L’échange entre le sénateur Josh Hawley (présenté comme « social conservative ») et Khiara Bridges, professeure de droit à l’université UC Berkeley, spécialisée dans les questions raciales, de classes et de droits reproductifs, semble se tenir sur une autre planète. Chacun jouant son rôle parfaitement conduisant à une discussion totalement stérile (sans jeu de mots).
Ci-dessous un extrait de cet échange :
Senator Hawley: Professor Bridges, you said several times––you’ve used a phrase, I want to make sure I understand what you mean by it. You’ve referred to “people with a capacity for pregnancy.” Would that be women?
Professor Bridges: Many women, cis women[i], have the capacity for pregnancy. Many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy. There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy, as well as nonbinary people who are capable of pregnancy.
Hawley: So this isn’t really a women’s-rights issue, it’s a––
Bridges: We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that it impacts other groups. Those things are not mutually exclusive, Senator Hawley.
Hawley: Alright, so your view is that the core of this right, then, is about what?
This is where Bridges, knowing she is pinned down on hostile terrain, pivots to something likely to unite her coalition, though as we’ll see, it was equally likely to unite Hawley’s coalition:
Bridges: So, um, I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them.
Hawley: Wow, you’re saying that I’m opening up people to violence by asking whether or not women are the folks who can have pregnancies?
Bridges: So I want to note that one out of five transgender persons have attempted sucide, so I think it’s important––
Hawley: Because of my line of questioning? So we can’t talk about it?
Bridges: Because denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist––
Hawley: I’m denying that trans people exist by asking you––
Bridges: Are you? Are you?
Hawley: ––if you’re talking about women having pregnancies?
Bridges: Do you believe that men can get pregnant?
Hawley: No, I don’t think men can get pregnant.
Bridges: So you’re denying that trans people exist!
Hawley: And that leads to violence? Is this how you run your classroom? Are students allowed to question you or are they also treated like this, where they’re told that they’re opening up people to violence––
Bridges: We have a good time in my class. You should join. You might learn a lot.
Hawley: I would learn a lot. I’ve learned a lot just in this exchange. Extraordinary.
S’insinuant dans la logique de Khiara Bridges, Josh Hawley voudrait lui faire dire que l’avortement n’est pas une question liée aux femmes… Un piège trop grossier dont se sort assez facilement la professeure de droit.
Mais comme le fait remarquer le magazine The Atlantic, l’approche retenue par Khiara Bridges divise la gauche en deux camps :
– abortion-rights proponents who believe semantically centering women––the group most disproportionately affected by bans on abortion––is substantively and politically important,
– and abortion-rights proponents who believe that switching to more inclusive language is morally important and takes nothing away from women.
[i] someone who was assigned female at birth (AFAB) and identifies as a woman is a cisgender woman. On the other hand, an AFAB person who identifies as a man is a transgender man.