“Mother” is not a dirty word Protest – London

February 7, 2017

bma-1

From the protesters:

The British Medical Association has recently issued some guidelines discouraging their own staff to call pregnant women “mothers” in order to not offend the transgender community.

We demonstrate to express our opposition to that move in the strongest terms.
We see that move as a way to deny women the right to talk about their experience of birth and motherhood.

The word for adult human female is “woman”.
The word for adult human female who is pregnant is “mother”.
THESE ARE NOT DIRTY WORDS !

Only the female of the species can get pregnant and we will not pretend otherwise.
“People” do not get pregnant.
“Men” do not get pregnant.
Noticing and naming biological differences between the sexes is called science, these are biological facts.
Naming biological facts is not “exclusive”
Naming biological facts is not hate speech.
Naming biological facts is not bigotry.
Naming biological facts is not transphobia.
Yet we are all supposed to behave as if knowing and saying how babies are made is hate speech !

Recently women have been told they cannot use the word “Woman” to describe themselves because it’s not inclusive enough.
For years women have been shamed for using the word “Lesbian” to describe themselves because it’s not inclusive enough.
Recently we have been told the words “vulva” “vagina” and even “pussy” are not to be used because “some women don’t have female genitals”.

The “inclusive” answer to the question “what is a woman ?” Is “anyone who identifies as a woman”.
The circular logic of this statement is clear for all to see :
One cannot identify with something we cannot define on the first place.

On the name of inclusivity we see yet another clear attempt to silence our experience as women as well as our oppression.

By erasing our rights to name our selves, our anatomy and our oppression we are effectively being silenced.
Women describing their experience of rape, sexual harassment, female genital mutilation or birth are called hateful bigots.

Motherhood happens to women because of our biology. Motherhood is a political issue that needs to be discussed in those terms :
In the UK each year, there are at least 70 000 women suffering from post natal depression.
54 000 women are being unlawfully dismissed from their jobs because they are pregnant.
Mothers of young children are one of the most discriminated against groups in the work place.
30% of all domestic violence starts in pregnancy.
Mothers are still the main carers for their children, adding to the housework they already perform on top of every other duties, including paid work.
Abortion rights are being threatened and eroded everywhere.

The consequence of the move from the British Medical Association is that women cannot regroup under the term “mother” to describe what is happening to them when they have children.
The move from the British Medical Association is clearly anti-women and this is why we oppose it.

We demand that the British Medical Association retract these guidelines which are both absurd and anti-women

We call on all women today to refuse to comply with that policy.
We call on all women to carry on using our language to describe our experiences.
We call on all women to come together and reclaim our existence from being erased.

bma2

24 Responses to ““Mother” is not a dirty word Protest – London”

  1. Transfatiqued Says:

    It’s interesting that the British Medical Association uses the word “pregnant.” If everyone can’t get pregnant, doesn’t that make it an exclusionary term?


    • It’s true, not everyone can get pregnant. But everyone can have parasites. We should refer to pregnancy as parasitism from now on! (I think of it that way anyway. Doesn’t everyone? And I’ve been pregnant. And it felt good. But still!)

  2. anywoman2 Says:

    Reblogged this on anywomans humanity.

  3. IronBatMaiden Says:

    Glad to see some amazons across the pond! Hopefully it will spread and we womyn will rise up against this bullshit.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re a mother, want to be one, or are childfree. We womyn carry the capacity to bear children and that reality must not be erased! If anything, it should be more spoken of so we can gain more autonomy and we can stop begging men for rights to our own god damn bodies!!

  4. silverside Says:

    Or even our rights to our own children. Custody issues have been a major point of attack by fathers rights/men’s rights groups over the last 30 years, a point missed by much of mainstream feminism. “Equal parenting” rhetoric basically means giving all the power back to males. Any attempt to play up “parent” or “parenting” is typically a rhetorical devise to erase mothers and mothering and presume that mothers and fathers, both in history and in the present, “parent” in some uniform way. Absolutely untrue.

