It's been an upside world of a week for women, including and especially with women's sports. Any attempts at sanity are squashed. As Madeline covered, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) issued a statement proclaiming Emma Weyant, who is a Sarasota native, the real winner of the 500y freestyle, are squashed. Weyant came in second and lost out to William "Lia" Thomas, a biological male who competes on the women's swim team for the University of Pennsylvania. The Orlando Sentinel, however, in an article by Jim Turner that's behind a paywall, placed "female" in quotes in his headline to describe Weyant.
While Thomas is a biological male, whom many outlets refer to as a "transgender woman" and will use female pronouns to describe the swimmer, Weyant is, indeed, a female woman.
The brief text of the actual article doesn't provide much more insight into why Turner needs to refer to a female as a "female" in quotes.
The opening paragraph reads:
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis waded further into gender politics Tuesday, issuing a proclamation that said a swimmer from Sarasota is the nation’s best “female” in the 500-meter freestyle after she finished second last week to a transgender athlete at the NCAA championship.
Gov. DeSantis' proclamation stressed the importance of women competing in women's sports. DeSantis uses the word "female" when referring to how he signed SB 1028 on June 1, 2021, the Fairness in Women's Sports Act, as it applies to how the law will "preserve fair opportunities for female athletes." He mostly refers to Weyant throughout the proclamation as a "woman" though.
The Orlando Sentinel's Twitter account promoted the article on Tuesday, as our friends at Twitchy picked up on.
Gov. Ron DeSantis waded further into gender politics today, issuing a proclamation that said a swimmer from Sarasota is the nation’s best “female” in the 500-meter freestyle after she finished 2nd to a transgender athlete at the NCAA championship. https://t.co/pVSAUVn92a pic.twitter.com/c9zNgaaWtU— Orlando Sentinel (@orlandosentinel) March 22, 2022
Christina Pushaw, DeSantis' press secretary, took notice as well.
Uh, why is 'female' in quotes here? Emma is female; it is an undisputed fact. Florida media is truly going off the deep end this week. pic.twitter.com/Pd8GpSXIDH— Christina Pushaw ???? (@ChristinaPushaw) Ma rch 22, 2022
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who may soon be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, couldn't define the word "woman" when asked to by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) during committee hearings, as Spencer highlighted. Her excuse was because she's not a biologist. Katie covered how that right there could be cause for disqualification.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) raised an objection to how Judge Jackson couldn't define women. "My main objection has been to her is just sort of inability to answer even the simplest questions,'' Sen. Paul said on Newsmax's "Spicer & Co," going on to say "and if she can't define women, I think she's going to be part of the problem.''