“Woman,” not “Person”

“Woman,” not “Person”

by Collin Wynter

In 2019, the Guardian published a piece entitled The female problem: how male bias in medical trials ruined women’s health. This was a well researched article devoted to analyzing the female body in relation to science and medicine in particular. Through a review of scientific research, literature and a historical analysis, Gabrielle Jackson provided a perspective that women’s bodies were once viewed as an offshoot, or secondary, to men’s. The medical profession seemed to misconstrue the nature of woman.

Three studies she reviewed included: a historical research into the lack of focus on women’s health; an aging study that did not include women for the first 20 years; as well as, an article on the bias for male mammals in animal research. Two of the books she cited were Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine (2018) and Outrageous Practices (1994). Both of which include information on the physiological differences between the sexes and how the medical practice has erred in their understanding of this.

The bias towards males has been studied, noted, and organizations like Society for Women’s Health Research have been formed to ensure that females receive proper medical care. Along with specified research and a review of practices, it would appear that women’s medical research is coming along. 

Erasing the word “Woman”

“Still reeling from the @ACLU’s erasure of the word ‘woman’,” writes Bev Jackson on twitter. She is referencing the American Civil Liberties Union decision to omit the word “woman” and substitute the word “person.” The quote that was modified was by the iconic Ruth Ginsberg. Ginsberg was defending a woman’s right to choose; essentially making a statement about a woman’s right to have autonomy and sanctity over her own body. 

What was Jackson responding to? Not the ACLU, although they were ratio’d for their double transgression: the erasure of the word woman, replaced with gender neutral terms; as well as, the disrespect of altering a person’s quote. Not to mention that Ginsberg has since passed and cannot defend her words. Quite frankly, this could be seen as a form of plagiarism.

Jackson was responding to a September 2021 edition of The Lancet, with the gratuitous title Periods on Display, with the descriptor  “the cultural movement against menstrual shame and #PeriodPoverty.” This language is fairly blatant, which may have been intentional. Nevertheless, that was not in fact what generated such an uproar. Instead, it was this:

“Historically, the anatomy and physiology of bodies with vaginas have been neglected.”

Emphasis added.

Pregnant People

Pregnant people. Cervix havers. People who menstruate. Chest feeding. All of this is to be considered ‘inclusive’ language. Inclusive by discluding reference to women. Even though, these anatomical and physiological features are specific to the female sex. Omitting the word woman and replacing it with any other word, is conspicuously misogynistic. No longer does “she” matter. Instead it is “us”. Who is this us?

They/them. He/she. Gender neutrality, gender identity. A minority of the population ascribes to this way of thinking. That there is a possibility to change gender for real. That gender is real and that biological sex is now a tenuous position to hold. Transgender ideology. Once a polite way to refer to people presenting as the opposite sex, it has now become a literal demand to be seen. Not just as a categorical member, but a stereotypical one. It is not inclusion, but an illusion that they are participating in. An illusion without sincerity.

This illusion is a danger. It is dangerous to those who are practicing it. It is dangerous to those who are being attacked by it. And it is dangerous to this who are implementing it. Although only one of these three see the situation for what it truly is.

The Corruption of Journals

Gary Powell, writing in Lesbian and Gay News, is unable to contact Sophia Davis, author of The Lancet piece. Turns out, she is The Lancet’s Senior Editor for Child and Adolescent Health. This should send off alarm bells. The influence of transgender ideology, affirmation-only therapy, in adolescent medicine, is a contributing factor to the rise of children being medicalized with puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, and surgeries. He reviews A flawed agenda for trans youth, published in The Lancet, and finds that it is “like a political tract written by an outraged teenager, advocating the kind of gender ideology with which we are all so familiar.” He debunks the article succinctly.

Oddly, gender ideology only appears to be projected towards women. As Powell points out, The Lancet tweeted as recently as September 20:

“about 10 million men are currently living with a diagnosis of prostate cancer – making it a major health issue.” (emphasis added)

As you can see, males are being provided with the dignity of reference to their gender. Why aren’t females being afforded the same respect?

In a detailed Twitter thread, Jo Phoenix outlines her concern regarding The Lancet study, Associations between significant head injury and persisting disability and violent crime in women in prison.… Just under 5% of participants were males identifying as transwomen. Phoenix points out concerns regarding methodological outcomes; that male bodied persons may skew results. The Lancet at first agrees to publish her critique, then backtracks. She outlines three possibilities for their reasoning.

First, the “editorial board decided to ignore the sociological and criminological expertise of 200 years about the importance of sex viz violent offending.” It is unclear if the five males of the 109 participants would skew the results. Second, is the issue of coherence. Does it not matter to ensure that all participants are part of the same cohort? Third, and perhaps most important, “political messaging was more important than the ACADEMIC issue.”

Woman Under Threat

“Dehumanization is the prelude to violence”, Jackson ends her tweet to the Lancet. Women have experienced violence throughout the ages and into the modern world. Feminism has provided many women with the opportunity to achieve an independent sense of identity. Womanhood has provided a community. This is under threat.

Update

Since this was originally written, both the The Lancet and ACLU have issued apologies for their disrespect of the female body. The Lancet, in a a turn around, changed the apology into a defence for transgender health care claiming that their “health is an important dimension of modern health care,” and that they thought it would be empowering to include them with women. While the ACLU was even more disparaging by claiming that it was a “mistake among the digital team”

Published by Collin Wynter

Exploring rights of our freedom of expression and justice

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