Matt Walsh’s film What is a Woman? is both valuable and incomplete

The 90-minute collection of interviews and commentary on gender identity is well-produced, amusing—and frustrating, because of what it is missing.

A screenshot from the film "What is a Woman?", featuring Matt Walsh. (

What is a Woman, a film from Matt Walsh and the conservative Daily Wire website, was released this week. The 90-minute collection of interviews and commentary on gender identity is well-produced, amusing, and frustrating. It’s a decent, basic introduction to the gender-identity wars for those new to the battlefield. The experts’ responses to Walsh’s calm, measured, and objective questioning also provide an invaluable chapter in the handbook called How to give enough rope.

The organizing question, “What is a woman” – and the apparent inability of highly educated people to answer it – is offered as a gateway into the more general controversy. Walsh does a great service in exposing the incoherence of gender advocates and activists in an easy-to-digest form. And they are truly incoherent. From Walsh’s interview with Dr. Michelle Forcier of Brown University:

Forcier: Telling that family based on that little penis that your child is absolutely 100 male-identified, not matter what occurs in their life – that’s not correct. …

Walsh: Have you ever met a 4-year old who believes in Santa Claus?….Would you say that this is someone who maybe has a tenous grasp of realty

Forcier: They have an appropriate 4-year old hand on the reality that’s very real for them

Walsh: Agreed. Santa Claus is real for them but Santa Claus is not actually real.

Forcier: But Santa Claus does deliver their Christmas presents.

Walsh: Well yeah, but he’s not real though.

Forcier: To that child they are.

Walsh: But I see a child who believes in Santa Claus…but say this is a boy and he says I’m a girl . This is someone who can’t distingue between fantasy and realty so how could you take that as a reality?

Forcier: I would say that as a pediatrician and as a parent I would say how wonderful my 4-year old and their imagination is.

Aside from the microscope on the gender-affirming professionals, Walsh touches on a few recent controversies: the Wi-Spa incident in California, the confrontation between a trans-identifying male and a collectibles-store owner (whom Walsh interviews), sports, and the conflict in Loudon County, Virginia over sexual assault and school restrooms.

Again, it’s good for what it is, and valuable for exposing what these trans activists really have to say, unfiltered. Aside from the specific gender-issues, the most illuminating aspect to me of What is a Woman is the apparent industrial-level acrylic bubble in which these activists and advocates live. Walsh asks simple, commonsense questions—questions that organically flow from these proponents’ beliefs and assertions. Questions that any reasonable person would ask after hearing the statement, “A woman can have a penis.”

And they are all, to a person, dumfounded. They don’t seem able to process that someone would actually question their dogmas. And they are not at all, as someone once said on another subject, prepared to give a reason for their hope. It is illustrative of the dynamics of that world, but also a warning for any of us tempted to simply expound rather than to engage, explain, and think matters through.

What is a Woman? falls short, however, and it falls short on the gender-critical side. The experts on whom Walsh calls – Deborah Soh, Carl Trueman, Jordan Peterson and others – are helpful, but one would never know from this piece that there is a substantive body of gender-critical work. That work is mostly from British and American women such as Helen Joyce, Kathleen Stock, Abigail Shrier, and Kara Dansky, many of whom who have suffered professionally for their work, which has had this movement under the microscope for years now.

Something else is missing. It is perhaps not fair to critique a work on what it is not, but in this case, the door is open precisely because What is a Woman? intends to open that door to a wider consideration of the gender-identity movement. And that’s what is really missing: gender.

The roots of this current climate lie in the movement to separate biological sex from the constructed presentation of gender. A constructed presentation of what exactly, is fuzzy, since it seems to get more complicated and convoluted by the week. But, in essence, “transitioning” is about making your external presentation and engagement with the world “match” that of the biological sex you are not.