  5. donesoverydone Says:

    Wow, men have forced feminists to argue that women are females and for breeding and raising children. It’s like some sick joke.

  6. k.jane Says:

    This is more Owellian nonsense. I am childfree and an anti-natalist, but I know biology exists and only females can be mothers. Also, my argument that pro-natalism and pregnancy are bad for women and girls wouldn’t have much weight if I couldn’t point out how human reproduction works. Though, I suppose that the end goal is to keep women from discussing how patriarchy oppresses us because of our biology.

    • IronBatMaiden Says:

      Oh finally! I fellow antinatalist childfree woman! I thought it was just me!

      • k.jane Says:

        I don’t think we’re the only ones, but high five! My ex-girlfriend was one and I know BevJo, Icemountainfire, and Joannadw have written posts critical about the institution of motherhood. I’m a fan of Elinor Burkett’s book about how the Clinton administration gave lots of tax cuts to middle class parents with children and how childfree adults (usually women) are stuck with the bill. I wish she would write a follow-up since unfortunately her book hasn’t aged well.

      • IronBatMaiden Says:

        I think the Update needs to include discussion on modern parenting culture. Like with trans activism, modern motherhood and all the “requirements” seem to be a pushback against women having identities outside of being a mom.

        Further, the culture seems to put a divide betwen childfree women and mothers. The latter may have their own burdens from the patriarchy to deal with, but men still value them over childfree women so their “family names” continue. *eyeroll* Male breeders make me gag sometimes.

      • k.jane Says:

        There is a backlash and that’s why you get weird ideas like “all choices women can make are empowering”, or on the flip side the idea that “women are incapable of making any choices because of colonization” showing up and being considered feminist. (Apply that idea to any other marginalized group and see how ridiculous it sounds.) I was once called a misogynist in real life for saying I did not want to have children and given a very patronizing lecture about why I was wrong by a group of women who considered themselves feminists.

        I do think the strong pro-natalism I see in mainstream feminism is backlash and diluting of feminism, just like how supporting the trans cult (men!) is now considered the pinnacle of feminism. I think that’s why we see a lot of things that early feminists criticized being hailed as being empowering. For example, now being a housewife/stay-at-home-mom is considered a feminist choice, and if you point out what a bad idea it is to completely tie up your finances with a man in liberal feminist circles, you will be yelled at with the usual, “Don’t shame me,” line.

        I agree that mothers do have their own oppression to deal with under patriarchy. What happens is because of patriarchy, women and girls are hated anytime we do anything ever. For motherhood specifically, if you are poor, a single mother, disabled, black, and so on, you are probably doing motherhood wrong and will be hated. Even women who conform will still be hated to some degree. That said, childfree women do get more hatred. Men do value mothers more for making more men and more het women to make more men, and both the right and left pay lip-service to families (aka people with children). Men also like to accuse me of causing humanity to die out by not having children. As if. There will be 10-11 BILLION people in the world by 2100.

        I’ve noticed a weird trend in childfree groups I’ve visited where both the women and men seem hesitant to even remotely criticize anything about pro-natalism, even though these are groups where parents are supposedly not allowed to join!

      • IronBatMaiden Says:

        I think I know which forum you’re talking about. I’ve been lurking on a couple of them for about 6 years now.

        But yeah. Neoliberalism has made an absolute mess of feminism! It pays lip service to choice outside of a heterosexual marriage with children, but it still tries to softly corral women back into that role. And again, it divides childfree women and mothers. And all these ridiculous “Mommy wars” I’ve seen on social media, this is what part of what made me believe there was no sisterhood among women.

      • k.jane Says:

        Those mommy wars are the worst. I think they were created to divide women, just like the popular, “women can’t be friends because they’re competing over a man” trope. Being a lesbian I never got the point, but neither do het women I know for the most part. Then again most women aren’t mincing about in high heels 24/7 either.

