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Jen Psaki defends Joe Biden's order saying 'trans rights are human rights', but 'what about women's rights'

White House press secretary Jen Psaki shut down Fox News radio reporter Rachel Sutherland a day after appearing to mock Peter Doocy, another staffer of the network
UPDATED FEB 10, 2021
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talks to reporters during her daily news briefing at the White House February 01, 2021 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talks to reporters during her daily news briefing at the White House February 01, 2021 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

When President Joe Biden signed the executive order, seemingly allowing trans women to compete with cis female in sports, it created a huge furore. In no time, the hashtag #BidenErasedWomen starting trending on social media. And every few days, the debate is sparked again. This time, it was on Tuesday when White House press secretary Jen Psaki shut down a Fox News radio reporter who asked about trans girls in high school sports, a day after appearing to mock another staffer of the network. 

When asked by White House correspondent Rachel Sutherland about Joe Biden's anti-discrimination executive order Psaki replied, "I’m not sure what your question is...trans rights are human rights." Just hours after, the president signed the order which is titled Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.  


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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a daily press briefing at the White House on January 25, 2021 in Washington, DC. Later on Monday afternoon, President Joe Biden will sign an executive order aimed at boosting American manufacturing and strengthening the federal government's "Buy American" rules. (Getty Images)

According to the order, "Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports." Sutherland had asked during Tuesday's briefing, "On President Biden’s transgender rights executive action, specifically when it applies to high school sports, what message would the White House have to trans girls and cis girls who may end up competing against each other? It’s sparking some lawsuits and concern among parents, so does this administration have guidance for schools in dealing with the issue arising over trans girls competing against and with cis girls?"

To which, Psaki replied, "I’m not sure what your question is." Sutherland attempted to reply respond and had started saying, "the president’s executive order has..." Psaki replied with, "I'm familiar with the order, but what was your question about it?"

Sutherland proceeded to ask, "The question is, does the president have a message for local school officials in dealing with these kinds of disputes that are already starting to arise between trans girls who are competing against cis girls, and a level playing field, particularly in high school sports when it leads to college scholarships. Is there any kind of messaging or clarification that the White House wants to give on the executive order?"

Psaki remained staunch on what she has maintained so far. "I would just say that the president’s belief is that trans rights are human rights, and that’s why he signed that executive order. In terms of the determinations by universities and colleges I would certainly defer to them."

U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to sign a series of executive orders at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office just hours after his inauguration on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden became the 46th president of the United States earlier today during the ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. (Getty Images)

No matter the nature of this executive order, critics have slammed it time and again saying that it could unintentionally discriminate against cis females. Journalist Abigail Shrier wrote on Twitter last month, "On day 1, Biden unilaterally eviscerates women's sports".

Biden's order states, "Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love."

The president says that such anti-discrimination policies are "enshrined in the nation's anti-discrimination laws", and align with a Supreme Court ruling from 2020 that prohibits "discrimination on the basis of someone's gender identity".   

In light of Psaki's recent comments, many took to social media yet again to slam the administration's perspective with many asking pointed questions. One of the most asked question on Twitter was on the lines of "But what about Womens Rights? That's the question!" Another tweeted, "@PressSec Translation: biological girls' rights don't matter, and this regime is perfectly okay with setting back the women's rights movement to nullify women's sports."

"So Biden's belief the boys are girls and men are women if the "Feel" it is enough to dismantle women's sports. Fuck outta here!!" another added. "They can compete as their biological sex. If that isn't acceptable to them, that is a small price to pay given that the alternative is the effective elimination of women's sports," another user argued. "Can someone flat out ask the questions: 1. Why did the president end women’s sports? 2. WHAT ABOUT THE GIRLS? DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE DANG GIRLS ANY MORE?" one asked.






While this debate takes over Twitter, LGBT activists say the order was simply Biden's attempt at moving towards a more inclusive society - just as he pledged to do in his inaugural address. Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice at the American Civil Liberties Union, said, "By stating the administration’s intention to follow Supreme Court precedent and federal law, at core all the newly-elected president did was lay out what the law is and agree, unlike his predecessor, to follow it."