New Yorker April 22 issue carried Andy Borowitz’s article that came under the title, “Trump reassures supporters that he still opposes women who were born women.” It begins with the following passage:

“After rattling many of his supporters by expressing tolerance toward transgender people, the Republican front-runner Donald J. Trump clarified on Friday that he still opposes women who were born women. “The media has tried to blow my words out of proportion,” Trump said on the Fox News Channel. “Just because I happen to think transgender people deserve our understanding in no way means that I feel that way about women who were born women.” http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/trump-reassures-supporters-that-he-still-opposes-women-who-were-born-women?

What does “women who were born women” mean? Doesn’t it mean “women in general, which represents a half all of electoral votes”? If so, why does he “still oppose women who were born women, and turning women into his enemy? Doesn’t this massage contradict with his subsequent remark?

Trump said that any attempt to twist his words to apply to “women in general” was deeply offensive to him. “I have made my views about women very clear and to suggest that I have somehow changed those views is really, really hurtful,” he said.

Isn’t some words, like “who suspect” missing from the headline, “Trump reassures supporters that he still opposes women who were born women.”?

  • 3
    It looks to me like Mr Trump either was slightly misquoted or he got his phrases kind of out of order. And the person writing the headlines is taking advantage of that to further twist the appearance of Mr Trump's (already rather oddly contorted) views.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 23, 2016 at 1:32
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    Don't try to make sense of Trump's words, here or elsewhere. And yes, contradictions and inconsistencies abound. That's part of appearing to be anything to anyone.
    – Drew
    Apr 23, 2016 at 1:33
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    The Borowitz Report is a satirical news column. Borowitz makes things up. He's a comedian, and makes the most outlandish and false statements with great effect in his columns. What he's saying essentially is that Trump still hates women. Apr 23, 2016 at 2:55
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    Trump didn't actually ever say that. Andy Borowitz put those words into his mouth, so to speak. He did so for a number of reasons, mainly choosing to make fun of him that way because of his transgender turnaround. Borowitz is saying Trump's turnaround shouldn't alarm anyone; he "still hates women" (he's still a hateful person, just like before.) Though Trump never said that exactly, it's the things he does say (he denigrates women) and the way he acts. Apr 23, 2016 at 5:08
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    @YoichiOishi As medica says, Trump did not say what he is quoted as saying in this article. It is a joke, a spoof, a parody--it is fiction, made up, pretend.
    – user66965
    Apr 23, 2016 at 13:31

2 Answers 2


This is satire. The writer is making fun of Trump after Trump came out with a statement supporting transgender rights. Trump is widely viewed as a sexist pig who instinctually objectifies women--he is someone who is said to hate women, because he sees them as for his own sexual gratification and nothing else. This appeals to his right-wing supporters. So, now, he says something intelligent about leaving transgender people alone, and the right wing is throwing a fit. This article is a joke suggesting that Trump is trying to placate the right wing by assuring them that he still hates women who were born women (i.e., who are not transgender.)

  • Good answer but how is this a question about the English language? This question should be closed. Apr 23, 2016 at 15:15
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    @PhilipKirkbride this is a question about parsing language and context vs sound bite. Sure it's politically charged but we can take it. Apr 23, 2016 at 15:56
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    Putting aside whatever opinions I may have about the matter: this answer reads more like a diatribe than an analysis of what the statement in the OP means. "sexist pig...who hate[s] women" "this appeals to his right-wing supporters" Really?
    – brianpck
    Apr 23, 2016 at 16:49
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    That's the mindset the writing in question is coming from, so that context is important to understand the language here.
    – mxyzplk
    Apr 23, 2016 at 16:55
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    @brianpck I suppose the answer could have been worded more objectively, but I think it is a reasonably good summary of the way in which the Borowitz piece was intended to be understood and the context within which that understanding was to occur.
    – David K
    Apr 23, 2016 at 17:46

(Mostly) fictitious insult-humor faux-news skit, based on comic premise of a candidate being more tolerant of a minority than most of his supporters are -- therefore, said candidate comically compensates, by emphasizing the wide traditional prejudices he and his supporters still share.

As comedy goes, it's a bit smarmy, as it indirectly flatters the New Yorker reader for being morally superior to that candidate's supporters, and also for the reader's being clever enough to see the author's joke. "Preaching to the choir."

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    That's "choir". I doubt anyone would attempt to give a sermon to a few sheets of paper; they are not known to be good listeners. Actually this answer would be much better without the second paragraph, which may be a legitimate criticism but has little to do with the question of how to parse the meaning of the article.
    – David K
    Apr 23, 2016 at 17:57
  • @DavidK: While I agree that the idiom is composed using the word "choir", the word "quire" as well as meaning paper also (and IMO more commonly) refers to the architectural part of a church in which the choir resides, between the nave and the sanctuary. There are certainly interpretations of "preaching to the quire" that could be deemed valid and logical, when you consider similar phrases like "announcing to the room". Apr 23, 2016 at 18:40
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit I thought the architectural feature also was called a "choir". Upon looking a little further down the page on the "dictionary" sites, however, I noticed that "quire" is also listed as an archaic variant (or obsolete spelling) of "choir". So "preaching to the quire" isn't wrong, after all, merely (in my opinion) excessively quaint.
    – David K
    Apr 23, 2016 at 19:02
  • @DavidK: "Quire" is still very much the commonly-used word in that context, at least in the Anglican church. Your dictionary's "archaic/obsolete" notation may be US-specific; I don't know. I do notice now that the Wikipedia entry on the topic appears to have been similarly US-washed, even when giving cathedrals in the UK as examples. Shocking! Apr 23, 2016 at 19:16
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit "Obsolete" was from the "British dictionary definitions" section of dictionary.com/browse/quire, but who knows which "Britsh" dictionary that would be; so I looked in the Compact Edition of the OED, which noted that the English Book of Common Prayer still (in 1971) used the spelling quire and that the word is "fictitiously" spelled choir but pronounced quire; but all of this is listed in the entry for choir (alphabetized under C). I suppose if you want to communicate with British Anglicans, quire will do fine; for anyone else, I recommend choir.
    – David K
    Apr 23, 2016 at 19:35

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