Birth coach resigns from national industry organisation Doula UK for using ‘transphobic dogwhistle’
A birth coach who used a ‘transphobic dogwhistle’ on Facebook has resigned from Doula UK after an investigation found her comments breached its equality and diversity guidelines.
After a four-month investigation sparked by complaints about her comments, Lindsay McCarthy-Calvert, 45, was asked by the national association of birth coaches to delete her post.
McCarthy-Calvert deleted the post but later resigned from the organisation, saying that Doula UK had “acquiesced” to the demands of the trans community and that “the leadership [of Doula UK] are paralysed by not wanting to upset transgender rights activists”.
Doula UK’s investigation was launched after around 20 people complained about McCarthy-Calvert’s Facebook post. She had made the comments in response to a smear-test campaign by Cancer Research UK that said cervical screenings are “relevant for everyone aged 25-64 with a cervix”.
“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,” McCarthy-Calvert wrote.
The phrase “woman: adult human female” gained popularity among anti-trans “gender critical feminists” after anti-trans group Standing for Women, which regularly posts transphobic content on social media and opposes reforms to the Gender Recognition Act that would make it easier for trans people to change their legal gender, paid to have it plastered on billboards in Liverpool and Birmingham.
The definition of woman as ‘adult human female’ is a transphobic dogwhistle 🙈
— Flora Fay 🏁 (@FloraFay17) August 12, 2019
I hope you realize that the words "adult human female" are a TERF dogwhistle?
You're really not engaging in good faith here
— sam (@samson_is_gay) April 4, 2019
Standing for Women, which also produced t-Shirts with the phrase “woman: adult human female” on them, is led by one of the UK’s most prominent “gender critical feminists”, Posie Parker.
Parker, who is also known as Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, recently did an hour-long video interview with a prominent white nationalist called Jean-François Gariépy.
Very similar tactics too. The whole "adult human female" thing is the same as an alt-right dogwhistle. The people it's aimed at know that it's a nasty intimidation tactic, but to the average person on the street it seems like an uncontroversial statement.
— Danielle (@DanielleNGales) January 31, 2019
Underneath her Facebook post, McCarthy-Calvert claimed that women are accused of transphobia more often than men, arguing that men are not “subjected to cries of bigotry and transphobia when they say they don’t want to have sex with a woman with a penis”.
A few days later, around 20 people wrote to Doula UK saying that McCarthy-Calvert’s post had breached its policies stating that members “shouldn’t post anything that our colleagues, clients and affiliates would find offensive” and that her comments were “trans-exclusionary”.
After a four-month investigation, Doula UK’s board of directors concluded that her post “does breach Doula UK’s guidelines”.
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Doula UK is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation for doulas, who are birth coaches that, according to Doula UK’s website, “support the whole family through pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenthood”.
A spokesperson for Doula UK told PinkNews: “We’re proud to be an LGBT inclusive organisation, and being open minded, objective and inclusive are key values of Doula UK.
“Unfortunately, one of our volunteers felt they could not stand by these principles and decided to leave of their own accord.”