Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Women’s Draft? Sign Me Up To Abolish War

For too long, the women of this nation have been complacent while our brothers, sons, husbands, and fathers are sent to kill, maim, brutalize, destroy and even die in defense of our alleged liberty.

But now, the Senate has passed a $602 billion defense bill that includes an amendment for drafting women. If this bill were in effect today, I would be fined a quarter of a million dollars and face five years in prison for writing these words:

Women: do not register for the draft.

No one – man or woman – should register, or be required to register, for the draft. The draft should be completely eliminated. The military should be dismantled. War should be abolished. The bloated war budget should be returned to our children and students. The military industrial complex should be evicted from our politics and war profiteering should be completely and utterly outlawed.

According to the new bill, saying this and telling other women not to register for the draft is against the law, but I’ll say these words as long as I live in every way I can . . . and I’ll tell it to men, too. For too long, this nation has sat idle as horrific wars are waged in our names. Now, a Congress of the same predominantly rich, white, old men who send our brothers off to war would like the women of this country to pick up the weapons in our very own hands.

I refuse.

More than refuse, I will organize, not just to stop the Women’s Draft, but to abolish war in its entirety. Did Congress think that “women’s equality” meant sending us off to war?  Women’s equality is peace, democracy, economic justice, racial justice, environmental sustainability, restorative justice, ending mass incarceration, providing for all children of this country, caring for our elders, affordable healthcare and housing, and debt-free student education.

Women’s equality does not – and never will – include forcing us to kill our fellow human beings in order to protect the patriarchal, oligarchic, racist, imperialistic interests of the greedy, war-profiteering few.

There is something ludicrous about the very notion of drafting me into the military. I imagine what Helen Keller (a notorious anti-war activist) might have told me: sit-down, strike, and refuse to die in the rich men’s wars. Kathy Kelly and Medea Benjamin might smile on my first day of boot camp as I engage in total noncooperation with the training and speak to my fellow women about the injustice and horror of war. What will the officers do then? Throw me in prison, where, like peace activists and all organizers, I might organize work strikes and refuse to build the infrastructure of war?  Would they put me in solitary confinement like Chelsea Manning for speaking truth to power? Would they torture me as they do to the illegally and unfairly held men at Guantanamo? Would they rape me like they already do to one third of my sisters in the military?

Undoubtedly, our congresspersons were not thinking of me when they introduced the women’s draft bill. Perhaps they were thinking of my blonde cousins – some of who are military wives – marching teary-eyed as they go off to kill children that do not look so different than the ones they leave behind. Perhaps they imagined black and brown bodies dying to protect a racist nation that incarcerates, murders, and impoverishes them. Perhaps they imagined my veteran friends, and thought that women, too, should join the ranks of those haunted by the horrors of war, suffering from PTSD. Perhaps they thought of us smiling and waving as we’re trotted out for Memorial Day parades and shows of patriotism.

Certainly, they did not have Rivera Sun in mind, a five-foot-five, redheaded, nonviolent strategist with a pen sharper than a hellfire missile. If so, they would have quietly killed the women’s draft bill . . . because there is only one place the US military is drafting Rivera Sun – and that’s straight into the peace movement.

Women: do not register for the draft. Let us do what we should have done long ago. For too long, we have been complacent as our sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers were sent off to war. No more. The sleeping giant of American womenkind has awakened . . . and she wants the total Abolition of War.

More articles by:

Rivera Sun is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection and other books, and the cofounder of the Love-In-Action Network.

October 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Middle East, Not Russia, Will Prove Trump’s Downfall
Ipek S. Burnett
The Assault on The New Colossus: Trump’s Threat to Close the U.S.-Mexican Border
Mary Troy Johnston
The War on Terror is the Reign of Terror
Maximilian Werner
The Rhetoric and Reality of Death by Grizzly
David Macaray
Teamsters, Hells Angels, and Self-Determination
Jeffrey Sommers
“No People, Big Problem”: Democracy and Its Discontents In Latvia
Dean Baker
Looking for the Next Crisis: the Not Very Scary World of CLOs
Binoy Kampmark
Leaking for Change: ASIO, Jakarta, and Australia’s Jerusalem Problem
Chris Wright
The Necessity of “Lesser-Evil” Voting
Muhammad Othman
Daunting Challenge for Activists: The Cook Customer “Connection”
Don Fitz
A Debate for Auditor: What the Papers Wouldn’t Say
October 22, 2018
Henry Giroux
Neoliberalism in the Age of Pedagogical Terrorism
Melvin Goodman
Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF
David Mattson
Basket of Deplorables Revisited: Grizzly Bears at the Mercy of Wyoming
Michelle Renee Matisons
Hurricane War Zone Further Immiserates Florida Panhandle, Panama City
Tom Gill
A Storm is Brewing in Europe: Italy and Its Public Finances Are at the Center of It
Suyapa Portillo Villeda
An Illegitimate, US-Backed Regime is Fueling the Honduran Refugee Crisis
Christopher Brauchli
The Liars’ Bench
Gary Leupp
Will Trump Split the World by Endorsing a Bold-Faced Lie?
Michael Howard
The New York Times’ Animal Cruelty Fetish
Alice Slater
Time Out for Nukes!
Geoff Dutton
Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think
Daniel Warner
Davos in the Desert: To Attend or Not, That is Not the Question
Priti Gulati Cox – Stan Cox
Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End
Manuel E. Yepe
Pence v. China: Cold War 2.0 May Have Just Begun
Raouf Halaby
Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Dan Carey
Aspirational Goals  
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail