Today is Birthing Person's Day, formerly known as M*****’s Day, and normally I'd have written a short GTBT lecture on the history of this holiday for my readers to enjoy and share. However, I now believe this would cause harm to those who cannot identify as birth-capable. You see, I was recently required to attend a four-hour seminar on the subjects of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and I can now safely say that my brain is fully sorted out.
Whereas the old Professor O'Flannery subscribed to a traditional theory of history, I have now embraced Critical Theory, and I feel much better about myself and (most importantly) vastly superior to others. But what is Critical Theory, you may ask?
Well, Critical Theory teaches us to examine every discipline – whether law, economics, or the hard sciences – through a deconstructive lens. Take history, for example. In the past, historians were concerned with questions like: What happened? Where and when did it happen? Who was involved? How did this event affect the lives of the people at the time? And so on.
But the Critical Historian now asks the questions: Who wrote the history? What were their aims? Why did they chronicle some events and not others? In what ways did their implicit biases manifest themselves in their writing? Which, as you can see, are far more sophisticated questions – and therefore far more useful to society.
And so, using this wonderful new tool of Critical Theory, I will now dissect the problematic history of Birthing Person’s Day and demonstrate how it has traditionally excluded those who deviate from the cis-normative patriarchal-collaborationist matrix, how it normalized sexual violence against people who menstruate, and how it reinforced white supremacy via neighboring orthodoxies contemporaneously enmeshed in the oppressor-dominant social framework characteristic of whiteness-based societies.
In the first place, the scheme to elevate birthing persons to places of privilege in society is indicative of the patriarchal tactic of transforming and redefining people who menstruate in ways which cause such persons to internalize their oppression, as evidenced by the efforts of Ann Jarvis (she/her/hers) to commemorate a day on which birthing persons – separate and distinct from persons identifying as birth-capable – were to be granted “birthing privilege”. It goes without saying, moreover, that this scheme never once explicitly mentioned or celebrated birthing persons from BIPOC or Latinx communities – who, according to an intersectional interpretation, faced far worse outcomes than birthing persons identified as white – and which, in the coded language of the time, was tantamount to condoning the violence suffered by such groups at the hands of white male aggressiveness.
The birthing process itself is inherently violent against people who menstruate and celebration of the event is questionable (at best) given the threat to the global climate produced by each additional individual – especially those born into societies dominated by whiteness capitalism. There is also the invasive quality of the fetus to consider. The fetus has convincingly been described as a parasitic organism, feeding off the pregnant-capable person and periodically “kicking” at the inner abdominal wall of the host. This personal truth conveys the obvious and self-evident notion that violence against people who menstruate is normalized in utero.
Furthermore, every fetus is generated through a violent act against people who menstruate. Consent to procreation can never be given – even in cases where this appears to be so – since all consent presupposes the patriarchal-dominant view that people who menstruate are capable (and willing) of sexual copulation with males. Rather, sexual release among people who menstruate can be far better obtained individually or with other people who menstruate. Males are, and always have been, redundant components, which explains their need to build systems of oppression to protect their power.
Thus, given this critical examination of birth and birthing persons, this paper seeks to answer the question: Birthing Person’s Day… acceptable thing, problematic thing?
Answer: Problematic thing.
As described above, the solution can only be to dismantle the cis-normative patriarchal-collaborationist framework of Birthing Person’s Day and replace it with Birthing Liberation Day. The latter holiday will uplift and celebrate the various safe, inexpensive, and revolutionary medical procedures to liberate people who menstruate from the hazards of hosting (and carrying to term) the violent offspring of patriarchal sexual aggression. Instead of wishing a birthing person a happy Birthing Person Day, consider wishing a birth-aborting person a happy Birthing Liberation Day.
In conclusion, the cycle of oppression against pregnancy-capable persons – especially BIPOC and Latinx pregnancy-capable persons – will only stop when every potential birthing person is liberated from the pain and horror of birth violence. Although this would seem to spell the end of intelligent life on earth, recent advancements in AI will ensure societal continuation after both birthing and non-birthing persons have died out.
As shown by Critical Theory, the undesirability of humanity is an inescapable fact and the challenge of our time is to dismantle, piece by piece, all aspects of human existence.
That is all for now. Future GTBT lectures to come.
Do your (critical) reading,
James O’Flannery (he/his)