My RedState colleague Brad Slager had a great write-up yesterday dissecting how the White House’s official response to the Supreme Court’s Texas Fetal Heartbeat law ruling was wildly off-message considering not only did President Joe Biden not use the the term “birthing people” in his statement but neither did press secretary Jen Psaki when she was asked about it during Thursday’s press briefing.
In fact, the words “woman” and “women” were mentioned multiple times by both Biden and Psaki, suggesting an oh-so-convenient shift in the White House narrative from just a few short months ago about how, “There are certain people who do not have gender identities that apply to female and male, so we think our language needs to be more inclusive on how we deal with complex issues,” thus the “need” to use the term “birthing people” in the Biden administration’s budget.
But beyond the Biden team reverting back to “women” over “birthing people” when talking about so-called “abortion rights,” Psaki’s answer to EWTN Global Catholic Network reporter Owen Jensen’s question rubbed people the wrong way for another reason, which I’ll get into in just a minute. First, let’s flash back to what she said:
REPORTER: “Why does the President support abortion when his own catholic faith teaches it is morally wrong?”
PSAKI: “I know you have never faced those choices, nor have you ever been pregnant but for women out there who have faced those choices, this is a difficult thing.” pic.twitter.com/Xzz2Fwhh0O
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) September 2, 2021
For starters, Psaki assumed Jensen’s gender, which we’ve been told is a horribly offensive thing to do. But beyond that, her answer was just straight-up sexism, and I don’t use that term very often. A female reporter could have just as easily asked that question because it’s one millions of pro-life women have. Obviously, Psaki wouldn’t have been able to fall back on her female privilege to swat back at a lady journo who asked it, and she shouldn’t have done it in this instance with Jensen. Besides, he wasn’t the question asking in a personal capacity; he’s asking in his capacity as a reporter for a Catholic news service. It was a legitimate question.
Secondly, what’s further annoying about the “you’re a guy so you shouldn’t express an opinion on abortion” tactic is that, if carried through to its logical conclusion, theoretically it could be used to shut down discussions on literally every issue, as conservative commentator Becket Adams observed:
well I’ve also never been abandoned in a taliban-run country so I guess I better not ask any questions about the withdrawal. https://t.co/jSBoBsL6RJ
— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) September 2, 2021
Imagine a society where you get shut down for asking questions about a military’s exit strategy because you didn’t serve in the military. Imagine a society where women who aren’t mothers are told their opinions on issues impacting mothers are irrelevant because you don’t have children (which has happened to me). The possibilities are endless:
– If you’re not Latino, your opinion on issues impacting the Latino community are not relevant.
– If you’ve never lost a loved one to gun violence, your opinion on gun rights is irrelevant.
– If you’re not black, your opinion on “Black Lives Matter” and other similar protest movements is not relevant.
– If you’re not transgender, your opinion on transgender rights is not relevant.
– If you’re not a college student, your opinion on student loan debt is not relevant.
I could go on and on, but I think the point has been made.
Do we want to be that type of society? It would be a dream society for the left, of course, because that would mean they get to control all the debates, but last I checked that’s now how this country is supposed to work.
If the United States is supposed to be one big melting pot full of diverse opinions, then those differing opinions should matter regardless of and should not be automatically impugned because of the identity/characteristics of the person who offers them. Period. If not, everything falls apart.