“Pregnant man” gives birth

July 4, 2008

Thomas Beatie, the so-called “pregnant man” (see also my previous post here) gave birth to a baby girl on 29 June in Oregon, according to this report by Reuters.

Father and daughter were said to be “healthy and doing well”.

It is reported that the baby was not delivered by Caesarean section, but no other details about the birth were given.

“The only thing different about me is that I can’t breast-feed my baby. But a lot of mothers don’t”, Mr Beatie was quoted as saying.

I, for one, wish the Beatie family good health and every happiness for the future, and await with interest, not only his forthcoming book about the experience, but also the ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ kneejerk reactions and hate speech which is likely to reappear once the mass media wake up to the ‘newsworthy’ aspects of the birth (see, for example, the comments after this article in The Times, and this one at ABC News).

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Later edit: Here in Blogdonia, one thing that’s guaranteed to make my heart sink is the appearance of the cultural feminist tendency over the horizon. Because it inevitably heralds a grinding downshifting of gears and the driving of any chance of any meaningful discussion into the ditch. Then there follows an immense amount of wheelspin and mud-spraying, generally on aspects of theory which have been discussed fruitlessly a million times before and would be better conducted either in a 101 blog, or, preferably, on said cultural feminists’ own blogs which the rest of us could then safely disregard, unless we were looking for gratuitous insults and abuse or simply wished to lose the will to live.

This article – as posted over at TFW – is a case in point. One of the commenters there touched on a subject – the difficulty the media had with the idea of a pregnant man, and the scare tactics used reporting the pregnancy – which would have been an avenue worth exploring in more depth, but no, a cultural feminist appeared and singlehandedly proceeded to bog the thread down in that tired old Social-Constructivist Law Of Gender™.

Okay, so some say that gender is merely a societal response to physical sexual differences – and some say that we have an innate sense of being gendered from which come ways of behaving, ways that society calls ‘female’ or ‘male’, ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ and that these behaviours are generally what is meant when we refer to gender roles, gender presentation and gender expression.

I’d be happy to leave it there but the cultural feminist tendency have made it abundantly clear on numerous occasions that they will not tolerate dissenters to the One True Way Of Feminism – okay fine, we get it. But how about this for a radical idea: let’s agree to disagree and move the debate on to other issues? Maybe we can find things we do agree about and can work together on, in the hope that we can maybe make a positive contribution to feminist debate.

To my mind, whether or not gender is socially constructed would be largely irrelevant to discussing, for example, if the media’s treatment of Mr Beatie tells us anything about the way society thinks about transsexual men generally. Advances in medical techniques have made many aspects of gender and sex more malleable than ever before, and Mr Beatie’s case seems to have made many people question the way that they think about pregnancy: can we draw any consensus conclusions about that?

But why talk about such things when there are trans women out there who still haven’t been browbeaten into justifying their existence to the satisfaction of a pseudo-situationist minority? Much more fun, yes?

…*le sigh*…

Right, if anybody would like a glass, I’m going to open a bottle of wine while I wait to see who’s going to be first to demand to know Just What, Exactly, Does This Have To Do With Feminism? followed by a vicious personal attack and a comprehensive belittling of trans people in the process..

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(Cross-posted at The F Word on 04 July 2008)

©2008 Helen G

One Response to ““Pregnant man” gives birth”


  1. [...] Bird of Paradise/ The F Word] SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Thomas Beatie gives birth”, url: [...]


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