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British 'man' becomes pregnant

(512 Posts)
slithytove Sun 08-Jan-17 10:50:13

Sorry, it's a mirror link

I don't usually post about this stuff, but it's really annoyed me this time.

Now 'men' can get pregnant? So 'men' will need maternity leave, 'men' will need maternity services, probably somehow different to women's.

Is it just me or does the fact they are calling this person a man instead of a transman, allow men (people born as men) to take even more from women under the trans rights umbrella?

Who would it hurt to call this pregnant person a transman?

I guess we should be grateful this person was born as a woman and is therefore socialised to not put themselves first.

Seachangeshell Sun 08-Jan-17 11:04:12

It makes a better headline doesn't it? That's all the newspaper is thinking of.

Floggingmolly Sun 08-Jan-17 11:08:41

Why would someone who believes they've been born into the wrong body, reject that body and believe they're actually meant to be another sex entirely - decide to get pregnant?
I truly don't get it confused. By getting pregnant you are fully accepting yourself as a woman, are you not? It's complete nonsense

qwerty232 Sun 08-Jan-17 11:13:47

I know 'feminism' accommodates a very disparate array of perspectives, but isn't the general consensus that gender is a social construct and therefore there is no such thing as innate manhood or womanhood? If that is the case then surely it is legitimate to term this man a 'man', a 'transman', a 'woman' or anything else he prefers? Or this isn' t the case and it isn't? I don't know. Just wondering. You can't assert that anatomy isn't destiny (as most, though of course not all, third wave feminists do) and then complain when someone asserts a gender identity that challenges anatomical gender norms.

Presumably there would be complaints if he was termed a woman too?

Floggingmolly Sun 08-Jan-17 11:17:15

I wouldn't have any issue with calling a pregnant person a woman...

CharlieSierra Sun 08-Jan-17 11:17:39

Agree Flogging, and also why is it news that an adult biological female is pregnant?

Twogoats Sun 08-Jan-17 11:18:38

He seems like a bit of an attention seeker to me... hmm

qwerty232 Sun 08-Jan-17 11:19:03

But why would you have an issue with calling a pregnant person a man?

Floggingmolly Sun 08-Jan-17 11:20:14

Because men can't get pregnant. It's a biological fact.

qwerty232 Sun 08-Jan-17 11:23:57

Sure Floggingmolly, but suppose a transexual gets pregnant but decides to identify as a man? I'm not actually disagreeing with you as such, just trying to tease this issue out in the context of patriarchy theory.

I had presumed one of the stated goals of (many) feminists was a society where gender identity is not dictated. I could be wrong there though...

sparechange Sun 08-Jan-17 11:28:38

I agree... and am even more baffled that the very same people then get up in arms about maternity services saying they offer services to women, because it offends them to be referred to as a woman hmm
It doesn't offend them to have a man ejaculate in their vagina while they are ovulating, and to go through pregnancy, of course. Just the pointing out that they have to be a biological female to go through any of the above.

SuburbanRhonda Sun 08-Jan-17 11:30:20

He's not a transsexual, though. He's a transman who still has the reproductive organs of a woman, so it's not such a surprise that he's been able to become pregnant.

But, as PP have said, that's not such an eye-catching headline.

0phelia Sun 08-Jan-17 11:33:54

It's precisely because gender is a social construct that some feminists are bothered by calling a man "she" and this woman a man.
They are reinforcing the presentation a person chooses to display (ie their "gender") as a physical and actual reality. Which it isn't.
The only physics actual reality is that we are born men or woman and no amount of exterior fancy dress or incorrect pronouns will change that.
Feminists are bothered by the erasure of women by this trans-trend.

Floggingmolly Sun 08-Jan-17 11:35:33

The thing is, querty, I just can't reconcile simultaneously deciding to get pregnant and identify as a man. They really are mutually exclusive states.

Ifitquackslikeaduck Sun 08-Jan-17 11:38:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

M0stlyHet Sun 08-Jan-17 11:40:31

" You can't assert that anatomy isn't destiny (as most, though of course not all, third wave feminists do) and then complain when someone asserts a gender identity that challenges anatomical gender norms. "

Qwerty - I think in a way that gets to the basis of the problem with third wave feminism. Yes, anatomy isn't destiny, but for second wave feminists, it is the material condition against which to make sense of our oppression. When you look at what is done to women world wide - restrictions on contraception and abortion, sex-selective abortion, female infanticide, female genital mutilation, restriction of women's access to education, jobs, and the public political sphere - this isn't happening for an arbitrary reason. It's not like an imaginary dystopian society which arbitrarily decides to discriminate against, I dunno, people with ginger hair. Two things make sense of systematic and widespread, cross-cultural, cross-historical oppression of women, and that is men wanting to control women's reproductive labour (because women are the sex that have children, not men) and "because they can" - because the obvious, inescapable sexually dimorphic characteristic in humans is that men are on average, and with quite a large d value (see thread on brain sex) bigger and stronger than women.

