Prime Minister Scott Morrison was quizzed about the definition of a woman on Friday after Health Secretary Brendan Murphy appeared lost for words when asked during Senate Estimates this week.
Mr Morrison said it's not a difficult question, adding it's "pretty straightforward", when 3AW's Tom Elliott posed the question.
The PM then defined a woman as "a member of the female sex".
The "stupid" question presented to Mr Morrison sparked outrage on Twitter. Some argued there were more important questions that should have been asked.
"This is a f***ed up question," one Twitter user fumed.
"We don’t need to import this tedious culture wars crap to Australia. Trans people are not gotcha opportunities. There are lots of real issues going on in Australia right now, such as climate change and cost of living pressures. Start there," another person wrote.
When asked why Mr Murphy couldn't answer the question, the Prime Minister replied: "You'd have to ask him."
NSW Premier Dom Perrottet: 'Pretty obvious'
NSW Premier Dom Perrottet was amused by the question when radio host Ben Fordham put the same one to him on Friday.
"Do you know what a woman is Premier?" the radio host asked.
It was an "obvious answer," according to the premier. "It's a female adult human being," he told Ben Fordham on 2GB
"We live in a pretty strange world. It’s a pretty obvious question which requires a pretty obvious answer," he added.
The line of questioning was triggered by Dr Murphy's response when Liberal Senator Alex Antic put the question to him on Wednesday.
Dr Murphy said there were a variety of definitions so he was unable to answer.
"It's a very contested space at the moment," he said.
Senator Antic requested "just a simple one", pushing members of the health department for an answer.
"I mean, there are obviously biological definitions but there are definitions in terms of how people identify themselves, so we’re happy to provide our working definition on notice," Dr Murphy said, a response Senator Antic dubbed "hilarious".
Social media users were outraged that the original question asked in Senate Estimates was avoided to begin with.
"Political wokeness has emerged at all levels," wrote one social media user.
"Definitions don't change bud," said another.
"Stupid question let’s face it but it’s a simple answer even in today’s woke world," another wrote.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.