Sadiq Khan refuses to be baited by ‘what is a woman’ question in Piers Morgan interview

Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan is having none of Piers Morgan’s anti-trans dog whistles after the TalkTV host asked him “What is a woman?”

The broadcaster tried to put Khan on the spot during an interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored on Monday (4 September), asking the mayor of London to define a woman.

The question is typically used as an anti-trans dog whistle, meant to catch out activists, politicians or figureheads, as a way to discredit the gender of trans people.

But instead of engaging with the question’s underlying motive, Khan used the moment to insist that trans women are women.

Khan was not on the programme to discuss trans or women’s issues, but his response to Morgan’s question was shared in isolation on social media.

“I answer that question knowing full well that there are people watching this who have gender dysphoria and have concerns in relation to this issue,” he said.

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“A woman, when it comes to biology and sex, is an adult girl,” he continued. “There are some women who have gender dysphoria and trans women can also be women as well.”

The small section of the interview was flooded with transphobic messages by anti-trans and “gender-critical” individuals on social media, who used the moment to spread their rhetoric.

Others targeted Khan’s personal life as a practising Muslim, spreading conspiracies about the religion and claiming that he wasn’t a legitimate Muslim.

Piers Morgan uses dog whistle frequently

Morgan oftem uses the anti-trans dog whistle on his show to either reinforce the beliefs of anti-trans pundits or in an attempt to catch out LGBTQ+-affirming experts.

He was called out for his frequent use of the question by UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) president Larissa Kennedy, who told him she wasn’t going to stoop to his level, during an interview last year.

During the interview, in which Kennedy was asked to discuss a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) think tank, which found that university students overwhelmingly support the idea of safe spaces on campus, the former editor of the News of the World asked her to define a woman.

Kennedy called the question irrelevant, saying: “I came here to talk about freedom of speech. Ask the next guest.

“A woman is someone who defines as a woman. Period. Done. Next guest.”

Morgan then seemed to try to rile her by claiming he was a woman, to which she responded: “[I’m] not falling for it.” I said next guest because that’s not my segment.

“Bye, you’re not getting your little audio clip from me.”

In its advice for dealing with anti-trans dog whistles, the LGBTQIA+ arm of the Green Party states that respondents should point out that it is flawed and seeks to “reduce women to their genitals.”

The advice goes on to say: “If you go for a self-ID answer, know the facts – say with certainty that cis men abusing this doesn’t actually happen.”