The exploration of a distinction between sex and gender is mentioned by a few of Walsh’s experts, but he gives it short shrift and he completely neglects the intellectual heavyweights behind the notion – Foucault, de Beauvoir and Judith Butler, for example – all of whom are far more important than those he highlights: Kinsey or even the butcher Money.

But even if plunging into these philosophical weeds would have been beyond the scope of this piece, the film still falls short. Walsh establishes that the gender-woo crowd cannot (or does not want to) answer the question “What is a woman?” – but then fails to drill down into the more potent questions for his topic.

Namely, what is this “woman” identity that certain males want desperately to perform as, claim, and be treated as by society and the law? And that certain females want desperately to opt out of? And why?

The responses would undoubtedly be varied and personal, ranging from past trauma to present fetish to serious mental dysphoric illness. But one need only look at images of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner with his breast implants on the cover of Vanity Fair and the dour, but (we are assured) “euphoric”, Ellen/Elliot Page with her ab implants on the current cover of Esquire to see clearly that to answer this question one cannot avoid matters, not just of sex, but of gender: of how males and females present – and are expected to present and perform as males and females in the 21st-century West.

The gender movement Walsh ably takes on in What is a Woman? is about a lot of things. It’s about money and profit, as female-to-male Scott Newgent says in the program. It’s about intellectual incoherence and the victory of relativism and personal feeling, as Trueman and Peterson point out. It’s about the separation of sex from procreation and the resultant collapse into recreation, pleasure and performance, as, well, I have said many times.

But like it or not, and whether or not that is a part of your worldview, the trans moment is also about gender: misogyny, gender roles, stereotypes, and caricatures. It’s about the appeal of these elements to broken, untethered, confused souls.

What is a Woman? is an important question to ask, so good for Matt Walsh. But why do you want to be seen as one or why do you want to stop? are even more important.

Which is why, to be honest, the first few minutes of What is a Woman threw me off.

It begins with Walsh, interiorly musing on the question at hand while watching a birthday party, apparently for a set of brother and sister twins. The boys are dressed in tones of blue and the girls in pink. The boy opens his gifts of a BB gun and trucks; the girl, hers: a tea set and dolls. Blue and pink, trucks and dolls, while Walsh’s interior monologue is all wow, women are so crazy mysterious, amIright, my dudes?

And then we get to the end of the documentary, when Walsh asks his wife, standing in the kitchen, the question of the hours. She gives the right answer — “An adult human female” — and then finishes the sentence with, “who needs help opening this.” And hands Matt a pickle jar.

Look, Walsh has done good, if basic, work here. His children’s book Johnny the Walrus is well-done, and even better for the tears of outrage it’s caused.

But this weird framing of What is a Woman? works against a coherent, thorough presentation of the issue. It even seems to support the common trans trope of “I didn’t like girly things so I must not be a real girl, so please cut off my healthy breasts!” or “My little boy likes mermaids and sparkly things. Get us the puberty blockers, stat!”

What is a Woman? centers reality, truth, nature, and by implication, natural law. But don’t let that opening montage, which I hoped was ironic (but apparently was not), or Walsh’s neglect of the role of gender performance or expectations in the trans dynamic, give you a mistaken impression. Walsh is Catholic, so it is fair for me to suggest that even in its most traditional Catholic expression, natural law does not envision pink, blue, and jar-opening skills embedded in the natural order and, in fact, offers the antidote to a movement that, in a bizarre way, seems to do just that.

Hard to believe?

Well, just ask her:

“Joan of Arc” by John Everett Millais (

• Related at CWR:What is a Woman? reveals the deeper problems with transgenderism” (June 4, 2022) by Nick Olszyk

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About Amy Welborn 27 Articles
Amy Welborn is the author of over twenty books on Catholic spirituality and practice, and has written extensively on gender issues at her blog, Charlotte was Both.


  1. “the trans moment is also about gender: misogyny, gender roles, stereotypes, and caricatures. It’s about the appeal of these elements to broken, untethered, confused souls.”

