UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment, recently tweeted that “There’s no wrong way to be a woman”. And just to make sure that no one misunderstood, it repeated the slogan seven times.
A prominent feminist columnist for the London Telegraph, Suzanne Moore, derided this ridiculous mantra in her column this week. “Maybe if you chant it you reach nirvana or maybe women are just so thick they need telling over and over.”
There are lots of wrong ways to be a woman, she points out. Being old, wanting sex, not wanting sex, moaning that you don’t have children …
And another wrong way to be a woman is “to refuse to stop talking about what it is like living in a female body: periods, endometriosis, childbirth, miscarriage, infertility, menopause and that icky stuff.”
Why? Well, “Speaking of this apparently excludes those women whose bodies don’t do those things”, namely, trans-women. “In recent years, it has been mostly wrong to be a woman in public life who stands up for the sex-based rights of other woman.”
A very shrewd observation. Modern feminism gave birth to the trans movement.
But it is not just trans activists who promote such issues. The World Health Organisation, another UN body, now promotes permissive policies on abortion, prostitution, drugs, sexual activity for children — and gender theory.
UN Women is only saying what feminists have been saying for years — that whatever women do should be considered OK. So feminists now agree that if a woman wants to be a man, that is also OK. But, taking this approach to its logical conclusion, if men want to be women, that should be OK too.
In the real world, of course, it is not OK for women to do whatever they want. There is still that awkward problem of the criminal law — the killing of abusive men by their female victims has not been decriminalised. Instead, what has been decriminalised is the killing of innocent unborn babies, a “choice” that Ms Moore supports.
Nonetheless, she has a valid point in objecting to the invasion of female space by men who believe they are women and to the airbrushing of female reality out of public discourse.
The most ludicrous recent example of this is the gender-inclusive language policy for the maternity services department at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. These must now be called “perinatal services”. Staff have been told to cease using terms such as “breastfeeding” and “breast milk”. Instead they must refer to “human milk” or “breast/chest milk” or “milk from the feeding mother or parent”.
Piling parody upon absurdity upon caricature, patients are going be known as “mothers or birthing parents”. “Woman” is to be replaced with the phrase “woman or person”. The obsolete term “father” must be replaced by “parent”, “co-parent” or “second biological parent”, as the case may be.
“I’m worried that women will lose the capacity or ability to even name our own body parts or our own biology,” said the exasperated Ms Moore in another column.
The authors of the new policy, Helen Green and Ash Riddington, are described as “Gender Inclusion Midwives”. It is odd that the word “midwife” is still allowed, perhaps because it implies something midway between a husband and wife.
However, the most important issue is the danger of losing a common understanding of things because we have been deprived of a language in which to describe them.
Public policy seems to be that biological reality must not be allowed to intrude on private delusions. The word “woman” is being excised from dictionaries and textbooks; motherhood is being airbrushed from advertisements. The parent or co-parent or second biological parent is now being portrayed as doing everything child-related, including feeding babies.
But the fact is that the abolition of motherhood began years ago. It began with the dehumanisation of the unborn child, by renaming it “the fetus” or “the pregnancy” and calling abortion “induced fetal demise”.
(Perhaps when someone discovers that “fetus” is Latin for “young one” and not some vague expression of disgust, we may expect to witness the birth of yet another euphemism.)
We cannot be too surprised that having dehumanised and destroyed unborn females in the name of female choice, those females who do get to be born are subjected to dehumanisation, albeit the rather less violent form of being ditched from the dictionary.
“There is no wrong way to be a woman”? Let’s not kid ourselves. In the eyes of UN Women and feminist ideologues, one way is very, very wrong indeed: it’s called being a mother.