The Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee — the ones without imminent retirement plans — worked hard to besmirch the integrity of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her Supreme Court nomination hearings last week. Josh Hawley blasted her for not sending a teenager to prison for ten years of hardening as some other inmate's bitch. Ted Cruz fulminated about racist babies. Lindsey Graham threw a hissy fit about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.
And Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) attempted to trap Judge Jackson into answering a Gotcha! question about transgender persons.
She then tweeted a quotation from the Constitution, except that it happened to be a quotation from the Declaration of Independence.
Republicans have decided that 2022 is the year to go all in on their war against transgender people, so Blackburn must have thought herself mighty damned brilliant to stump Judge Jackson with the question "Can you provide a definition for the word 'woman'?"
“Can I provide a definition?” Jackson replied, clearly bemused. “No. I can't.”
“You can’t?” Blackburn replied.
“Not in this context,” Jackson said. “I’m not a biologist.”
“So you think the meaning of the word woman is so unclear and controversial that you can’t give me a definition?” Blackburn said, obviously framing Jackson’s response unfairly.
“Senator, in my work as a judge, what I do is I address disputes,” Jackson said. “If there’s a dispute about a definition, people make arguments and I look at the law and I decide. So I’m not —”
“Well, the fact that you can’t give me a straight answer” — here Blackburn offered a wry chuckle — “about something as fundamental as what a woman is underscores the dangers of the kind of progressive education that we are hearing about,” the senator said.
I've read to scientific discussions about X and Y chromosomes, intersex persons, and so on; I've read transgender persons' attempts to explain feeling that they were born in the wrong body or couldn't accept the social constructs around being one gender or the other. I still don't completely understand what that must feel like, but I have tried to understand it.
I can guarantee you that Marsha Blackburn and her ilk have never tasked a single brain cell to consider why a person is transgender.
No, they're busy raising the alarm that allowing a transgender collegiate swimmer to compete against other women is the greatest danger to life on Earth since, well, Hunter Biden's laptop. That's a transgender swimmer who, by the way, is good, but has not been leaving every other female swimmer eating her dust, or her spray, or whatever it is that unbeatable swimmers leave the rest of the field eating.
They're busy censoring and cancelling any transgender author who writes a book to explain to other transgender people, especially children, that they aren't alone. Or to urge cisgender people, even children, to be accepting and understanding of others. Republicans demand isolation and shame upon such crimethink.
And they're still busy making sure that transgender people aren't allowed to go to the bathroom anywhere. Or use public drinking fountains. Or sit near the front of the bus. Or swim at cis-only beaches.