Unseen, uncelebrated, identity smothered, silenced, erased. We no longer celebrate womanhood in maternity. We no longer openly celebrate and cherish motherhood like we did. A small portion of people want to do the same thing without identifying with the language we’ve always used so they are attempting to erase womanhood as we know it.
Imagine for a moment if we approached race as we do gender inclusive language. Imagine if it was no longer deemed appropriate to talk about race or ethnicity because it’s not inclusive of all people. Imagine if one person talking about their own race sparked outrage by others who identify differently for not being included. What if a person couldn’t say they were white or black or Hispanic? What if they were corrected in their language every time they made a post or comment on Facebook? Would they feel unseen? Would they feel they couldn’t openly celebrate their heritage and what it means to them? What if we heard their concerns over the erasure and people responded with statements like “It’s not erasure; it’s inclusion.” or “You are included when we say person. You are a person, aren’t you?” It’s erasure.
Womanhood is something to celebrate. Women are amazing. Women are strong. So much has been done in recent decades to fight for women and give us our rights. Many women in the world are still fighting for fair treatment and equal rights. We trash that effort when we strip the gender of an entire group. Women are given unique roles different from men. God saw fit to allow women to carry life inside them and bring children into this world. Women are gifted with motherhood.
We spend years dreaming of the day we’ll become a wife and dreaming of becoming a mother. From the time we are young girls, we think on these things. We grow up looking forward to that season. We wait for it. We pray for it. And when it comes, we celebrate the unique gifts of womanhood. We walk in tradition. We closely carry our family values. Generations of women come together to share their wisdom. We have bridal showers and baby showers. These things are deeply meaningful to us. We invest so much into who we will grow into as a wife and a mother. These are joyous passages, a passage and role offered only to women.
And then there are the thieves of such rites of passage. In recent years, we’ve been pressured to change our language. Say spouse instead of husband and wife. Say partner because not everyone is married. But the real fire has been taken to mothers. Women get pregnant. Women give birth. Women breastfeed. Albeit challenging, women cherish these privileges of motherhood. We celebrate these things. This is the only thing that has always been the woman’s domain. Traditionally, men lead and they are the head of the household still in many places. But this space – this is a woman’s sacred space. All things maternity have been torched by the destructive flames of relabeling womanhood with broader human terms, new words that are inclusive to females that do not identify as a woman. “Pregnant woman” has been erased and replaced with “pregnant person”. A “person with a uterus” replaces woman. The act of breastfeeding has been renamed “chest-feeding” because not everyone identifies with breastfeeding. Now some say we should call it “body-feeding” because not everyone identifies with chest-feeding. It is literally breastfeeding. The chest is behind the breast. The word breast is an anatomical term. It is an appropriate clinical term. It is not a nickname. Whether or not someone wants to call it a breast is up to them, but telling other people not to use clinical terms because they don’t identify with that language is insane. Some are even forgoing the term “mother” in favor of the term “parent” because not every female identifies as a mother. They call it inclusiveness as they cover up traditional womanhood and make it available to anyone who wants the unique gifts of being a woman when they do not identify as a woman. They’ve stripped women of birth too. Instead of saying “birthing woman” or “laboring mom” they’ve introduced and made mainstream terms like “birthing parent” and “birther”. They have stripped the identity of the birthing woman down to a mere act. It sounds like something from The Handmaid’s Tale in which a woman is dehumanized into nothing more than a “birther”. I’ve even seen some extremists use the term “gestational parent” because not every “pregnant person” identifies as pregnant. Again, pregnancy and birth are not nicknames. These are the proper terms.
To recap the growing insanity, here are the words they want us to replace so everyone feels included.
Husband is a wrong assumption. Partner is best. Although birth partner is better because that way you’re not assuming their relationship status. Other suggest saying support person is ideal because they may not be in a relationship. Brothers and sisters are siblings unless otherwise identified. A person’s nieces and nephews are niblings.
And let’s not forget pronouns: she/her, he/him, they/them, and then there are some alternative made-up words that start with z and have no gender. It is encouraged to use they/them until you know someone’s pronouns.
