Charlie Rae covers the ongoing push for transgender “acceptance,” and what that means for females.
Midwife Alliance of North America, or MANA, doesn’t seem to know where babies come from. In recent posts on their facebook page MANA started getting pushback from females in response to an event called “National Queer and Trans Birth Workers Convening” subtitled “Challenging Barriers, Taking Space.” The cause for concern was that this event removes the language we use to describe mothers and women’s experience of childbirth, and as a result attribute childbirth to men. MANA in particular has a history of erasing the word ‘women’ and ‘mothers’ from their practice. In 2014, “the word “woman” [was] erased from the MANA core competencies document and replaced with “pregnant individual” and “birthing parent.” The women who came to comment on the page were confused and offended, one commenter asked the Alliance, “What barriers are you challenging exactly, human biological ones?” When one woman asserted that only women give birth, the Alliance responded:
“Your comments suggesting that only women give birth is transphobic and posted after our clear guidelines to not do so. As such, it will be deleted.”
Does MANA think men can give birth too? Does MANA know where babies come from?
‘Midwife’ literally means ‘with women,’ but the definitions we go by in every major dictionary look more like: a person who assists women in childbirth.
If MANA really thought that recognizing females, or adult human females (women), is bigoted and transphobic, they would not call themselves midwives. This is doublethink, “the acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination.”
Now, MANA has said that it promotes dialogue, but that ‘hate speech will not be tolerated.’ By which they mean that women are not allowed to assert that only women give birth, or that birthing is a women’s issue. By making birth a people’s issue, and necessarily a men’s issue, MANA has no solid ground to stand on when men make decisions for women’s health and reproductive capacities. This is antithetical to feminism or a movement which supports the autonomy of women giving birth; men taking women’s reproductive capacities into their own hands and regulating them, to the detriment of women, is exactly what places like MANA should be fighting against. Instead, they want to fundamentally deny that only women give birth, even while every single human being that exists on this planet is here because of the reproductive labor of a female. Every single one.
The “men” MANA is referring to are actually women who identify as men. Clever, right? No actual man has ever given birth, but women who identify as men give birth, and thus, they believe that men can give birth as well. Even though transactivists repeatedly tell us that sex and gender are different, they assert that men can get pregnant, when they mean transmen (who are women). Instead of saying that only transmen and women can give birth, they say men and women can give birth. This language is an attempt to obfuscate the truth, and side-step their own ‘transphobic’ anxieties. If they had said ‘women who identify as men,’ or called transmen females (the only sex that can give birth) they would be lumping transmen in with women which would be transphobic. This is why places like MANA have to collectively live in denial about which sex gives birth, because if they recognized that transmen are females, and that is why they can get pregnant, they would be participating in what they believe to be hate speech. In doing this, associations like MANA and mainstream feminists and transgender activists are handing birthing practices over to men. Not transmen, who are women, but men.
Where can women go from here? Conservatives believe that reproductive rights should be in the hands of men because of the implications of paternal control and ownership, and liberals believe that reproductive rights should be “inclusive” of men because “men give birth too.”
As long as these remain the two major options in the United States, females everywhere have much to worry about. You know that picture of a panel comprised solely of men removing women’s maternity healthcare coverage that feminists collectively got upset about?
Well, why are we upset? Can’t men give birth too?
Other women who wanted to challenge this ideology attempted to expose MANA’s hypocrisy by pointing to other posts by MANA which specifically address pregnancy as a women’s issue. Under an article they posted titled The quiet crisis among African Americans: Pregnancy and childbirth are killing women at inexplicable rates some women pointedly asked why they are practicing what they label as hateful while banning women whom they accuse of doing the same. They responded: “We are committed to creating safer space for our community. We are closing comments on this post. We will delete any further posts and ban the poster. Thank you to our allies who have shown up.”
As a response to this whole debacle, MANA has taken the public stance that anyone who says men can’t give birth on their page will be deleted and then blocked. Unofficially, they will also delete and block you if you point out that they consider birth a women’s issue as well.