A birth coach in the United Kingdom has been harassed and “hounded out” of her job with Doula UK, the U.K.’s national organization for birth coaches, after authoring a Facebook message that stated a basic biological fact: only women can have children.
The Daily Mail reports that Lynsey McCarthy-Calvert was forced to step down as Doula UK’s national spokeswoman and leave the group altogether because she dared to express the “controversial” “opinion.”
“Lynsey McCarthy-Calvert, 45, was forced to stand down as spokesperson for Doula UK and has since resigned altogether from the national organisation for birth coaches,” Daily Mail says. “Her exit comes after transgender rights activists triggered an investigation in which Doula UK concluded her message breached its equality and diversity guidelines.”
The British tabloid news outlet is careful to note that McCarthy-Calvert wasn’t fired by Doula UK outright, but resigned after she became the target of a campaign of harassment, “believing Doula UK had ‘acquiesced’ to demands from a small number of activists and failed to stand up for women’s rights.”
The incident follows a string of U.K. controversies surrounding various British entities’ embrace of gender neutral terminology to describe issues that were previously acknowledged to be uniquely female.
McCarthy-Calvert took issue with a new campaign from Cancer Research UK that encourages women to get a yearly Pap smear — a type of cervical cancer screening. The ad claimed that a Pap smear is “relevant for everyone aged 25-64 with a cervix,” failing to note, of course, that only biological females have a cervix.
“In response,” the Daily Mail reports, “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.’”
She added, “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.” She finished by claiming that women who acknowledge biological differences between women and men are often “subjected to cries of bigotry and transphobia when they say they don’t want to have sex with a woman with a penis.”
It was the last part, apparently, that caused the uproar. It turns out, transgender rights activists get prickly when you suggest that only women can give birth, even if the person making that claim is a verifiable birth expert.
One critic was quick to reply to her post, ripping McCarthy-Calvert for her “absolutely disgusting language”‘ and accused her of “forgetting that not only women birth children.”
The post got around. A few days later, 20 prominent trans activists signed a letter to Doula UK demanding that they jettison McCarthy-Calvert as a spokesperson over her “trans-exclusionary” comments that they claimed violated Doula UK’s carefully crafted commitment to diversity.
After a four month investigation, McCarthy-Calvert was out as Doula UK’s spokesperson, a decision that both she and Doula UK acknowledge was hers, though she seems to say she had no choice but to withdraw from the group.
The UK is ground zero for internecine LGBT warfare over precisely this issue, and the chasm between trans activists and more traditional leftists seems to be growing wider, particularly the division between women’s rights activists and “trans-exclusionary radical feminists,” who claim to want to preserve the gains they’ve won for women by ensuring the gender binary doesn’t go by the wayside.
TERFs have come under heavy fire for their views in the progressive UK and in Canada, where a recent panel, featuring a TERF, was widely protested and the panelist regularly compared to a Nazi.