I like to keep abreast of current events. Opening the second of the several popular newspapers competing for my attention (the first, of course, is the Times of Israel) I found the headline……..
Midwives told to stop using terms such as ‘breastfeeding’ and ‘breastmilk’
(The Telegraph 9 February 2021)
For my many readers who skipped their biology lessons, a breast is usually one of two prominences located on the upper ventral region of the torso of primates. However, older readers may remember the 1990 film, Total Recall, where a three-breasted prostitute flashes her chest to Arnold Schwarzenegger. In this blog, to avoid swimming against the tide, using breaststroke, we will concentrate on the usual two breasts.
The first hospital to introduce a gender inclusive language in its maternity department is the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust
The unfortunate midwives have been told that they must use the terms “human milk” or “breast/chestmilk” or even “milk from the feeding mother or parent”. (My word processor rejects “chestmilk” as a spelling error, but I am sure that it will soon be made to see the error of its ways.)
Moreover, although staff could continue to use the word “woman” when speaking about motherhood they should add the word “people” to make their language more inclusive.
These useful guidelines follow in the wake of a 2017 instruction from the British Medical Association. Pregnant women, it said, should not be called “expectant mothers” as intersex and transgender men might find this offensive. A much safer term would be “pregnant people”.
At this point I find myself beating my breast in remorse. I have often appealed to readers of my blog without a thought for the many non-readers out there. So, please note that for the sake of inclusivity “readers” applies to all those who are not reading my blog.
When I was young, the only binary we had to worry about were the dreaded binary equations in our maths classes. Then binary was taken over by computers and the new binary arithmetic. But they have gone over to fuzzy logic leaving binary in the hands of those whose gender identity does not match their birth sex.
Now that this blog is finished, I will take a…. rest and enjoy a…. tipple, if you see what I mean.