I returned from vacation this week to see dozens of headlines in mainstream news outlets proclaiming something miraculous: a man has given birth to a baby.
Of course, the one very slight problem with these headlines is that they aren’t true and can never be true. The “trans man” who birthed a child is actually a woman. Granted, a woman who takes hormone pills and wears men’s shirts, but still a woman. If we were to adjust the headline to make it accurate, it would have to read like this: “Woman with inordinate amount of facial hair gives birth to baby.” Or just this: “Woman does thing that billions of women throughout history have also done.”
If CNN is going to report that a “man” gave birth, they may as well report that a six foot tall rodent was spotted hugging children at Disney World. The fact that the giant friendly rat is actually a dude in a costume is about as relevant to the story as the fact that the pregnant man is actually a woman in a flannel. Which is to say, it’s very relevant. One might even say necessary. One might even go further and say that only a liar or a lunatic would recount the shenanigans of a cartoon character as if it were a real biological creature or write headlines about a “man” giving birth as if a man actually gave birth.