This is to distinctly go against modern mores but it’s also an important distinction to make. Someone who possess the ovaries, uterus, womb and hormonal systems to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth is not a man. This is what is known as a “woman.” This is nothing at all to do with the patriarchy, capitalism or even my own stickinthemudism. It’s just an observation about the world and the use of language in describing it.
This Guardian headline is therefore wrong:
The story of one man’s pregnancy: ‘It felt joyous, amazing and brilliant’
This opening line isn’t though:
Pregnancy is increasingly common among trans men.
For “trans men” and “men” do not mean the same thing, not at all. The modern style is to insist that they are but then it’s not that unusual for fads and fashions to be incorrect, is it?
As I say there’s an importance here and it’s that language is the way we try to describe that reality out there beyond our own eyeballs. We therefore need to use a certain precision in that description, definitions of words become important. As such words are not being used properly concerning trans-everything.
Consider, say, cancer screening. Cervical cancer is solely a female disease, prostate such solely a male. A female to male trans person (to be neutral in description there) might well, without radical surgery, have a risk for cervical cancer, one that needs to be checked occasionally. Equally, a male to female again without radical surgery might be at risk for prostate cancer. Each therefore requiring smear and PSA tests as appropriate.
This is different from how people wish to present themselves to the world. Lord Knows we’re liberals around here and how you wish to dress, your preferred mode of address, who you sleep with how and all the rest, they’re entirely up to you. We may or may not go along with your pronoun, that depends upon how polite we’re feeling at any one point but your right to do as you wish, absent third party harm, is pretty much the bedrock of the liberal belief.
That still doesn’t mean that a man is going to be pregnant to the point of birth. Because that’s to destroy that information contained within the words “man” or “woman”. Useful information, as with the cancer example, distinctions which it’s important we be able to make.
One useful way through this is to insist that gender and sex are different. Which does accord with modern mores but perhaps we’ve just got to emphasise this more. Gender is that social construct and off we all go and construct it as we wish. Sex is biological reality and that’s not changed in the same manner. Even surgery doesn’t change that in the deep sense. That is, the very idea of a sex change is incorrect even as gender change is quite obviously something done with a certain regularity.
And I’ll keep insisting that someone pregnant to the point of live birth is not a man whatever anyone might claim.