They’re not going to stop there. Anatomy is deemed offensive too because not everyone identifies with the clinical terms. Words like vagina and uterus or penis now have alternative terms that are not the proper clinical terms so that people can identify with a vaguer term that is not specific to the actual body part. Some suggestions from this crowd include saying external genitals instead of penis, internal genitals instead of vagina, external gonads for testicles, internal gonads for ovaries, internal reproductive organs for female reproductive organs, opening of the genitals instead of opening of the vagina, external genital area instead of vulva, anyone who has a cervix instead of women or females getting their pap, and the insanity spirals on. Because healthcare is an area that you want to be vague in and not actually make sure patients have understanding of their health? To be even more extreme, it is suggested that “women’s health” is not inclusive of females across the gender spectrum.
Sadly, multiple organizations for women’s health are now requiring gender inclusive language in their literature. Even organizations for lactation consultants have banned the use of words like breastfeeding or woman because it’s not inclusive. It blows my mind that people who have an entire career for help with breastfeeding are not actually supposed to use the word breastfeeding.
Gender dysphoria is a mental illness. Biological sex is gender. There are two: males/men and females/women. God created them male and female. The gender identity spectrum introduced by feminists less than 50 years ago is of the devil. This is not science. This is sociology. These people now say that there are over 100 genders. They expand it every few years. They’re not very clear on it because everything is unclear in this snare of Satan. The nature of sin is confusion and destruction. This is their agenda: normalize and accept sin and force people to glorify the works of demons because they are offended by the things of God. The Lord Jesus made gender and he made gender roles in the family structure that he designed. It is not God’s design for men to try to be women. Nor is it love to affirm such destruction. Godly love and worldly love are not the same. If a child wants to touch a hot stove, does their mother let them because they don’t want to upset them? Of course, not! You wouldn’t encourage a person to do something physically harmful. Why demand approval of something psychologically harmful? Love does not lie. Love offers truth with gentleness. Love gives clarity. It is not loving others to play into delusions of mental illness that desperately need counseling. Nor is it love to affirm such things as normal or acceptable. As for me, I will not be using the devil’s language as a way of pacifying bondage and mental torment.
Men cannot get pregnant. Men cannot give birth. Men cannot breastfeed. There is no such thing as chest-feeding. Men cannot be a mother. God gave those gifts to women and it’s not a man’s place to pretend it’s his role.
If you can get pregnant, you are a woman. If you are a female, you are a woman. You may not be a girly-girl and that’s perfectly fine. High heels and hairspray may not be your thing. That’s not what makes you a woman. Your clothing, your appearance, your interests do not define your womanhood. You were uniquely created by God. You are uniquely gifted to do the things that only a woman can do. It doesn’t matter what gender roles look like to someone else. If it’s different for you, that doesn’t invalidate your gender as a woman. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You are still a woman.
What do we do about this erasure?
Do not fear. Do not be afraid of what people will think. Do not worry about what people will say. This is not an attack on trans people. This is a defense of women. The liberals who push such agenda are quick to anger. They are quick to label things hateful. They call every non-affirming space unsafe. Having no respect for people with conservative views, they shout labels of phobia as a way to silence conservatives. Too many are afraid to be accused of not being inclusive or affirming. Why do you fear not being liked by the world? Shouldn’t you be more afraid to be going against God?
Take back womanhood and motherhood. Use the language we’ve always used. Make no apologies for holding dear your identity or traditions. Refuse to use the alternative language. Leave the spaces that do twist gender. Those spaces are not for you. Cherish womanhood. Cherish women experiencing the gift of pregnancy and birth and breastfeeding. Cherish motherhood. Celebrate these women and their blessings. Value what mothers do. Let no lie come out of your mouth to appease what is destruction. Speak truth. Defend truth. Stand with God. Use biblical language. Embrace gender as God designed it.
There is a time to be friendly and walk away from confrontation, and there is a time to take a stand. It’s time to defend womanhood. It’s time to push back against the erasure of women in women’s health, maternity, and motherhood.
Apostolic Pentecostal Christian
maternal-infant wellness educator