When Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson sat before a select Senate committee charged with determining whether her nomination to the Supreme Court would move forward, Sen. Marsha Blackburn asked her this simple question: “Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman’?”
“I can’t —” Judge Jackson began before an incredulous Mrs. Blackburn cut her off with, “You can’t?”
“Not in this context. I’m not a biologist,” Judge Jackson said.
“The meaning of the word woman is so unclear and controversial that you can’t give me a definition?” Mrs. Blackburn asked. “The fact that you can’t give me a straight answer about something as fundamental as what a woman is underscores the dangers of the kind of progressive education that we are hearing about.”
Judge Jackson was, of course, just posturing. The Federalist noted that she had referenced women 14 times during the first two days of her hearings, adding that there were 34 instances in her legal opinions as a judge in which she used the word.
But it’s in vogue these days not to know what a woman is.
The next day, defending Judge Jackson, the liberal USA Today said “a competent biologist would not be able to offer a definitive answer either. Scientists agree there is no sufficient way to clearly define what makes someone a woman, and with billions of women on the planet, there is much variation.”
Let’s pause here and just insert the definition of “woman” from Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “an adult female human being.” Well, that wasn’t so hard. But on we go.
This new wordplay isn’t new, by the way. Liberals, courting the LGBTQ vote, have long refused to define, well, just about anything.
In a 2021 House spending bill, Democrats invented a new term: “birthing” individuals. The bill avoided silly terms like “mother,” instead referring to “pregnant, lactating, and postpartum individuals.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez apparently didn’t get the memo. Raging against the Texas pro-life Heartbeat Act, she called women women, but then remembered not to, later referring to “people who do give birth” and “any menstruating person.”
Then Rep. Cori Bush created more controversy on social media when she, too, referred to “birthing people.”
“Every day, Black birthing people and our babies die because our doctors don’t believe our pain,” she wrote on Twitter. What followed was not pretty.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi codified the whole mess, introducing a resolution calling for the elimination of gendered terms (forget that the California Democrat still had the terms “mother” and “grandmother” in her Twitter bio).
The resolution changed “pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender-neutral or removes references to gender, as appropriate, to ensure we are inclusive of all Members, Delegates, Resident Commissioners and their families — including those who are nonbinary,” her announcement said.
NBC News jumped into the fray with a piece headlined, “Trans dads tell doctors: ‘You can be a man and have a baby.’”
“There is no data on how many transgender men and nonbinary people give birth in the United States each year, because medical systems track them as female, but experts believe the numbers are likely higher than many would expect,” the liberal news outlet reported.
The New York Times (of course) went further, saying, how can we really know how many genders there really are? In fact, way back in 2014, Facebook “introduced dozens of options for users to identify their gender today — and although the social media giant said it would not be releasing a comprehensive list, ABC News has found at least 58 so far,” the liberal network reported.
But suddenly, Democrats and liberals have found the meaning of the word “woman.” You’ll hear it everywhere, sometimes in a sentence like, “women will be forced into back alleys with court hangers when the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.”
A leaker from within the Supreme Court last week passed to Politico quoted Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. as saying, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and that “we hold that Roe … must be overruled.”
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito added. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”
With the leak, “a woman’s right to choose” is now all liberals talk about. Not birthing individuals, not men, but women. Now, the word carries political power: Half of Americans are, after all, women. Choice — by women, mind you — will be on the ballot this November, and more than likely in November 2024.
Funny, as it turns out, soon-to-be Justice Jackson actually knew what the word meant when she told senators she couldn’t offer a definition. She wrote in one of her opinions that Roe is “the settled law of the Supreme Court concerning the right to terminate a woman’s pregnancy.”
While the Supreme Court leak opened up a whole new can of worms, at least it accomplished one thing: We now know that liberals actually do know the definition of the word “woman.”
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.