“Late-breaking sexism”: why younger women aren’t excited about electing a woman president

How many of us have received a phone call from our mothers these past few weeks, demanding to know why young women aren’t lining up behind Hillary Clinton? It’s the question that launched a thousand think pieces, some of them going so far as to declare second-wave feminism dead among millennial women. And indeed, Bernie Sanders drew an impressive percentage of the female vote in New Hampshire’s presidential primary last week, performing especially well among women under 30.

It’s puzzling and exasperating for many feminists that with the first real chance of a female US president on the table, college-age women just don’t seem that into it. Feminist icons Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright both recently vented these frustrations, making statements they later walked back.

But from our vantage point as women in our 30s, it’s not so surprising that very young women don’t feel the same excitement about a competitive, hyperqualified female candidate for the presidency that their mothers, aunts, and older sisters do. For them, the world may seem like a much more equal place than it actually is.

Read the full op-ed on Vox.

The Hard Questions about the Selective Service Have Nothing to do with Women in Combat

Representative Duncan Hunter’s proposed legislation requiring women to register for the draft is intentionally provocative. It comes in the wake of both the chief of staff of the Army and Marine Corps commandant’s testimonies on women in combat before the Senate Armed Services Committee. A brilliant political move on Hunter’s part, the legislation, which he plans to push for a floor vote — and is likely to vote against himself — would force a needed conversation about women in combat. Specifically, it drives questions regarding issues of both standards and equity associated with opening all combat positions to women — a decision Hunter, a former Marine with multiple combat tours, strongly opposes. His motivation to introduce the legislation is clear from his recent comments: “Let’s see if the American people want their daughters and sisters drafted, if it ever came to that.”

Read the full op-ed on War on the Rocks.

Of Course Women Should Register for the Draft

Women have been serving honorably in the armed forces for as long as the armed forces have existed — they’ve either hidden their gender, seen combat “unofficially,” or served in “support” roles — an increasingly blurry distinction. The renewed debate on the draft is an important step forward in ensuring that the United States maintains its immense military advantage even in the face of a global conflict requiring a draft.

The opening of all combat specialties in the military to women has been a contentious issue, leading Rep. Duncan Hunter to introduce legislation to modify the Selective Service Act, saying “If you’re going to have women in infantry units, if a draft ever occurred, America needs to realize that its daughters and sisters would be included.” Though introduced as an objection to combat integration, thethoughtful consideration of the costs of war is an important obligation of citizenship. With all due respect to the congressman, the daughters and sisters and wives and mothers of many are already choosing to serve, along with the sons and brothers and husbands and fathers.

Read the full article on War on the Rocks.

The Argument For Women In Combat Should Be About Mission Effectiveness

Recent weeks brought a number of historic firsts for women in ground combat forces, reigniting the debate surrounding the role of women in the military. On Jan. 30, five women passed the Ranger Training Assessment Course, securing their places at the first integrated Ranger School assessment scheduled for April — and with it, the potential to yield the first women with Ranger tabs. Less than two weeks later, a female first sergeant took charge of a combat engineer company for the first time. These two bookends signal a monumental leap forward; the former foreshadowing women’s potential to succeed in the elite forces, the latter solidifying their ability to lead the conventional forces that bore the weight of sustaining the past 13 years of war.

Read the full article at Task and Purpose.

Dr. Nora Bensahel, LTG David W. Barno, USA (Ret.), Katherine Kidder, and Kelley Sayler examine the career paths of professional women through the ranks of the U.S. military and private sector. In the report, the authors argue that women at all levels of the military and the private sector share a number of challenges related to retention and promotion, parenthood and family, compensation and negotiation, mentorship and career advancement, and workplace climate. These challenges need to be addressed in order for the military services and private sector employers to benefit from the full range of the nation’s talent.

Read the full report on the CNAS website.

Scroll to top
Women in National Security

Women in National Security | Center for a New American Security