    Bingo. Stereotypes are suffocating, and yet when you erase procreation, you have to reach for some other project. Motherhood and fatherhood, Christ and his Church, abiding forms of love that bear fruit have been rejected—leaving a gargantuan vacuum. The modern world, instead, fetishises sterile embraces, and now the children who have run the contraception gauntlet are tossed a pastiche of cultural tropes to choose from, a DIY kit for personhood. Poor dears.

    • The problem is that Walsh and his ilk are the most passionate and brutal advocates for the most restrictive and offensive stereotypes of women. He doesn’t think married women should ever have jobs! He worries about too many women going to college. If you have to depend on fascists like him – he describes himself as a ‘theocratic fascist’ — you don’t really have a case to make.

      • No. A woman is a biological,fact. It is an adult human with two X chromosomes in each and every somatic cell in her body. It has nothing to,do,with social,construction, choices of profession, whether they go to college, religious identity or beliefs, or the like. This is not fascism. The whole effort to bundle all of these things together is evidence of people with far too much time on their hands and a marked tendency to over-intellectualize. The very fact that those following this path fastened on the term “gender”, a word that has as its only proper use in grammar (words have gender, masculine, feminine and neutral – people come in sexes) tells us a great deal about the mindset of those who,try to avoid reality by redefining words, as if doing so changes the thing itself. It is reminiscent of the anecdote about Abraham Lincoln who posed the question”If we call a tail a leg, how many legs would a dog have”? When a voice in the crowd reportedly shouted out “five”, Lincold retorted “Four. Calling. A tails leg. Will not make it one”, and he was right. He is another tell. A biological male who “identifies” as a female will claim to “feel like a woman”. Problematically, apologies to solipsists everywhere, the most that a “trans” person can honestly say is that he feels like he thinks women feel. He cannot actually know how a woman feels, not being a woman feels. He must rely on what he is told and how he observes biological act. This, however, is much like relying on what someone tells you about how chocolate tastes if you have never ingested actual chocolate. It is not about feelings, but about “beliefs”. If you are a biological male who believes against all,.evidence that you are a woman there is a word for you and it is not woman. It is “delusional”. The very definition of delusion is “a fixed, false belief”.. Again, this has nothing to do with debates about feminism, misogyny, the proper role of woman, career paths, family ambitions or anything like these things. This is just a way to hide from contrary opinions and facts.

          • At least the conversation has been started for many who did not know about transgender people and transitioning.No child should be taking hormones that will render them sterile.No child.should be allowed to get these meds without parental consent. The laws regarding this are getting scarier and soon parents will have to rights over their own children.The world has gone to hell.

      • Uh, none of that is true. You should do actual research into Matt Walsh before lobbing accusations about him.
        He does not think married women shouldn’t have jobs – I’m gonna need a receipt for that claim. He worries about too many PEOPLE going to college. It’s all a scam. He didn’t even go to college. I wish I didn’t. I’m also gonna have to see a receipt where he describes himself as a ‘theocratic fascist’ with the full context of that statement.
        Also, none of those ad hominems talks about his actual documentary.

        • He calls himself a ‘theocratic fascist’ in his Twitter profile, which CWR won’t permit a link to.

          I absolutely believe he didn’t go to college.

        • Agreed, thanks for pointing those out.
          Also, overall, the best thing about the documentary that the director wanted Matt to approach the interviews in a simple manner to just let them talk, that turned out to greatly echo Socrates’ method.
          So seeing this documentary gives very good image of the Socratic Method in practice.
          God bless!

          • P.S. This is a reply for Tony who commented on people going to college etc.
            With respect, this site really needs to fix their algorithms where replies to others’ comments are placed.

      • “Dysphoric:Fleeing Womanhood Like a House on Fire” by Vaishnavi Sundar is a much better, more in-depth documentary on this topic. It’s available to watch on youtube.
        That said, I think the interviews that Walsh did will remain important for some time.

