More maddening and epic stupidity from the language cops, who are trying to erase the very notion of “gender” from the English language. The American Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has issued guidance on the proper terminology when speaking or writing about the act of breastfeeding.
You and I and other rational, logical people might think that “breastfeeding” is a perfectly acceptable term to use, especially since only women have biologically functional breasts. Not so, says the academy.
“ABM recognizes that not all people who give birth and lactate identify as female and that some of these individuals identify as neither female nor male,” the group said in a document posted on July 29.
They may not “identify” as female but that’s hardly the point. No other gender — pretend, self-created, or otherwise — can feed a baby from their breasts except females.
Eight doctors and the organization co-authored the document on “infant feeding and lactation-related language and gender,” and said that “the use of de-sexed or gender-inclusive language is appropriate in many settings.”
One of the co-authors, Dr. Laura Kair of the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, said in a statement that, “language has power.”
“The language that we use should be as inclusive as possible when discussing infant feeding,” she wrote. “When working with patients it is best to ask them their affirmed terminology. When communicating medical research, language should accurately reflect the population studied so as not to mask research needs.”
Language does indeed have power. But the reason language has any power at all is because of its ability to illuminate ideas, thoughts, dreams, emotions. Nonsense like this seeks to obfuscate meaning using language as a weapon. Instead of illumination, the ABS is looking to deliberately confuse and confound us with definitions that have no basis in reality.
I’m a little tired of the degrading and nullifying of women and their abilities. Breastfeeding is one of our abilities. It’s a beautiful and important ability. Knock off the nullifying of women fir the sake of lunatics. Equal rights does not equal insanity.
— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) August 14, 2021
Ms. Alley’s response drew this observation from another woman.
I was born biologically female and identify as such now. I have given birth and nursed 4 children. How does including others who identify differently “degrade” my experience? Just as same sex couples marrying in no way degrades my marriage. How is inclusivity insane???
— krpdx 🌊🌊💙✡️💙🌊🌊 (@vonrummer) August 15, 2021
It raises the question of what is “inclusive” and what constitutes “inclusivity.” Just because someone issues a pronouncement that gender-neutral language automatically and always denotes “inclusivity” doesn’t make it true. There are ways to be “inclusive” without being destructive of the language. Unilaterally altering the language to suit a particular political agenda is sheer lunacy and should be strongly resisted.
A similar effort was made around Mother’s Day earlier this year when the radical left wanted to erase the term “mother” and sub out “birthing people.”
Ahead of Mother’s Day this year, Rep. Cori Bush used the phrase “birthing people” to advocate for the safety of Black mothers and their children.
“Every day, Black birthing people and our babies die because our doctors don’t believe our pain. My children almost became a statistic. I almost became a statistic. I testified about my experience @OversightDems today. Hear us. Believe us. Because for so long, nobody has,” Bush wrote.
Journalist Matthew Walther highlighted the origins of this assault on the language in a New York Post editorial.
“The rise of ‘birthing people’ and ‘chestfeeding’ follows a well-established pattern: Universities carry the terminology from once-fringe activist groups to the professional classes during what passes for their education. Graduates bring it with them to hospitals, law firms, big business and, of course, politics. A new consensus about apparently settled questions such as the definition of motherhood is established before ordinary Americans are even aware that new terms exist, much less that the liberal establishment wants to mandate their use.”
The problem arises when popular culture — including mass media, TV news, and the press — begin a campaign of forced conformity on the rest of us. It’s insidious and maddening.
Destroying traditional language and means of communication is the ultimate use of the power of language. You have to ask yourself: In 50 years, will we be able to understand each other at all? Or will language mean only what the government tells us it means?