J.D. Vance, who shot to fame as the author of the best-selling Hillbilly Elegy and is currently running as a Republican for an Ohio Senate seat, was harshly criticized after he accused New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, of "inventing" two-spirit people.
It all began when Ocasio-Cortez used her Twitter feed to respond to coverage from The Daily Mail.
The conservative outlet had mocked her for using the term "menstruating people" instead of "women."
To that, Ocasio-Cortez said:
"Not just women! Trans men & non-binary people can also menstruate."
"Some women also *don't* menstruate for many reasons, including surviving cancer that required a hysterectomy."
She added that "Trans, two-spirit, and non-binary people have always existed and will always exist."
The use of the term "two-spirit" appeared to really get under Vance's skin, and he accused progressives of "inventing" it altogether.
But Vance is incorrect.
For the record, "Two-spirit" refers to a person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit.
The term has been used by some Indigenous North Americans to describe Native people within their communities who fulfill a traditional third-gender ceremonial and social role in their cultures.
According to the Indian Health Service, "The term "Two-Spirit" does not simply mean someone who is a Native American/Alaska Native and gay," adding:
"Traditionally, Native American two-spirit people were male, female, and sometimes intersexed individuals who combined activities of both men and women with traits unique to their status as two-spirit people."
"In most tribes, they were considered neither men nor women; they occupied a distinct, alternative gender status."
"In tribes where two-spirit males and females were referred to with the same term, this status amounted to a third gender."
"In other cases, two-spirit females were referred to with a distinct term and, therefore, constituted a fourth gender."
Vance's ignorance didn't go over well with the online community.
He was quickly schooled.
Vance has garnered headlines in recent weeks for beating the drum of Republican talking points.
Late last month, he wrote an op-ed for The Columbus Dispatch in which he railed against Ohio State University's (OSU) vaccine mandate, calling it "an invasion of medical privacy, and a complete bait-and-switch."
Vance then proceeded to promote falsehoods about vaccination against Covid-19, suggesting that vaccines have only "been proven safe in the short term" despite all evidence to the contrary.
Before that, he criticized Vice President Kamala Harris for "condescension" after she voiced criticisms of voter-identification laws.