Using gender inclusive language
Controversy in the media
There has been a lot of talk this week about the use of gender inclusive language in the medical profession. In particular with regards to people who are pregnant and whether they should be routinely labelled as “Mother” It seems that this has got a lot of peoples knickers in a twist. I have seen negative comments from all sorts. Right Wingers, Christians, Birth Workers, (certain groups of) Feminists, Mothers. Apparently trans and non-binary people are on the last frontier of taboo. Challenging the concept of gender is more than many people can cope with. In particular when it comes to parenting and birthing. I even saw one comment where these people were defined as “deviants” which frankly upset and offended me. Just plain nasty.
I must assume that these critics haven’t spent a lot of time with people who blur the lines of gender. Haven’t bothered to think what life might be like for them. What their challenges must be. The obstacles to forming relationships. To becoming parents.
But here is the thing. I attempt to use non-binary language in what I write. I wonder if anyone has even noticed that on my website I use the term “parent” instead of “mother”? I would imagine it’s not really something that most people think about. Unless of course you happen to be a same sex couple, a non-binary person, or transgender parent. If you are one of those people I hope you will appreciate the fact that assumptions aren’t being made about the labels you have chosen for yourself (or not). It’s just plain polite as far as I am concerned. I might not always get it right, but I am trying.
Personally I would not be in the slightest bit offended if someone defined me as a parent rather than a mother.
If you would like to read a bit about being a non-binary person this article is really interesting.
If you would like to read an alternative view on this topic and how it affects women. Then this was interesting and gave me pause for thought.