As life seems to imitate art in an ever-increasing way, it has become a part of our collective consciousness that Missouri senator and ultra-MAGA, anti-LGBTQ+ Republican Josh Hawley seems to have abandoned gender as a construct.
In a Wednesday campaign email, the senator — who raised his fist in support of former President Donald Trump's supporters who were outside the Capitol on January 6, 2021 — implored his supporters to respond to a survey regarding “transgender propaganda” being taught to children “as young as first graders.”
A screenshot of the email shared on social media reveals the following irony.
“We want to keep socialist lies OUT of the classroom, but we need your help by taking our survey,” the email continued.
“Do you want to keep transgender propaganda OUT of our classrooms today?” the prompt asks.
“YES — keep transgender propaganda OUT or NO — Teach young children there is more than one gender.”
New York Times reporter Kenneth Vogel spotted the email and drew attention to it first, tweeting, “JOSH HAWLEY wants to stop schools from teaching “transgender propaganda,” like that “there is more than one gender.”
A key issue manufactured wedge issue for the Republican base this election cycle has been opposition to transgender rights, against which Hawley has been railing. During a recent speech at the National Conservatism Conference, he talked about how America is the “heir to revolutionaries of the Bible,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
“They reject our history and our traditions,” Hawley said. “They say sex is merely a social construct. That men can get pregnant. That women can be men. That the nuclear family is a repressive institution.”
Law professor Khiara Bridges called out Hawley over transphobia at a hearing in July on abortion rights, and she pointed out that one can fight for the rights of various groups of people simultaneously.
Conservatives around the country are trying to limit the rights of transgender people — particularly kids — including by trying to enact laws preventing transgender students from playing in school sports leagues based on their gender identity, being addressed by their preferred pronouns, and even forcing teachers to out LGBTQ+ students to their parents.
The Advocate compiled some of the widespread online mockings that the GOP senator received for the language in the message.