    • Genevieve points out what is valuable in Welborn’s criticisms.

      Even so, can’t we all find common ground enjoying the sexual comedy – pickle jars, the way young girls and boys act at parties? And it seems to me such things ought to have some connection to how we deal with each other. Does the example of Saint Joan prove the SEALs ought to be at least 50% women?

  2. Joan of Arc was a figurehead, not an actual strategist or soldier.

    “natural law does not envision pink, blue, and jar-opening skills embedded in the natural order and”

    Jar-opening skills as related to grip strength? Yes, Natural Law does consider sex differences in abilities.

    • Sol:

      Having read the biographies of Joan of Arc by Mark Teain and Belloc, and learning of her repeated confrontations where she subdues or outwits the authorities constantly putting hurdles in her way, including the generals of the French Army, chief among them the battle-hardened general called “the Bastard,” the evidence is that she was no figurehead. Twain’s account of her self-defense in her final trial against a battalion of canon lawyers after her capture by the Burgundians (the records of which trial were studied by Twain in person when he moved to France and England to research his biography of Joan) show a young woman of surpassing wit and poise.

      For one single example, the account of how she over-rules the officers in her body guard opposed to her plans, and outwits the Burgundian cavalry hunting for her at the last bridge before Rouen, is an astonishing display of leadership, wits and sheer courage.

      Strategist…like the failed generals of the French Army, perhaps not.

      But figurehead…absolutely not.

    • St. Joan was enough of a soldier to capture an enemy in combat. (She left his armor as a votive offering in a church.) She also made policy, determined the position of cannon, and ordered attacks. One of her captains recorded a charming memory of Joan galloping around a meadow learning to maneuver a war horse and lance. Her captains, even the infamous mercenary La Hire, took her seriously even if you don’t.

    • That ‘figurehead’ was captured as leading her fellow soldiers.

      What Catholic men here have a fraction of the courage the real Joan possessed?

  3. “All that is fun is forbidden” – ancient delighted lament of hardened sinners. Lust is the ancient number one attachment of humanity. All perversions make flesh the “God”. Any human can accidentally wire his or her brain to the reliable reward of an indefinitely controllable fixation on a certain element: feet, hair, protuberances, inanimate objects, costuming in the opposite sex, a thousand other variations. All are satanic misconfigurations. The ecstasy-consuming sexually confused person cannot perform a non-sexual role divorced from the hidden fix of the precious.

    The dare of disorder is part of the intoxication. The world today is idolatrized and disconfigured. The denial overcome is to see that lust is not the be-all seat of human existence. Chastity is super-illuminating, the sacrifice of the flesh a sweet aroma to Father Spirit: Jesus and Mary (and Joseph)! Nowhere in Them is the scent of flesh or sex. Flesh has become spirit, angelica, freedom. The Holy Family are all avatars who preach Grace, a life far beyond the prison of the lethal honey of lust. If we too do it, we become children of God.

    That’s why religion is under attack; religion cannot be allowed to break the habit of the excitement-enslaved, boldly disguised in secretly attachment-guarding rhetoric.

    Under the night fog of lust, no one knows what they do, neither at the insidious unfortunate unprotected beginning nor the chronic later.

    • Yes. Until and unless God gives grace or time enough for the conductor of a lust-filled life to awake. Then the conductor’s eyes may open to the effect: Wrecked, ruined, destroyed, and a lost life with not much time left for repair.

    • An often overlooked aspect of gay culture is its childish nature. If it is purely a matter of SSA, why would it be necessary to endlessly pursue artifacts of childhood comfort? It has to do with gays having a dim awareness that they know when their lives really began going off the track and need to recapture or go back to the starting point of needing desperate forms of comfort. It is learned behavior where abusive adults never did the right thing to reestablish proper healthy self-esteem. Gender dysphoria reflects the same adult cowardice, to use a worn-out cliche, on steroids.

