A birth coach in England has been pressured to resign after she definitively stated that only women could give birth.
Lynsey McCarthy-Calvert, a mother of four and a former Doula UK birth coach, said a small number of activists resisted her claim and pressured her company to penalize her, Daily Mail reports.
McCarthy-Calvert served as a doula — in this case, a non-medical companion who provided support to individuals who have given birth — when she claimed her company “ostracised” her over the claim.
“I am angry and sad,” she said per the report. “I was effectively ostracised for saying I am a woman and so are my clients.
“I have been very disappointed by Doula UK’s response. The leadership is paralyzed by not wanting to upset transgender rights activists. They have fallen over themselves to acquiesce to their demands.”
Daily Mail reports:
Flora margarine stopped advertising on Mumsnet after the website was accused of being transphobic for hosting a wide range of views on transgender issues. And the makers of Always sanitary towels removed the female ‘Venus’ symbol from packaging after complaints from trans men.
The Doula UK row started after Cancer Research UK dropped the word ‘women’ from its smear test campaign, instead saying screening was ‘relevant for everyone aged 25-64 with a cervix’.
In response, Mrs McCarthy-Calvert posted a photograph on Facebook of a negligee-clad woman somersaulting underwater, with the wording: ‘I am not a “cervix owner” I am not a “menstruator” I am not a “feeling”. I am not defined by wearing a dress and lipstick. I am a woman: an adult human female.’
Beneath it she wrote: ‘Women birth all the people, make up half the population, but less than a third of the seats in the House of Commons are occupied by us.’
According to the report, McCarthy-Calvert’s comments provoked a group of about 20 individuals identified as “trans-activists” wrote a letter of complaint to the company claiming she had “clearly” breeched the company’s inclusive guidelines.
In the letter, they claimed McCarthy-Calvert was guilty of making several “trans-exclusionary comments” which included her description of an “adult human female.”
Daily Mail adds:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
Doula UK immediately withdrew Mrs. McCarthy-Calvert as a spokesperson and, after a four-month investigation, its board of directors concluded in March the post ‘does breach Doula UK’s guidelines’.
Last night, Doula UK denied it had ‘acquiesced’ to activists or that Mrs. McCarthy-Calvert had been ‘in some way driven out of the organization’.
A spokesperson added: ‘We are proud to say that we seek to listen to the lived experience of marginalized groups and make changes – including changes to the language we use – if we believe it is necessary to make the Doula UK community more welcoming and supportive.’