Last summer I presented at a radical birth conference called Yonifest, held in Quebec, Canada. I was pregnant at the time and fully in awe to be included in such a powerful gathering. Everyone there was deeply committed to exploring and celebrating birth. I presented my own workshop on transgender experiences of pregnancy, birth and nursing, and also spoke alongside the famed and revered American midwife Ina May Gaskin on a panel.
After my presentation, I received wonderful comments and insightful questions, and I also saw fear. One midwife recounted how her organization had begun to change the language in its documents to be inclusive of trans and genderqueer birthing people, and she told me, “but I don’t want to erase the word ‘woman.’” She had tears in her eyes and was truly upset. This same midwife had just sat through my two-hour presentation. She was there because she was interested in supporting trans people. She was not dismissive.
Now, one year later, in an open letter, agroup including Ina May Gaskin and Katsi Cook (Cook was also present at Yonifest that summer) has written in protest of changes to wording in the core competencies document of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA). The letter condemns the erasure of the word ‘woman’ from the MANA document, and also denies the rights of trans and genderqueer individuals to self-identify as they wish and questions their right to receive midwifery care. There is much in the letter that is painful, misinformed and degrading to trans, genderqueer and intersex individuals, points that have been well-covered in a response writtenby another group, birthforeverybody.org.
Yet, I don’t want to erase the word ‘woman’ either. I get where these midwives are coming from -- somewhat. Women are a group who have been and continue to be oppressed in many ways by a patriarchal society. This includes women having a terrible lack of control over their bodies during the birth process. This is not about individual patient rights. For many years, one group of people, primarily men who do not have the ability to give birth, has controlled another group of people during the birth process, a group that is primarily women. Women and midwives have worked incredibly hard to try to regain social and legal rights to use women’s knowledge in the birth process. I have deep respect for this struggle.
Yet, trans, genderqueer, and intersex people have been giving birth for as long as women-identified people have and they have also encountered oppression. The open letter presumes that to be trans and to give birth is some new phenomenon of the last few years. Trans people giving birth are newly visible because today we are able to transition hormonally and surgically as well as engage our bodies in pregnancy, but there have always been people who identified differently from women whilst experiencing birth.
Kathleen Fahy, an Australian midwife and professor, told me at Yonifest that she remembered when her profession changed the language first to providing ‘family-centred’ care, and then later to ‘woman-centred’ care. There was a time when the partner (often a cisgender man) of the birthing parent (often a woman) was not allowed to be present during the birth. Care providers realized that their approach didn’t respect the family unit as a whole. However, shifting to use couple language for everything pregnancy and birth related wasn’t quite right, either. The partner’s body does not give birth, nor does the body of the doctor or midwife. The birthing parent gives birth, and the birthing parent was virtually always perceived as female, although as explained above, trans, genderqueer, and intersex people have been giving birth for as long as anyone.
I propose that organizations trying to grapple with respecting the feminist legacy of midwifery care while using inclusive language should be generous with their ink. Use more words!
From the MANA core competency: “The biological wisdom to give birth is innate, it has been held throughout time, and is experienced across cultures by all pregnant people.”
The problem above: the word “woman” has literally been erased from the sentence.
The biological wisdom to give birth is innate, it has been held throughout time, and is experienced across cultures by all pregnant women and all pregnant people.
Is it wordy? Yes. Is it inclusive? YES! Is it respectful of the struggles of women against patriarchy? I think so. There could even be an explanatory note if desired!
The response group at birthforeverybody.org wrote that, “It stands to reason that women identify as people, therefore women are not excluded by the use of the word “person” to refer to them. However, there are pregnant people who do not identify as “women” and feel excluded or misidentified by the use of the word “women” in reference to them. Therefore, use of the word “people” is inclusionary, while use of the word “women” is exclusionary.”
The above statement is logically correct, yet to me it is eerily reminiscent of the way some are promoting the hashtag #alllivesmatter in response to #blacklivesmatter. Yes, it is true that all lives matter, but we are focusing on black lives right now because black people are facing racism and violence every day.
Women and people perceived as women have faced and continue to face obstetrical violence in the context of a patriarchal society. We do not need to erase the word “woman” from models of care or core competency documents, but we should add more words to include everyone.
