The White House announced Thursday that they are in full support of requiring women to register for the military draft in a move that Ned Price, spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council called “a logical next step.”
ABC News reports that, according to Price, this show of support from the Obama administration is representative of a “commitment to equity” and suggests that this decision is another big step towards gender equality in one of the more traditionally restrictive institutions.
The announcement from the White House also has the full support of the Pentagon, who ordered that all military jobs be open to women. In December of last year, the U.S Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered that combat roles be open to women in a historic decision that probably moved the needle just enough to pave the way for this announcement by the White House today.
Naturally, Republicans are treating the announcement with the amount of handwringing and general sexist panic you’d expect. The AP reports that many conservatives view it as “another step toward the blurring of gender lines akin to allowing transgender people to use public lavatories and locker rooms.” Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas went so far as to describe the announcement as a way of “coercing America’s daughters” into armed service. That’s one way of looking at it, I guess.
Nothing about this decision is set in stone yet – according to the Associated Press, a change in policy would require an act of Congress and so far, no one really seems pressed to move quickly on this. To be clear, nothing about the way the Selective Service works would change, either. Women wold not be forced to serve unless in the event of a national emergency, like another world war. While that thought is reassuring for now, thinking about the situations we might find ourselves in a few years down the road under a new administration is sobering.