On Wednesday, Jill Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken presented the “Women of Courage” award to eleven women working to create a brighter future in honor of International Women’s Day. However, one of the honorees, Alba Rueda, is a biological male from Argentina. The farce led to social media backlash from ordinary Americans.
Rueda was introduced as a “transgender woman who was kicked out of classrooms, barred from sitting for exams, refused job opportunities, subjected to violence, and rejected by her family.” Biden added, “But in the face of these challenges, she worked to end violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ plus community in Argentina.”
Social media users lampooned the choice, with many questioning why a biological man was being awarded a woman’s award. The critics included Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R), who tweeted, “It’s International Women’s Day – a good time to remember that Democrats can’t even tell you what a woman is.”
Dana Loesch, host of “The Dana Show,” wrote: “Nice of FLOTUS to encourage the diminishment of women on ‘international women’s day.’ Erasing women is abusive.”
Townhall columnist and radio personality Derek Hunter jokingly urged women to “step up your game.”
International Women's Day: Not just for women anymore.
— Andrea Katherine (@AndreaKatSTL) March 8, 2023
It’s International Women’s Day – a good time to remember that Democrats can’t even tell you what a woman is. https://t.co/BPJ1fHhl5u
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) March 8, 2023
The award ceremony sparked a broader discussion about including transgender individuals in women’s spaces and events. Critics argued that the decision to award a biological man a women’s award is an example of erasing women and promoting woke policies. Conversely, supporters highlighted Rueda’s activism for LGBTQ+ rights. They argued that including transgender individuals in women’s events is essential to creating a “more inclusive society.”
Rueda is Argentina’s Special Envoy for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Worship.
The State Department praised Rueda’s work and highlighted her campaign to rename the National Women’s Conference as the “Plurinational Conference of Women and Lesbian, Cross-Dresser, Transgender, Bisexual, Intersex, and Non-Binary Persons” to include “diverse, dissident, and racialized identities.”
Rueda has also pushed for the Transgender Labor Quota Act, which mandates 1% of public sector jobs in Argentina be staffed by people who identify as transgender.
The International Women of Courage Award was first presented in 2007 to honor women who have “demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment.”