On the January 19 episode of Phil McGraw's long-running daytime talk show Dr. Phil, conservative Daily Wire host Matt Walsh was sat in discussion with a non-binary couple, identified as Ethan and Addison, to discuss what the show called "the gender pronoun debate."
At one point in the episode, Walsh said those who believe in “left-wing gender ideology” to being “just like a 4-year-old, who can’t even answer ‘what is a girl,’” and reduces the concept of womanhood to a generalized biological condition.
When both Ethan and Addison — neither of whom identify as female or as women — were asked to define womanhood, Addison responded by saying, “I do not define what a woman is because I do not identify as a woman. Womanhood is an umbrella term that describes people who identify as a woman. Each person has their own relationship with their gender identity.”
While the audience appreciated the answer, Walsh accused Addison of wanting to “appropriate womanhood, and turn it into, basically, a costume that can be worn.” Walsh took to his Twitter account to brag about his performance during the debate on Dr. Phil, though the fact still remains that trans people’s identities are not a debate.
Walsh, a noted right-wing blogger and media personality, also authored Johnny the Walrus, a children’s book PinkNews called “hateful” and “transphobic,” and that LGBTQNation called “anti-transgender,” describing it as intending “to mock transgender youth, comparing the experience of gender dysphoria to pretending to be a walrus.” He says he wrote the book to “protect our kids from [that] brainwashing.”
While McGraw gave Walsh a platform to spew his hate, he notably did not give space or time to those who could speak and report on the terrible, real-life, and often violent effects that kind of anti-trans rhetoric can have on trans folks.