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Emailing a medical website re: "pregnant people"

(56 Posts)
Bezalelle Wed 14-Aug-19 08:53:30

I'm TTC at the moment, and if there's anything that brings female biology into sharp, glittering focus, it's that.

I've been reading a lot online, and came across an article on a medical website about conception and pregnancy, which referred throughout to "people" instead of women. I decided to leave a comment:

Is there any reason why the author of this article has neglected to use the crucial word "woman", instead referring to "people" or "person"? As far as I'm aware, it is only women who can ovulate and become pregnant.

A few weeks later, I had a reply from the website's editor:

The reason we use people/person is because some people who are pregnant do not identify as a woman, they may identify as being gender-fluid, non-binary, or another label entirely, therefore we deem this to be more inclusive language.

To which I reply:

*Thanks for getting back to me.

The problem with your explanation is that such terminology is not, in fact, inclusive. It negates biological reality. Only an individual of the female sex can become pregnant, no matter how they "identify".

Obfuscating language like this quite frankly makes a mockery of the medical profession. It may be seen as "woke" and politically correct, but the vast majority of women see it as offensive and unnecessary.*

To which he replies:

*Thanks for your reply, I will certainly pass on your feedback.

I really disagree that it "makes a mockery of the medical profession". Our content is geared toward humans of all walks of life, and this piece is a well-researched, well-sourced, and easily accessible read. We're writing on a forum that reaches all types of people from all walks of life, and as times change, language also evolves.

I would also dispute your claim that "the vast majority of women see it as offensive and unnecessary". While also anecdotal, our office is more than 70% female, including our Managing Editor and the Copy Edit & Production Manager who oversees our style guidelines regarding language, and not one person had any issue with this change when it was made.*

hmm My response:

*Thanks again for your reply.

I'd just like to point out that elsewhere on your site you seem to have no issue with differentiating male and female. With just a brief glance, I can see articles about men's health and women's health. I therefore wonder why it is difficult for you to write about women when discussing possibly the most female-centric condition - pregnancy.*

No reply.

It might not be ethical to reproduce his emails verbatim here, but I don't care anymore. I plan to challenge this sort of thing more and more when I see it.

whatwouldbigfatfannydo Wed 14-Aug-19 22:30:24

The fact that trans rights are overtaking women's only goes to prove that TRA organisations (looking at you stonewall, moving the goal posts to suit your agenda angry) aren't interested in actually tackling the issues which affect people, such as the impact of reinforced gender norms, prejudice and stereotypes.

Without gender norms there would be no 'trans' anything/anyone.

And, frankly, we've lay down as doormats for men for far too long. They are NOT worth more than women no matter how they dress. They are appropriating womanhood and it is being sanctioned by the state and society. It is unacceptable.

XenoBio Wed 14-Aug-19 22:39:40

But surely it is not beyond the realms of possibility that an advanced society such as ours could find a way to protect the vulnerable while remaining inclusive?

Yes, but this has to happen by consensus and mutual agreement. Not by very obviously shouting down 50% of the population and accusing them of bigotry, but mysteriously not expecting the other 50% move over.

sheshootssheimplores Wed 14-Aug-19 22:49:19

Well done OP 👏

AnotherAdultHumanFemale Wed 14-Aug-19 22:57:05

Lol at him saying the women in the office didn't have a problem with it. Of course they didn't. Who is going to say they have a problem with it when they might lose their job or get sent for 'retraining in diversity'? They were probably terrified to say what they really thought.

Well done for challenging him. I agree, the more of us who complain and challenge the nonsense the better.

TurboTeddy Wed 14-Aug-19 23:39:11

The words man and woman are fully inclusive, they refer to male and female humans which make up 100% of the world's population. Gender identity may be yours to choose but it does not have a single clear definition and it does not alter the medical needs associated with biological sex.

BazzleJet Thu 15-Aug-19 09:12:21

Oh well said TurboTeddy

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