GOP Congressman blasted for mansplaining what a woman is to a woman

Rep. Andrew Clyde
Rep. Andrew Clyde Photo: Campaign website

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) caught flack when he asked National Women’s Law Center president and CEO Fatima Goss Graves what a woman is at a House Oversight Committee hearing yesterday, then cut her off and talked over her about “high school biology” when it was apparent she wasn’t going to give him the answer he wanted.

Clyde was questioning Goss Graves at a hearing about abortion rights in a post-Roe America yesterday, the same hearing where Clyde’s fellow Georgian, Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), asked Goss Graves whether women can give birth to breakfast tacos.

“This year, our new Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was asked what a woman is, and she had a difficult time defining that,” Clyde stated, referring to Jackson’s Senate confirmation hearing. “Since you are the president of the National Women’s Law Center, I was hoping that you could define what a woman is for us in this committee hearing.”

“Well, as the president of the National Women’s Law Center, you can imagine I say ‘woman’ a lot in my day job-” Goss Graves started before Clyde cut her off.

“OK, so I’m just asking for the definition,” he said.

“So what I’ll tell you is, I am a woman, that’s how I identify,” she said, starting again. “But I wonder, however, if in part the reason that you’re asking me this question is that you’re trying to suggest that people who don’t-”

“I’m simply asking the question and I simply want an answer,” Clyde said, cutting Goss Graves off again.

“So, I think it’s actually really important to be very clear here that there are people who identify as non-binary and about five percent of-” she started again as Clyde cut her off again.

“OK, we’re not going to go there,” Clyde said, as if a discussion of gender was not what he literally asked for.

“I was hoping maybe,” he continued, talking over her as she tried to give her answer, “I was hoping you would say something that maybe we learned in high school biology that has to do with X and Y chromosomes, which define male and female, but I guess we’re not going to get there.”

“I don’t think that’s the legal definition-” Goss Graves started to say again before Clyde cut her off again to move on to his next question.

“I have another question for you!” he repeated twice as she tried to give his previous question an answer.

People noticed that he refused to even let Goss Graves answer his question at all and made comparisons to how women are often treated in professional settings.

Asking liberal Congressional witnesses and presidential appointees to define what a woman is – especially in contexts outside of transgender equality issues – has become a common way for Republican lawmakers to derail discussions this year. In addition to Goss Graves and Justice Jackson, Republican lawmakers asked the question to University of California law professor Khiara Bridges and Dr. Yashica Robinson at committee hearings.

All of four of the women were Black and were being questioned by white Republicans.

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