Your Turn

Written in the early 1970's

by Jeanne Belovitch

The Supreme court's decision to uphold the nation's military draft law, rejecting arguments that it is unconstitutional because it applies to men and not women means far more than the cheers and laments we're hearing from its proponents and opponents.

As newspapers reported, ERA opponent Phyllis Schlafly said about the ruling, "A tremendous victory...We are confident that Americans will always stand ready and willing to protect their wives, sweethearts, mothers and daughters." Now President Eleanor Smeal said,"We believe it a tragedy. The decision says women can be discriminated against...perpetuating the myth in this country that all men are better than all women."

Regardless of whether the decision is constitutional or it is discriminatory in nature, the court's word is an affirmation for a waring world, not for a loving and peaceful one. The pursuit of war always has been a man's game. So the question that needs answering is: Why do men go to war and want their women to stay home?

It seems to me that the bottom line of war is property. Men go to war to protect the property they have acquired or to get more of it. (Women don't own much property, except in conjunction with their husbands.) Getting more property involves seizing unoccupied territories with no ownership claims, or taking someone else's property, which can eventually lead to war.

Phyllis Schlafly is absolutely correct when she calls the Supreme Court's ruling "a tremendous victory" and puts faith in "American men to stand ready and willing to protect the wives, sweethearts, mothers and daughters." Her sentiments, however, bring us back to the original question" Why do men go to war and want their women home?

The answer is simple and obvious. Most men consider women property. Women are part of the property package men have been living, working and dying for single handedly until recently.

Thank you, but you don't have to do all that for us. We are your partners, not your property package that Eleanor Smeal knows perpetuates the myth that all men are better than all women.

And when women are made to stay at home by law, this legislation keeps the game of war as well as the supremacy of men intact. Women at home is a rule in the game that must be upheld. The Supreme Court's decision verifies the importance of this prerequisite.

When the rule falls, however, the war game will begin to erode, bringing a new way of viewing the world and what we want for ourselves and generations to come. When women are drafted for war, men and women alike will be forced to acknowledge how they view themselves, their mate, property, ownership and all mankind.

And with women actually participating in a war, on the battlefield or in auxiliary positions, men will again be forced to jump another mental hurdle because the women---the property---they traditionally have protected by keeping at home will be fighting that war with them.

The girlie posters on the barrack's wall won't have the same meaning. And the letters from wives, sweethearts and sisters won't come in the same abundance since they will be in the war, too. Traditionally during war, men have gained comfort and strength knowing that their women were at home waiting for their arrival and praying for their safety.

With women along side the men can't escape asking themselves, "What are we here for, everyone's in the war and no one at home?" Why do men war?

Source: The Boston Herald, Boston, MA;