Service is directed by Congress or the Supreme Court to include women in the registration process, we will implement the ordered changes in a timely fashion.
Selective Service has also updated its website home page to include this statement.
This statement seems to me unsatisfactory. The court’s ruling that sexist Selective Service is unconstitutional is written law. The court didn’t issue an injunction directing Selective Service to cease sexist registration. An injunction is necessary only when what is required under law isn’t otherwise clear. What’s required under law seems to me clear in this matter. Selective Service must administer registration in a way that is constitutional. Sexist Selective Service isn’t constitutional and it seems to me it thus must stop immediately.
Moreover, the Supreme Court alone doesn’t constitute the Judiciary or define written law. The Supreme Court won’t have an opportunity to review this ruling unless it is appealed to it. Even if it is appealed to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court has no obligation to accept the appeal. As I understand law, an agency that declares it will follow only a ruling of the Supreme Court isn’t following law.
[image] Arlington National Cemetery, May 31, 2010. Excerpt of photo by R.D. Ward. Via Wikimedia Commons.