Washington Post reporter defends Judge Jackson's inability to define what a ‘woman’ is: it’s ‘complicated’

Washington Post reporter defends Judge Jackson’s inability to define what a ‘woman’ is: it’s ‘complicated’

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Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, drew criticism for denying knowing how to define the word, “woman,” during Tuesday’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, a liberal reporter from the Washington Post defended Jackson’s stunning answer, by claiming the definition was actually, “complicated.” 

National correspondent Philip Bump, slammed Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., for asking the question and called it a “bad faith” “attack” in his analysis, Wednesday.

UNITED STATES – MARCH 21: Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., listens to senators opening statements during the confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s nominee for Associate Justice to the Supreme Court, on Monday, March 21, 2022. 
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The liberal journalist compared identifying gender to identifying a color.

“[E]ven things like colors involve simply introducing more and more refined demonstrations of the category. As philosophers will tell us, language is necessarily imprecise, but it’s our only way of describing the world. So I ask you, in that context: What is a woman?” he wrote. 

Keeping up with the color analogy, Bump claimed the definition of “red,” like “woman,” sounds simple but can be complicated. 

“‘Red’ is the absorption of a certain wavelength of light. It is also the color of hearts on Valentine’s Day. What definition do you want?” he asked.


Bump also attacked Blackburn for quoting the judge’s praise for the “progressive education” at Georgetown Day School, where she serves on the board of trustees, and asking the judge if she supports schools teaching kids they can choose their gender. Bump called this an “obvious bad-faith ploy” that was “so bad.” 

The journalist suggested Blackburn’s claims about the school pushing transgender ideology on students couldn’t be verified. 

“[A] reporter’s efforts to determine whether this is true came up short, including after asking Blackburn’s office,” Bump wrote. However, a simple Google search shows the Georgetown Day School’s website is full of photos and pages touting their transgender “read in days,” transgender “visibility” signs, political activism and elementary age students holding up their “transgender rights matter” artwork.

Continuing his defense of Jackson, Bump suggested Blackburn’s quotation of the late Justice Ginsburg’s opinion in 1996 on physical differences between men and women, was outdated.

“What matters here is that the argument being made by Ginsburg was specific to the case at hand. Nor was Ginsburg adjudicating the definitions of ‘man’ and ‘woman,’ but, rather, the difference in access that our general understanding of those terms (particularly in 1996) meant in the context of the exclusions in place at VMI,” he argued.


Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. 

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Bump doubled down on this take later, calling the question, “what is a woman” an “unanswerable” question, in a tweet

He tweeted, “There’s a cottage industry of asking unanswerable questions and then ‘aha!’-ing when the question goes unanswered.”

Despite claiming it was too complicated to answer what the definition of what a woman is, Bump had no problem shooting down the Hunter Biden laptop story as a “conspiracy theory,” last October. This past week, The New York Times confirmed the laptop was authentic, after the media spent the 2020 election cycle denying it was real and suggested it was Russian disinformaiton. 


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