Byline: Lionel Shriver
week Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust delivered another blow to this once-straightforward class of humanity.
Midwives were instructed to cease referring to "breastfeeding" and prefer "chestfeeding". "Breast milk" was to be known as "human milk", "breast/chestmilk", or "milk from the feeding mother or parent".
Indeed, the latest guidelines suggest the word "mother" is best avoided. "Birthing parent" is better. When that awful W-word can't be avoided one must say, "woman or person"? which seems ominously to imply that there's a difference. These changes will be implemented in the trust's written materials ? leaflets, webpages, letters, and emails. (It later clarified that the new terms were to be used alongside, not instead of, traditional terms.)
birth. As of 2017, the UK had two such people. To coin a phrase, the policy is not for the many, but the few. Women don't matter; people who have renounced being women do.
The health trust is doing nothing new. The obliteration of women via the elimination of the word "women" and the insulting, dehumanising reduction of women to their biological functions or constituent parts ("people who menstruate", "people with cervixes") are indicators of a widespread, but frankly baffling, theatrical deference to transgenderism. We're elevating the perceived rights of a minuscule minority above the rights of a vast majority.
So who cares if women are raped by biological men in prison, endangered in domestic violence "refuges", distressed by "people with penises" in dressing rooms, or compelled to consign their sporting competitions to pointless farce when bruisers who "identify" as female win every contest. The interests of roughly 200,000 transgender Britons (about 0.3 per cent of the population) trump the concerns of about 34 million British women.
The columnist Janice Turner wrote a terrific essay on this subject for The Times last month. Consider this an update. Let's start with "chestfeeding", a contrivance that Microsoft Word underscores with a chiding red squiggle. The computer is right. Chestfeeding is not a word. That's because human infants...