The Washington Post was bashed on social media for using the term ‘pregnant people’ when referring to a COVID breakthrough infection study on expecting mothers.
The Jeff Bezos-owned newspaper stirred up a frenzy with its headline, ‘Pregnant people at much higher risk of breakthrough covid, study shows,’ along with several uses of the term ‘pregnant people’ throughout the story while only using the word ‘woman’ once.
One Twitter user with the handle Karlene Nation slammed the Post as ‘idiots’ for calling women ‘pregnant people.’
‘Women fought for rights/freedoms,’ Karlene tweeted. ‘Woke MORONS stripping women of identities.
‘Do NOT make the mistake to call me a ‘pregnant person,’ a ‘person who breast feed,’ or ‘person who menstruates.’ You WILL have a problem.
Another Twitter user with the handle NW Luna echoed the criticism, saying that being pregnant accounted for biological sex, which would mean it’s solely an experience for biological women.
‘The word you’re looking for is ‘women.’ You know, women, the only sex category of humans who can be pregnant,’ Luna wrote. ‘Journalists are supposed to be specific, not vague.’
The Washington Post received backlash online for using the term ‘pregnant people’
The story focused on a new study about breakthrough COVID infections in expecting mothers
The article used ‘pregnant people’ multiple times but only used the word ‘woman’ once
Many took to social media to bash the Washington Post for its wording choice
Kendra Parris, another Twitter user, noted that the number of trans men who could become pregnant was too small to justify the use of ‘people’ in the Post’s story.
‘The set of trans men is pretty small, and the subset of trans men who can still get pregnant (often hampered by hormone and/or surgical interventions) is vanishingly small, so why are we still doing this,’ Parris asked.
Another Twitter user with the handle GreyGhost00 agreed that pregnancies from trans men are eclipsed by those of women, writing: ‘Over 200 million women get pregnant worldwide every year and somehow it’s a good idea to change the term to pregnant person to accommodate the very small, albeit very vocal minority who I doubt account for more than 10,000 pregnancies… and I think I’m being generous at that.’
Although the U.S. federal government reports all pregnancies as ‘female,’ making it difficult to estimate how many men are pregnant, The Guttmacher Institute estimated that between 462 and 530 trans and nonbinary patients sought abortions in 2017.
Twitter user Dana French was much more critical of the Post, writing: ‘Washington Post gaslighting again with ‘pregnant people’.
‘Pregnant people are women. Washington Post is not a source for news. It is a player in the game of how far can our society annihilate real women.’
While the Post received mostly backlash for it wording, some defended the decision for the outlet to be ‘inclusive’ with the term ‘pregnant people.’
A few women came out in support of the Post’s ‘inclusive’ terminology
Twitter user Sara Billings said she was not offended by the term at all, writing: ‘It may be offensive to some women who want to insist that anyone with a uterus *has* to be referred to as a woman, but for normal women who aren’t hung up on that kind of thing, it’s a non-issue.’
Billings added in another tweet: ‘Some people who are able to become pregnant don’t identify with that gender, and adjusting the language when speaking in broader terms is a considerate and easy thing to do.’
Another woman on Twitter with the username Txcapitolbroad agreed, writing, ‘ I am a woman and I have no issues with the term pregnant people.
‘I also don’t mind if people say ‘Happy Holidays,’ she added. ‘In fact, it tells me that they care about others.’
The Post isn’t the only major outlet to get into hot water over trotting out the term. Forbes garnered its own criticism last week for also using the term ‘pregnant people’ in its own women’s health story.
Last Thursday, Forbes tweeted a link to the article, which explains how Covid-19 doubled the risk of serious complications during pregnancy.
Forbes tweeted a link to an article about how Covid-19 doubled the risk of serious complications during pregnancy
‘Pregnant people who contracted Covid-19 were more than twice as likely to experience significant complications as those who did not have the virus during the first year of the pandemic, according to a new study,’ the tweet with a link to the article said.
Like with the Post’s story, the use of the term ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘pregnant women’ had some people on social media in an uproar.
‘The word you’re struggling with is WOMEN it’s really not that hard to say is it!’ one person tweeted.
Kristen Terven, another Twitter user, wrote: ‘Pregnant WOMEN. This is a risk factor that only women can have. It’s a women’s health issue.’
Fellow Twitter user Trina Wood wrote: ‘Women. We’re women. Or at least use biological females.
‘Only biological females can get pregnant. We endure the pain, we’re facing jail time in the US for termination of pregnancies, our lives can be endangered during birth, our birth control options are threatened. Respect!’ someone else tweeted.’
People on twitter slammed Forbes for its aversion to using the words ‘pregnant women