SIR – Who would have thought it? The term ‘mother’ is a dirty word, liable to give offence. To whom? May we ask? The British Medical Association provides the answer to that one.
It has told its staff that a woman giving birth, in the interests of equality, should not be referred to as mother but as a pregnant person. The reason for this (in this instance the word ‘reason’ is an unfortunate word to use) is that a transgender man, previously a woman and still capable of conceiving and giving birth to a child, would be gravely offended at being called a mother.
Cardiff Metropolitan University has drawn up a list of phrases which should be purged from its students’ vocabularies. They include, right-hand man, sportsmanship, gentleman’s agreement, manpower, etc.
It appears that any term directly defining one particular gender is offensive to some. One is almost afraid to speak in case a transgender person may be listening.
Being a schoolteacher these days is not easy. I understand that certain schools are unhappy with the terms ‘boys’ and ‘girls.’ It appears the number of teenagers presenting themselves as transgender has recently increased at an alarming rate.
I suspect the number of gay and lesbian teenagers reporting for counseling is down in proportion. The psychologists need not worry, they should know teenagers are slaves to fashion. Fashion not only dictates which bit of unnecessary technology is the in thing, it goes beyond that.
I can imagine the trend-setters of the lower fifth telling their peers that coming out as gay is ‘so last year’ and that transgender is now all the rage.
At the same time, vociferous demands will be made for the removal of those offensive, sexist terms ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ from the doors of the toilets and changing rooms. The school authorities will no doubt be happy to oblige.
Anything for a quiet life.