I’ve Been a Pregnant Woman Twice – Don’t Take That Away From Me

So on Monday, I read on The Express website that “the Government has said the term “pregnant woman” should not be used in a United Nations treaty because it “excludes” transgender people”. The Guardian however, reported that the UK Government, whilst lobbying for the rights of transgender people in the treaty, did not object to the use of the term “pregnant women”.

When I first read these things I wondered why on the actual Earth this was even being discussed. So I delved a little deeper and it turns out it’s all down to the British Medical Association (BMA) who recently sent an internal document to its staff.  This document detailed common phrases they should change in order to avoid offending a whole host of groups of people including the elderly (“older people”), people with disabilities (who must use the “accessible lifts”) and anyone biologically male or female (so all people) who must now be addressed as “assigned male or female”.

What the actual f**k?

I don’t use the f word much when I blog but that is honestly the only response I have to all of this.

The BMA have prompted all this ‘pregnant women’ nonsense because they have said their staff must not refer to pregnant women as expectant mothers in case they want to transition to a male. They must be ‘pregnant people’ and ‘expectant people’.

You know how many people in the UK have ever put sex-change surgery on hold in order to have a baby (before transitioning from female to male)?

One. Just the f**king one!

Here’s a few definitions for us to help make sense of reproduction and, in particular, child bearing:

Woman: an adult human female

Female: of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs

Mother: female parent. A woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth.

So let’s be clear. To carry a child, to bear a child, to birth that child, one HAS to be biologically female. If you are carrying a baby, you are, by definition female. Because only females can do it.

And that’s where I get a bit offended. And I don’t really get offended by anything to be honest. But this has pissed me off.

I am a woman. I didn’t choose to be a woman – you might say it was assigned to me if you were being pedantic. But I feel privileged beyond anything that I am a woman. Because it gave me the greatest gift of my entire life. To carry and birth both of my children, to have them hear my heart from the inside and to share that exclusively between them, is the greatest honour anyone could ever have bestowed on me. And for someone to now tell me that I am just a ‘person’ for doing that makes me a bit chuffing angry.

My greatest achievement

No. Not anyone can carry a baby. Men – biologically – cannot carry children. Unfortunately some women will never know what it’s like to carry a baby.

So don’t tell me that we have to walk on tiptoe around people who are blessed enough to be able to carry a child because they have the biology to do so. Don’t tell people struggling to conceive that they must not call someone a ‘pregnant woman’ (when this is factually, scientifically correct) in case it upsets them. Don’t tell me I suddenly have to become a ‘person’ when the reason I have my children is because I am a ‘woman’.

Don’t take that away from me. Don’t take that away from anyone who has carried a child. If a woman identifies more as male and wants to transition then it is absolutely wonderful that we live in a society where this is now medically possible. But they need to appreciate that, should they want to have a baby, the reason they are able to is because they are female. They don’t have to be female forever if they don’t want to be. But whilst they carry and birth that baby?

They are a woman.

Don’t take that away from all the other women who are so bloody proud of what their bodies have achieved.

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17 Comments

  1. Very thought-provoking post. Identities are changing fast today and we all have to catch up and work out what is OK and not ok to say but hell yes, let’s always celebrate women, their bodies and what they can do.

  2. well said. people are so scared right now that they will offend someone and it’s looks like we will be not talking about female or male soon but about ‘it’
    #TwinklyTuesday

  3. Of course some time soon men will be able to carry a child, such is the progression in medical science. They will give birth by caesarean but will have experienced pregnancy. So then will we have to refer to “pregnant people”, rather than a “pregnant man” or “pregnant woman”? Have you noticed also that we are no longer supposed to use the word “waitress” for a female table server, or “actress” for a female actor? But the word we are supposed to use instead always seems to be the masculine version for some reason, so women are “actors” and “waiters” – and even “chairmen”! Society seems to be becoming afraid to even recognise that there are any differences between us at all, and has to find a universal term to cover all people in order to avoid referring to segments of society by using terms like “men” “women” or “transgender”.
    #FabFridayPost

  4. mommyhomemanager

    Hmm. That’s an interesting one…that doesn’t really make much sense to me. I can’t imagine that someone who identifies as a man would want to cary a child since it is such a female responsibility…
    What are they wanting to call the people who are pregnant instead of “pregnant woman?”

  5. I can’t believe that this is really a thing. Women have babies – end of story. All your points are valid and biology is the determining factor here. I’m so glad people today can choose to be what they want to be, but babies grow in wombs of pregnant women. Not pregnant people.
    ~Jess
    #FabFridayPost

  6. Well said Becky! Gosh! Just that ONE person decided to get offended – that doesn’t mean we all have to start using a “correct” term, in fact – it is not even correct. Did they not study science at school? They don’t know those definition that you have outlined above. Oooo! This get me off in a chuffed now!! #FabFridayPost

  7. mebeingmummy

    PC terms are going a bit nuts lately aren’t they? You’re right, only a biological woman can bear a child. And what an honour and a blessing it is! Have to say that your swearing rant made me giggle in agreement though, sometimes the world seems so bonkers. Thank you for linking to the #Honeybeelinky lovely, hope to see you tomorrow for the next one! xxx

  8. This gender thing is certainly a confusing topic for many of us. Thanks for this thought provoking post, now we need dialogue. The collective ‘we,’ that is… <3 #FabFridayPost xoxo

  9. I really do agree with you. Everyone is offended by EVERYTHING these days and we can’t do right for doing wrong! You’ve laid it out perfectly well done! I’m 3 weeks away from having my third baby and yes I am an expectant MOTHER, I am a pregnant WOMAN. #fabfridaypost

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