Registration for the military draft violates the principles of trans activism

October 15, 2022 • 11:30 am

This new article comes from the American Military News, and reports that the Biden administration intends to continue a policy enacted under a previous administration (it doesn’t say which administration). The policy, announced by the Selective Service in the first tweet below, requires that all biological males, regardless of gender, must register for the Selective Service, conferring eligibility for being drafted into the military. In contrast all biological females are exempt from registration, whether or not they are transsexual or transgender.

The article seems fairly neutral, though it does show responses (also below) from some biological males who to evade the draft by declaring themselves female.  As far as I know, the Biden administration’s policy toward’s one’s gender is that whatever sex (or gender) you declare yourself, regardless of your biological (birth) sex, then that is the sex you are seen to belong to. (This apparently applies to sports participation as well.)

Click below to read:

The screenshot below is from the official chart of who is required to register for the Selective Service (click to see the whole thing):

Note that this not only accepts the notion of a binary system of sex at birth, but also says you have to register for the draft (“yes”) if you’re a transsexual (or transgender) female, but you don’t have to (“no”) if you’re a transsexual or transgender male. In other words, all biological females are exempted from the possibility of being drafted into the military, but all males must register for the Selective Service, making them eligible for the military draft. (Right now the U.S. isn’t drafting anyone.)

And there’s the clarification below, also issued by the Selective Service, implying that changing one’s gender from that assigned at birth (I’d say “recognized” at birth) need not involve any medical intervention but simply declaring a “self identification” different from one’s biological sex. If that is the case, we can expect to see a spate of changes in self-identification of biological males. (Click to access.)

To be sure, the article above adds this:

While the Biden administration still treats transgender women as males when it comes to the currently male-only military draft, the administration has also voiced support for including women in the draft.

Last year the White House said it supports including all women in the draft around the same time the House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders agreed to remove a provision requiring women to register for the Selective Service from the National Defense Authorization Act.

“The administration supports section 513 and the registration requirement for all citizens, which further ensures a military selective system that is fair and just,” the Biden administration said in a Sept. 21, 2021 statement of administrative policy.

I agree as well: there’s no reason why anyone who is fit enough to serve, whatever gender or sex they be, should not register with the Selective Service. I did register for the draft, but as a conscientious objector, and I would have gone to jail rather than fight had I not been awarded CO status. While there are some wars I might serve in (likely as a medic), I can understand if some people don’t want to kill others or die in a war that doesn’t make sense.  The way to do that is not a false declaration of gender but seeking CO status, a status that is still offered (it used to be solely on religious grounds, but now “moral” grounds are acceptable). While  I was not religious and would not pretend to be, I did have to talk to various rabbis and chaplains for them to testify that my moral objections were equivalent to religious ones. I also got letters from my father and other military men supporting my objections to war.

But I digress. The main point of this post is to say that transgender activists should be opposing this policy because it treats transsexual (or transgender) females like males and treats transsexual (or transgender) males like females. What counts for the draft is is birth sex, not gender.

That should anger trans activists because their mantra is “trans men are men and trans women are women.”  The general dictum is that one’s assumed gender identity entitles one to be treated as a full member of the biological sex with which they identify. (This excepts those who are neither of male nor female gender, which the article doesn’t discuss.) But this doesn’t apply to Selective Service registration, for which transwomen are treated as men and transmen as women. Will we see objections to this from the ACLU and other activist organizations? I have no idea, nor do I have a dog in this fight.

What will clearly happen if a military draft and a war is impending, however, is that we’ll get a spate of gender changes, but only in one direction: biological men —> transgender women. That’s indicated in the two responses below to the Selective Service’s tweet:

Below, J. K. Rowling also weighs in pointing out what seems to be hypocrisy. I have to say, though, that it seems worse to claim a female identity to get sexual access to women and girls (she is probably referring to prisons) than to avoid registering for the draft.

27 thoughts on “Registration for the military draft violates the principles of trans activism

    1. Indeed. It knows what a man and a woman are when it suits the purposes of the US government – when it comes to protecting the privacy, dignity, safety, and participation in sports of women and girls, not so much.

  1. Simple solution, all 18 year olds must register, male or female. If they register as CO, they can put their time in with Public Health and become medics and go into the inner cities or the rural areas. In case of war, they can be used by the military.

