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Major media figures claim that Josh Hawley is ‘transphobic’ because he thinks men can’t get pregnant
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Major media figures claim that Josh Hawley is ‘transphobic’ because he thinks men can’t get pregnant

Multiple prominent media figures took the side of Berkeley law professor Khiara Bridges, who accused Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) of being "transphobic" because he does not believe that men can get pregnant in a viral clip on Tuesday.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the impact of overturning Roe v. Wade, Bridges repeatedly used the torturous phrase "people with a capacity for pregnancy" as a gender-neutral substitute for "women." When Hawley called her out on it, highlighting the absurdity of erasing the word "women" from a discussion on abortion rights, Bridges told him that his "line of questioning is transphobic."

Bridges said Hawley was "denying that trans people exist" and opening them up to violence because he would not recognize "that men can get pregnant."

Some supposedly objective media outlets revealed which side they took in their coverage of the back-and-forth.

The Washington Post said Hawley "refused to acknowledge that some transgender men can get pregnant," which is inaccurate. Hawley never said that "transgender men" can't get pregnant — his position is that "transgender men" are women, because women are the only people who can get pregnant.

Most mainstream news headlines reported that Hawley was "called" or "accused" of asking "transphobic" questions, framing the story more neutrally. But a CNN video used the headline, "Hawley called out for 'transphobic' questions," which adopted the left's view of the exchange.

The U.K. Independent had more direct bias, writing that Bidges "rebuked" Hawley for his "transphobic" questions.

"In a series of extraordinary testimony to a Senate committee on the future of abortion in the US after the dissolve of Roe v Wade, an abortion rights advocate and law professor issued a sharp rebuke to Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who appeared to dismiss that transgender people could become pregnant," the Independent reported.

Meanwhile, progressive media declared unambiguous victory for Bridges over Hawley, who they insisted "got owned."

Salon and HuffPo each ran headlines that insisted the Missouri Republican was "schooled." Jezebel published a video titled, "Berkeley Law Professor Eviscerates Sen. Josh Hawley at Post-Roe Hearing." Heartland Signal said Hawley was "put in place" by Bridges.

Vox wrote that Hawley used "transphobic rhetoric to rile up the GOP's base" and sided with Bridges' contested claim that Hawley's language equates to violence.

"Bridges’s concerns reflect the fact that lawmakers’ political attacks on trans people — including denying their existence, and using legislation to limit their freedom of movement, access to activities, and availability of health care — have coincided with an increase in physical violence," Li Zhou wrote for Vox. "According to a 2021 Time report, anti-trans violence has surged in the wake of an increase in legislation targeting trans people. A 2021 UCLA report also found that trans people, particularly Black and brown trans people, were significantly more likely to be victims of violent crime than cis people."

Progressives on Twitter also praised Bridges and mocked Hawley.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Hawley "feigned shock at the recognition that he incites violence."

"KA-BLOW" tweeted Imani Gandy, the senior editor of law and policy for Rewire News Group, after Bridges declared Hawley was denying transgender people exist because he doesn't think men can get pregnant.

Many others ridiculed Hawley for his supposed embarrassment by a professor who thinks men can be women and women can be men, rendering the distinctions between the two sexes meaningless.

But Stephen Porter, the assistant editor for USA Today Opinion, urged progressives, "Don't feign ignorance about Sen. Josh Hawley's 'questions.'"

"He was making a statement. His claim? That trans men & nonbinary people who can get pregnant are ~actually~ women. He's asserting that their reproductive organs define their gender," Porter tweeted.

"That's literally ✨transphobic✨," he said.

In a lengthy thread, Porter went on to say that Hawley "derives some inhumane political benefit" from making "transphobic comments." He demanded that people "sympathetic to Hawley's message" but who don't want to be labeled transphobic "show us what you think it means to treat transgender people with kindness, dignity & respect."

Responding to the hysterics Wednesday morning, Hawley told Fox News that Democrats "have lost their minds."

"The Democrats have become such extremists. Now their official line is men can get pregnant — and if you disagree, you’re violent," Hawley said. "They have lost their minds and the whole country can see it."

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