The Pentagon is lifting its ban on women in combat. This means that women will have to register for Selective Service (along with men) when they turn 18.
For peace activists, and rational hawks, this is a great thing, because doubling the pool of people to be drafted means that we will be much more deliberative in any decision to engage in military conflict.
On the one hand it’s obvious that women who want to serve their country should be allowed to do so. I have no doubt that there are women out there that are heroic soldiers, good officers, and would make brilliant generals. However, it’s also clear that our society still largely holds to the idea of “protect the women and children”. So the thought that a draft would force women into combat is disturbing to many.
This makes me happy, because it means we would only engage in an nation-wide military conflict if it was absolutely necessary as determined through undoubtedly heated discourse by the public. Any countervailing force that protects the masses from falling into the trap of nationalistic fervor is a force for long-term progress.
A story about in-flight etiquette on NPR cracked me up. There were some interviews which indicated that people in general do not get along. Put them in a tight space together for hours, and that fact becomes more apparent.
Click on the image, itâ€™s a good one.
What I find most entertaining, in particular, is the age old battle of â€œwho gets the armrest?â€ Apparently, this is a major debate on the internet.
Opinions are as varied as political views. Some people want to share fairly based on size, some people want to help the least fortunate (middle seat), and some believe in survival of the fittest: claim it and hold on.
I think it probably depends on the size, sex, attitude, mood of the person, and many other details of the specific circumstance. But I find these little day-to-day situations strangely representative of human characteristics which lead to or around larger social conflicts and compromises.
If we can resolve the armrest issue, surely peace in the Middle East will soon follow.