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'What is a woman?' GOP lawmaker stumps education secretary with simple question about Title IX

JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona refused on Tuesday to define a "woman" under oath at a congressional hearing.

At a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) highlighted that Cardona's job includes enforcing Title IX, which prohibits discrimination — including on the basis of sex — in education programs that receive federal funding. But the Biden administration is seeking to alter Title IX to punish states that protect the integrity of women's sports by prohibiting transgender athletes from competing in women's sports.

"Since Title IX prohibits discrimination between male and female to ensure that each gets appropriate funding, I think it's important that the country sees that [the government] understands the difference," Clyde began.

Then he asked, "So can you please tell me, or can you please define for me: What is a woman?"

But Cardona refused to answer the question.

"Our focus at the department is to provide equal access to students including students who are LGBTQ, access free from discrimination," he responded.

"So what's the definition of a woman?" Clyde shot back. "You haven't given me that. You haven't answered my question."

According to Cardona, the issue of what differentiates a woman from someone who is not a woman is "secondary" to his job, yet he praised Clyde for rightly establishing the importance of Title IX.

The two men then went back and forth over whether, in Clyde's words, "a biological male who self-identifies as a woman" should be allowed to compete in women's sports and whether allowing such students to enter women's private spaces — such as bathrooms and locker rooms — ensures the safety of female students.

But Cardona repeatedly dodged the questions. Instead, he said that the "perspective of all students should be taken into account when decisions are made around facilities."

Cardona never provided a definition of a "woman."

'What Is A Woman?': Miguel Cardona Doesn't Answer Question From Andrew Clyde During Tense Exchangewww.youtube.com

What about the rule?

The Biden administration is proposing a change to Title IX that would not allow schools that receive federal funding to segregate sports solely based on biological sex.

"Under the proposed regulation, schools would not be permitted to adopt or apply a one-size-fits-all policy that categorically bans transgender students from participating on teams consistent with their gender identity," the Department of Education explained in a statement.

Ironically, the proposed rule ignores how it discriminates against female athletes by possibly forcing them to compete against biological males, a nearly impossible task even for the world's best female athletes.

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