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What is a woman? Question that stumped a Supreme Court hopeful


AT HER Senate confirmation hearing, prospective US Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is a mother, couldn’t answer the question ‘What is a woman?’

Such a simple question; so hard for a loyal progressive to answer honestly when the gatekeepers of woke are ready to parse your every utterance for heresy.

At any time other than now, the answer would have been easy and given in many different ways. Simply put, a biological woman has a vagina instead of a penis as well as other biological differences from men. These differences are essential to the reproductive process on which the continuance of humanity depends.

It goes without saying that a woman is a great deal more than that.

However, in the parallel world of progressive casuistry and transgender ideology, a woman can not only have a penis but give birth, even if she were born biologically male. It is sufficient for a man to identify as a woman for him to be one – usually at the expense of real girls and women whose sex is demeaned.

Progressives naturally don’t really believe that a man who has no vagina or womb can give birth but a biological woman who transgenders can if she identifies as female. In the real world, such a ‘man’ is not really a man at all; she’s still a biological female.

Transgenders are no more than people who wish to dress like and be treated as members of the opposite sex, but too many of them demand aggressively that laws be changed to accommodate them, whatever the consequences, in areas such as women’s sport.

Ketanji Brown Jackson knows this perfectly well but such is the hold of transgender hysteria over modern politics that she could not reply honestly, taking the easier option of appearing either dumb or hypocritical. She chose the latter.

Asked by Senator Marsha Blackburn to define what a woman is, Jackson replied: ‘I can’t . . . I’m not a biologist.’ A scientist’s full biological definition of a woman would be longish but Jackson’s answer was comparable to Bill Clinton saying that what the meaning of ‘is’ is depends on the circumstances.

Blackburn’s question was intended to get Jackson in trouble with her political allies and in ducking she was willing to undergo derision from the Right because she knew the liberal media would protect her, as they loyally proceeded to do.

The question was deadly because it has never been asked before – outside this context – because the answer is so blindingly self-evident. There are two biological sexes, one female and the other male and it is not possible for one to become authentically the other.

By coincidence, YouTube political commentator Matt Walsh has completed a documentary which will be released in May in which he asks people in various countries precisely that question, ‘What is a Woman?’

The people he talks to are as dumbstruck as Ms Jackson, but not for the same reason. The reaction mainly is scratched heads that anyone would ask such a question.

No one ever have asked Queen Elizabeth l or Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir if they were women (sub-text: you must really be men masquerading). Mrs Thatcher wasn’t above using feminine wiles to get her way.

Governments so far have taken the side of transgenders but their status in society is going to have to be tackled, and now is a good time after the embarrassment of the Jackson hearing and transgender swimmer Lia Thomas’s recent ‘triumphs’ over girls.

It is up to us to face down the progressive minority who try to tyrannise us. However much we are bullied by the likes of Stonewall, people simply do not believe what transgenderism wants, which is agree that black is white or else we’ll come after you like the Furies.

No one in history from the Christian martyrs onwards has ever been forced to change their mind about a rational belief upheld by incontrovertible scientific evidence. There is abundant academic evidence – as if we didn’t know it ourselves – that women are not just biologically but psychologically different from men and that it is a necessary difference.

Transgenders do not have the ‘lived experience’, as the saying goes, that women and men have from birth. A male transgender still thinks like a man no matter how much hormone treatment or surgery he undergoes. If all men are potential rapists, as extreme feminists aver, that goes for male transgenders as well.

The Left’s traditional way of countering any challenge to its orthodoxies is to say that disagreement proves our societies are not as liberal as they claim. The implication is that unless we accept everything their literal world demands, we must be fascists, which is absurd. Rather the other way round.

People should be free to live as the opposite sex but not to demand rights to which they cannot reasonably entitled. The economist Deirdre McCloskey and the late writer Jan Morris both transgendered but made no public parade of their choice and pursued their careers as before.

The same can be said for Caitlyn Jenner. Since coming out on the infamous Vanity Fair cover she has lived unobtrusively. It can be done.

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Donald Forbes
Donald Forbes
Donald Forbes is a retired Anglo-Scottish journalist now living in France who during a 40-year career worked in eastern Europe before and after communism.

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