March 23, 2023

INTERSECTIONALITY: Republicans hijack National Women’s Day for anti-trans hate

INTERSECTIONALITY: Republicans hijack National Women's Day for anti-trans hate

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Senator Marsha Blackburn is still searching for someone to tell her the definition of “woman” — but she’s shown no interest in any answer that doesn’t exclude transgender women.

She’s not the only one, either — on International Women’s Day, her party is continuing its attacks on transgender women’s access to sports, and on gender-affirming care.

Blackburn and other Republicans have been asking, “What is a woman?” in hopes it will serve as a “gotcha” and somehow negate support for trans women, although when confronted, they’ve been unable to offer an answer themselves.

Any criteria they can name to exclude trans women — based on reproductive organs, hormones, or genes, for example — inevitably also invalidates some cisgender women.

Still, the Senator can’t let it go, and dropped a bitter video statement Wednesday morning complaining that “the left” is celebrating, and demanding that Democrats be urged to develop a definition of the word “woman.”

In another tweet, she assured followers that “it’s not hard” to define womanhood.

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Yet, when she was asked to do so last year, after putting the same question to Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearing, Blackburn was unable to do so.

In fact, she repeatedly dodged the question in the Senate halls, then stumbled over it in a news interview. HuffPost reported at the time:

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“Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) dodged the question three times in a row, citing her policy of not talking to reporters in Senate hallways ― even though it was Blackburn who made this an issue with Jackson in the first place.”

Blackburn later settled on asserting, by email, that a woman is someone who has two X chromosomes — a definition most biologists would certainly dispute.

Keep scrolling to see Blackburn’s International Women’s Day tweet and video about defining the word “woman,” and below that, a clip where she finds herself stumbling over the question on Fox News, only able to offer “female” as a defining quality.

She wasn’t the only Republican attacking transgender people for International Women’s Day, though.

The day’s legislative work in the House was marked in part by discussion on a bill from Florida Representative Greg Steube to shut transgender women out of women’s sports.

Across the country, the GOP has been working this week to make life harder for transgender people.

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On Tuesday, Iowa Republicans advanced bills that would not only ban gender-affirming care for trans kids, but block their access to the appropriate bathrooms and locker rooms, We Are Iowa reports.

At the same time, protests broke out in New Hampshire over a similar ban on healthcare for trans kids, according to WMUR.

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