  4. Once again, Catholic feminism rears its head here. Feminism and orthodox Christianity cannot be reconciled. St. Joan’s exceptional and atypical life does not prove otherwise. Give it up.

    • What’s “feminist” here? Saying 21st century gender roles are a problem and a contributing factor?

      A lot of the trans nonsense is driven by a weird cementing of gender expectations in our society. Have you heard of Jazz Jennings? His parents decided he was a boy when he was a toddler because he liked mermaids and sparkly things. Have you watched videos or are you familiar with men who try to become women? They’re all about stupid stereotpyes. Look up Dylan Mulvaney, super popular now. :

      It’s not “feminist” to say that girls with short hair who don’t play with dolls are fully female and shouldn’t even think for a minute that they’re not.

      • I have nothing against tomboys, and do not oppose working outside the home in certain circumstances (although some occupations are clearly unsuitable for them even if they can the “do the job” just as well as men). My point is that we should teach and encourage men to be masculine and women to be feminine. All concerned would be much happier and society much better off than by minimizing the differences between the sexes and pretending they are interchangeable in so many respects.

        • Please define what ‘feminine’ means? In the 20th C when I grew up, ‘feminine’ could be summarized as ‘be, or pretend to be, a weak, stupid, coward who exists entirely to be underlings and punching bags to males.”

        • Joan of Arc was an heroic woman in every sense. She may have been a cross-dressee, but it was out of necessity, in order to carry out God’s plan for France. She is certainly not an example of transgenderism, as it is now defined, i.e., a woman who thinks/feels she is a man. She was a female virgin, and referred to herself as such.

    • Tony W: Welborn has been vocally expressing that pov for some time, as has Miesel. But unfortunately it looks like IP is increasingly headed in the direction of convergence. The best the “Catholic feminists” can do is NAWALT.

  5. A thoughtful article but a bit unfair, I think. I think Walsh’s film (which I haven’t seen) is an opener. Most people in his target audience (and most people, period) would not recognize the names, Foucault and de Beauvoir. I am not familiar with Judith Butler (except as an Acadian singer/icon). I think Walsh’s references to Kinsey and Money are more appropriate in the context of the documentary.

  6. No, it’s not fair to talk about what the movie isn’t. It’s only ninety minutes, so it is never possible for a movie to cover every aspect of a topic. The whole point of asking the question “What is a woman?” is exactly what we see in the movie. It’s the Emperor has no clothes moment. It’s also about Matt’s journey specifically not the topic as a whole.

    • Gilberta’s and Violet’s comments are spot on. I have seen the documentary, and it was obvious to me early on what the modus operandi is, and Walsh delivers quite well on this. I also saw Walsh in a different setting talking about the approach he takes in the documentary, and he made it clear it was intended for the everyday person as well as scholars, so it is never intended to go into such things in more depth as unjustly lamented by Wellborn as some kind of a failure on his part.

      Capping off the revelatory documentary features Walsh asking his wife for an answer to his “what is a woman” question. The scene is short, sweet, and powerful in its simple and eloquent statement by his wife that illustrates his wife’s commonsense wisdom, and it also includes a playful interchange that humorously illustrates one thing that is fervently denied by the “transgender” frauds regarding a fundamental difference between men and women as designed by God.

  7. This article mentions Joan of Arc to try to make a point, but let’s look at the documented history. There are quotes from Joan of Arc (some in the trial transcript, some relayed by eyewitnesses in other documents) stating that she didn’t fight (she said she carried her banner in battle); she also denied calling herself a commander (and the Royal records confirm that she didn’t have formal command); and she said she “would prefer to stay home with my poor mother and spin wool” rather than take part in the war. At her trial, she boasted about her skill at spinning and sewing, confirmed by eyewitnesses (at the postwar appeal of her case in the 1450s) who said she seemed to enjoy those types of tasks and indicated she was never a tomboy. Many eyewitnesses said she was very feminine. She always called herself by the chosen nickname “the Maiden” (“la Pucelle”), and certainly never claimed to identify as a man.

