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Is Inclusive Language Truly "Inclusive?"

Potentially unpopular opinion, but hear me out. Or don’t. I recognize that there are people who won’t like this post and who will choose to unfollow or block this account as a result. I understand, that is your right. I just ask that you be respectful.

Many people do not identify with gendered terms like “woman” or “mother” to name a few. So non-gendered terms such as “birthing person” and “gestational parent,” along with a number of others, have been applied as a solution. However, in many areas, these non-gendered terms have replaced gendered terms with the assurance that they are more inclusive and represent everyone.

Women who identify as such have spoken out against these terms, arguing that they do not identify as “birthing people” and do not feel represented by its use. They are regularly told that they shouldn’t feel this way because the term is for everyone. It’s my belief that it isn’t my place to dictate another individual’s feelings or experience, let alone an entire group. Just as some people feel excluded by the term “mother” and an effort was made to remedy this concern, so too should there be recognition and validation that others choose to continue identifying as women and mothers. We wouldn’t ask an individual identifying as a birthing person to go back to being called a woman or mother, so we should similarly not expect an individual identifying as such to accept the same on the other side.

Also, is it just me, or is trying to find one single term within which to lump millions of unique people counterintuitive to the very tenets of individuality and identity? Rather than replacing one term with another, those truly trying to be inclusive in their practice might consider using additive language, such as “mothers & birthing people.” Either way, this is a polarizing, contentious issue about which everyone has their opinion. This is just mine, you are free to agree or disagree. That’s the beauty of this country - at least for now.

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