Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Pregnant Person May Be Female 

pregnancy
The BMA said its guidance was aimed at its staff      Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA
"The elderly [should be referred to as 'older people; 'disabled lifts' should be called 'accessible lifts'. Someone who is] biologically male or female [should be referred to as] assigned male or female."
"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'."
A Guide to Effective communication: Inclusive Language in the Workplace
We must not offend those who are prepared to be offended at the least verbal mis-step that may creep into conversation unbidden by the unwary. Not that the offended represent a significant proportion of society, but they are there, different in their social-sexual orientation, and their differences must place upon us an especial, empathetic burden of 'understanding' and total acceptance of their sensitivities.

To this end, the British Medical Association has joined forces with other fey groups such as academics and civil rights groups straining to accommodate the LGBTQQIP2SAA community.

Their 14-page tenderly-constructed manifesto of kind consideration includes such tidbits as the substitution of "surname", or "last name" for "family name". "Mankind" and "manpower" to be strictly avoided as "not good practice"; the use of a "masculine noun" should be exchanged for the anodyne "humanity" and "personnel". To avoid the sin of a "perceived hierarchy", lest one offend, prefixes such as Prof., Dr., Mr., Mrs. or Miss should be left blank.

All medical professionals in Great Britain are urged to be subordinate to this ever-so-sensitive directive whose goal is to give comfort to the discomfited. The BMA has aimed squarely on 'effective communication' in the workplace. And the recommendations are not to be viewed as advice to its 156,00 practising physician members on how they should best deal with patients; heavens, never!

Simply a reminder, a little prod, lest one's sensibilities might somehow have been blunted.

Born a girl but planning to transition to a male, an individual in Britain has temporarily set aside surgery for the more immediately enticing experience of becoming a mother. Until such time as she/he decides to proceed with the surgical portion of her/his transition. At which time the mother will become the father of the child. And if the child will not in due time be baffled, that will be a mercy, won't it?

But Hayden Cross, now legally male, undergoing hormone treatment, has not yet committed to the final sex-change surgery. Childbirth trumps the final step.

Trust a Conservative to tread with heavy foot on such delicate matters: Member of Parliament Philip Davies spoke of the guidelines as "completely ridiculous. If you can't call a pregnant mother an expectant mother, than what is the world coming to?" he rather grumpily and most unhelpfully griped.

Helpfully, Heather Ashton of the transgender support group TG Pals had a useful response: "We know that biological females are the pregnant ones but trans people are parents too, and this is a massive step forward to prevent discrimination against them. The fact that the terminology is changing can only be a positive thing for everyone who wants to be a parent and has the right to be a parent."

Thank heavens for the intervention of sensible people, speaking in plain language that anyone, even people not versed in biology can understand. We stand advised and corrected!

pregnancy
The BMA guidance suggests the phrase expectant mothers could offend Credit: Alamy

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