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VICTOR JOECKS: Biden’s female nominee ‘can’t’ define woman

President Joe Biden promised to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court. Too bad he forgot to tell Ketanji Brown Jackson what a woman is.

On Tuesday, Jackson claimed she couldn’t answer what once would have been a simple question.

“Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman’?” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., asked her during her confirmation hearing.

“No, I can’t,” Jackson said. She continued, “Not in this context. I am not a biologist.”

Biden’s not a biologist either. But he didn’t have any trouble figuring out that Jackson is a woman. Neither did those who praised her nomination as groundbreaking.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “Judge Jackson makes history as the first Black woman selected to serve on the highest court in the land.”

Corporate media outlets such as The New York Times, CNN and ABC similarly reported that she was the first Black woman nominated.

For a word she can’t define, Jackson sure uses it a lot, too.

“Because I am a woman, because I am a Black woman, all of those things people have said have been really meaningful to them,” Jackson said during the hearing. She also said it would be an honor “to be the first and only Black woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court.”

This isn’t a semantic game. Cases could hinge on how she defines that word. Federal law prohibits a company from paying a woman less than a man for the same work. Title IX led to a massive increase in sports for girls and women. Leftists frequently describe killing preborn babies as a woman’s right to choose.

Jackson knows what a woman is. Everyone watching knows she knows. And she knows that everyone knows she knows. Yet she did this rhetorical dance because defining “woman” undercuts the left’s position in the transgender debate.

Even in her refusal, Jackson hinted at the traditional — and before five seconds ago, universal — definition. There are biological differences between men and women. A man has a set of XY chromosomes. Women have XX chromosomes. A man’s body is designed to produce smaller gametes. A woman’s body is designed to produce larger gametes.

Defining “woman” is as simple as following the science.

But that framework doesn’t square with the modern left’s beliefs about transgenderism. According to the left, a biological man can become a woman and vice versa. It’s a matter of self-identity, not biology.

It’s a free country, and adults can live as they want. But when the government adopts policies based on that belief, there are significant implications. Biological men are winning women’s sports titles. Female prisoners have been assaulted by biological men held in women’s prisons. Doctors prescribe children hormone treatments that can leave them infertile and full of regrets years later.

The details of those issues are important. But Jackson’s refusal to define “woman” highlights the weak philosophical underpinnings of the left’s transgender ideology.

If there are fundamental biological distinctions between men and women, then a person can’t so easily move between categories. And if men and women aren’t differentiated by biological differences, there’s no reason to draw a distinction between the sexes. Why celebrate Women’s History Month if there isn’t something unique about being a woman?

Gender ideology simultaneously wants categories based on biology to exist and for biology not to determine the category to which someone belongs. That contradiction can’t withstand logical scrutiny — or even defining the word “woman.”

Jackson appears to know it. That would explain why she chose to offer an absurd response to dodge the question.

Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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