Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) thought she finally found proof that President Joe Biden doesn’t really respect transgender women’s identities, but she left people more confused than anything else.
“Trans women (also known as men) will be forced to sign up for the draft,” she tweeted yesterday. “Looks like Joe Biden has just officially confirmed what a woman is and what a woman isn’t.”
Sex, apparently, is assigned by the Selective Service System.
Trans women (also known as men) will be forced to sign up for the draft.
Looks like Joe Biden has just officially confirmed what a woman is and what a woman isn't.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) October 10, 2022
The first part of her tweet that was confusing is that there currently is no draft in the U.S., nor is there talk of restarting the draft any time soon. All people assigned male at birth must register with Selective Service between the ages of 18 and 25, but that’s not the same thing as a draft.
So why is she bringing it up now? Some people were joking online yesterday about how they’ll tell their sons to identify as women so that they don’t have to register for Selective Service, which some people bothered to look up and found that the requirement to register with Selective Services is based on sex assigned at birth, not gender identity. This got some attention on right-wing news sites, and Boebert may have read about it there, possibly for the first time.
It’s also strange to blame Biden since he didn’t create the Selective Service System and Congress would have to act for it to change. The Selective Service System was created by the Selective Service Act of 1917 – before Biden was even born – and it was for men only at the time of its creation.
The Biden administration is actually in favor of opening up Selective Service registration to everyone, regardless of sex assigned at birth, just like the Obama administration was.
The Biden administration supported a proposal to open up men-only registration in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), but both the House and the Senate Armed Services committees dropped the proposal to help get the NDAA passed.
“The move is a victory for conservatives who fought to strip the provision” to require everyone to register for Selective Service regardless of sex assigned at birth, Politico reported at the time.
People on Twitter generally expressed confusion about what Boebert meant while others called her out for referring to trans women as men.
No she does not.
— Donna 💙💙 (@donnagv7) October 10, 2022
I'm sorry was the draft reinstated while I was asleep last night? Stop with the gaslighting and go do some work for CO.
— The Jenster (@jjackso47500133) October 10, 2022
The last draft was in 1973 Einstein. There is no draft. Good grief! 🤦♀️
— Helene Lefebvre🇨🇦🤜🤛🇺🇸❤️🇺🇦🌻 (@HeleneLefebvr12) October 10, 2022
What draft are you talking about?
— Christine (@guelphgirlchris) October 10, 2022
Why are Rs so transphobic and obsessed with this issue?
— James A. Mobley, Jr. (@thejamesmobley) October 10, 2022
Reported for hate speech. Trans women are trans women. And you're a transphobe.
— CatHyde (@cathyde) October 10, 2022
Why are you obsessed with the genitals of strangers? It's really weird.
— Frank Wears A Mask (@Frankisangry) October 10, 2022
I know you get your jollies blaming @POTUS for everything from acid reflux to varicose veins. But you're flat out lying because this is an unchanged policy. And what the administration has sought to do is achieve gender equality by requiring registration regardless of gender.
— Host of Hairball at 7PM or whenever the cat wants (@SkepticallySean) October 11, 2022
End this National embarrassment currently in Congress Colorado. Vote for Adam Frisch 🇺🇸 A vote for @AdamForColorado is a vote for our teachers and for providing students with a proper education.
— Christy🌺🌊🤙 (@TikTokMFGetOut) October 10, 2022
All people assigned male at birth – trans women, cis men, and AMAB nonbinary people – must register for Selective Service within 30 days of their eighteenth birthday, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). Failure to register can be punished with prison and fines, although prosecution is rare.
The real consequences are that many government benefits – like financial aid for college, citizenship, and future government employment – are tied to registering for Selective Service.
Trans men, cis women, and AFAB nonbinary people cannot register. For trans men, this can create problems when applying for federal benefits like financial aid because they have to get a letter from the Selective Service System explaining that they are exempt and effectively outing them as trans.
While Boebert apparently just found out about the sexist nature of Selective Service registration, Congressional Democrats have pushed for change for years, without success. In 2017, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) tried to include a provision in a larger military spending bill to require everyone to register for Selective Service.
“If it does come to a draft, men and women should be treated equally,” Speier said at the time.