    1. Everybody or nobody seem like the only two legally fair possibilities. If it’s everybody, not everyone will be drafted and not everyone will be capable of serving in every role. We shouldn’t have blind snipers or legless infantry.

      I’m not sure about women in combat units. The Israelis tried it and reversed course. Kurdish women fought well against ISIS. Viking “shield maidens” probably never existed or did so in miniscule numbers given the type of combat engaged in by the Northmen. Modern weapons make sex differences less important than they once were in many combat scenarios. As pilots and drone pilots women have shown they can cut it. In non-combat roles – why not?

  2. For once the Biden administration appears to do the right thing. If registration for the draft is male, then the sex matters, not gender. Of course, it could be argued that females should register for the draft too, but that is another matter (see the bottom of this post).
    I think the whole thing is moot, of course, since a modern army requires professionals, not draftees. Draftees are, unless trained well, which takes many months, more of a liability than an asset at the front line. They produce little field benefits, but eat rations, use blankets and boots, and other logistics.
    I guess that only medical or IT draftees could be of actual use. And note, for those functions sex or gender are completely immaterial.

  3. > there’s no reason why anyone who is fit enough to serve, whatever gender or sex they be, should not register with the Selective Service.

    The policy should be the same for all humans, regardless of sex. It should be optional for everyone or mandatory for everyone. I personally think it should be optional for all, but it is crucial that the same fundamental rule applies to everyone.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Better for SS to require all able-bodied persons to register (male, female, whatever). If a draft later starts, it would naturally prioritize able-bodied biological males.

  4. I perhaps don’t understand something. If this policy requires that all able-bodied persons who are assigned male at birth to register, why would this be circumvented by men declaring themselves as trans women?

    1. It wouldn’t, Mark. I think those two illiterate Twitter idiots who seem to think it will are just idiots.

  5. OPM notes that “transgender” refers to people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from the sex assigned to them at birth (e.g. the sex listed on an original birth certificate).

    If the “gender” in “transgender” refers to sociosexual roles, then why is it impossible for discussions about this to avoid conflating gender with sex? Even the Selective Service clarification isn’t clear, jumping towards gender and landing repeatedly on sex. How can people who are born male “change their gender to female” if “female” is a reproductive sex category? A trans-identified person born male who had a different gender identity and/or expression would be taking on the social role of a woman. Or refusing the social role of a man. Which would be — what, exactly? What specific elements?

    If there’s no official position on what having the sociosexual role of a woman is, it’s all up to individual guesswork. It’s supposed to be sensible to agree that there is a spectrum of genders. “Likes NASCAR but cries at romantic movies” and “Will watch NASCAR if it’s on but doesn’t cry at romantic movies” are probably two of them, I guess. Each person gets to decide if they do it the way they think a man would, or a woman would. Or neither or both.

    Since the spectrum of sociosexual roles aren’t definable, of course they revert to confusing gender with sex. Having a different sex stereotype than your sex won’t get you anything special, whether it be the single-sex prison you prefer or avoiding the draft.

    1. Transwomen can’t get pregnant. Their loss in combat carries no implication for repopulating the nation after the war is over. There is therefore no reason to exempt any non-uterus-owner from combat. Gender role has nothing to do with it. It’s simply a question of pulling down the person’s pants. If you see a penis, Uncle Sam wants him.

      Edit: I apologize for the typos, Sastra. There is a bug in WordPress such that I can’t see what I’m typing until I do post-post editing.

  6. The law is the law. As always, if you don’t like it, change the law. But until you do, you must accept the consequences of disobeying current law.
    I don’t think anyone wants to see circumstances necessitating a draft. But the law describing registration for a draft is still on the books. If that displeases you, don’t go to Twitter, because that will change nothing. Stand for election on that platform. Donate to others who stand and promise to do away with it. Persuade others to vote for it. Use democracy. And if you lose, do so graciously. The people who voted the other way are just as patriotic as you.

    OR, for entertainment purposes only, let us be inclusive enough to require females to register for the draft as well. I’m flexible, so trans people can register as whatever they like. Is that not being completely fair?