If there are people who want to be referred to as women in the context of birth, such self-identification needs to be respected. I believe those who wrote the Open Letter feel that they as women are made invisible by the exclusive use of the words “pregnant individuals.” They fear a future where they will not be allowed to write or speak about women in their own practices. For some, becoming pregnant and giving birth is a crucial aspect of their womanhood, not their personhood. Queer folks have done well to add more letters to our “alphabet soup” LGBTTQIA acronym. We can all handle a few more letters.
The Open Letter to MANA contains many factual errors and offensive statements regarding trans and genderqueer people. I see there is much work to be done. I want to see two communities that I love, the radical birth world of traditional midwives and womyn, and the LGBTTQIA birth workers move forward together. I will always love and respect Ina May Gaskin’s work. I hope I will meet her again one day and be able to continue this conversation.
Trevor I fondly remember our time sitting in the creek at Yonifest. I understand and respect your well expressed views (above). I know you are trying to be inclusive but by making childbearing women the generic childbearing persons you do move us sharply away from our feminist commitments. I will seek to adjust our curriculum and philosophy of midwifery at our university to say woman centred* and then say *woman centred includes all pregnant people. What is your response?ReplyDelete
HI!!! :) I think having an explanatory asterisk is better than nothing at all, but what group of people wants to BE the explanatory asterisk?! Your suggested asterisk is also problematic in that it seems to define transgender men and genderqueer people AS WOMEN. This is why I think we should say both terms, side by side. I have no wish to make childbearing women the generic childbearing persons. My preference would be to say "childbearing women and childbearing people" or "woman centred and client centred".Delete
If I were a client approaching you for the first time, your wording as it is now would make me fearful that you would not understand my identity. I would wonder if you think I am a woman. I would worry that you would use the wrong pronouns for me all the time, or you would talk about me to your friends and colleagues using the wrong pronouns (she, her, instead of he, him, his). There needs to be a language choice that shows me that I could trust you to respect the way that I identify.
Hi Trevor, sorry it took me so long to find my way back to you blog site; I was looking on Facebook and Huffington post. I like Woman Centred and Client Centred. I certainly want transgendered people to feel safe and to trust that I will respect their self-defined identity.Delete
Thank you so much for this, Trevor! I have been following your blog for several years and I am always impressed by the wisdom, compassion, and optimism that you add to these conversations. I research both breastfeeding and the health of trans children and youth, and I have run into difficulties (particularly in publications) in integrating trans-inclusive language into the world of birth and breastfeeding. Support for trans people does not mean taking anything away from cis women. Language changes and evolves over time. We can find a way to respect everyone, and we can move forward together. I'm e-mailing you as well, because I'll be at your session at CPATH and I'd love to chat about this more!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Julie! I look forward to meeting you at CPATH!!!Delete
have you considered that "birthing/pregnant women and OTHER birthing/pregnant people" sounds a lot less like women aren't people, than does "birthing/pregnant women and birthing/pregnant people"ReplyDelete
However, in the majority of 401(k) plans, spousal consent is not required for a worker requesting a distribution. This means that a worker can take a distribution from the plan without the spouse's consent (or knowledge).guarantor loansReplyDelete
Hello!! My lovely Friends, My name is Eillen Sharma. I provide Newly Teenager Hot and Sexy girls for full Night party and romance and I also provide to you HouseWife, Modal Star Girls, College Girls any where only on one click on my link and find out the Lovely Hotness Call Girls on the doorstep deliver without any risk. ||gurgaon escorts|| ||escorts in gurgaon|| ||Kolkata escorts|| ||Escorts in Kolkata|| ||call girls in gurgaon|| ||escort services in gurgaon|| ||Kolkata call girls|| ||Escort Service in Kolkata|| If you are interested for romance with hot girl you can contact me any where. Thanks for visited I love you too who loves me.ReplyDelete
Hi!! My dazzling Friends,My name is Eillen Sharma.I Provide Hot call young ladies for sentiment and appreciate over entire night with step home convey for each area. I likewise give Sexy Modal stars and Housewife like your better half to sentiment on the bed of entire night with no hazard folks. On the off chance that you are fascinating for romance with hot young lady you can contact me anyplace.ReplyDelete
||gurgaon call girls||
||Russian escorts in gurgaon||
||housewife escorts in gurgaon||
||college call girls in gurgaon||
||Kolkata escort girls||
||call girls in Kolkata||
||housewife escorts in Kolkata||
||russian escorts in Kolkata||
Thanku for visited I adore you too who cherishes me.
