“You refer to ‘people with a capacity for pregnancy.’ Would that be women?” Hawley asked Khiara Bridges, a law professor at UC Berkeley School of Law, during the sharp exchange at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
“Many women, cis women, have the capacity for pregnancy, many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy,” Bridges replied. “There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy, as well as non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy.”
Pressed by Hawley about what Bridges’ view of “the core of this right, then, is about,” the professor asserted that Hawley’s questioning was transphobic because he was effectively denying the existence of trans men and non-binary people.
“I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them,” Bridges said, to which the senator responded incredulously.
Bridges went on to note that trans people suffer from high rates of attempted suicide, adding: “Denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist is dangerous.”
She asked the senator directly if he believes that men can get pregnant.
“No, I don’t think men can get pregnant,” Hawley said, to which the professor replied: “So you’re denying that trans people exist.”
“Is this how you run your classroom? Are students allowed to question you or are they also treated like this?” Hawley asked.
“We have a good time in my class,” Bridges shot back. “You should join. You might learn a lot.”