The U.K.-based, LGBT-oriented outlet PinkNews received a wave of mockery Tuesday after claiming that feminists were “transphobic” for claiming that only females are able to get cervical cancer.
An article published Monday carried the headline: “UK’s [sic] biggest cervical cancer charity shuts down disgustingly transphobic lie that ‘only females get cervical cancer.’”
The story promoted a tweet from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust that alluded to the hashtag #OnlyFemalesGetCervicalCancer.
“We’re aware a hashtag is trending that raises the issue of gender identity and cervical health,” the organization tweeted on Sunday. “At Jo’s we want to ensure everyone with a cervix has access to the information and support they need to attend #CervicalScreening, regardless of their gender identity.”
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PinkNews writer Vic Parsons argued that “anyone with a cervix can get cervical cancer – so people with cervixes should attend regular screenings with their GP [general practitioner].
“This includes trans men, trans masculine people, intersex people and non-binary people, as well as some trans women who have had gender confirmation surgery,” Parsons added.
While some criticized the cervical cancer hashtag, others mocked PinkNews for its advocacy.
“It is common to criticize science deniers by comparing them to flat Earthers,” conservative author Matt Walsh tweeted. “But this is exponentially worse than being a flat Earther. This is easily the most anti-science phenomenon the modern world has ever seen. It’s breathtaking to behold.”
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“OK, I’m not saying ‘biological sex isn’t real’ – no trans rights activists are saying that,” tweeted Jarvis Dupont, a parody account that mocks liberal activists.
“TERFs [Trans exclusionary radical feminists] love to accuse us of ‘denying biology’,” Dupont added. “What I *am* saying is that the phrase #OnlyFemalesGetCervicalCancer is hate speech and should be made illegal.”
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The controversy touched on an already-raging debate between feminists like J.K. Rowling — who is often derided as a “TERF” — and liberal activists who believe that someone could change their biological sex.
Rowling recently came under fire for defending the concept of biological sex, tweeting last month, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased.”
In the U.S., liberal activist groups have pushed similar ideas about sex. For example, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) tweeted in November that men can get pregnant.
“Men who get their periods are men. Men who get pregnant and give birth are men,” the group posted at the time.
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Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s foremost liberal advocacy groups, also released a guide in 2016 that appeared to advise using the term “front hole” for women’s genitals.
“We use this word to talk about internal genitals, sometimes referred to as a vagina. A front hole may self-lubricate, depending on age and hormones,” the guide reads. In defining “vagina,” the guide says: “We use this word to talk about the genitals of trans women who have had bottom surgery.”