But the crucial thing is that none of this makes it ethically justified to oppress women - that's the point, to my mind, of feminism. That yes, there are biological differences, but no, these do not justify treating women as less than entirely human - denying them the vote, paying them less for the same work, not paying them at all for a lot of their work (because "caring" isn't important), denying them the right to own property, denying them the right to bodily autonomy (saying no to sexual partners, saying no to unwanted pregnancies).

The claim that biology is not destiny in the sense that biological sex has nothing to do with personhood is not the same as saying biological sex is irrelevant to understanding the world and to making sense of why women are oppressed and denied personhood in a lot of cultures and political systems.

Boogers Sun 08-Jan-17 11:41:44

Sparechange from the bit of this story I read it seems the pregnant person actively sought out a sperm donor.

I find this all very puzzling.

slithytove Sun 08-Jan-17 11:41:56

Yes very good point flogging.

If we accept that trans people have been born into the wrong body and reject their birth sex, then why on earth take that body down the one major thing it can do exclusive to females?

Surely it's a form of self hatred?

slithytove Sun 08-Jan-17 11:43:29

I don't want to call a pregnant person a man, as a pregnant person is a woman. Woman is a term defining sex. Not gender.

I am happy to call anyone a trans person if that makes them happy as it has no affect on me or the role of woman. But saying a man is pregnant is damaging as it opens up a whole spectrum of pregnancy rights. It is as said above another erasure of women.

qwerty232 Sun 08-Jan-17 11:44:40

It's precisely because gender is a social construct that some feminists are bothered by calling a man "she" and this woman a man.

But surely the corrective to gender construction is gender deconstruction? You are either in either in favour of men being confined to being 'men' and women confined to being 'women' (whether those identities are innate or constructed), or you aim to disrupt those norms?

I guess I'm thinking of Dworkin and what I take to be her view that patriarchal oppression will only end when identity is no longer gendered on patriarchal premises. Maybe that isn't a view representative of modern feminism though..

Floggingmolly I agree with you.

slithytove Sun 08-Jan-17 11:45:12

If this trans man who was born a woman, was referred to as a woman, I would have no problem with that from a personal perspective.

However if this person doesn't identify as a woman, I respect that they may not wish to be referred to as a woman. How that correlates to intentionally getting pregnant is beyond my understanding though.

venusinscorpio Sun 08-Jan-17 11:48:15


Because once you say men can get pregnant, you open the door to the loss of protections against discrimination given to biological women. Actual pregnancy and maternity is a separate protected characteristic in equality law, but refusing to hire a woman because she might get pregnant in future is covered under sex (not gender) discrimination. If it's argued that men can get pregnant too, potentially the way the law was framed might mean the employer could get away with discrimination against women on biological grounds.

Biology and the cultural expectations founded in it is the critical reason why women all over the world are discriminated against. Not gender identity. No one really believes men can get pregnant.

M0stlyHet Sun 08-Jan-17 11:48:20

Incidentally I think the "why be pregnant - surely it's a form of self-hatred?" idea is wrong. Quite a lot of people have a strong urge to become a parent, and often to become a parent to a child that is genetically theirs. I find nothing strange about wanting to do this, and I can see a transman seeing pregnancy as a somewhat unpleasant means to an end and living with a certain amount of cognitive dissonance for 9 months in order to have a child. (Hell, I thought of it as a mildly unpleasant means to an end, albeit without the cognitive dissonance caused by gender dysphoria, and I'm quite comfortable with my biology).

slithytove Sun 08-Jan-17 11:51:07

Qwerty from my very simple way of looking at it, is that sex and gender is separate.

Born with a penis plus all the bits and xy chromosomes - man
Born with a vagina plus all the bits and xx chromosomes - woman. Has the ability to carry and birth a child.

It's purely biological. Gender personally I don't have time for, but to my mind, a man or woman can have sex with anyone, wear anything, do any job, etc etc. That is not ruled by reproductive organs.

Therefore, this pregnant woman, is happiest living life as (for want of a better way of putting it) a stereotypical male. Short hair, no dresses, and is so unhappy in their body that they wish to remove those body parts which are exclusive to women.

I would say that in doing so, they become a trans man. Not a man, as men are born, not made.

IWantATardis Sun 08-Jan-17 11:51:17

Being pregnant is a very female thing.

I don't understand why someone who claims to believe that they're a man - or claims to actually be a man - would actively choose to embrace this very female thing.

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