© Pexels

Baby “Other”: Three genders at the National Maternity Hospital

I confess I’d missed this story until the Iona Institute drew my attention to it yesterday, it having been originally buried deep in the bowels of a Sunday Times report this past weekend, by Julianne Corr:

‘The National Maternity Hospital (NMH) now allows parents to register a newborn baby with their sex unspecified after its IT system was updated four years ago.

Mary Brosnan, director of midwifery and nursing at the NMH, said the parental decision to register a baby with their sex unspecified was “a rare occurrence” and that only three couples had chosen to do so in the past two years.

“It’s a cultural change, we try to make sure that people are respectful of everybody’s wishes, and try not to upset anybody by using the terms male or female if that’s what a couple don’t want to do,” she told The Sunday Times yesterday.

“But it’s certainly a challenge because I suppose we’re conditioned to welcoming somebody into the world as a boy or a girl and there’s a lot of discussion around the name.”’

The bits in bold (my emphasis) above are what really interests me here, for the following reason: Often, in public policy, the most important question is not the “what?” but the “why?”.

In this case, the “what” is self-explanatory, and it’s a Rorschach test – you either find it fundamentally stupid, in that babies are either male or female, and always have been, and ever shall be, or you find it the kind of harmless gesture to inclusion that only a lunatic right winger with nothing better to worry about could get upset about.

For the record, as regular readers might guess, I lean strongly towards the first camp: It is a simple statement of fact that babies are either boys or girls, and are so unthinkingly. A child that cannot yet use the toilet by itself, or even see properly through its own eyes, has not got the capacity to be offended by being called a girl or a boy. And parents who refuse to acknowledge the biological reality that their child is a girl or a boy should be offered counselling at the very least, rather than being indulged.

But as I said above, there’s not much of interest beyond that. You either get it or you do not. The “why” is much more interesting.

Consider the first line in bold – this is a rare occurrence, and it has happened only three times in two years. The national maternity hospital caters for 8,000 births annually. So the “other” on the form has been used by parents three out of sixteen thousand times, which is way less than one hundredth of one per cent of all births.

Now, that suggests that the administrative change required to change the form from “boy/girl” to “boy/girl/other” was not enacted because the hospital suddenly realised that demand for an “other” box was overwhelming. It suggests that the demand for this change came from people other than parents.

One of the things that explains the predominance of this kind of thing in society is what I call the supply/demand problem for progressivism: It is much more in supply than it is in demand. We have Universities churning out young graduates by the hatful every year with largely useless degrees in things like women’s studies, feminist literature, sociology, and so on. Those people have to go somewhere, and where they often go is into public administration, or into the NGO sector, where something must be found for them to do.

The oversupply of people in this area has resulted in enormous administrative structures that are almost entirely designed to provide these people with some useful purpose – that is why, for example, most government departments are rolling out “DEI” (diversity, equality, and inclusion) strategies which involve spending money on reviewing how inclusive and diverse, for example, the Department of Agriculture is.

I promise you, once that DEI process is through, farmers will have a third gender option on forms applying for the single farm payment. They’re not demanding it, of course, the farmers. But it will be supplied nevertheless. (Only for the farmer, mind you – mysteriously, there’ll be no “third gender” option after “bullock or heifer”).

It is, I fear, a simple statement of fact that in Ireland there are now innumerable people whose sole job it is, almost entirely funded by the state, to “just make things a little bit more inclusive” by ensuring that basically every form you ever fill in in the country caters for the three in sixteen thousand babies whose parents can’t figure out what a boy or a girl is. This is entirely a function of an education system where these people are entirely discouraged from doing something productive, like becoming builders or plumbers, and are directed to pursue their passions at the UCD school of gender studies instead.

In the past, when Third Level education was not free, the people who bore the cost of stupid decisions like that were the students themselves. Now, the people who bear the cost of their stupid decisions are society as a whole, because we are compelled to find things for those people to do.

That is what happens when you nationalise risk.

Share mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer mdi-chevron-left Prev Next mdi-chevron-right Related
Comments are closed

Do you support the Governments plans to put calorie labels on wine bottles?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...