Who Can Give Birth?

On Tuesday this week, the American Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing investigating the escalating violence that has resulted in the 18 days since the Supreme Court’s decision overturning the historic Roe V Wade ruling of 1973. The mindless violence that has since ensued includes pro-abortion protestors fire-bombing a pregnancy support clinic simply because the clinic supports mothers who decide to give birth to their babies rather than kill them in the womb. Words fail me!

But leaving aside the issue of senseless violence, a verbal exchange within the Senate hearing itself has left me equally flummoxed. During the hearing, woke UC Berkeley Law Professor Khiara Bridges referred to “people with a capacity for pregnancy” rather than “women”. In response, Senator Josh Hawley enquired why she chose to use that term, asking, “You’ve referred to ‘people with a capacity for pregnancy’ – would that be women?”

Professor Bridges responded by asserting that women aren’t the only people who can give birth, stating that trans men (people who are biologically female but who now identity as male) can also give birth. She then turned her woke indignation upon Senator Hawley, stating, “I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic, and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them.”

Senator Hawley responded, asking how his simple question was opening up trans people to violence, to which Professor Bridges replied, “Denying trans people exist and pretending that they don’t is dangerous.”

The following is a transcript of the exchange that then followed:

HAWLEY: “So, I’m denying that trans people exist by asking you if you’re talking about women as the people having pregnancies?”

BRIDGES: “Do you believe that men can get pregnant?”

HAWLEY: “No, I don’t think men can get pregnant.”

BRIDGES: “So you are denying that trans people exist!”

In order to stop myself tearing my own hair out at the absurdly illogical jumps in reasoning made by the good professor, let me highlight a couple of things.

Firstly, notice Professor Bridges’ rapid escalation to extreme accusations. A simple question by the Senator asking for clarification of the term “people with a capacity for pregnancy” led Professor Bridges to immediately accuse him of “transphobia”, “opening up trans people to violence” and “denying trans people exist”. Of course, the Senator’s question did NONE of those things, and he immediately pointed out the illogical jump in her accusations by asking, “So, I’m denying that trans people exist by asking you if you’re talking about women as the people having pregnancies?”. Undeterred by the Senator’s challenge to her chain of reasoning, Professor Bridges proceeded to make an identical illogical jump a moment later. In response to the Senator’s next statement that he doesn’t think men can get pregnant, Professor Bridges once again wielded the accusation, “So you are denying that trans people exist.”

Of course, Senator Hawley made no such statement, and nothing that he said in this exchange can even be remotely construed as a denial of the existence of trans men (or trans women). The issue being discussed was who can give birth, not whether a group of people exist who were born female but now identify as male (and vice versa). The fact that trans people exist was not really in question in any of Senator Hawley’s comments.

This is classic woke rhetoric and it is one of the reasons why it is extremely difficult to have a calm, reasoned discussion about such issues with people from the extreme left. Wokism does not tolerate the existence of alternate viewpoints, and any expression of such alternate viewpoints, even in the form of a cautiously worded question, often evokes an immediate escalation to emotionally loaded, hostile accusations.

At the very heart of a mature, democratic society is the right of people to hold differing viewpoints and the freedom to express and debate those divergent views intelligently and respectfully. That right is now being seriously eroded by the bullying tactics of the woke movement whose clear aim is to shut down reasonable debate and shout down all viewpoints except their own.

The second point to make here is in regard to the increasing reticence within society to use the term “woman”. In many circles, it is now politically incorrect to use such a genderist term. Instead, many government departments and organisations are using terms such as “birthing people” and “people capable of giving birth”. In recent times there have been several examples of high-profile organisations and prominent leaders being asked to give a simple definition of a “woman” and being unable to do so. The best definition that anyone now seems to be able to give is, “a woman is anyone who thinks they are a woman’.

But that’s not a definition, it’s a circular argument. You can’t define something by its own term. Yet that is precisely how society is now defining gender. And it is this circular definition of gender that lies behind Professor Bridges’ statement that trans men can give birth. If we define a man as simply anyone who thinks they are a man, despite being born with a womb and still retaining that womb and even giving birth with that womb, then we are left with the bizarre situation that a ‘man’ can give birth.

A good friend recently wrote to me, saying,

“At the present time, there is no way to understand what is going on in the world except by denying that homo-sapiens are rational creatures. Each new day brings such a flood of nonsense that I am often lost for words.”

He then reminded me of a brilliant statement by Malcolm Muggeridge which is even more apt now than when Muggeridge wrote it:

“Whereas other civilizations had been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours has the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions and providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus, has Western man decided to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania; himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down. And having convinced himself that he was too numerous, he laboured with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer, until at last, having educated himself into imbecility and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over, a weary, battered old brontosaurus, and became extinct.”

As objective truth and logic are increasingly pushed aside in favour of ‘subjective truth’, and as those who attempt to stem this slide into absurdity are systematically silenced through the bullying tactics of the woke cancel culture, it appears that Muggeridge’s prognostications are, indeed, coming true. Through the bullish enforcement of political correctness, we are “educating ourselves into imbecility”, and if it continues unopposed for much longer, our cherished democratic, free-thinking society will soon go the way of the dinosaurs.