Video: Intersectional Feminist Perspectives on the Draft Discussion – Politics of Inclusion, Compulsion, or Progress?

“Selective Service” registration has long been a hot-button issue in the U.S. From the draft resistance and antiwar movements of the 1970s to the modern question of whether U.S. military draft registration should be abolished, made to include women in addition to men, or kept as a male-only requirement, it is clear that the issue of military draft registration persists in public policy and political discourse. On April 14, 2021, the Biden administration deferred the question of “Selective Service” registration and its potential expansion to women to Congress, as it decided not to have the Supreme Court hear the case National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System; this case would have likely been a landmark case if it was heard by the Court, possibly creating precedence to push women into registration for the military draft. It is crucial now to highlight an array of voices that are often ignored in this national conversation surrounding the military draft.

As the Biden administration has deferred the issue of Selective Service registration to Congress, there are various potential paths forward in legislation. Congress could move toward the abolition of draft (“Selective Service”) registration, leave Selective Service registration limited to men, or push for the expansion of draft registration to women. As grassroots opposition to the military draft and draft registration seems to be systematically ignored by Congress, this panel features student activists, academics, and intersectional activists outside of the university who have varying views on why the draft should not be expanded to women. Panelists interrogate issues such as whether the inclusion of women in a military draft is feminist, politics inclusion and liberation in queer and feminist politics, and transnational feminist approaches to the impacts of militarism and conscription on women domestically and abroad. The panel ends with a call to action from each of the speakers.

Speakers:

  • Rivera Sun (Feminist Activist, CODEPINK & World BEYOND War)
  • Tyler Monson (Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Director of the Consortium of Studies of Race, Migration, and Sexuality, Dartmouth College)
  • Sophie Williams (Editor and Writer for intersectional feminist zine Spare Rib, Dartmouth College)
  • Moderator: Sebastian Munoz-McDonald (Student Activist with Feminists Against the Draft, Dartmouth College)