    • Indeed, she was a figurehead chosen by G*d to rebuke the supposed French male elites — it was Divine Subversion, and honestly, just because G*d saved France from being conquered by the English doesn’t mean he approved of everything in “Catholic” France. Catholic feminists would like to think they are instruments of G*d but they are the instruments of chastisement.

    • It is very important to realize that for a woman at that time to wear men’s clothing and take on a man’s role was considered heretical. This deserves a deeper look in this article.

      • Anne the Least: No, that has been contradicted by historians on all counts. Joan of Arc’s stated role (by her own description) did not involve “taking on a male role” since her actual role was carrying her banner in battle (she said she didn’t fight, and she didn’t lead directly either), as well as serving in the role of a religious visionary like so many other female visionaries and mystics in that era (such as St. Catherine of Siena, who advised Pope Urban VI). This was an accepted role for women. Her “male clothing” was just the soldier’s outfit and other items that she had been given to wear by the Royal government, various nobles, and the soldiers in her escort, for practical reasons. The medieval Church explicitly allowed an exemption for cross-dressing in cases of practical necessity (see the Summa Theologica and many other such books from that era). Joan of Arc had been approved by high-ranking clergy at Poitiers in April 1429, including the Inquisitor for Southern France (Pierre Turelure), and she also received public support from many other clergy (the Archbishop of Embrun, Inquisitor Jehan Dupuy, etc, etc). The clergy who later convicted her are exhaustively documented as pro-English collaborators, and dozens of eyewitnesses who were at the trial described how the English manipulated the trial and convicted her on deliberately misleading charges. The bailiff, Jehan Massieu, said they used the “cross-dressing” issue against her in a deliberately fraudulent manner by taking away her dress and forcing her to wear the soldier’s outfit again, then the judge condemned her to death for that, a false conviction which violated a number of the Church’s rules. After the war, the case was investigated by the Chief Inquisitor (Jehan Brehal) who ruled that the conviction had been fraudulent and she hadn’t been guilty of anything since her “cross-dressing” was done in a permissible context (and it should be noted that even when cross-dressing was done for sinful reasons it would be a sinful behavior that would be handled in the confessional rather than a “heresy” since heresy means promoting a doctrinal theory rather than engaging in a behavior, and only the public promotion of a heretical theory was prosecuted as a crime in that era).

  8. The four-year old believes in Santa Claus, but he or she also still knows the difference between Santa and Mrs. Claus.

    And as for the actual reality of Santa or St. Nicholas, well, we all know that he was a bishop (270-343 A.D.), a giver of gifts to children, and a real person—except for devotees to the cancel culture. Moreover, we also have it from today’s infallible press that he is real—as in the response to an inquisitive Virginia:

    As for the pickle jar, a legendary miracle attributed to St. Nicholas was the resuscitation of children who had been murdered by an innkeeper and preserved in a jug of brine. Today’s infantile world of fiction—whether transgender body parts or “health service” executions—now offers us aborted children preserved in jars of formaldehyde.

    We need Mr. and Mrs. Santa more than ever.

  9. My only complaint about the movie–and it is a minor one since the look she gave him was perfect- was the failure of Mrs. Walsh 1) clearly define a woman by adding in the XX chromosome bit and 2) asking her husband to open a jar.
    Ladies: turn the jar over, one sharp bang flush on the counter. Turn jar over and open. Alternatively, go buy yourself a pair of “jaws” (pliers) or small “oil wrench” from the hardare store.
    I am not sure a deep dive into critical gender theory is necessary for this particular film at this point. A follow up piece asking/ansering the questions the author poses would be welcome,however.

    • Sheesh. Wellborn 2.0. Mrs. Walsh gave a clear, simple, direct, accurate, and sufficiently complete definition of what a woman is, and it does not need to include specific information about chromosomes or anything else. Next, you completely missed the point about opening the jar (hint: it’s not that she couldn’t do it on her own), so the only failure here is your flawed criticism.

