Speed Reads

what is a woman?

Retired army general loses consulting contract after mocking first lady in tweet

Retired Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky, who won a Silver Star in Iraq and previously served as the Army's top spokesperson, was suspended from his $92-an-hour consulting contract and placed under investigation after apparently mocking first lady Jill Biden on Twitter.

"For nearly 50 years, women have had the right to make our own decisions about our bodies. Today, that right was stolen from us," Biden wrote on June 24 — the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) and returned the issue of abortion to the states.

In response, Volesky mocked the first lady's support of transgenderism in a now-deleted tweet. "Glad to see you finally know what a woman is," he wrote, according to a USA Today report published Saturday.

The practice of pressing transgender rights advocates for a definition of the word "woman" has become widespread on the right. As early as Feb. 2021, conservative political commentator Matt Walsh began tweeting the question, "What is a woman?" In Jan. 2022, Walsh appeared on Dr. Phil, where he asked the same question and accused his opponents of engaging in circular reasoning when one of them defined women as "people who identify as a woman."

In March, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) asked Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson to "provide a definition for the word 'woman.'" Jackson responded that she could not because she is "not a biologist." A clip of that exchange was then featured in Walsh's documentary, What Is a Woman?, which he released last month.