Analyze this, baby!
March 27, 2022 at 1:20 am #42031
Ketanji Johnson was nominated to the Supreme Court described by Pres. Biden as “the first black female Justice on the Court.” Joe Biden knows what a woman is, at least as long as there’s some connection between “female” and “woman.”
However, when asked point blank in her confirmation hearing earlier this week, “Can provide a definition for the word ‘woman’?” Johnson came up very short, to say the least. This may turn out to be at least the second most famous reply in the history of Supreme Court nomination hearings after Justice Thomas’s “high tech lynching” reply decades ago during his confirmation hearings.
With a high degree of accuracy I know which people I encounter are men and which are women, so I’m operating with some sort of practical standard.
We have laws designed to protect women which are useless without knowing what a woman is.
At the same time, I recognize two things: 1) Not all cases are absolutely cut-and-dried. There are extremely effeminate men and very “butch” women. And 2) there are transgender people and people in a state of gender dysphoria and other forms of gender confusion.
In many cases, answering the gender question on forms has a third option along the lines of “Don’t wish to answer” or there may be a menu of choices.
At the same time, while I’m not a doctor, it’s not hard to imagine that a binary answer may be necessary to know whether a certain procedure or treatment is applicable or even safe.
So, while I sympathize with Ketanji Johnson’s dilemma when asked, she certainly should have been able to come up with a better crafted reply. Or I hope she could have.
Perhaps you can do better, which is what this post is all about.
Tucker Carlson is currently America’s leading conservative TV commentator, and if I haven’t piqued your interest (or gotten your hackles up), I’m sure you’ll have something to say after this:
Oh, did I mention that he’s conservative? I see that I did.March 27, 2022 at 2:03 am #42032
At first blush it seems she fucked up.
But on reflection i don’t think so. She was under ridiculous scrutiny like a witch on trial. If she came off like a smart-ass she would have been portrayed as not having the demeanor to be a justice. “A woman is the one who gives birth, has two x chromosomes and gets stuck laundering your dirty underwear.” If she gave a nuanced reply she would have been smeared as too liberal.March 27, 2022 at 4:15 am #42033
So, it was a highly successful gotcha.
However, she could have given an intelligent answer like, “Words have meaning in context, so it doesn’t always mean the same thing. For example, in the law it means how the word ‘woman’ is defined in the law, if it is defined. If it is not, it is left to be defined in practice for its legal purpose. In everyday life, we operate without definitions. Maybe we’re wrong sometimes. Maybe gender isn’t absolutely binary. There are situations where self-definition is to be respected. If I don’t know how to answer your question, well, the answer is that ‘It’s complicated,’ and I assume most people operating within common sense understand what I’m saying.”
I think you’ll agree that “I’m not a biologist” is a groaner.March 27, 2022 at 4:27 am #42034
The republicans were flinging fetid pasta against the wall. Some of it was bound to stick. It is a lot easier to answer questions when you are not the one on the spot. And it is better to evade when you are on the spot than it is to give answer that will send you to the gallows.
When i was 11 years old at school i was doing something i should not have. Don’t even remember what it was. Teacher confronted me in a pissed off way and asked me who do you think you are. I answered, Glen Rosenberg. Did not do it to be a wise guy. But she was more pissed after that. Same question. Same answer. She asked a third time. Once again. Same answer. Well i got three detentions and had zero intent to be a wise ass. It would have been better to just shut my mouth and look chagrined. No answer trumps bad answer.March 27, 2022 at 4:34 am #42035March 27, 2022 at 4:35 am #42036
Sadly you are correct, Unseen.March 27, 2022 at 4:38 am #42037
BTW, this whole question of transgenders or folks (males) who feel they are a female in a male body in sports will hit the fan one of these days like in pro sports or the Olympics. Like the woman in the stands in the video who was declaring in effect that “the king has no clothes.” If she can tell a dog from a cat she can tell a boy from a girl, is what she asserted.
One also has to entertain the idea that a competitor like the “female” swimmer in the video may just be fucking with us to see what he can get away with in a world where people want to be open and accepting.
I don’t think we’ll even have Olympics within several decades. We’ve already reached the point where in order to compete many athletes wreck their health for increasingly small increments of improvement.
Sports used to be about health.March 27, 2022 at 4:23 pm #42045
You’re in trouble when something you said becomes a meme. This is one of many dozens out there already:March 27, 2022 at 7:12 pm #42046
Reg the Fronkey FarmerModerator
It was the best line of questioning the current iteration of the GOP could come up with. Ted Cruz must leave a trail of slime on the ground when he moves. Tucker looks like he wants to use ratio decidendi as his new safe phrase. Oh Marjorie you must have thought about him in that way!March 27, 2022 at 8:18 pm #42047
Didn’t TV teach you the right answer is: “I wish to speak to an attorney?”
😉😁March 27, 2022 at 8:35 pm #42048
Reg the Fronkey FarmerModerator
@Encog, Sometimes even sending lawyers, guns and money don’t work when the shit has hit the fan 🙂March 27, 2022 at 9:17 pm #42050
There is a very real culture war going on in the United States, and it’s so intense that if the armed revolt ever comes, a cultural reset will almost certainly be part of it.March 30, 2022 at 3:49 am #42061
BTW, this whole question of transgenders or folks (males) who feel they are a female in a male body in sports will hit the fan one of these days like in pro sports or the Olympics.
So what you’re saying is, you not only know fuck all about transgender people, but also sports as well? I mean, when it comes to sports, the fan is absolutely caked in shit. Racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, exploitation, violence, murders, coverups, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, cheating, drug use, gambling and gambling addiction… and so on. I mean, how many people died just to get Qatar ready for World Cup? And that’s on top of the less concerning yet still scummy FIFA scandals surrounding the selection process.
Do transgender people present an issue in sport? Maybe. Maybe. But it’s a certified fact cisgender people can’t handle that shit and have been fucking up relentlessly for centuries. Assholes. Fuckers should not be let near a damn field.March 30, 2022 at 10:33 am #42062
Sorry I didn’t quite get it: What was her response to the question?March 30, 2022 at 3:43 pm #42063
For the conservative christian intellect, everything is reduced to black and white. A binary world where small words like good and bad are in fact the best words. Four-word sentences reign supreme. Because it all makes sense to them, it all rings so pure and true.
When you really get into the nature of the universe and life, physics, anatomy, evolution, and chemistry. it’s not black and white. It’s not simple. There are tons of exceptions and special cases. There are gradients, linear and exponential. There are relationships that cannot be summarized with concise equations. In fact, it is astronomically complicated.
It goes against the what the philosopher or theologian often expect to see: simple universal axioms. Smart people understand this. Reality is too subtle and out of reach for the various MAGAts, xtian fundies, creationists, cultists, idealists, and ideologs.
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