Kelley Paul, the wife of Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul, was criticized after she launched into a Twitter rant about Chinese third graders learning "calculus" and, in the same breath, mocked transgender people.
Paul issued her remarks on International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as their contributions to society at large.
Writing on Twitter, Paul claimed that “Chinese third graders are learning multi-variable calculus" before proceeding to denigrate the American educational system because "third graders are being taught that 'men can have babies.'"
Paul did not back up her claim about the Chinese educational system.
There is no evidence to support that Chinese students are being taught calculus at such a young age, though China’s standardized curriculum and teaching have emphasized the importance of parental involvement, particularly in mathematics, "which is one of three core curricular in national exams," according to one source.
Still, Paul's comments are indicative of long-held racist beliefs about Asians being the "model minority" in the United States in comparison to Blacks and Hispanics.
That myth has been the subject of much scholarly debate over the years, particularly about how Asians are perceived as having overcome racial barriers by being "smart" and "working harder" than Blacks and Hispanics, who have often been cast as "lazy."
Paul's remarks about transgender people are also misleading.
Anyone who has a uterus and ovaries can become pregnant and give birth to a child. People who are born male and living as men cannot get pregnant. However, a transgender man or nonbinary person might be able to get pregnant.
But because it is only possible for a person to be pregnant if they have a uterus, it would be incorrect to suggest that people who are born male and living as men can get pregnant. Male reproductive organs do not include a uterus.
It is also important to remember that the terms "man" and "woman" refer to a person's gender, which refers to the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between femininity and masculinity.
Many have criticized Paul following her remarks
Paul's rhetoric is yet another example of the more aggressive attacks members of the Republican Party have directed at transgender people in recent months as part of the ongoing culture wars largely engineered by far-right sources.
Earlier in March, a Texas judge blocked the state from implementing a law that would have required state agencies to open child-abuse investigations into families whose children receive gender-affirming procedures.
And in Congress, prominent Republicans, particularly Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, have made all too clear their efforts to further dehumanize transgender people, recently advocating that transgender people should be "beaten into the ground."
Greene made headlines last year after she raised the anti-trans flag outside her office, which happens to sit directly across from the office of Representative Marie Newman, an Illinois Democrat. Earlier, Newman had raised a trans flag to support her transgender daughter following a contentious debate about the Equality Act, which Greene opposed.
Greene's behavior drew bipartisan criticism, including from Republicans who'd earlier voted to strip her of her committee assignments after she made anti-Semitic remarks and promoted violence against Democrats.
She recently garnered significant criticism after she melted down after someone vandalized an anti-transgender sign she displays outside her office, referring to the culprits as "crazy and deranged."