British Columbia amends two articles to replace the phrase “woman assigned at birth” with “women”
The BBC is forced to reinstate the word ‘women’ in the article after a backlash against a journalist who replaced the phrase ‘woman assigned at birth’
- BBC executives stepped in to polish stories using ‘woman assigned at birth’
- Anger over language ‘obscuring’ an ‘already misunderstood’ condition followed
- Rhodri Talfan Davies requested that the word “women” replace the original wording
A senior BBC executive has intervened to reinstate the word ‘women’ after a backlash against a reporter who replaced it with the phrase ‘woman assigned at birth’.
Rhodri Talfan Davies, BBC Nations director, reportedly called for ‘women’ to be reinstated in a March 26 article on endometriosis.
An online article raising awareness of the condition has been criticized for language that critics say “obfuscates data on this already misunderstood and overlooked women’s health issue.”
Rhodri Talfan Davies, (above) the BBC Nations director, reportedly called on ‘women’ to replace the phrase ‘assigned female at birth’ in a March 26 article about endometriosis
The backlash was led by best-selling pregnancy author Milli Hill on Twitter, and after ‘hundreds’ of complaints, the article was edited to state that endometriosis is a ‘disease that affects 1 in 10 women of all ages in the UK.
Milli, from Somerset, faced a backlash in 2020 after challenging the use of the term ‘people giving birth’ while talking about obstetric abuse – medical interventions carried out during childbirth without the woman’s consent.
Nickie Aiken, Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, also weighed in, saying she was ‘born with, not attribution’ of her gender.
She wrote: ‘Like 51% of the UK population, I was born unassigned a woman at birth. And after about 500 periods, two pregnancies and deliveries and now menopause, I can confirm that this is no picnic. So I can’t imagine what it’s like to live with #endometriosis too.
Before being edited, the BBC article said: “On average, it takes eight years to receive a diagnosis – a figure, according to the charity Endometriosis UK, that has not changed for a decade.” There is no known cause or cure.
Pregnancy activist and best-selling author Hill argued that endometriosis is a disease for which there is no cure, “because it’s a problem that only affects women”.
Originally, the March 26 article stated that endometriosis affects one in 10 people “of any age in the UK, who are attributed to be female at birth”.
The edited version of the article, which reinstated “women” following a backlash
Sharing a screenshot of the original article, she wrote, “Gender is not ‘assigned at birth.’ There is “no known cause or cure” is undoubtedly because this is a problem that only affects women and has been systematically overlooked.
The Corporation’s official explanation for making the change was that the journalist had interviewed two women, but stronger reservations were shared by senior BBC staff.
An insider told The Times: ‘Management saw the language and thought the change was appropriate.
A second source continued: ‘I think management have realized this and if they’re willing to take on some idiots, that’s fine.’
The article about suspected murderer Harvey Marcelin, (above) from New York, was edited after publication to reveal that she was in fact male and had recently begun to identify with the opposite sex.
Another article was recently updated on a suspected serial killer to clarify that she had only recently begun to identify as a transgender woman.
The article about alleged murderer Harvey Marcelin, from New York, was edited after publication to reveal that she was in fact male and had recently begun to identify with the opposite sex.
Marcelin, who killed two women in 1963 and 1984, has been charged with murder, criminal tampering with evidence and concealment of a human corpse.