Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The "Pregnant Man"

Undoubtedly, you've heard the story the media has been relentlessly hyping about the so-called “pregnant man.” "Thomas Beatie," has made the rounds of the tabloids, gossip shows, cable news networks, and predictably enough, Oprah. Some have even called it a miracle.

But since people rarely read past headlines, I've found there to be some confusion on the matter among many folks. Is a man miraculously pregnant?

Well, not quite. The fact is, Beatie was born as--and lived 24 years as--a female named Tracy LaGondino. She did modeling work, and was even a finalist in the Miss Hawaii Teen USA pageant. When she decided she wanted to be a man, she had some cosmetic surgery and took some male hormones. But as even Beatie herself told Oprah, “I opted not to do anything with my reproductive organs because I wanted to have a child one day.” In other words, biologically this person is female, and still capable of carrying a baby, just as she was designed.

What we’re seeing here is not a result of some confounding medical phenomenon, but rather the outworking of silly "social science" programs that have been darkening college campuses for years. In such programs, originally instigated by the feminist movement, there is a push to separate the concept of gender from biological sex. In this view, while sex is biologically determined, gender is not, but rather is a social identity we choose for ourselves. Some choose one gender, some choose another, and some change their minds. Whatever you decide you are is what you are, and none of it is tied to your biological makeup or immutable.

While such ideas might make sense in the halls of addled university gender studies departments (and in fact, it's actually a lot of fun to Google "gender studies programs" and just look at the bios for faculty at the schools that pop up, where you'll never see a more hilarious stew of pseudo-scholarship and pretense), most people still tend to know better. According to a Reuters story, “The couple said an earlier attempt at pregnancy failed when he developed a tubal pregnancy, resulting in surgery that removed his Fallopian tubes.” The story went on to say that Beatie was artificially inseminated.

However somebody wishes to identify themselves, only confused reporters and gender studies professors would call someone a "man" who has Fallopian tubes, a womb, can be inseminated, and is pregnant. The fact that Thomas Beatie calls herself a man doesn’t make it so, because male and female are not simply arbitrary identities we can shed at will. There’s no miracle here, and there’s no medical mystery. It’s simply the normal pregnancy of a gal who likes to dress up and identify herself as a man.

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