So just a few months after deciding to update its ever-popular style guide to stuff in new phrases like “pregnant people,” and “people seeking abortion,” the AP is now offering up some clarifications concerning the proper context in which to use such phrases.
The guide itself says that in most cases, gendered phrases that make a reference to women are “acceptable.”
How nice of them to tell us when we can and can’t use the term “pregnant women.” And here I thought that you could only use the word “pregnant” when talking about “women,” because only genetically female members of humankind can actually get pregnant.
All of these years, science has been lying to us. Can you believe it?
“Pregnant women or women seeking abortions is acceptable phrasing,” the AP went on to write, providing context in its guidelines.
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But, according to a report from TheBlaze, there’s a catch:
“Phrasing like pregnant people or people seeking abortions is also acceptable to include people who have those experiences but do not identify as women,” the AP continued, “such as some transgender men and some nonbinary people.”
We now have guidance saying that “pregnant women” or “women seeking abortions” is acceptable phrasing.
Phrases like “pregnant people” or “people seeking abortions” are acceptable when you want to be inclusive of people who have those experiences but do not identify as women. pic.twitter.com/ljaabPxWak
— APStylebook (@APStylebook) August 17, 2022
The AP cautions that men and women alike should “use judgment” in such cases, always keeping in mind that “neutral alternatives” that make no reference to gender are “also acceptable.” “Overly clinical language,” the AP insists, should be avoided.
This updated style tip comes just three months after the previous updated style tip, which first introduced the gender-neutral phrases “pregnant people” and “people seeking abortions” only for those stories “that specifically address the experiences of people who do not identify as women.” Thus, the latest update is not so much a departure from the previous update as a clarification about when to use supposedly more inclusive alternatives.
The only non-ridiculous part of this whole mess is that the update seems to imply there’s a sort of widely accepted association between the word “women” and the word “pregnant” that is acceptable, with just a few exceptions.
Although I hate to be the bearer of bad news, there’s no such thing as “people who can get pregnant,” no matter how deluded or mentally ill said individual might be. It’s a truth that needs to be spoken and accepted.
And it seems folks on Twitter feel similarly.
“In the entire history of human beings on this planet, only women have ever been pregnant,” @DanShreffler, posted on Twitter.
“I love the continuing efforts to make basic communication as difficult and exhaustive as possible,” another response went on to say.
“Others took issue with the word women, not because of the gender it connotes, but because of the age,” TheBlaze reported.
“Please keep in mind that the use of ‘people’ is inclusive of *girls* as well as trans/non-binary people. A ten-year-old is not a ‘pregnant woman.’ Calling her that minimizes the horror of what’s happening in the US,” a user, likely making a reference to the recent alleged rape of a 10-year-old girl in Ohio.
The AP then claimed that while it publishes a spiral-bound version of Stylebook updates every other year, the digital version is changed “throughout the year as style changes and updates are made.”
Again, no matter how you cut the cheese, only women can be pregnant. End of story. Science is clear on this fact. If you don’t want to be considered a science denier, better get on board with the program.