  10. The article strikes me as petty and self-serving, not least because Amy links back to her own writings not once, but twice. “Look at what *I’ve* done on the subject!”

    Matt Walsh is showing a broad audience how intrinsically ridiculous the propositions are. He’s not a niche blogger writing for Catholics. He makes a clear case to the man on the street and shows how simply asking questions is a good defense. There is no reason to trace back the flawed thinking to Foucault—why stop there? why not Duns Scotus’ flirtation with voluntarism?—just as there is no reason to trace a gun debate back to the discovery of gunpowder. I would think that as an editor Amy would recognize the need to keep a work focused.

    Ironically, Amy’s insistence that the questions “why do you want to be seen as one or why do you want to stop? are even more important,” exposes some natural differences. Walsh is asking a “what” question, and Amy is concerned about feelings and motivations. Furthermore, in another article here on CWR, Amy writes about her own struggles as a teen girl to fit in. At the end of the day, I can’t tell if this article is more about Walsh’s film or more about Amy.

    Amy attempts a shot at (Catholic) Walsh by appealing to St. Joan of Arc as other than a typical girl. The Church does present St. Joan of Arc to us as model of virginity, heroic virtue, and obedience to grace. Fair enough. It is likewise fair to say that the Church also presents St. John Vianney as the patron and model of the parish priest. Not all parish priests fit that model. Some parish priests abandon their vocation, marry divorcees, and let their wives publicly complain on their blogs that the Church doesn’t allow their laicized husbands to offer Mass or perform priestly duties.

    Hard to believe?

    Ask Amy Welborn.

  11. The more I think about this article, the more I dislike it. There is a smugness and elitism about it that I find very disturbing.

  12. You are criticizing the film because it wasn’t what you wanted it to be. Matt Walsh is extremely competent at what he does in this area. The gender critical movement is not what Matt Walsh represents. He is a 2 gender, male and female conservative, not a gender critical radfem. Radfems can make their own documentaries.

  13. I hate to break the bad news to Christian feminists, but women are never truly in charge politically, professionally, socially, and economically, especially when they think they are liberated. Their choices are to accept the authority, love and protection of their all-too imperfect husbands and fathers or to submit to the often brutal domination of pitiless employers, demagogic politicians and bureaucrats, sexual predators and vicious criminals, exploitative media manipulators and twisted academics and psychiatrists. The latter categories are mostly male, and largely not even nominally Christian.

    I work for a large multinational that now has plenty of females in management. Most of them are quite intelligent and capable. Some of them would have gotten their jobs even without affirmative action. They are not the leaders, however. While some can treat their underlings (especially women) very harshly, they are extremely obsequious to “The Man”, far more so than most men.

  14. I don’t understand this article. Walsh movie is spot on. If the “substantive body of gender-critical work” this article talks about is so much important, it is also absolutely invisible and, above all, ineffectual; and the reason is precisely that it avoided fundamental questions like “What is a woman” (not sufficiently intellectualish?) in order to investigate “the more potent questions”.
    So doing they concede to the leftists the abuse of language and psychology which is their only strength, but is enormously strong in practice. Foucault (the pedophile), de Beauvoir and Butler may be the intellectual founders of the current madness, but they wouldn’t have any impact on young people; the real cause of its spread is the massive adoption of propaganda tricks: slogans, abuse of language, unceasing repetition, the promise of being popular if you embrace subversive lifestyle.

    • “…that it avoided fundamental questions like ‘What is a woman’…”

      Uh, no. I recommend you read Abigail Favale’s The Genesis of Gender, which is both intellectual and very accessible–and from the perspective of someone who used to be a radical, pro-abortion feminist.

  15. I think Paolo above is getting at something. It’s related to the smugness, elitism (the negative kind) and condescension I detect in the article.