  7. For the purpose of replacing losses among infantry, which is the main function of conscription, people with uteruses should not be drafted. Wombs are too valuable. All persons of military age without a functioning uterus should be subject to the draft for whatever military tasks they are physically and psychologically suited to. A trans man who has had a gender-affirming hysterectomy should be eligible to get put into the infantry if she can do the job. There is no reason why a trans woman should not be given a rifle and an 85-lb. pack and told to dig in and fight beside all the other men.

    1. people with uteruses should not be drafted. Wombs are too valuable. All persons of military age without a functioning uterus should be subject to the draft for whatever military tasks they are physically and psychologically suited to.

      This is an interesting framing. I’m not a draft historian – has the exclusion of women (or people with uteruses, as you say) from the draft historically been based on preserving them for repopulation purposes? I’m of the mind that if we are going to continue with the selective service it should be mandatory for all, regardless of their uterus-having. The ‘wombs are too valuable’ position does not sit well with me, personally.

      1. It doesn’t have to sit well with you. It’s just a fact. Wombs are too valuable to have them slaughtered, and historically never have been, except when the male soldiers are defeated and the enemy over-runs the country and the women are, as civilians, murdered, raped, or carried off as slave-prizes. Right up to present-day Ukraine. The women went west, the men went east.

        True, Western countries don’t imagine anymore the kind of warfare where hundreds of thousands or millions of soldiers are killed in direct combat. Yet Britain lost 750,000 men killed in the Great War, 30,000 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, France and Germany even more.. And the Russians maybe 20 million during the Great Patriotic War. If more than a sliver of those deaths had been women, it would have been a demographic catastrophe. As it was, many English women never married: too few men. And France was so psychologically scarred it sat out WW2 by capitulating in 1940, its last creditable act being to delay the German advance on Dunkirk long enough for the British Army to escape.

        In the present days of no cannon fodder, imagine an aircraft carrier, all nicely mechanized so no longer needing stokers, capstan pushers, rope haulers, deck spotters, and sail furlers out on the yards in a gale. Five thousand women of child-bearing age embarked, freeing men for grunt jobs in the Marines.. It is hit by a swarm of anti-ship missiles and goes down with all hands. Many ships in the two World Wars did sink with near-total loss of life. 5000 women who will never bear children. So putting even volunteer women in harm’s way where they can be killed en masse is folly.

        All this is separate from the question of whether women as volunteers or as conscripts can function effectively in combat or non-combat but harm’s way roles.

  8. I watched a drama set in a prison starring Sean Bean recently. The male prison looked awful and I have little reason to doubt the show’s portrayal.

    If you were to ever be sent to prison and had the opportunity to simply self ID into the sex/gender prison of your choice I‘d consider you insane not to self ID into the women’s. No nefarious sexual intent required.

  9. The thought of any random person or government to think it is the duty of women to repopulate after any disaster is repugnant to me. How about that as a another reason not to have a war?

  10. Since you ask, Su,…

    It’s one of the myriad good reasons not to want a war. But some wars happen whether you find them repugnant or not. Then the outcome is either you are raped by the victorious enemy or you do exactly get pressured by your victorious countrymen to be pregnant a lot. And you, as a woman, will have no say in how it works out. Winning and losing is out of your hands, depending as it does on how well the men fight, and little else. Despite nine years of trying, my postwar mother didn’t get pregnant until 1954 and suffered much social opprobrium from other women who, like my wife’s mother, had nine children (not in nine years, but close.). Your concept of absolute reproductive rights vanishes like morning mist if the times demand it. That’s how societies work, or don’t.

    Your mistake, I think, is in imagining that losing your reproductive freedom matters a hill of beans in the nation’s decision to defend itself or capitulate. In extremis, you will lose it regardless, if a lot of men lose their lives on either side.

  11. “… the administration has also voiced support for including women in the draft.”

    This is a step in the wrong direction. A draft is involuntary servitude. No government should have the power to force people to fight and die. If there aren’t enough volunteers, the government should be involved in far fewer wars.

    1. Those who object should then lobby their political representatives to change the law. Societies exist, & group together to form states. The rest is history…

  12. Do you support (immediately) doing away with the military? If not, do you expect SOMEONE to voluntarily join the military?

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