"You Can Handle This?"

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You Can Handle This
Can You Handle This?
Women:  You too can handle this
Will there be a draft?
How to Sign-Up
More About the Selective Service Program

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Will I Be Drafted
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Related Issues: Can You Handle It?, Land Minds, POWs, War


You Can Handle This

That's the title of the U.S. Government brochure addressed specifically to young men just turning 18. (See below). Just another example of how this country sees women and men differently. There are special laws requiring men to do things differently and others that aren't equal. Selective Service is just that, selective. It requires men 18-25 years old to register . Their brochure says "It's quick. It's easy. It's the law." While other countries (i.e., Israel) require all citizens to register for military duty, we still use sexism to hold women back and force men to willingly give up their lives. But that's the way fathers and mothers train their sons. Is it any wonder men grow up not trusting other men. "I may have to kill you or someone that looks like you someday."

I believe that women and men should have the right to do anything in this country that they want to do, and I do believe that if men are required to sign up for possible military service, women should also be required. This doesn't mean combat, though I believe women should have that option. (See the "Women: You too can handle this".) There are all kinds of service areas that don't involve combate and are not life threatening. Hospitals, clerical, maintenance, the band, and the list goes on. Why should men or civilians be the only ones expected to serve their country? Is it just one more area, like women's basketball, where there are special rules for women that prevent them from fully participating in this society?

Wouldn't it be ludicrous if we trained our daughters, from the day they were born, to kill other women?    That's what we do for our boys. Think about it.

Women:  You too can handle this.

One that gets me is "If women ran the country, it would be different."  In what way? Do we have wars because men are in power? Or is it power, regardless of the sex? Women have run many countries and taken them to war. Margaret Thatcher and Indera Gandhi, to name some recent ones. And, I'll never forget the cover of Time magazine featuring Madeline Albright on her cell phone during the Kosovo conflict. How about Cleopatra?  Since women weren't allowed to rule in her day, she was forced to marry two of her brothers (in succession) to provide a male figurehead. But she wasn't much of a big sister anyway. She went to war against one brother and had another executed. Then how about Isabella who created a country called Spain. She threatened her brother Enrique, who was king at the time, with war. When he died, she promptly had herself declared Queen of Castille but Enrigue's daughter put up a ferocious fight. After years of civil war, Isabella finally gained the crown. The story goes on, but it is said that when Isabella's troops went to battle, she was usually right alongside, decked out in armor, mounted on her horse, and urging the soldiers on. Of course, while she wasn't the leader of the country, another women went to war to liberate France, something countless male soldiers, infantrymen and kings had found impossible. Joan of Arc. The sagas of Scandinavia's greatest Viking's are filled with the stories of women who loved a good adventure as much as their male counterparts. And the Red Maiden, Old Red, was the leader of the most brutal attacks on Ireland during the tenth century. There's Lakshmi Bai the Rani of Jhansi who emerged as one of India's greatest warriors and is now revered as one of the most valiant military leaders of the famous Great Rebellion. Under the brutal laws of warfare that governed the plains during the 1880s, no warriors were more feared and respected than the Apaches. Lozen was one of the bravest Apache warriors, and she was one of two messengers sent by Geronimo to negotiate his final surrender. But fighting women were not exclusive to the Apaches. The Cherokees legendary Ehyophsta, Yellow Haired Woman fought fearlessly against the Shoshonis. In the 1600s, the Eastern-coast Wampanoag tribe boasted of the fearless Wetamoo, Squaw Sachem, who led her people in may battles against the British colonialists. There were "Lady" pirates. Two in particular were two of the toughest pirates to ever sail the seas Anne Bonny (the daughter of a prominent attorney) and Mary Read. In Japan, there were eight different women emperors before 770 AD. Samurais set the standard for the noble warrior class. To make the grade as a samurai, you had to be strong, disciplined and fearless, but you didn't have to be a man. Itagaki around 1200 AD lead her outnumbered troops (3 to 1) into her last battle, riding gallantly into the battle without a hint of surrender. She died like a true samurai warrior, with her sword drawn and her honor intact. And Japan had its share of famous female swordswomen, Itagaki, Hatsu-jo, Miyagino and Tora Gozen, to name a few, avengers whose paths you just didn't want to cross. The only female emperor to ever rule China, Wu Zhao, was the kind of woman you also didn't cross. Having made empress by her thirty-first birthday, if anyone got in her way, she simply orchestrated one of her famous "disappearances" which covered pretty much everyone from household help to family members. Finally, in 660, her husband was struck with polio and in that moment, Wu Zhao put herself into the imperial chair and went head to head with Korea. Ordering an invasion by sea, she soon annexed the place to China. There was Myra Belle Shirley, who earned renown as a thief and rustler in Texas and Oklahoma in the late 1800s. And she didn't balk at an occasional murder. Or Calamity Jane, a savvy gambler and an ace with a rifle who was all woman and would shoot the hat off any man who said otherwise. Or, in Mexico, where women fought along side the men. Among the Mexican revolutionaries, the fighting Soldaderas were everywhere - battling at the front lines, making speeches from the podiums, and writing the manifestos that would lead to a new future. Dolores Jimenez y Muro, was named a brigadier general by Zapata and was one of the key contributors to the framework of the new constitution in 1917. She still had a price on hear head when she was nearly seventy years old. During World War II, the squadrons of Soviet female pilots turned out to be some of the most heroic and skilled fighters in the country's arsenal. Lily Litvak was the most legendary and was famous for her dogfighting skills. Every German fighter pilot wanted to be the one to kill her. In her final battle, it took eight German planes to take down the greatest lady pilot ever. Or two women pilots that took on forty-two German fighter planes on a bombing mission. The dogfight that ensued has become Russian military legend. Even the U.S. reluctantly had woman pilots during World War II. The fearless flying WASPS (Women Airforce Service Pilots), 1074 to be exact. And, though women demonstrated the same endurance as men, learned just as quickly, had similar safety records, completed the same rigorous training as male pilots, and devoted years of their lives to the WASP program, the US government refused to grant them military status

