Two Republican lawmakers were censored by Twitter for stating a biological fact.
Last week, the Biden administration celebrated the naming of Dr. Rachel Levine, an assistant secretary of health in the Department of Health and Human Services, to a four-star admiral post within the U.S. Public Health Service, a uniformed agency responsible for responding to public health crises.
In a press release, the HHS declared Levine is “the nation’s first openly transgender four-star officer across any of the eight uniformed services of the United States.” Yet Levine also “serves as the highest-ranking official in the USPHS Commissioned Corps and its first-ever female four-star admiral” – a point that was echoed and promoted by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.
“I am humbled to serve as the first female four-star officer of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and first openly transgender four-star officer across any of the 8 uniformed services,” Levine added in a statement. “May this appointment today be the first of many more to come. Diversity makes us stronger.”
Republican Reps. Jim Banks and Marjorie Taylor Greene begged to differ.
Banks, of Indiana, tweeted in response, “The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man.”
“Calling someone that was born and lived as a man for 54 years the first ‘female’ four-star officer is an insult to every little girl who dreams of breaking glass ceilings one day,” he added.
Greene, of Georgia, tweeted, “A dude who lived the first 50 years of his life as a man isn’t the first female anything. China is laughing at us.”
Twitter was not amused.
The social media platform slapped Banks with an advisory against “hateful conduct,” according to the conservative website the Post Millennial.
Twitter also scolded Banks: “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
Greene got off lighter.
On her account, Twitter noted, “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about hateful conduct. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
The reason hers stayed up, the Post Millennial reported, was that Twitter determined her “account represents a current or potential member of a local, state, national, or supra-national governmental or legislative body.”
But it was unclear why Greene’s comment was not forced down. Post Millennial speculated that it was perhaps because Banks actually used the word “man” – to describe someone who was born male.
The point they were making, however, was not lost.
In response to a New York Times article about Levine’s appointment, conservative commentator Candace Owens tweeted, “LOL. What better example of the alleged patriarchy than a man saying ‘I’m a woman’ and being awarded recognition as the ‘first female’ to accomplish something. Apparently men are better at everything — including being women.”
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