  16. Oh! Huzzah and hurrah! My heartiest applause to Amy Welborn for her critique of “What is a Woman?”, which articulates my own reaction to Walsh’s video polemic. Laudable in parts (the assaults on women’s athletics and privacy are especially vital, if also infuriating to countenance), I, too, had a sense that the finished result was…not quite finished. Of course, there could have limits on financing the film as well as finding subjects willing to be interviewed (the elisions of the gender “experts” being interviewed, who threaten to pre-empt their interviews when the questions get too tough, speak volumes). Even so, the perspectives of critics such as Alison McGrath (the author of “Sex Scandal”) and Abigail Shirer could have further fortified Matt Walsh’s thesis.

    Additionally, a film devoted to this subject matter could have benefitted from an investigation into what is gender dysphoria and its possible etiology. The perspective of Dr. Ray Blanchard, a psychiatrist who has extensive clinical experience in researching and treating gender dysphoria, could prove elucidating (he has recently speculated upon the possible influence of anime upon the seeming proliferation of gender ideology, particularly amongst the age-consort towards which such media is targeted).

    Finally, as Welborn stated so precisely, “what is this “woman” identity that certain males want desperately to perform as, claim, and be treated as by society and the law? And that certain females want desperately to opt out of? And why?” Over the past half-century, I have had random if recurrent acquaintances with women (it turns out that my “birthing person” was a woman, as are her daughters), very few of whom dress or comport themselves in any manner resembling the appearance and behavior of those “women” categorized under the letter “T” in that ever-expanding acronym, that rainbow-hued tetragrammaton, for whom rainbow banners fly during this high holy month of June. Sex chromosomes have their discreet utility, of course, but…yowza, gender is such a drag!

  17. Buzz above – Just so you know, I don’t have the patience to decipher your comments. I did grasp that you think Abigail Schrier has something to contribute to the topic under discussion. From what I’ve read, I think I can agree. Why don’t you have a go at summarizing Schrier’s observations?

    • Gilberta,

      I think that the critique which Abigail Shirer articulates in her book “Irreversible Damage” speaks well for itself. I recommend that tome to anyone interested in the ethical questions involved in the anatomical and physiological alterations of minors to facilitate a change of sex status.

      As for deciphering my comments, let me try to assist you: In paragraph 1, I commend Amy Welborn for her assessment of Matt Walsh’s documentary. In Paragraph 2, I recommend that a film with Walsh’s subject matter would benefit from more of an objective scientific perspective. In Paragraph 3, I attempt some wry humor regarding the gender identity movement’s influence upon language (i.e., mothers being referred to as “birthing persons”) as well as the ubiquity of rainbow flags (such as the one prominently displayed at the U.S. embassy at the Vatican).

      Being a celibate non-heterosexual who chooses to abide by the Church’s teachings, I very much treasure my gay friends; I rather think that their Pride events do a disservice to them. Certainly the LGBTetc. movement has been coopted by corporate interests.

  18. Buzz – Good answer. Much clearer and more succinct. I agree that the pride thing is being overdone and I’m finding it tiresome. I’m curious to see where it’s going to go from here.

  19. Now that I’ve actually seen the film, I don’t see any particular need to retract any of my previous statements. I am particularly annoyed at Welborn’s insinuation that you have to be up on your Foucauld and your de Beauvoir in order to be qualified to comment on what’s going on in the culture. I give Walsh credit for bringing up Kinsey and Money and their underpinning role in the current thinking on sex. A follow-up on these two characters might be most instructive and useful for understanding more fully how we got here and how we might find our way back.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Matt Walsh’s film What is a Woman? is both valuable and incomplete – Via Nova Media
  2. MONDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
  3. Matt Walsh’s Film ‘What Is a Woman?’ Is Both Valuable and Incomplete, Free Online Class on Greatest Literature of Western Civilization from Christendom College, and More Great Links! - JP2 Catholic Radio

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