Hi guys! If you are alone and want female companionship, then please follow me on the links given below. I like to have sexual relationship daily with different persons. If you are interested in me. Go to the site and book your appointment to have intercourse with me on bed at night with full erotic entertainment.ReplyDelete
Click here ||Model escorts in Kolkata ||
Click here ||Collage Escorts in Kolkata ||
Click here ||Ecorts in Mumbai||
Click here ||Escorts girls in Kolkata||
Click here ||Escorts in Salt Lake||
Click here ||Model Escorts in Mumbai||
Click here ||West bengal call girls||
Click here ||New town Escorts||
Click here ||Andheri Escorts||
Call or whatsapp 8081111169 for escort services in Gurgaon. We provide No.1 call girl services for both incall or outcall facility to clients. You can book sexy escorts in Gurgaon or beautiful call girls in Gurgaon at affordable escort fees. To hire Gurgaon call girls or Gurgaon escorts simply click on the following link:-ReplyDelete
Thank you My Dear
Click here |Gurgaon Escorts|
Click here |Gurgaon Call Girls|
Click here |Gurgaon Actress Escorts|
Click here |College Girls Escorts|
Click here |Housewife Escorts|
Guest Blogging Site
My Blogger Club
Guest Blogger Platform
Best Guest Blogging Site
5 Reasons why webinars are important for every business
Top 10 Features of eLearning
Reasons to have eLearning Application
Benefits of eCommerce Website
How LMS is renovating education ?
History of eLearning
Future of eLearning in Education
Top 10 Free Moodle Plugins
TOP 5 TIPS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS ON INSTAGRAMReplyDelete
HOW TO USE PROXY SITES TO UNLOCK WEBSITES
Gotoessayhelp is a round the clock essay help service which caters solutions request to various subjects’ tools & methodology in a multi environment learning concept for the subjects like clock Assignment Help. We are a renowned service provider of essay assignment help and have been receiving an overwhelmed response globally.ReplyDelete
Wonder mouse technologies is a popular website designing company in india going ahead with contemporary techno skills set but with futuristic approach alloying small business to increase and big business to grow. Simultaneously from it, it is also an web development company in noida, Mobile app development company in indiaThe services are extra ordinary & unmatched and catered by dynamic and highly professional team. The experience will be fascinating in a reasonable price and delivery time.ReplyDelete
Best College in DehradunReplyDelete
B.Tech College in Dehradun
Top Institute of Dehradun
Dehradun Engineering College
Best B.Tech College
Excellent information Providing by your Article, thank you for taking the time to share with us such a nice article. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists. Kindly visit the LiveWebTutors website we providing the best assignment help services in Australia.ReplyDelete
For More Info: Assignment Help Perth
Midwifery is the health science which is essential for women when feel pregnant.ReplyDelete
buy dissertation online uk
Our Escorts Service in Mahipalpur have smooth bodies that can prepare you for a night of sexual loving. You don’t want to feel self-conscious as you’re safe here at our Call Girls agency. Our Services are all-time service that is accessible for you 24*7 hours. Our Escorts Girls are always prepared to make you fill you’ll have a fantastic alluring night with our lovely girls and you only need for believing simultaneously. Check our other Services also...
