You Can’t Say “Woman” Anymore — Here Are 8 Alternatives
I am a woman.
I was born female and I have identified as a woman my whole life. I have female anatomy. As far as I can tell, I am capable of pregnancy and childbirth. I was born with two X chromosomes and my lived experience is that of a woman.
None of those things, however, define my personhood.
I am not who I am because I have biologically female parts.
I am not who I am because I am capable of giving birth or because of my chromosomal makeup.
These are elements of who I am and the reality of my existence — but they alone do not define me.
Society has insisted that there is more than one way to “be a woman.”
The simplification of womanhood to female anatomy, reproductive organs, or genetic makeup has become “outdated” to some.
Perhaps this is why we are afraid or reluctant to define what a woman is.
We don’t want to reduce “womanhood” to the bleeding between our legs or the experience of pushing a 9-pound bowling ball out of our bodies.
After all, not all women actually give birth or regularly get their periods (depending on their health, age, and other factors). But these things do not take away from their experiences as women.
We should not reduce a woman to her parts or her biological function alone.
So why do we insist on language that does exactly that?
Here are eight phrases that we’ve begun using in place of “woman.”
Birthing people / Birthing parent
Imagine if we started saying “Happy Birthing Parents day!” instead of “Happy Mother’s Day!”
Is that a woman’s only role in her child’s life?
One second we’ll all agree that women are so much more than our ability to give birth, and the next we’ll reduce them to just that.