Funny, I think the gulf war was going on when this was written. On the earth/world where this story takes place the war had been going for quite some time. Some of the laws instituted by the government sound like things that could become an eventuality if the imperialist campaigns continue due to the nasty capitalist machinations of amerikkka and in other european (descended) western nations around the world.
The story's name is "Dolly". Dolly is the name of an android who is to be wired as a sex slave for an amerikkkan soldier who has returned from a future war in...you guessed it - The Middle East.
For me the story illustrates why it is so crucial for any anti-war movement to have an analysis of patriarchy, patriarchal privilege, patriarchal relations. War = rape, forced childbirth (for more soldiers), compulsory heterosexuality (to make sure wimmin are adequately coerced into having relationships with men so as to have more children who can grow up to be soldiers)...
There's more. I could go on. But you see where I'm headed...
These are some excerpts that I hope give a feel for the story's context...
Wasn't that what the President General said when he announced that women who'd been arrested under the Wartime Security Act would serve out their sentences in army brothels overseas? "These traitors will redeem themselves by safeguarding the virtue of patriotic American women and the sanctity of the American family." Suddenly Ro felt sorry for Dolly. She knew androids had no feelings, but she'd heard people say the same stupid shit about cats and dogs. Damned if they didn't. This...creature...was going to be programmed to respond to how she was treated. She would certainly look as if she were experiencing emotions like love, happiness, sorrow, or fear. And she would behave as if she felt pleasure or pain, heat and cold, pressure and tastes and sound.
Women couldn't stick together, huh? Couldn't protect one another? Ro nodded to herself. Right now, Dolly was just about the only female companionship she had. It was sort of like having a little sister. And you couldn't send your little sister out into the real world unprepared to deal with all its wickedness. Whistling her own tune now, Ro started rattling the keys. As she worked, she giggled from time to time. The programmers on either side of her, who had probably both been in uniform just six weeks ago, didn't notice her any more than they had noticed Pete's imitation of a dog licking his own balls. They had let their military haircuts grow out without bothering to trim them into a facsimile of civilian fashion. One of them had a scar that ran all the way around the top of his skull. The other walked funny, carrying his head sideways, tucked in toward his left shoulder. Ro didn't even want to think about what had happened to them while they were bringing democracy and Christianity to the oil fields of the Middle East.
Charlene had been laid off from her job at the shipyard as soon as word came down that her husband had been discharged and was on his way home. They called it mandatory marital leave. It was supposed to be a benefit, so employers deducted money out of your check to cover it. Once the six months was up, you were supposed to be able to apply for your old job, but Charlene knew her welding days were over. Being able to get your hair done during the day was no compensation. After being responsible for mending holes bigger than she was in battleships, spending all day doing the dishes sure felt foolish.
Unlike a lot of her friends, she hadn't conceived during their honeymoon. Maybe that was the problem. Peoplesaid having a baby helped you stay connected to your husband, kept the magic in the marriage. Every now and then she had gotten form letters from the army offering to send her doctor frozen "reproductive materials"t even if Jason wasn'y able to be with her. She knew it was important to keep the population level up.
It still made her feel guilty, remembering how awkward her reunion with Jason had been. She knew she was supposed to be excited and happy, and treat him like a hero. But the deeply tanned, heavily muscled, angry man who came out of the airport gate was not the boy she remembered. Jason had made her laugh. He had been a great dancer. He wasn't much on the football team. but he had a nice body, and he was kind.
The truth was, he scared her. He was too rough, and tense all the time, even when he came, as if he were holding in somethin awful that would kill him (and her) if it escaped. He could not sleep the night through without waking up in a sweat, screaming. But he never wanted to talk about it. He rushed through the act of sex as if it were an ordeal, and he would not look her in the eye or kiss her.
If she could, she would divorce Jason and move to another city, make a fresh start. Leave the West Coast behind and take the bus back to Atlanta. There had to be jobs for women like her someplace else. They couldn't be laying everyone off. She had skills, she had experience. But under the Military Morale Act, the same one that had created mandatory marital leave, it was illegal to divorce someone who had served in the armed forces. The President General needed his men to know that while they were serving their country, everything at home was safe and sound.