Friday, July 31, 2009

More 'male privilege': Latest stats from Selective Service

If you are a man between ages 18 and 26, you need to register for Selective Service. According to the Annual Report of the Director of Selective Service to Congress: "During FY 2008, 138, 956 names and addresses of suspected violators were provided to DoJ" -- every one of them male, because women are exempt from registering. Why were the names turned over to DoJ? "[F]or possible prosecution and investigation for his failure to register" with Selective Service.

What might happen to men who don't register? "Registration is the law. A man who fails to register may, if prosecuted and convicted, face a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a prison term of up to five years."

Even if they don't go to jail or receive a crippling fine, men who fail to register will be punished: "Men, born after December 31, 1959, who aren't registered with Selective Service won't qualify for Federal student loans or grant programs. This includes Pell Grants, College Work Study, Guaranteed Student/Plus Loans, and National Direct Student Loans."

"The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) makes registration with Selective Service a condition for U.S. citizenship if the man first arrived in the U.S. before his 26th birthday.

"The Workforce Investment Act (formerly called the Job Training Partnership Act - JTPA) offers programs that can train young men for jobs in auto mechanics and other skills. This program is only open to those men who register with Selective Service. Only men born after December 31, 1959, are required to show proof of registration.

"A man must be registered to be eligible for jobs in the Executive Branch of the Federal government and the U.S. Postal Service. Proof of registration is required only for men born after December 31, 1959. "

States have their own punishments fro failing to register -- often drastic.

And here is my favorite line from the Selective Service: "If a draft is ever needed, it must be as fair as possible, and that fairness depends on having as many eligible men as possible registered."

Read that again, and try not to laugh or to punch the computer screen. We could fill volumes writing about that one line, which is singular in it's irony, its gender inequity, it's sheer stupidity. No matter what, no similar law could ever be passed imposing such a burden on women alone. It simply is not possible.

My one question is this: where are the protests about this unfair law?

Where are the feminists who are supposedly interested in gender equity?

Oh, I'm sorry. The reality is, they really aren't interested in gender equity, are they? If they were, they'd have changed this law the way they've changed so many other things.