Stumped Again: Scotland’s New Leader John Swinney Struggles With Defining ‘Woman’

First Minister of Scotland John Swinney speaks during his debut at First Minster's Questio
Lesley Martin/PA Images via Getty Images

In what has apparently become the Achilles Heel for Scottish leaders, new First Minister John Swinney has already been stumped by the seemingly simple question “What is a woman?”, less than one week on the job.

Swinney, the second in a row Scottish National Party (SNP) politician to be installed without an election following the trans-agenda-influenced downfalls of his predecessors Nicola Sturgeon and Humza Yousaf, is already struggling to convey a cogent understanding of sex and gender to the public.

“I believe a woman is an adult female born as a woman and I also accept that transgender women are defined as women,” the Scottish leader said in an interview with BBC Scotland on Monday.

Attentive listeners were quick to note that adult females are not born as “women” but rather as girls, the Scottish Daily Express reports. Others expressed exasperation at the “confusing” definition of the fairer sex put forward by the first minister.

Reactions poured in quickly to Swinney’s remarks, with the gender-critical campaign group For Women Scotland bluntly replying: “This is just silly!”

Scottish Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton said: “And so it continues….with a confusing response from John Swinney, who correctly says a woman is born female, but fails to acknowledge that a transwomen is born male and whose gender identity is female. Biological sex and gender are not the same.”

The Scottish Feminist Network wrote: “All that fuss and nothing ever really changes. The new First Minister believes there are two routes to womanhood (just like the last two First Ministers): biological and fantasy. We know what happened to the last two First Ministers, so brace yourself, John.”

While the UK national Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, somehow managed to stumble his way to actually admitting that a woman is an “adult female” — after initially struggling with the question — the question has proved tougher for leftist leaders in the north.

Indeed, it was the same question that befuddled ex-First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who failed to give a straight answer as to whether allegedly transgender rapist Adam Graham — later known as Isla Bryson after being charged with rape — was a man or a woman during an interview widely credited as contributing to her political downfall.

A possible explanation for Swinney and Sturgeon’s difficulty in answering the question may be that both of their Scottish National Party-led governments rule from a minority position in the Holyrood parliament in Edinburg, relying on the woke Scottish Greens for a majority.

Tensions between the Green Party and former First Minister Humza Yousaf over whether the recommendations of the Cass Report on transgender treatments for children should be adopted in Scotland — namely whether the locally devolved government would break with Westminster and attempt to continue allowing children to be placed on life-altering puberty blockers — ultimately triggered a collapse of the coalition and forced Yousaf to resign.

Although Swinney managed to convince the Greens back on side to ascend to the top job last week, he will likely need to tread carefully on so-called LGBTQIA2S issues going forward, with Green co-leader Patrick Harvie warning last week that their support will be contingent upon continued “progressive policies” from the SNP leader.

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