My undergraduate program was in Classics, I learned about the history, the beliefs, the customs, and even the language of the Greeks and Romans for 4 years. So I have to share something which I realized in 3rd year, that the modern incarnation of democracy gets horribly wrong. The ancients actually did consider whether women should be able to vote, and they were cut short in their philosophical deliberations on this point by war with Alexander the Great’s father Phillip II of Macedon which rendered the very idea of voting superfluous. Nevertheless, it was a very forward thinking world, but no culture between then and now ever even thought women should have power -- or even 16 year old children for that matter, and the reason why is rather more at the heart of what it means to be free at all.
One must ask, if there were a referendum on implementing a draft tomorrow, should a woman be able to vote if she will never have to fight? Or can a woman vote a candidate who promises war, and is it consistent with justice that she can, or even that a man can who doesn’t plan on fighting? The ancients were perpetually in various states of total war and war required a degree of strength in those days that most women just can’t attain and would be nigh impossible with an Ancient Greek diet. Yet the world has changed, you don’t need to be able to lift a 50 pound hoplite shield and fight in hand to hand combat with men; an M16 is under ten pounds, and the trigger is very easy to pull. Hence in the past a voting woman was an undemocratic tyrant, and most if not all men were thrown into the fray with such regularity that the idea of conscientious objection or the like was effectively impossible anyway so the vote was only extended to men, who of course did all the fighting and were even arranged into voting tribes by their military unit. Even when philosophers hypothesized about the possibility of female emancipation, it remained true that women were not fighters. It was only an age of complete decadence and spoilt opulence as was the late Victorian era, which could even rationally conceive of an emancipated woman, since men had by that point largely become domesticated by the Lockean experiment of creating a totally pacified society, the armed wing of which had merely become minimum wage imperial goons alienated from those they defended. Or in other words, men who didn’t fit into the foppish, low testosterone world of evening parties or the meaningless toil of factory labour and who would otherwise be in jail because the modern world of liberalism is too sick with overabundant femininity to understand what nature created them for.
At any rate, for a group of people who yell “my body, my choice” in favour of abortion like modern liberal feminists, they are remarkably silent about the men who will have to yield their lives should a draft come around and will have to share that choice of what the government will do with their bodies with women who will never be called upon. All because of some old biddy suffragettes who were remarkably absent in the trenches of the Somme.
But I’m an equal opportunist, I don’t want you to come away thinking that women ought not to vote when clearly women can fight too. Even conscientious objectors can fight! So if there’s a draft I expect to see equal representation in the recruitment office line, and because it’s the current year, you better come back out the door with a gun in hand regardless of your genitalia, or your personal beliefs because that’s the price of being a free person. Either that or you can hand in your voter registration cards permanently and be ruled by those who did their duty.