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Twitter users blasted USA Today assistant opinion editor Steven Porter on Wednesday after he smeared Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., as “transphobic” and “homophobic” in a lengthy Twitter rant.
Porter laid into Hawley after footage of the senator debating UC Berkeley professor Khiara Bridges on the topic of men getting pregnant during a recent Senate hearing went viral. During the exchange, Hawley pressed Bridges on her use of the phrase “people with the capacity for pregnancy” and asked whether she meant “women.”
Bridges claimed Hawley’s “line of questioning” was “transphobic” and argued that it “opens up trans people to violence.”
Elsewhere in the exchange, the professor asked the senator, “Do you believe that men can pregnant?,” to which Hawley responded, “No, I don’t think men can get pregnant.”
SEN. HAWLEY ‘REFUSED TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SOME TRANSGENDER MEN CAN GET PREGNANT’: WASHINGTON POST
“So you are denying that trans people exist,” Bridges responded.
The USA Today editor took to Twitter to echo Bridges’ statement as well as her attacks on the U.S. He began his long rant, stating, “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.”
“That’s literally transphobic,” Porter added.
In another post, Porter slammed Hawley’s “transphobic comments,” said he uses them for “inhumane political benefit,” and that only “non-simpletons” can see this truth.
“Hawley can choose to make transphobic comments. (Clearly he derives some inhumane political benefit in doing so.) When he does – such as claiming trans men are delusional women – the non-simpletons among us can & should confidently say that qualifies as transphobia,” he said.
The USA Today journalist subsequently wrote, “Maybe you’re sympathetic to Hawley’s message & bristle at the ‘transphobic’ label. Then show us what you think it means to treat transgender people with kindness, dignity & respect. Show us trans people are your neighbors/constituents, not your wedge issue.”
Porter also slammed Hawley’s lack of “subtlety in his messaging,” tweeting, “I’m not here to tell Hawley what to say. I’m not his speech writer. (That sounds like an awful gig.) But I’m also not here to pretend there’s any subtlety in his messaging. He and others are whipping up transphobic rancor for political gain.”
‘TRANSPHOBIC’ SEN. JOSH HAWLEY ‘SCHOOLED’ BY BERKELEY LAW PROFESSOR, LEFT-WING OUTLETS INSIST
Though conservatives on the platform slammed the assistant editor for his “ignorance.”
Conservative talk show host Joe Pagliarulo blasted Porter, tweeting, “incorrect and delusional — unless you’re just feigning ignorance yourself. Human gender/sex is not variable. It’s decided by chromosomes, DNA, genitals et al. This is undeniable. Now, I’m a freedom guy — you want to live as another gender – fine. But don’t make up science.”
“If they can convince you that a square is a circle, then who knows what else they can get you to believe…” tweeted Former boxer Ed Latimore, accusing Porter of pushing an agenda.
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The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles defended Hawley, writing, “Yes, he was making a statement. Yes, his claim is that ‘people who can get pregnant’ are actually women. Yes, he was asserting that their reproductive organs define their “gender.” No, that’s not ‘transphobic’ because phobias are irrational and his observations are rational.”
“These people live in a world of fantasy. Being a man or woman isn’t a choice, it’s science,” tweeted The Blaze reporter Elijah Schaffer.