Did you know any of this? If not, it just may be the Matrix Syndrome. Part of this is to say that man can be violent. So can women. Man can be warriors. So can women. Women can raise children. So can men. Women feel. So do men (and to ask them "What are you feeling" is not allowing them to feel, but requiring them to think.) What I want to see, in my lifetime, is that men have the same opportunities in this country that women have. And women have the same opportunities that men have. And to stop creating and supporting an educational system that separates them. Allow women to fight for their country, if they want to. Allow men to adopt children, if they want to. Allow women to compete in sports without setting up obstacles (the NCCA requires a smaller basketball for women than men - which almost guarantees women who have always used the smaller basketball won't be able to compete against men). Allow girls to play football in grade, junior high and high school, as well as college. "The Flea" was a runback specialist for the Kansas City Chiefs and had many runbacks for touchdowns. He weighed 156 pounds. Allow men to wear skirts, if they want to. (I dare you to make fun of a Scot or Greek or Turk or Hawaiian about his skirt to his face.) Allow my grand daughter to win the superbowl, if she can and wants to, or be a stay at home mom, if she wants to, or be a combat fighter pilot if she can and she wants to, or complete in the Master from only one tee, if she can and she wants to, or to be a world class ice skater wearing pants if she can and she wants to or do whatever her skills allow her do without any exclusionary rules. Let's open things up. Everybody gets the same rules. Let the games/life begin.

The information about women warriors came from a fascinating book to share with your daughter, no matter what her age. It was written by women and edited by Pam Nelson called Cool Women then if you'd like to get your own copy, Buy This Book!

How to Sign-Up

Men 18-25, go to any U.S. Post Office and look on the counter or check with a clerk for this brochure. Fill it out and send it in. It's sexism at work and it's the law.


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Young Guns: The average age of U.S. Military personnel is 25.

General Norman Schwarzkopf said, "I don't trust a man who doesn't cry."

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