A “woman” definition question that stumped Republicans last month during Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings, and which Senator Marsha Blackburn also called “fundamental” to answer, is proving to be a stumbling block for the GOP legislators give a succinct answer.
One in particular, Sen Josh Hawley, who spent his time during the confirmation hearings quizzing Judge Jackson about her record in punishing sex offenders, not only seemed unable to provide a straight answer to the question that he and other Republicans were in the judiciary just weeks before the committee pivoted, but were genuinely puzzled by the works of human anatomy.
In a series of hallway interviews with HuffPost, the outlet asked Republicans sitting on the Judiciary Committee the same question that their peers in the House and Senate have derided as simple and straightforward: Define woman.
While her responses ranged from a textbook Republican, Sen Thom Tillis, to the question using the words “my wife” to the more genetic answers, Sen Chuck Grassley repeated the definition originally given by Sen Blackburn: “A woman will be with.” two X chromosomes born”. Sen Hawley’s comments were perhaps the strangest, causing the internet to erupt in a widespread panning over what appears to be a serious misunderstanding of human anatomy.
Prompted by the reporter’s question, Mr Hawley boldly began by explaining that femininity is inherently linked to a person’s ability to give birth, saying: “One who can bear a child, a mother , is a woman,” said Mr. Hawley. before adding: “Someone who has a womb is a woman. It doesn’t seem that complicated to me.”
The reporter then punched a hole in his logic by asking if a woman had her uterus removed, a procedure the CDC estimates has been performed on 20 million people in the country. Would that then exclude her from inclusion in Mr. Hawley’s definition?
A confused Mr. Hawley responded to the question by asking another question: “Yes. Well, I don’t know, do I?” and then, when the reporter pressed further on whether a woman would still be defined as such if, for example, she lost her reproductive organs to cancer, he responded again with a question: “I mean, a woman has a vagina, right?”
Online reactions to the Arkansas Republican politician’s stumble have been swift and unrelenting, with many taking time to point out the irony of lawmakers struggling to answer the question he and his peers had ridiculed for weeks as being straightforward .