Will Pregnant Women Go the Way of the Gypsy Moth?

by Kerry Dougherty

When I want to know what’s going on in Virginia, I usually turn to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.

Despite cutbacks that have plagued the entire newspaper industry, the TD continues a tradition of good journalism without a glaring agenda or obvious slant on its news pages.

The paper’s coverage of the parole board scandal has been excellent. And it has always been the gold standard for political news out of the capital.

But a story on Tuesday pushed all of my buttons, because I cling to the quaint notion that language matters and it should retain some of its grace, color and accuracy.

Here’s the headline:

Yep, pregnant people. That ridiculous term appeared at least five times in the article. My eye was twitching by the time I finished reading. I may have miscounted.

There was a time — not long ago — when the word pregnant was almost always followed by “woman” or “women.” After all, females are the ones who give birth.

But in the woke world, in which we’re lectured daily that we must “follow the science,” there are those who believe that it’s hurtful to imply that pregnancy is the purview of women.

This reporter did her best to write around the “w” word although she was forced to use it a few times. Once in a quote.

Sprinkled into the prose were pregnant patients, pregnant Virginians, pregnant Blacks and pregnant Hispanics.

And of course, the ever popular pregnant people.

Disinfection of the English language is everywhere.

Earlier this month, for instance, The New York Times reported that the Entomological Society of America was renaming the gypsy moth because the term “gypsy” was offensive to the Romani people.

“If people are feeling excluded because of what we call something, that’s not acceptable,” Michelle Smith, the society’s president, said. “We’re going to make changes to be a welcoming and inclusive society for all entomologists.”

As best I can tell the insect formerly known as the gypsy moth will henceforth be known by its formal title: Lymantria dispar.

Sure it will.

Buckle up, bug lovers. There is more to come. A Better Names Project was just formed by the society to remove all offensive monikers from insects.

Not to be outdone, birders are getting in on the act. The American Ornithological Society just removed the name of a Confederate general from a species of bird.

Will the Blue-footed Booby be the next to get a new name? Surely that’s offensive to someone.

A couple of years ago, the City of Berkeley, CA passed an ordinance cleansing all gender references from the municipal code, no matter how nutty the result.

And just like that, manholes became “maintenance holes.”

An ombudsman became an “ombuds.”

Manpower morphed into “human effort.”

A repairman became a “repairer.”

And pregnant women became “pregnant employees.”

Yep, it all started in Berkeley. Anyone surprised?

This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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9 responses to “Will Pregnant Women Go the Way of the Gypsy Moth?”

  1. I nearly spit out my coffee when Kerry wrote this: “The TD continues a tradition of good journalism without a glaring agenda or obvious slant on its news pages.”

    Perhaps that’s what reading The Virginian-Pilot every day does to you, but I don’t think you’ll find many TD readers who would concur with that description.

    There are some old-timers like Michael Martz, Frank Green and Jeff Schapiro who still do a commendable job. And I’ll credit the TD for its coverage of the parole board controversy. But most of its news coverage is highly slanted.

  2. disqus_VYLI8FviCA Avatar

    If the RTD is the gold standard for journalism, we are in trouble. They are enthusiastic cheerleaders for their pet causes, but objective journalists? That train left the station a long time ago.

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    re: ” the TD continues a tradition of good journalism without a glaring agenda or obvious slant on its news pages.”

    Good LORD! Obviously, Kerry does not actually READ Bacons Rebellion or else she’d know of the deep angst of others like Bacon, Haner and Sherlock!

    But even the RTD haters are of two minds – yes, on the days when the loquacious three are not having hissy fits over RTD, some days, they actually compliment them.

    And, as usual, as “horrible” as RTD and other “left” papers are, very, very little real and factual reporting from Conservative media – at least if they do, you hardly ever see it in BR, even when the naysayers are going ape-crap over the RTD reporting!

  4. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    “This reporter did their best to write around the “w” word…”

    Fixed it for you… you’re welcome…

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Don’t use the word “fixed”.

  5. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    Moreno is on a mission to prove that this virus actually has the ability to discriminate against people based on language or national origin. The bug’s ChiCom designers are even smarter than we thought, as it has become yet another cause of racial discord. …I must say the headline went right by me, but I’m an old MCP I guess.

  6. StarboardLift Avatar

    Girls get pregnant, women get pregnant. So females would be an appropriate data point.

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