Describing Breastfeeding as 'Natural' Declared 'Hate Speech' Towards Transgender
Term ruled to be 'offensive' and 'unethical' as it 'reinforces gender roles'
Referring to a parent breastfeeding a child as "natural" is now considered "unethical" and "offensive" and has now been categorized as "hate speech."
A new study in Pediatrics declared that using the term to describe a biological function that only a "natural" born female can perform is "ethically inappropriate" for government and medical organizations.
To describe breastfeeding as natural "reinforces rigid notions about gender roles" that may be "offensive" to those who were not born female, according to the report.
“Coupling nature with motherhood… can inadvertently support biologically deterministic arguments about the roles of men and women in the family (for example, that women should be the primary caretaker,” the study says.
The ruling will make it a punishable offense for doctors, government employees, or other medical professionals to describe breastfeeding as natural.
In the same way as misgendering a person, if someone continues to use the term knowing that it could cause offensive, then it will be classed as a "hate crime," therefore making it illegal.
The report has caused outrage among parents, whilst liberal groups see the move as a "win" and another step toward "equality" for transgender people.
The study notes that in recent years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and several state departments of health have all promoted breastfeeding over bottle-feeding, using the term “natural.”
“Referencing the ‘natural’ in breastfeeding promotion… may inadvertently endorse a set of values about family life and gender roles, which would be ethically inappropriate,” the study says.
Unless such public-service announcements “make transparent the ‘values and beliefs that underlie them,’” they should quit describing breastfeeding as “natural.”
But the study’s authors, Jessica Martucci and Anne Barnhill, clearly have in mind an alternative set of “values and beliefs,” about which they are not transparent.
It’s unclear whether they’re worried about how traditional female gender roles may limit women’s progress in the workforce, or whether this is part of the discussion about whether conventional views about motherhood exclude transgender people.
Or perhaps this is just another example of how the progressive obsession with gender and sexuality has permeated all fields of academic study.
Regardless, Martucci and Barnhill mask their agenda by also making the unconvincing secondary argument that describing breastfeeding as “natural” fuels the anti-vaccine movement.
When public-service announcements praise breastfeeding as “natural,” Martucci and Barnhill argue, the implication is that manufactured or mass-produced products are questionable or dangerous—so these promotions may unintentionally encourage parents to reject scientific progress elsewhere.
“If doing what is ‘natural’ is ‘best’ in the case of breastfeeding, how can we expect mothers to ignore that powerful and deeply persuasive worldview when making choices about vaccination?” they write.
There’s certainly an assertive worldview woven throughout this paper, though we find it neither powerful nor deeply persuasive.