Escorts Service in Mahipalpur
Escorts Service in Mahipalpur
Escorts Service in Mahipalpur
Escorts Service in Mahipalpur
Escorts Service in Mahipalpur
Accounting paper writing services are essential and they have become very popular for those seeking accounting coursework writing services since most of them seek Accounting Writing Services.ReplyDelete
We are assessed on a champion among other escort workplaces in the town. It is every one of the an immediate consequence of out of stunning Escorts who are here to show you the real significance of friendship and notion.ReplyDelete
park street escorts
salt lake escorts
Kolkata Russian escorts
Thanks for your article.ReplyDelete
Digital Marketing Services in Tirupati
Tech Write for us
Web Write for us
We are a top rated essay help Online service here with experts specializing in a wide range of disciplines ensuring you get the assignments that score maximum grades.ReplyDelete
Instead of wasting your time looking for Chemistry Homework Help and getting frustrated of not finding a reliable service online, connect with our experts of Help in Homework. Our experts have the relevant degree and are well known in their field of work. They also have vast experience of completing homework for students studying Chemistry as a subject- both at school level as well as for higher studies. If you want to score an A on your chemistry homework, you need not to worry because our experts will diligently complete it within the stipulated time and at an amazingly low price.ReplyDelete
You can find Solution Manual For Systems Analysis And Design 8 E 8th Edition online in pdf/word format. Avail instant assistance for issues 24/7. There is no waiting time!ReplyDelete
Updated version of Test Bank For Biology The Essentials 3rd Edition available for instant download. Avail great discounts and offers now.ReplyDelete
You can find Test Bank For Understanding Art 10th Edition online in pdf/word format. Avail instant assistance for issues 24/7. There is no waiting time!ReplyDelete
Gain better scores in every assignment and exam with The Changing Earth Exploring Geology And Evolution 6th Edition Test Bank . Be on the top of your class.ReplyDelete
Click on this article, an interesting read and a must know information for everyone.ReplyDelete
I would like to add, TestBanks21 are the top purveyors of study guides, test banks and Solutions Manual for over a decade, covering 114 subjects. They have now added Solution Manual For Individual Taxation 2013 7th Edition to their instant download collection.ReplyDelete
Test banks and solution manuals are the best learning aids for any student. Try Business Driven Information Systems 3rd Edition Test Bank with instant download and unlimited access.ReplyDelete
Finding quality learning aids is most essential for gaining your dream grades in college. TestBanks21 offers Test Banks & Solution Manuals at the lowest prices online to satisfy this need.ReplyDelete
Every student requires the assistance of online paper help at some point throughout their academic career. There is no doubt that completing and delivering all of your assignments on time is not easy. Most people are tired of writing papers and require affordable papers in order to meet deadlines and keep up with their busy schedules at work and school.ReplyDelete
The setup process for every Canon model is almost similar, however the download through https //ij.start.cannon or http //ij.start.cannon and installation process may differ. All-in-one Canon Inkjet printers are suitable for home, business, school, and others to improve productivity. Depending on your requirement, it offers a type printer including PIXMA, SELPHY, MAXIFY, etc. Some factors need to be in mind while choosing an inkjet printer for you. Later, you can easily set up your Canon printer through drivers from canon.com/ijsetup , wireless connection, USB, and a few components. | ij.start.cannonReplyDelete
Ij start canon and find out the best way to download Canon printer drivers.ReplyDelete
Ij.start.cannon | Ij.start.canon | canon.com/ijsetup
Are you seeking the best online study guides in the United States to you with your college coursework help? At the most inexpensive prices, we supply the greatest coursework writing ideas for Assessment And Students. Visit the website right now to improve your grades.ReplyDelete
Once you are done with the driver setup via canon.com/ijsetup , you will have to insert a pile of pages into the printer tray for printing the documents..ReplyDelete
Visit ij.start.canon | ij.start canon and find out the best way to download Canon printer drivers.
All-in-one Canon Inkjet printers are suitable for home, business, school, and others to improve productivity. You can easily set up your Canon printer through drivers from
Canon.com/ijsetup, wireless connection, USB, and a few components.
Canon IJ Network Tool will get you through the network settings uninterruptedly. It is essentially required when you are attempting to get your printer connected to a different network because a new network tends to reset the printer’s existing network settings.The Canon IJ Printer Utility can be used to keep a check on your printer’s ink levels and cartridges and clean the ink tanks and paper feed rollers. Also, you can make adjustments to your Canon printer’s power settings.ReplyDelete
Canon drivers fully support and assists for all compatible products for all Window versions. We offer the required data to configure, utilize and install your Canon products on your Windows PC.canon is completely safe and secure. ij.start.canon |ReplyDelete
If you want to know your love compatibility by name, there is a Namank or name number chart that can help you figure out your name compatibilityReplyDelete
Finance Solutions based on your textbook is the smartest way to handle your homework, projects, assignments and exam preparation. Checkout the ScholarOn collection to be on the top of your class.ReplyDelete
Looking for Test Banks Online just browse test bank 21 and purchase the current updated version of test banks you need at great discount prices now.ReplyDelete
The simplest time tracker to help you get things done.ReplyDelete
Superb blog! I really appreciated your great work and thank you.ReplyDelete
consejos de bancarrota cerca de mí
abogado de bancarrota capítulo 7 cerca de mí
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing beautiful content. I got information from your blog. keep sharingReplyDelete
abogados de inmigracion
Traffic Lawyer Greensville , VA