Glamour UK magazine elected to put a “pregnant man” on its digital cover for the increasingly annoying Pride month, which seems to be a vehicle for smug corporations to patronise gay people. (Do they really all like glitter and rainbows? My gay friend likes the novels of Henry James.) Those inverted commas around “pregnant man” are doing a hell of a lot of work, by the way. Logan Brown tells an interviewer, “I am a trans pregnant man and I do exist. No matter what anyone says, I am literally living proof.”
Don’t bother pointing out that a man can’t be pregnant because, in order to achieve that blessed state, you need ovaries, a uterus and a vagina. Such petty insistence on biological facts marks you out as “transphobic”. Better to accept the desecration of the English language, the overturning of millennia of medical understanding, and nod along as Logan explains how he was taking a break from testosterone when he fell pregnant by his girlfriend (I think that’s right, honestly, it’s hard to keep up). Anyway, he wasn’t happy. “All my manlihood that I’ve worked hard for, for so long, just completely felt like it was erased.”
Somehow, baby Nova was born, although she had some “growth issues”. As a mother (female, full complement of relevant organs), I flinched when I read that, thinking of how we women are told to stop taking the Pill before trying to conceive and wondering what the effect of high levels of testosterone in the womb would have on a developing female foetus.
As Logan doesn’t believe in biological sex and has lopped off her breasts, which makes it impossible to feed the baby, such concerns will hardly have entered that magnificently self-obsessed mind. If a drug addict were behaving with such casual disregard during pregnancy, social services would swoop in and remove the baby. Of course, that would be evidence of transphobia, so no one dared suggest it in this case, even though I personally do worry for that poor tiny girl.
Far from reflecting the understandable scepticism of some readers (how many will have recoiled at the term “pregnant man”?) the Glamour interviewer lay on her back with paws in the air and allowed herself to be tickled by a minority opinion which is bullying the majority into agreeing with its preposterous, unscientific assertions.
The magazine claims its Pride issue “celebrates the allyship that exists between women (cisgender or not) and transgender people through our shared experiences – in particular, pregnancy, healthcare and childbirth – something that is not often talked about with regard to the transgender community”.
Seriously? Does this reputable publication targeted at younger women (the old-fashioned kind) have no concept of the harm the gender-identity crowd are doing to female experience?
Take Miranda, a new mother who is nursing her nine-week-old baby boy. Miranda wrote to me on the Planet Normal podcast about what happened when she joined a breastfeeding support group for some interaction with other new mums and to help with such arcane mysteries as “latching on”. (I remember pregnancy well. Like trying to post a melon through a letterbox. Ouch!)
“Like any new mother it’s been a rollercoaster ride, but I’ve never felt more proud of my womanhood, looking in awe at how my body can sustain this little life as he feeds, as well as healing itself from the physical trauma of childbirth,” said Miranda. “I valued the breastfeeding group and those couple of hours every week where we could be so vulnerable with each other and forge new friendships. I also signed up to the Facebook and WhatsApp groups where we could ask questions, often extremely personal, sometimes harrowing, and often in the middle of the night when you’re in the thick of it and can feel most alone.”
One member of the breastfeeding group was engaged in a series of questions with the admin team, when she made what Miranda drolly called “the unfathomable error” in one message of “addressing us mothers as ‘ladies’”.
Miranda attached a screenshot for me of the admin person’s response: “Everyone, just a gentle reminder that we do not use gendered language as not everyone identifies as female.” It’s a breastfeeding group, for crying out loud! How many of the participants aren’t ladies?
Miranda was furious, rightly so. “I was feeding my baby at the time those messages came through. I felt very sorry for the lady who had caused the so-called offence: you can see her contrition and the patronising response from the admin to her apology. I have no problem with individuals identifying as ‘they/them’, but at the one time in our lives when being made to feel proud of our womanhood has never been more important (or obvious in what our feminine bodies are going through!), I do not agree that de-gendering should be inflicted on the rest of us. I was also incredibly offended, but as I’m a straight woman, does my offence carry less weight?”
Well, of course it does, Miranda. No one both female and heterosexual is allowed to take uncomplicated “Pride” in their woman’s body as it miraculously does exactly what it was primed to do by Mother Nature.
How dare they? That’s what I thought when I read that administrator’s appalling, virtue-signalling response to an anxious, exhausted woman addressing her fellow new mums as “ladies”.
How dare they appropriate the precious, private moments in a female life and claim, outrageously, that those moments might be male too?
“Needless to say, I promptly left the group as my small stand against this pervading, illogical and (in this context) highly insensitive ideology,” reports Miranda, “As I watch my precious little baby sleeping peacefully on me, I want so much to protect him from such cultural groupthink, but the tide is so strong it is permeating almost every institution. It often feels like we are existing in the world of Alice Through The Looking Glass.”
Next time you read a jaded male columnist explaining that the trans debate and the “Culture Wars” are just froth whisked up by right-wingers, please think of Miranda longing to protect her baby boy from a world gone mad. This is why we have to fight them. Whatever Glamour may say, pregnancy is not a “shared experience” with members of the trans community, let alone with men. It belongs to women, and women alone. We will not submit to the fatuous concept of “gendered language”, which is just another way of appropriating female experience.
A message for the breastfeeding mums of Britain trying to get a squirming, hungry bundle to latch on at 3am: ladies, I salute you.