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Thursday, 25 February 2021

Fury over 'woke propaganda' NHS guidance asking medics to add pronouns to their email signatures like he, she or they to avoid 'misgendering' people

  • NHS facing backlash over 'woke' diktat urging people to focus on misgendering
  • NHS HEE encouraged followers to, 'add your pronouns to your email signature'
  • But critics have hit back, saying the NHS 'was not a lobby group for an ideology' 
  • Comes after hospital told staff to use terms 'birthing parents' and 'human milk'
  • And Westminster maternity bill referred to 'pregnant people' rather than womenThe NHS is facing a backlash over 'woke propaganda' messages urging people to be more aware of 'misgendering' and add pronouns to their email signatures. 

    NHS Health Education England tweeted a message to mark LGBT month, telling followers it would be 'focusing on misgendering, which is one of the most common unintentional blunders made by cisgender people.'

    It encouraged people to, 'add your pronouns to your email signature, which provides clarity and encourages others to do the same.But the move has sparked anger among social media users, who said the NHS 'was not a lobby group for an ideology.'

    Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan joined the critics as he replied: 'Is this really what you should be 'focusing on' at such a critical stage of a global pandemic?'

    In the tweet last night, NHS Health Education England (HEE) wrote: 'Today, we’re focusing on misgendering, which is one of the most common unintentional blunders made by cisgender people'

    In the tweet last night, NHS Health Education England (HEE) wrote: 'Today, we're focusing on misgendering, which is one of the most common unintentional blunders made by cisgender people'

    Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan joined the chorus of critics responding to the NHS

    Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan joined the chorus of critics responding to the NHS

    This comes after Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust unveiled a blizzard of 'gender inclusive' phrases in a drive to stamp out 'mainstream transphobia'

    This comes after Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust unveiled a blizzard of 'gender inclusive' phrases in a drive to stamp out 'mainstream transphobia'

    In the tweet last night, NHS Health Education England (HEE) wrote: 'Today, we're focusing on misgendering, which is one of the most common unintentional blunders made by cisgender people. 

    'Why not try adding your pronouns to your email signature, which provides clarity and encourages others to do the same.'

    In a bid to be more inclusive for workers who are transgender or non-binary, more companies are inviting staff to add pronouns - he, she, they or something else - to their email signatures, making clear how they wish to be referred to.

    The NHS tweet also featured a graphic explaining misgendering, with the caption: 'If you misgender someone by accidentally using the wrong pronouns, don't panic. 

    'Correct yourself, make a mental note for the future and move on. Being overly apologetic and making a fuss can make the misgendered person feel bad about your mistake.' But the tweet sparked a fevered debate online.  

    Piers Morgan added: 'Or maybe the NHS - as the vast majority of its staff are - should be focusing on vaccine rollout, covid patients & those suffering from non-covid illness... rather than what pronouns we should be using to avoid causing offence?'

    Lee Whitehead, Director of Corporate Accountability and Engagement, Health Education England said: 'We don't want to exclude anyone from being a nurse, a doctor or any of the 350 plus professions in the NHS, if they have the skills, compassion and drive we want them and will do what we can to make them feel at home. 

    'The NHS cares for everyone so our workforce needs to include everyone. Supporting LGBTQ colleagues helps them feel the NHS is a place they want to work, and that can only be good for patients.'

    This comes after a hospital told staff to use terms like 'birthing parents' and 'human milk' rather than just referring to 'mothers' and 'breast milk'. 

    A row also erupted in Westminster over a special maternity bill referring to 'pregnant people' rather than women.  

    The Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Bill caused controversy after it emerged drafts referred to 'the pregnant person', and want the wording amended

    The Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Bill caused controversy after it emerged drafts referred to 'the pregnant person', and want the wording amended

    'Woke' NHS is mocked for implying men can get pregnant 

    The NHS has been mocked for implying men can get pregnant on its website.

    The health service's 'Trying to get pregnant' information page states: 'Eight in 10 people under 40 years old will get pregnant within one year of trying by having regular sex without using contraception.'

    The wording sparked a lively debate on social media.  

    Writer Sarah Ditum said: 'I think that 'eight in 10' figure might want limiting to the kind of 'people' who can actually get pregnant, just a thought, NHS.

    'If public bodies could just restrict themselves to saying things that make sense, that would be really great.'

    Broadcaster David Aaranovitch commented: 'Good lord. The clear implication is that most men can become pregnant.'

    One social media user wrote: 'I have four brothers. I'm starting to worry that we are all infertile, as none of us have yet managed to become pregnant, despite the odds being stacked in our favour.'

    And Stephan Eckner added: 'I don't want to get too much into the details of my sex life here, but, boy, what a miracle I never got pregnant'

    Other changes include replacing the use of the word 'woman' with the phrase 'woman or person', and the term 'father' with 'parent', 'co-parent' or 'second biological parent', depending on the circumstances.

    Critics lambasted the new terminology, branding it 'utter nonsense'. 

    The Trust became the first in the country to formally implement such a radical overhaul for its maternity services department - which will now be known as 'perinatal services'.  

    The new terms will be used for documents, protocols and Trust-wide communication at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

    They will also be used when discussing pregnancy, birth and parenting at a population level - such as at a meeting.

    The Trust stressed that when interacting with a patient in a one-on-one scenario, midwives should continue referring to their gender. 

    Meanwhile, the Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Bill caused controversy after it emerged drafts referred to 'the pregnant person'. 

    A row erupted in Westminster over the draft, with Ministers demanding the wording was amended. 

    The bill states: 'A person designated as a Minister on Leave under this section is to be paid an allowance in accordance with section 2.

    'The person is pregnant and it is no more than 12 weeks before the expected week of childbirth. 

    'The person has given birth to a child within the previous four weeks.' 

    A government source told BBC Newsnight Political Editor Nicholas Watt: 'We will have to amend this. I don't see how we can get it through with the current wording.' 

    Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust unveiled a blizzard of 'gender inclusive' phrases in a drive to stamp out 'mainstream transphobia'

    Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust unveiled a blizzard of 'gender inclusive' phrases in a drive to stamp out 'mainstream transphobia'

    An estimated 1 per cent of the adult population in Britain identifies as transgender or non-binary but the trans population in Brighton and Hove is thought to be larger.

    Although no official figures exist on the trans community, research has shown nearly 10 per cent of the population of Brighton and Hove identify as LGBTQ+, compared to around 2.2 per cent of the general population.

    The Office for National Statistics estimates that there are approximately 200,000-500,000 trans people in the UK.

    However it says there is no robust or clear indication of the true number. 

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