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‘Transphobic’ Sen. Josh Hawley ‘schooled’ by Berkeley law professor, left-wing outlets insist

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Progressive media sites promoted the viral clip of Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Berkeley Law Professor Khiara Bridges clashed over whether men can get pregnant Tuesday as an example of a liberal “schooling.”

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Bridges testified on the harm that abortion bans could bring to “people with a capacity for pregnancy.” After using that term several times, Hawley asked whether she meant “women.” Bridges responded that “trans men and non-binary people” were also capable of pregnancy, leading Hawley to question whether abortion remained a “women’s rights issue.”

After continued questioning, Bridges accused Hawley of being “transphobic” and encouraging “violence.”

“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, before the two got into a further debate over whether men can get pregnant and if questions can cause violence .

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: Sen.  Josh Hawley, (R-MO) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine Texas' abortion law on Capitol Hill on September 29, 2021 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 29: Sen. Josh Hawley, (R-MO) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine Texas’ abortion law on Capitol Hill on September 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

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Although most conservatives viewed this clip as more evidence of absurd left-wing beliefs, many left-wing supporters argued that Bridges actually got the best of the exchange.

That sentiment continued with far-left media outlets that condemned the senator and praised Bridges.

“Professor schools Sen. Josh Hawley for his transphobic questions in abortion hearing” ran the headline from HuffPo.

Salon also poked fun at the Missouri senator with its headline “‘You should join my class’: Law professor schools Josh Hawley over ‘transphobic’ line of questioning.”

The article itself went even further reading, “During a United States Senate hearing on abortion access on Tuesday, University of California Berkeley Law Professor Khiara Bridges schooled Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) over how right-wing rhetoric endangers the lives of transgender individuals .”

This piece was also featured on the leftist site Alternet.

Khiara M. Bridges, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law, at the Senate Committee Hearing on July 12, 2022

Khiara M. Bridges, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law, at the Senate Committee Hearing on July 12, 2022
(Senate Judiciary Committee)

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The UK Independent wrote that Bridges “rebuked” Hawley for his “transphobic” questioning.

“In a series of extraordinary testimony to a Senate committee on the future of abortion in the US after the dissolution of Roe v Wade, an abortion rights advocate and law professor issued a sharp rebuke to Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who appeared to dismiss that transgender people could become pregnant,” The Independent’s Alex Woodward reported.

LGBTQ Nation attacked Hawley and all Republicans for attempting to “derail” conversations by attacking “trans-inclusive language,” claiming in the headline “Law professor humiliates Josh Hawley during Senate committee hearing.”

“But Republican lawmakers have been using questions about trans-inclusive language to derail hearings on other issues, pretending not to understand what appointees and Congressional witnesses are saying so that they can grandstand and give speeches about their opposition to transgender equality instead of addressing the issue at hand,” Alex Bollinger wrote.

Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Photographer: Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Photographer: Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Vox and The Mary Sue called Hawley “transphobic” for his questions, claiming Bridges “rightly” called him out during the hearing.

“Even still, the hearing seems to have been worth having, if for no other reason than to watch Josh Hawley get his transphobic a** handed to him by a witness,” Vivian Kane of The Mary Sue wrote.

Li Zhou from Vox wrote, “During a Senate hearing on the future of abortion rights Tuesday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) became the latest Republican lawmaker to use transphobic rhetoric to rile up the GOP’s base — and to avoid wrestling with the consequences of abortion restrictions across the country.”

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Even videos from media outlets framed the clip in Bridges’ favor.

Jezebel put up a video titled, “Berkeley Law Professor Eviscerates Sen. Josh Hawley at Post-Roe Hearing” and the description read. “Khiara Bridges took the Missouri Republican to task over his transphobic line of questioning.”

Heartland Signal similarly put out a video with the title “Josh Hawley gets put in place after asking a potentially transphobic line of questioning.”

Spectators displayed their support towards transgender and non-binary people during a Trans March in Toronto, Ontario, on June 21, 2019.

Spectators displayed their support towards transgender and non-binary people during a Trans March in Toronto, Ontario, on June 21, 2019.
(Anatoliy Cherkasov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The claim that Bridges “schooled” or “took” Hawley “to task” also appeared on Raw Story and Common Dreams.

Above the Law promoted the exchange with the headline “You *Have* To Watch This Law Professor SHUT DOWN Senator Josh Hawley.” The Cut from New York Magazine even boasted “Josh Hawley Is No Match for This UC Berkeley Professor.”

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Although mainstream outlets were less direct in their reporting of the clip, CNN’s video of the event had the headline “Hawley called out for ‘transphobic’ questions.”

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