‘What Is a Woman?’ Delivers Shocking, Subversive Truths About the Culture

Matt Walsh's elementary question leads to larger, disturbing queries

Most partisan documentaries let like-minded folks have their say. Or, they give opponents a chance to speak but with little screen time to get the job done.

“What Is a Woman?” turns that dynamic on its head.


The film follows Daily Wire podcaster and author Matt Walsh as he asks one of society’s most simple questions, one suddenly fraught with cultural complications.

Even the newest Supreme Court justice got tripped up over it. But why?

To find the answer, Walsh travels across the globe asking trans activists and feminists alike that titular question.

Most can’t give an answer or refuse to consider it. They stumble, and stammer, before changing the topic or ending the conversation.

Those responses speak volumes, of course.

RELATED: Film Critics Ignore ‘What Is a Woman?’

Walsh famously disdains the transgender movement. He’s a Christian conservative with little time for gender derivations. He still approaches the subject in a neutral fashion for much of the documentary.

No snark. No lectures or finger wagging. Just calm, reasonable questioning. The answers, when they finally arrive, can be startling.

Director Justin Folk (“No Safe Spaces”) keeps the tone jaunty, even darkly comic. Walsh lacks the charisma of a born entertainer, so Folk frames him in a different light. He’s the Everyman, someone willing to ask the questions most won’t utter.

It’s a wise approach. It also heightens the stakes in play. And yes, there are considerable stakes afoot from a cultural perspective.

Some won’t accept the documentary’s premise at face value. Others will rage at Walsh’s staid demeanor, knowing the true feelings lurking beneath his mild-mannered style.

What we should all agree on is simple.

It can’t be off bounds to dig deeper into the trans conversation. Our children are in play, for starters. The film aggressively pursues this angle, and we see specialists giddy at helping young children begin their “transition.”

RELATED: ‘Streisand Effect’ Powers ‘2000 Mules,’  ‘What Is a Woman?’

A segment on trans sports lets two female athletes criticize Lia Thomas, the University of Pennsylvania swimmer who transitioned to female and now dominates the field.

One fellow athlete appears on screen to share her frustrations at losing out to a biological male identifying as female.

“I missed out on so much throughout my high school career,” she laments.

Another is seen in the shadows, her voice modified to shield her identity.

“If you speak up about it … your life will be over in some way,” she says. Defy the trans groupthink and face profound consequences.

Just ask author J.K. Rowling, one of the most canceled celebrities in Western culture.

'Deeply concerning': New York Times cancels JK Rowling

Debra Soh, author of “The End of Gender,” shares how she fled academia when she realized university research is often compromised in areas like trans issues. She said you have to pre-determine what your studies will reveal “so you don’t upset activists.”

Is that any way to run a university, let alone find the truth? Of course not. So why can’t we talk about it?

Walsh’s trip to a women’s march is particularly enlightening. Of course no one on camera can say what a woman is, leading to more unintentional laughs.

Walsh is bumped, called an expletive, shouted down and treated like a supervillain. Yet he’s polite, doesn’t raise his voice and keeps his tone docile.

The “a**hole” chant meant to chase him away isn’t so kind.

“What Is a Woman?” veers into black comedy on a few occasions, but not by choice. Walsh’s long-ranging interview with a gender studies professor finds the star drilling down on a basic principle.


“When you use that terminology you’re being malignant and harmful,” the professor says. One therapist asks, with a straight face, “whose truth are we talking about?”

Welcome to 2022.

RELATED: Gervais Laps Chappelle in Trans Jokes with “SuperNature’

Democratic Rep. Mark Takano of California patiently answers some of Walsh’s queries before abruptly ending the interview. I just wanted to know what a woman is, Walsh says to the fleeing congressman.

“And you’re not gonna find out,” an off-screen voice barks, presumably part of Takano’s press team. Imagine thinking that’s a burn, not an admission of some kind.

What’s lingers about the compulsively watchable film is that Americans are terrified of speaking on the subject for fear of saying the wrong thing. It leads to silence, befuddled looks and abject fear.

It’s woke, Cancel Culture and societal groupthink all rolled into one oppressive, anti-American stew.

And how can self-described feminists go to sleep at night knowing they can’t define what a woman actually is?

At times, “What Is a Woman?” carries a Michael Moore-like motif, or so it would appear. We learn about “Johnny the Walrus,” Walsh’s best-selling book about a lad who’s convinced he’s a long-toothed critter.

Except the documentary reveals how a major bookseller took the tome off the shelves.

More consequentially, we watch Walsh’s appearance on “The Dr. Phil Show” debating trans individuals. The episode in question, which allowed a free flow of ideas without anyone storming off, got yanked by both CBS and Hulu.

Shut up. Accept the new narrative. And, if you didn’t hear us the first time, we said, ‘shut up.’

The film could use some hard data, along with more experts, to back up Walsh’s arguments. Even more necessary? Empathy for those who believe with all of their hearts they ended up in the wrong body.

That matters.

