I know why she penned this tweet. It wasn’t so much about celebrating mothers as it was about denigrating men and denigrating trans people.
First off, the whole “birthing person” rubric came because Rep. Cori Bush (D-MD) testified about the potential loss of two of her children during painful births, in that doctors apparently did not believe she was in excruciating pain. And during that moment, she used the term “birthing person” as a description, and Republicans lost their minds.
But yeah, I’ve seen this from Liz Joy before. But here’s where I vehemently disagree with her assertion that men “can’t be mothers” because we can’t physically give birth.
Let’s start with the whole idea of childbirth. Yes, the female must carry the child to term. But that child started with the union of the male sperm and the female egg. That technically makes the man and the woman both part of the birthing process. Unless you’re going to equate the man to nothing more than a sperm donor. Trust me, I’ve seen instances and concepts from narrow-minded people like that.
Being a mother does not start and end with the baby leaving a uterus. That baby needs to be raised, needs to be nurtured, needs to be taught and protected and disciplined and rewarded. Motherhood doesn’t end when the baby’s umbilical cord is cut. Motherhood also involves a ton of responsibility that lasts long past that moment.
And to denote that only women who give birth can be called “mothers” is extremely insulting and disingenuous. It takes away from those women who marry into blended families and have to become the parents to new children. It also takes away from those women who adopt children. And it also takes away from those who have been the caring adult figure in a scared, abandoned child’s world. Saying that these women can’t be mothers because they didn’t go through pregnancy is like saying you can’t comment on a baseball game because you’ve never played for the Yankees.
But the other thing about this tweet – is that it is a major slap in the face to to the LGBTQ community. The specific reference to “biological women” is a suggestion, in that tweet, that no matter how a person feels about their own body, they’re not enough of a “woman” or a “man” to be appreciated or understood or accepted. The amount of transphobia in this world is absolutely mind-boggling and painful. I mean, the horrid concept that the only reason trans people exist is to compete in girls’ high school sports and prowl girls’ bathrooms for nefarious purposes is both ignorant and repulsive.
And it just goes to show that even on a day when we should appreciate the mothers in our lives, whether they are birth mothers, adopted mothers, or just that person who was always there for us, the one thing we don’t need is the kind of backwards, navel-gazing, condescending hatred and fearmongering that’s disguised as a Mother’s Day tweet.
That’s all I’ve got.