Biden's Supreme Court nominee doesn't define 'woman,' and devalues them all

Ketanji Brown Jackson refuses to provide definition of a woman when pressed by Sen. Blackburn

Sen. Marsha Blackburn presses the Supreme Court nominee for the definition of a woman after asking her about a 1996 majority SCOTUS opinion from the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, whom the Senate will soon vote on, failed to answer Sen. Martha Blackburn’s question, “Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman’?”

Jackson, an Ivy League law school graduate, has served her community as a Supreme Court clerk, a District Judge, and a Court of Appeals Judge. Despite these qualifications, Jackson was unable to offer a response to the simplest of questions, on the meaning of the word “woman.” 

 U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 23, 2022
(Getty Images )

Sojourner Truth, the storied defender of human rights in early America, once famously posed the question “Ain’t I a woman?” to highlight the strength inherent to her very womanhood. 

Today, it appears that her question is relevant once again.

This entire situation raises a few interesting questions: if Jackson did not know what a woman is, how can we be sure that she would be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court if confirmed? Does Judge Jackson even consider herself a woman?

Although the Left praises Jackson’s nomination, her refusal to define the meaning of “woman” actually devalues women and women’s empowerment. By actively refusing to recognize or define womanhood, the progressive movement has ironically diminished its very value. Jackson’s inability to define her own identity likewise undermines her own accomplishments. 

Against the backdrop of this absurdity, the conservative movement has instead focused on being the true civil rights champions and advocates for women by advancing genuinely pro-woman policies. As conservatives, we understand that “woman” is not some buzzword for the radical left to co-opt and malign. Femininity and female empowerment are deeply meaningful parts of a woman’s identity bestowed upon her by the Creator — not fluid or manufactured concepts by society for political activists to redefine as they please. 

America should seek to celebrate women along with their hard-fought accomplishments. Trailblazing women who shatter glass ceilings deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated for their achievements.

One such trailblazer is Winsome Sears, the first Black woman elected to statewide office in Virginia who serves as a shining example of female excellence. While simultaneously embracing her womanhood and femininity, Sears has shattered a glass ceiling of her own and made her mark on history. Sears is a Jamaican American immigrant, a wife, and a mother. But she is also a fighter for what she believes in, including faith, country, family, and life. Unsurprisingly, the Left has refused to highlight Sears and celebrate her accomplishments because she thinks for herself and does not fit the mold of what a Black woman is “supposed” to be as defined by the cultural elite.

Through women like Sears, the conservative movement has shown that it is the genuine pro-woman movement and civil rights champion of our era. A true pro-woman movement doesn’t seek to denigrate womanhood by denying the concept of womanhood itself; instead, the pro-woman cause celebrates it. 

We uplift women who think for themselves and fight for what we believe in. We don’t demand that women hold certain positions or vote a certain way because of their gender. We don’t think someone’s gender — or any other trait of their birth — should box a person in a particular set of political beliefs. Instead, that is the role of reason and intellect — a capacity that women and men hold in common. And, as conservatives, we certainly will never pretend not to know the answer to a question so self-evidently obvious as “what is a woman?”

I recently joined my fellow America First Policy Institute colleagues to highlight that the pro-life movement is the real pro-woman movement. This reality is highlighted by the work done by the pro-life movement through Pregnancy Resource Centers, through which volunteers work with vulnerable women day in and day out to spread the message of love and hope in Christ. 

Ultimately, by refusing to offer a definition of the word “woman,” Jackson has retreated from the very identity politics mindset that the Democrat party propagated in the first place. In this way, progressivism ultimately eats its own; the rush for further and further “progress” means that even opinions that were sensible and mainstream just a few years ago — such as the definition of the word “woman” — could soon be declared sexist, bigoted, and off-limits. 

Both womanhood and female achievement deserve to be defended, celebrated, and upheld at all costs — not denigrated. The pro-woman movement, exemplified by the conservative movement, seeks to empower women and lift them up for their accomplishments. As Americans, we know that strong women have built this Nation and offered many of its greatest achievements. We also know how to define the word “woman,” and we will continue to be proud of female achievements. 

As it is written in the book of Psalms, “The Lord gives the word; the women who announce the news are a great host.” Let us not forget that we are all members of the one blood human race, and the time has come for us to pursue unity as women and men, Black and white, young and old.

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