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More transgender news during 2017

Part 1

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2017-JAN-29: The British Medical Association (BMA) published a new pamphlet on pregnancy for its internal use:

Jamie Bullen wrote an article for The Evening Standard, a UK newspaper. It is titled:

"BMA warns against calling pregnant women 'expectant mothers' as it 'may offend intersex men'." 1

He is referring to a new 14 page leaflet published by the BMA for its medical staff, not for its physician members or the public. It is titled:

"A guide to effective communication: inclusive language in the workplace." 2

Jamie Bullen, writing for the Evening Standard, said that the pamphlet:

"... suggests 'the elderly' should be referred to as 'older people', 'disabled lifts' as 'accessible lifts,' and someone who is 'biologically male or female' known as 'assigned male or female'.

In the guide’s pregnancy section, it states: 'Gender inequality is reflected in traditional ideas about the roles of women and men. Though they have shifted over time, the assumptions and stereotypes that underpin those ideas are often deeply rooted.'

A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women. We can include intersex men and transmen who may get pregnant by saying 'pregnant people' instead of 'expectant mothers'." 1

The BMA pamphlet was difficult to find online. The links provided by the Evening Standard and other newspapers are broken. A search of the BMA web site itself came up empty. They may have taken it offline because of the negative response the pamphlet received in the media. However a Google Search found a PDF version of the pamphlet that can be downloaded from the Archive.org web site. Archive states:

"AS MENTIONED IN DAILYMAIL ON 29 JAN 2017 THIS IS NO SATIRE. THIS IS REALITY." 2

The pamphlet begins:

"We are committed to promoting equal rights and opportunities, supporting diversity, and creating an open and inclusive environment for our members, employees and stakeholders. The successful implementation of equality and inclusion in all aspects of our work will ensure that members, colleagues and staff are valued, motivated and treated fairly. It will allow us to respond appropriately and sensitively to an increasingly diverse society.

As an association, an important way that we can affirm our commitment to equality and inclusion is through the use of inclusive language. This guide promotes good practice through the use of language that shows respect for, and sensitivity towards everyone. The choice of appropriate words makes an important contribution towards the celebration of diversity. As well as avoiding offence, it is about treating each other with dignity and as equal members of an integrated community. Language is dynamic, and terms disappear, reemerge and are revised. We all need to be sensitive to changing expressions and meanings as they emerge. 2

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The pamphlet was met with a great deal of scorn, ridicule and rejection:

  • Conservative MP Philip Davies told the Daily Telegraph: "If you can’t call a pregnant woman an expectant mother, then what is the world coming to?"

  • There were 46 comments posted by readers to the Evening Standard's article. 1 The first few were:
    • "RoganM" posted: "It would be more correct to say that the do-gooders and PC thought leaders are the ones saying this. I doubt that any sane transgender whatever would give a flying toss about it."

    • Kenneth Scott posted: "This is political correctness gone too far.  If a woman is pregnant, then she is an expectant mother.  End of. "

    • "Chloraflora" posted: "I'm a trans woman, and I can't fathom why this could be offensive to anyone. Christ."

    • "mwalter" posted: "Grow Up !!!! Are you all in a snit because of the normal every day words other people use ? That's pathetic !!! Use whatever words you want to refer to yourselves, and allow every other person to use the words they want. Talk about INTOLERANT !!!!!"

    • "coles79" posted: "talk about ignorant, intersex, is completely different than the LGBT get your s..t straight before spouting your yaps. intersex is a medical condition not sexual orientation or gender identity."

    • Elizabeth212 posted: "There is such a thing as being too politically correct. These new guidelines are absolutely absurd! 1

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2017-APR-17: Dove has new TV commercial:

The Unilever Group which manufacturers Dove soap products, has produced a "Real Moms" TV commercial. One segment features a lesbian couple that includes one cisgender female spouse and one transgender woman:

couple-on-a-Dove-commerical 3

A cisgender female adult is a person who was identified as female at birth, was registered as female on her birth certificate, has female structures in her brain, and currently identifies as female. They form about 99.4% of the female-identifying population. A transgender female adult is generally a person who was identified as male or intersexual at birth, registered as male on her birth certificate, has female structures in her brain, and currently identifies as female. They form about 0.6% of the female-identifying population.

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The TV ad features parents of all races, differing careers, sexual orientations, and gender identities. The commercial features a stay-at-home mother and a mom who works as a cattle rancher. Then, it shows, Shea, a transgender woman, who says:

"We are both his biological parents. You get people that are like, ‘What do you mean? You’re the mom?’ We’re like, ‘Yep. We’re both gonna be moms. ... There's no one right way to do it all."

Dana Rudolph, writing for the Mombian blog -- which supports lesbian mothers -- commented:

"I love the campaign’s overall theme of ‘There’s no right or wrong way to be a mom — only your way. As one of the other moms in the ad says, ‘Do what fits your family. And trust yourself.’ That’s pretty much the best parenting advice I can imagine." 3

The Blaze, a conservative news outlet on the Internet, posted an article on the commercial, saying:

"This latest ad from Dove seems to be part of a broader shift away from defining mothers as [only] those who are biologically female. 3

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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Related essays on this web site that you might find interesting:

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Jamie Bullen, "BMA warns against calling pregnant women 'expectant mothers' as it 'may offend intersex men' ," Evening Standard, 2017-JAN-29, at: http://www.standard.co.uk/
  2. "A guide to effective communication: inclusive language in the workplace," Archive.org, 2016-DEC-31, at: https://archive.org/
  3. Image captured from a You Tube video by The Blaze.

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Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2017-APR-27
Author:
B.A. Robinson
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