        I’ve met other childfree adults in real life and they are hesitant to critize things like this. It’s weird to because unlike the trans cult most parents seem to respect boundaries and aren’t joining the childfree groups.

        I do agree that there is a lot of subtle and non-subtle support for heterosexual marriage plus children in mainstream feminism. Lots of support for obeying men’s rules in general with the tans cult and the idea that prostitution is an empowering choice, for example.

  7. rheapdx1 Says:

    Are these folks serious?????

    I hope they know there is already a generic term which can apply. It is called…..’PARENT’. As in the raising of a child by either gender. Yep…the PC crowd has once again, gone Orwell on language.

    Also…if one wants to understand how REALLY hypocritical these anti-gentrification folks are, go to the PBS site, look up an ‘Independent Focus’ film about what happened in Columbus, Ohio a few years back. Notice that some in same who are gay or t show the same levels of bigotry towards those of color, or who lack means otherwise, no different than…yuppie scum.

  8. Arla Hile Says:

    I went to the BMA website and found the link to their “Inclusive Language in the Workplace” document…and it was broken (at least for me). So, perhaps they have reconsidered. https://www.bma.org.uk/connecting-doctors/bmaspace/b/weblog/posts/words-matter-have-you-ever-caused-offense-unintentionally


  9. Censoring women’s speaking out about their biology and anatomy is actually misogynistic. Silencing women’s concerns and issues about their needs and issues plays along the patriarchal role where women are to be seen but not heard. This is why transgender women’s movement gives me so much women hating and chauvinistic vibes right now.

  10. thenewsexism Says:

    Even when I was still ‘trans inclusive’ (like two years ago) I always felt offended and angered when people conflated gender and anatomy. How dare someone say they were female bodied when they weren’t, even if I accepted their gender identity as a ‘woman’?
    I have since come to realize that the conflation of gender and sex didn’t happen by accident. It happened to help erase the woman, the female experience, to try and take away anything that we could hold onto to say “Look! This is why we’re treated differently! This is what you’re ignoring!” If we don’t have that, we don’t have grounds to fight on. But I’m keeping my grounds.

  11. jdblue02 Says:

    Only biological females are capable of giving birth. “Mother” means “a female parent.” (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/mother) There is nothing biased about stating that fact.

    On the other hand, having someone insist that you ignore reality because it hurts their feelings, and they threaten to call you a “bigot” if you don’t, is clearly insane. That insanity is what needs to be dealt with.

    “Mother” is a beautiful word. There’s nothing bad about it. To be one is to be someone who gave love and care and life to another human being. That’s a beautiful thing.

    If someone can’t even admit what they are, then they really shouldn’t be bringing children into this world. A parent (of any sex) has a deep responsibility for their children, and if they’re not even in contact with reality, or if they’re so averse to it to get histrionic over such things, then they should never be trusted with a child. A child needs someone who is, at the very least, in contact with reality. At the very least.

    It’s things like this that make the mandatory sterilization of trans individuals in other countries seem like a good idea. If you can’t even deal with the reality of who you are, how can you ever be trusted with a child? That’s not something that any child deserves to be born into. It’s a problem right from the start.

  12. trish Says:

    It is this kind of authoritarian intolerance and demands that all of the rest of society ignore physical reality (in this instance the physical reality of pregnancy/motherhood) in the service of the small trans minority’s unsupported-by-reality feelz that make me so disgusted with trans activism.

    I support anyone’s right to dress, use whatever name (as long as not to abet fraud or hide from the law), and think, believe and say whatever they want. But trans activists appear completely disinterested in other people having the right to think, believe or say what they will, or to be able to have housing or employment or social standing for the crime/sin/violation of not being aligned with every single trans demand the instant it is made. It is this behavior on the part of trans activists & allies that makes me feel unsupportive of their demands, goals and claims.


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