Matt Walsh

What is a Woman is a film by Matt Walsh and the Daily Wire. It is a 90 minute well-produced collection of interviews and commentary about gender identity. The question “What is a woman” – and the apparent inability of highly educated people to answer it – is offered as a gateway into the more general controversy. Walsh is doing a great service in exposing the incoherence of gender advocates and activists in an easy-to-digest form. And they are truly incoherent!

Walsh asks simple, commonsense questions – questions that organically flow from these proponents’ beliefs and assertions. Questions that any reasonable person would ask after hearing the statement, “A woman can have a penis.”

And they are all, to a person, dumfounded. They don’t seem able to process that someone would actually question their dogmas. It is illustrative of the dynamics of that world, but also a warning for any of us tempted to simply expound rather than to engage, explain, and think matters through.

Walsh shows that it is also about money and profit (Scott Newgent). On intellectual incoherence and the victory of relativism and personal feeling (Trueman and Peterson). But whether you like it or not, or whether it matters to your worldview or not, it’s also about misogyny, gender roles, stereotypes and caricatures. It’s about the appeal of these elements to broken, untethered, confused souls.

The opening montage works against a coherent, thorough presentation of the issue. It even seems to support the common trans issues: “I didn’t like girly things so I must not be a real girl, so please cut off my healthy breasts!” or “My little boy likes mermaids and sparkly things. Get us the puberty blockers, stat!”

“What’s a woman? centers reality, truth and nature, and by implication, natural law. Don’t get confused by the weird framing at the beginning and end of the film. Walsh isn’t suggesting that it’s the pink (for girls), blue (for boys), or pot-opening skills (for man) that are embedded in the natural order like a natural law. In fact, offers the antidote to the trans movement that, in a bizarre way, seems to do just that.

(based on Amy Welborn’s review)

Below are two excerpts from the film. The first of Dr. Michelle Forcier, dean at Brown University medical school. Walsh picks up on her use of the phrase “assigned female at birth”, and asks whether “if I see a chicken laying eggs and I say that’s a female chicken, did I assign female? Or am I just observing a physical reality?” To which Forcier inexplicably responds: “Does a chicken have gender identity? Does a chicken cry? Does a chicken commit suicide? A chicken has an assigned gender but a chicken doesn’t have gender identity.

This is hilarious, until you remember that she is a qualified doctor—a professor of paediatric medicine. She waxes lyrical about the wonders of blocking puberty with Lupron, which she calls “reversible” (an evidence-free claim that is increasingly under attack). She too walks out on Walsh, in her case when he asks whether the drug is the same as the one used to chemically castrate sex offenders (it is).

The second is an interview with Dr. Patrick Grzanska, a women’s studies professor at the University of Tennessee. When asked to define “woman” – a word that, after all, appears in his job title – he responds by asking why Walsh wants to know. Walsh says he is interested in the truth. Grzanska responds: “The truth is deeply transphobic.”

Dr. Michelle Forcier – Professor of Pediatrics – specializes in gender, sexual and reproductive health

Dr. Patrick Grzanka – Professor WOMEN, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY STUDIES at University of Tennesee

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