The maternity ward at Brighton and Sussex University Hospital (BSUH) in the U.K. released new inclusive language guidelines for its midwives … err… staff to follow.
According to a Feb. 8 hospital statement, maternity services will now be called “perinatal services” and the staff “have been told to avoid using the word ‘mothers’ on its own.” Instead, nurses are to use “alternative terms” like “birthing parents” or “parental” to cover all bases. When referring to breastfeeding or breast milk, staff must instead call it “breast/chestfeeding” “breast/chestmilk” and the unnecessarily long “milk from the feeding mother or parent.” Ironically, the statement almost forcibly acknowledges its own absurdity because BSUH changed mother to “birthing parent” and father to “co-parent” or “second biological parent” inadvertently admitting that only mothers can be a birthing parent.
The 19 page statement goes on to justify their new language changes claiming “We are consciously using the words ‘women’ and ‘people’ together to make it clear that we are committed to working on addressing health inequalities for all those who use our services.”
We also recognise that there is currently biological essentialism and transphobia present within elements of mainstream birth narratives and discourse. We strive to protect our trans and non-binary service users and healthcare professionals from additional persecution as a consequence of terminology changes, recognising the significant impact this can have on psychological and emotional wellbeing.
While this is the first major maternity language change effort for a UK hospital, La Leche League USA, an organization supporting breastfeeding mothers was using similar language as early as last October. LLL USA claims to support “all breastfeeding, chestfeeding, & human milk feeding families” because they are inclusive of “gender identity and [sic] family structure” along with every other legally protected group.
This sort of woman-erasing trans rhetoric has been slowly but steadily escalating over the last several months and conservatives who stand up to the nonsense are paying for it. In September Tampax tweeted that it would stop using female symbolism on its products because “Not all people with periods are women.” When J.K. Rowling proclaimed the obvious truth that only women have periods she was labeled transphobic and Harry Potter T.V. show negotiations halted. Most recently, a Canadian menstrual support shop called Luteal posted a picture of “trans-men” on instagram with the caption “People have periods.” When conservative writer and fitness instructor Gina Bontempo responded with the true statement “This is what mental illness looks like” Twitter deleted her tweet and suspended her account.
I dared to call mentally ill people mentally ill pic.twitter.com/Rk1SE3bUaH
— Gina Bontempo (@FlorioGina) February 10, 2021
Many on the left will argue that inclusive language doesn’t erase women because breastfeeding and having children do not define a woman. However what the left fails to realize is that expanding the language diminishes the beautiful uniqueness of these qualities which belong only to women and never to men.