The Waves

What the Debate Over “Pregnant People” Is Really About

We unpack the recent discussion over whether it’s time to move forward from “pregnant women” and talk through what the trans community really wants.

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Episode Notes

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate’s news director Susan Matthews talks with Slate writer and community manager Evan Urquhart about the phrase, “pregnant person.” What started as an effort to be inclusive of transgender men has devolved into an argument that at times has become transphobic. Susan and Evan unpack what’s going on with this “debate,” and, later in the show, get into more productive ways to be a trans ally, the perils of the health care system, and how to better include trans and nonbinary people in coversations about them.

In Slate Plus, Evan and Susan talk about the Torrey Peters novel, Detransition Baby.

Additional Reading: 

Words for Every Body” by Ray Briggs and B R George

Should feminists talk about ‘pregnant people’?” by Jennie Kermode

You Can Still Say ‘Woman’ But You Shouldn’t Stop There” by Irin Carmon

BIPOC or POC? Equity or Equality? The Debate Over Language on the Left” by Amy Harmon

Healthcare avoidance due to anticipated discrimination among transgender people: A call to create trans-affirmative environments” by Luisa Kcomt, Kevin M. Gorey, Betty Jo Barrett, Sean Esteban McCabe

Recommendations:

Susan: Kiese Laymon’s book Heavy and Laymon’s The Ezra Klein Show interview with Tressie McMillan Cotton.

Evan: The “best game of 2021Inscription and Metroid Dread for the Nintendo Switch.

Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Susan Matthews and June Thomas.

Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to thewaves@slate.com

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About the Show

Each week a pair of writers and guests talk through one news story we can’t stop thinking about, and unpack what gender has to do with it.

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Hosts

  • Evan Urquhart is working to improve comments on Slate and is a regular contributor to Outward.

  • Susan Matthews is Slate’s news director.