It doesn’t matter where viewers stand on the issues explored in “What Is a Woman?” If we can’t talk about the subjects, if just doing so puts us at some kind of risk, that’s a problem.

HiT or Miss: “What Is a Woman?” will trigger a considerable part of the viewing audience. That alone is reason enough to watch this smartly packaged editorial.


  1. If a woman is someone who simply fills the female role, does that mean born-females, that identify as women, who don’t fill typical female roles, aren’t women? That’s one of the worst definitions I’ve ever heard.

  2. The problem, it seems to me, is that different people are using the same word – GENDER – to refer to different things. Ordinarily, this problem is solved by such things as use of adjectives. Not all roses are red, so we refer to red roses, white roses, blue roses, etc. Why do we not do the same here? A woman can be an anatomical woman, a chromosomal woman, an identifying-as woman, etc.

  3. He does a good of exposing liberal dogmatism, BUT I was disappointed he didn’t ever provide his own definition of what a woman is. Actually, HE DID provide a definition: a woman is someone who needs their husband to open a jar for them.

    Jokes aside, this is actually a good definition – A WOMAN IS someone who fulfills the female social role in society (e.g. appearance, behavior, duties). You can’t define a woman by her ability to get pregnant, her chromosomes, or her genitalia, because not all of these things are true for all women. Society is divided into two main social roles: male and female. The only constant that is true for all women in civilized society is they are expected to appear and behave as women.

    Works of art often allude to the truth despite their author’s intentions. GOD CREATED THEM MALE AND FEMALE – not the clay pot, but the light inside. It’s not the light inside that is broken, but the vessel which needs care. GD is experienced the same for cis-people as trans-people. While liberal insanity needs sharp correction, there is a place for people born trans in God’s Kingdom. God did not make a mistake when he made them, and how we care for them will be a test of faith.

  4. The topic of biological men competing in women’s sports was, perhaps out of necessity, touched on only lightly during the film. The idea of young women quitting their teams, losing their college scholarships, and being injured by bigger, stronger bodies, is an area that needs much more light shined upon it.
    And now the real issue about Lea Thompson’s performances. Thomas is disrespecting the sport of competitive swimming itself. I believe Thomas DECIDED not to win all the events in which Thomas was entered, in order to alleviate some of the criticism of Thomas domination in the pool. Which invites a new film to be made, What is a sport?

  5. You can see from the African tribal people interviewed that America is now the laughing stock of the world. What a pity!

  6. Saw some clips earlier. It’s actually quite concerning how many so called scientists and academics are either silent on, or simply won’t discuss, the issue.

    No-one wishes to harm or upset anyone, but a clear definition of what a woman is, or how we define one, seems rather mundane to me. And one would think that, for feminists especially but also society as a whole, this is actually an issue of some importance.

    I also feel that other cultures go about this much better. The Thai notion of ‘Kathoey’, for instance, accepts that a third sex exists; and if you spend any time there, you will see that this is common and not an issue. I often shake my head at how us westerners tend to overly complicate everything and make issues divisive and problematically binary. That said, no-one will ever convince me that a man can be a woman, or vice versa – that is literally madness,

    We need to have an open and frank discussion, and one sides constant attempts to shut this down at all costs is becoming tedious and overly aggressive.

  7. Apparently this is the one critic that has “dared” to watch & rate this “transphobic” documentary.
    Thank you sir, and all you other critics are just a bunch of pathetic cowards.

    1. Yeah, that is really the saddest takeaway. They can’t watch it and refute it, and they do not DARE agree with it, or they will be excoriated in the liberal media. Silence is acquiescence.


  8. “What Is A Woman?” will make you laugh, cry, and presents sobering information about hormon treatments and surgeries beng performed on children who seek to improve their lives through sex change operations. Big pharma is the big winner with over $1MM/patient over a lifetime of medical treatment. The results of osteoporosis, cancer, and multiple pills required to maintain the sex change is not often discussed when speaking of transgender issues; it is well worth considering. Scott’s story is a cautionary tale of what happens when a person takes the “journey” toward a sex change operation. The information is enlightening; and and parents need to consider the medical challenges before leading a child toward a life of complicated medical issues. Social media influences many of the personalities to undergo gender change and is explored as a trendy fad many adolescents seek out as a result of normal adolescent angst. “What is a Woman?” is humorous as M. Walsh explores the question with a wide vareity of characters. Highly recommended.

  9. As a woman (biological female) I appreciated watching this film. I used to be very pro-trans, unquestioningly. I felt that any hesitation about letting a trans person share our bathrooms was cruel, and showed inflexible thinking.

    “Love is love” was a very popular, effective and accurate statement about gays, lesbians and bisexuals. But the problem is, marketing people decided since “love is love” worked at shaping public opinion, they then copied the verbiage to, “trans women are women”. But those are not the same. A biological man has no idea what it is to be a woman. He has never experienced a single day in his life, of being a woman. He’s never had period cramps that prevented him from practicing or training for sports, his brain, DNA and hormones and receptors are different, his upbringing was totally different in the way he was treated by others. Just as I have never experienced being a man. I can try to guess what being a man would be like, but admittedly, what am I basing that on? TV shows, watching my dad? But I’ve never lived it. When a biological man says he ‘identifies’ with being a woman, that is entirely his imagination, a projection, a man’s idea of what he thinks being a woman is like. He has no actual idea. And so, when men say, “I’m a woman just like you,” it’s absurd.

