Andreia Nobre

Jul 16, 2020

6 min read

Who benefits from the abolition of the category “mother” when motherhood is compulsory?

We have to take into account that women can go to jail for abortion and even miscarriages

A Brazilian sociologist, on her verified Twitter account, posted on June 25, 2020 that the category “mother” must be abolished from our vocabulary to be inclusive with transidentified people who were born female. According to her, the category “mother” is “the worst possible choice” to address the subjects pregnancy, childbirth, postanatal and breastfeeding “through a feminist point of view”.

She goes on to say that “mother” is “conservative”, “exclusive” word and it “only gets in the way”, besides saying that the phrase “feminism / maternal activism” would also fall into the same problem.

“The“ mother ”category is the worst possible choice if we want to talk about pregnancy, childbirth, post natal and breastfeeding from a feminist perspective. Like really bad. Conservative. Excluding. It just gets in the way. The idea of “maternal feminism” is horrible for that too. ”

The academic, who is a sociologist and collaborates for a psychoanalysis institute, according to her description on Twitter, says that using the word mother is a “cisnormative and transphobic choice” and that this, in itself, should be sufficient reason for its use to be rejected, claiming that there is no “transinclusive feminism that continues to use ‘mother’ as the central category” to talk about motherhood.

In her opinion, the Portuguese language does not even need to be adapted to abolish the categories “mother” and “motherhood” to talk about the biological functions of human females in relation to reproduction, that is, the ability to gestate of the female body. She mentions the words “pregnant woman”, “parturient” and “lactating” as already being “words of neutral language” and that, to include everyone who has the ability to gestate, the Portuguese articles related to each situation should be used — therefore , a / o / e before pregnant / parturient / lactating, being “a” for women, “o” for trans men, concluding that there is an article “e” for non-binary people, born in the female sex, who have the ability to gestate. It still demands that words which are not “neutral” to be inflected with “a/o/e”, as in pregnant (grávida/grávido/grávide).

For her, the category “mother” is “be terrible” to talk about motherhood. As arguments, she writes that associating motherhood with the word “mother” combo means “excluding and marginalizing the diversity that exists in parenting and in the processes of pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and breastfeeding of people” whom she calls “cis”.

Her attempt to be inclusive excludes and erases women and mothers when she states that the word “mother” would exclude women who have suffered miscarriages, those who have gestated and given birth but do not breastfeed, those who breastfeed but have not given birth, women who have had to resort to womb rental (both the women who surrogates — who, in her analysis, would not be “mothers” of the child — or who hired surrogates), the women who adopted and therefore did not conceive, gave birth or breastfed. She also states that the use of the category “mother” is harmful to feminism because “nobody‘ is born a mother for giving birth, she becomes a mother, that is, she claims that gestating / giving birth doesn’t automatically make anyone a mother”.

It is not the first time that even the Brazilian left criticizes the sociologist for her controversial opinions. According to herself in a Medium article, she did not expect to be “attacked” by “revolutionary, socialist and / or Marxist” people, when she was criticized for her Facebook post where she defending the case of a porn actor who has a health condition which makes him a short person, therefore looking like a child and, because of that, he specialized in “pornography with the theme of pedophilia”. In her post, she claimed to be just fighting for “sexual autonomy”.

Materialist, gender critical and radical feminists have been warning for years that queer theory is linked to pedophilia. The article “Sexualizing the body of girls is one of the patriarchate’s intentions” seeks to explain how pedophilia is a tool for controlling female bodies.

There is a left wing group adept of identity politics, in which “identities”, especially “gender identity”, trumps any other analysis of material reality, especially the analysis of the three structural oppressions in which contemporary societies are organized: sex (sexism / misogyny), race and social class.

When the author of the tweet says, at the end of her post, that “there is no point in making inclusion speech” and that it is not “full feminism if we do not abolish the discourse and the forms of analysis that cause exclusion”, she erases structural oppression to which all women are subject. Women who become mothers are not oppressiving trans men, as the author claims. Women who become mothers — in a patriarchal society where motherhood is compulsory and very few countries allow abortion, and even a pregnancy loss or a miscarriage can take women to jail — are the most fragile part of any society where men rule over the bodies of women.

There is an irreconcilable conflict between the agenda of transidentified people and the women’s rights movement. The definition of what it means to be a woman cannot be changed to “anyone who identifies as a woman”. Women suffer discrimination in patriarchal systems because they are born female. It is only the female bodies that can give birth. And our reproductive capacity is exploited by patriarchy. Gender identity does not prevent menstruation, vaginal atrophy after continuous use of hormone therapy with testosterone or pregnancy. Nobody is born in the wrong body. But we were born in societies that impose harmful stereotypes on both sexes. We have to abolish stereotypes.

Gallus Mag, a feminist blogger, compiled the main points about the conflict of interests between the transactivist agendas and the feminist movement:

1. Removing the legal right of women to organize politically against sex-based oppression by males.

2. Removing the legal right of women to assemble outside the presence of men.

3. Removing the legal right of women to educational programs created for women outside the presence of men.

4. Eliminating data collection of sex-based inequalities in areas where females are underrepresented.

5. Elimination of sex-based crime statistics.

6. Eliminating athletic programs and sports competition for women and girls.

7. Removing the legal right of women to be free from the presence of men in areas of public accommodation where nudity occurs.

8. Elimination of grants, scholarships, board and trustee designations, representative positions, and affirmative programs for women.

9. Removing the legal right of women to create reproductive clinics, rape crisis services, support groups, or any organizations for females.

10. Eliminating media and all public discourse specific to females.

11. Removal of the right of journalists to report the sex, and history, of subjects.

12. Eliminating the legal right of lesbians to congregate publicly.

13. Elimination of lesbian-specific organizations and advocacy groups.

14. Removing the legal right of women to free speech related to sex roles and gender.

15. Elimination of the legal right of women to protection from state-enforced sex-roles (appearance/behavior/thought).

16. Elimination of the legal right of girls to protection from state-enforced sex-roles in public education.

17. Elimination of the patient right of dependent females to hospital/facility bed assignments separate from males.

18. Elimination of the right of dependent females to prefer female providers for their intimate personal care requirements.

19. Elimination of the human right of female prisoners under state confinement to be housed separately from male prisoners.

20. Unlike any other social justice movement in history, the contemporary push for “Transgender Rights” (**as it is currently being played out**) is unique in that it is based on eliminating the sex-based rights and protections of women and girls.

Women and healtcare professionals who attend women in the processes of pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and breastfeeding do not need to review, as the academic said, “the lexicon and the categories” about these processes because it is not the use of the categories “mother” and “motherhood” that are oppressing trans males and females who identify themselves as non-binary and are gestating. The “political impact” on trans and non-binary people that the sociologist refers to is not caused by calling mothers, “mothers”. It is the patriarchal society and its institutions that violate and deny autonomy to female bodies — regardless of how these human females identify themselves.

Jornalista, blogueira, poetisa, feminista, amante de antropologia e professora primaria que pratica desescolarizacao

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