    It’s even more absurd, to see the trans athletes taking away titles from real women in sports. That’s where it goes from “strange” to “damaging.” Women and feminists worked really hard to create those protections, even the right to vote or attend college at all was denied to us until very recently. Now here come men saying, I’m entitled to your trophies. Really though, don’t the trans people see how this is damaging to their cause? The Lia Thomas thing in the documentary, and the girl who was too scared to even show her face on film for saying it out loud, ‘what is a man doing here? Why is a man in our locker room with his penis out when this is a girl’s team?’ I’ve read elsewhere Thomas is still heterosexual attracted, attracted to women. So he’s still fundamentally a straight guy, walking around naked, in a women’s locker room while claiming to be a female and taking away scholarships from actual females. That’s just wrong. I’ve been feeling a growing unease for a while, but I think the Lia Thomas incident is where it really hit me, you know, “what the f— have I been supporting all these years?”

    The trans movement has jumped the shark, and as a former supporter, I’ll be honest I blindly supported it. I’m sorry for what has happened to JK Rowling for simply speaking out in defense of actual women. I have gay friends and I’d seen how they were sometimes rejected from their own families. I wanted to be a kind and inclusive, non-judgemental person. The part in the documentary about the castrating surgeries and drugs being given to kids, is frankly scary. Especially the interview with the woman who had transitioned to male and kept experiencing infections, knowing this was shortening her life. The exposure of the groupthink around it, where people can’t even say what it obviously true, and aren’t allowed to warn kids about long-term consequences, that is scary.

    It appeals to leftists because we want to help others, we tend to support the underdog, and we believe we are being good people, inclusive people. We supported LGB, lesbians gay bisexual to equal rights like marriage, and not be discriminated in the workplace, because we knew it was (and it is) the right thing. But then these other letters started getting added. I have no idea what the others mean. But I support LGB so I supported the others, no questions asked. If anything, this film brought much-needed perspective. I think this film brings up necessary issues and more people should watch it. We should have a coherent grasp of what we are supporting and why, not just blindly go along. Especially when women aren’t allowed to, and are threatened if they question trans ideology was the biggest red flag brought up by the film. Women should seriously question their support of this ideology. Which appears in many ways to be, after watching this film, a men’s rights movement masquerading as a women’s movement.

    1. “Appears to be a men’s right’s movement masquerading as a women’s movement”. And there we have it. I’m honestly tired of radfems constantly making the movement seem like a ploy by men to infiltrate women’s spaces and take away their autonomy. Most of the people supporting transgenderism are women. Most trans people are men. Young men, teenagers, and boys manipulated into mutilating themselves and inviting a whole host of psychological and physical issues into their lives at the behest of the community that is, in large part, supported by cis women of all types of sexual orientations. The girls in the videos lost out on their gold medal? Sad, it really is. But these young men are losing out on their lives. Suicide rates for trans people can be higher than 40% and males already have disproportionately high suicide rates, anyways. But of course, the only acknowledgement of these issues you showed was for the ftm. Bottom line: tell your fellow women to stop fuelling the movement that manipulates young boys to permanently disfigure themselves instead of being given help for their mental healths. Many men realize these truths and still speak so regardless of any social backlash. Do the same.

    2. I want you to think about what you’ve written some more. A men’s rights movement would not constitute encouraging and facilitating male genital mutilation and potentially dangerous hormone treatments so that a fraction of the men can go on to win trophies in female competitions. It would not constitute denying men of psychotherapy and putting them at risk of serious health complications so that they may infiltrate female spaces and force lesbians to have sex with them. This isn’t a CIA op perpetrated by the Patriarchy(TM) but a misguided notion of inclusivity, like you’ve said, that has led to greatly adverse consequences for the people directly affected (mostly men). If you’re wondering why I’m beating the drum about this then that’s because men have been trying to tell everyone for years now. It’s really only turning heads now because the situation has spiralled to the point where it’s affected mainstream discourse. Ironically enough, men are the ones getting the worst of it from both sides, the right is bent on ostracizing and deriding trans women (biological men) and the left wants to cancel the cis men that speak sanity on the issue.

  10. I admired Matt’s composure and poise during some very challenging moments during the interviews, especially when he briefly stepped into the abyss with people who deny the nature of reality.

  11. I haven’t seen this film yet, but I wonder if this type of question is asked:

    If a ‘woman with a penis’ is allowed into a female changing room where young girls shower and change, then what is to stop any man from going into a female changing room where young girls shower and change? To prevent men from going into women’s changing rooms, it is necessary to know ‘what is a man?’ If you can’t define what a woman is, how can you define what a man is?

    This question cannot be ignored.

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