Nobody within Britain’s General Medical Council (GMC) “actually believes men can give birth,” Conservative Party MP Miriam Cates has said.
The MP likened “high-status” societal support for transgender ideology to the Hans Christian Anderson folktale, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes,’ saying it is based on virtue-signalling, as opposed to genuine belief.
Cates, a Conservative Party MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, was speaking as the UK’s General Medical Council removed references to “mothers” from a maternity document. During an appearance on Talk TV, Cates described the development as “absurd”:
Nobody at the GMC actually believes men can give birth. It’s all about signalling status, by aligning with high status beliefs about gender. But the moral of The Emperor’s New Clothes is this: those who seek status over truth & reality will – in the end- be exposed as fools. https://t.co/oDICb2X1fL
— Miriam Cates (@miriam_cates) September 18, 2023
As reported by The Times and The Sunday Telegraph, the GMC is facing criticism for deleting references to “mothers” from the document, with the GMC also referring to people in general terms, rather than using the word “woman’ in its policy document on menopause.
A female employee of the GMC, who chose to remain anonymous, told The Sunday Telegraph that the internal forms were changed this year.
“It’s a concerted effort to ignore the existence of women,” the female employee told the newspaper. “Well, I am a woman. It’s not appropriate for a medical organisation to ignore biology. They should stick to science. People are worried about putting their heads above the parapet […] They are having the organisation’s ‘woke’ ideology forced on them.”
The Times reports that the internal guidance given to pregnant staff at the GMC now uses gender-neutral terms, substituting phrases including “surrogate mother” for “surrogate parent.”
The regulator’s maternity policy states: “This policy applies to all staff members who are pregnant. If you are the surrogate parent this policy applies.”
However, an earlier version of the policy, from April 2015, had the wording: “If you are the surrogate mother this policy will apply.”
The independent regulator for doctors, updated both documents in May 2023, The Telegraph said.
The GMC’s menopause policy, an internal document seen by The Telegraph, states:
“We are committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff by providing support for colleagues experiencing the menopause.
“We will work proactively to make adjustments where necessary to support individuals experiencing the menopause.”
The updates come on foot of national guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, a taxpayer-funded organisation which advises the NHS, published in April. The guidance included a guide advising that sex can be used “if talking about biology” – but that non-gendered language should be employed elsewhere.
Ms Cates, speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer on Talk TV, a channel broadcast on Sky and Virgin Media, said the actions by the GMC were “absurd.”
“It is absurd, and despite being very involved in this issue, I am still surprised when I read these things, that apparently intelligent, well-educated people at the top of their professions, can actually write and say things like this, and create these kinds of policies,” the Tory politician said.
‘IT’S A HIGH-STATUS OPINION’
“But I think it does show how much more prevalent this issue is in the public consciousness. It’s a really good thing that our mainstream media are willing to write about this; they weren’t 18 months ago. That’s an improvement,” she added.
“But let’s be honest: nobody at the GMC actually believes that women can become men, and men can become women. They should not be doctors if they actually think that,” Ms Cates continued.
She said that “very few people actually really believe this because it’s so patently untrue.”
“It’s so patently at odds with reality. This is about signalling status. Of course, the moral of The Emperor’s New Clothes Story is that if you prefer status to reality, you will eventually be made to look like a fool. It’s a high-status opinion.”
“I think most people that say these things, they don’t really believe it. It’s about signalling status, and getting in with the crowd who believe those kinds of things,” she added.
Cates, an MP who has risen quickly through the ranks of the Conservative Party, has voiced opposition to trans ideology, and has gained support for advocating for more common sense in the realm of politics.
The mum of three, aged 41, has spoken out against the ideology impacting school pupils, recently saying it was a negative thing for children to socially transition.
Social transition in schools is “wrong, risky, and unfair to children – and the government should ban it,” Cates wrote in a lengthy op-ed published in The Critic magazine at the end of June.
“With astonishing speed and an almost religious zeal, gender ideology has swept through British educational establishments so extensively that thousands of children now “identify” as a different gender to their birth sex, and have changed their name, pronouns and dress to reflect this,” she wrote.
“What are the long-term consequences of pressuring children to deny what they know to be reality?” Cates penned.
The Conservative backbencher this week said the issue merits concern, despite being used by some to “virtue signal” because it has “an enormous impact, a very regrettable impact” on ordinary people, especially ordinary women.
“I think at the heart of the whole trans movement is a deep misogyny that not only wants to erase women, but wants to say that men can be women, and men can have apparently all the rights and amazing opportunities that women have.”
She made reference to the investigation into comedian and commentator Russell Brand, saying that the allegations prove that there are differences between men and women which need to be recognised.
“Just look at the Russell Brand story today, and I don’t want to comment on that, either way really. But you can’t look at that story and say that there are no differences between men and women.
“There absolutely is a difference between men and women, and that is why women need special protections, including single sex spaces and the protection of the law. Not just the protection of the law, the protection of the whole of society to agree that women, as the traditionally weaker sex – and I mean that in a physical way, we are weaker – we do need the protection of men around us if we are going to be able to live safe lives and be able to take advantage of the kind of opportunities that feminism has won for us over the last half a century.”
She insisted “it is all about erasing women”, adding:
“This is not only misleading – it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous for women not to understand that they need a smear test, or a particular type of test during pregnancy. It is obfuscating our language, and it’s not going to end well.”
Meanwhile, Helen Joyce, former editor of The Economist and director of advocacy at Sex Matters, said: “It beggars belief that one of the UK’s leading medical organisations has erased the word ‘mother’ from its maternity policy, particularly at a time when other public bodies are starting to consider how they roll back from similarly misguided policies.
“Has the GMC not seen the growing body of evidence that sex-based language is crucial in maternity healthcare? And did it not notice that 1,400 clinicians wrote to the NHS earlier this year, demanding that the word ‘mother’ be reinstated in women’s health advice?
“By rewriting its maternity policy to be gender neutral, the GMC is sending a hostile message to women in medicine. Sex-based language needs to be reinstated as a matter of urgency.”
In a statement to The Telegraph, the GMC said: “We have clearly titled maternity, paternity and adoption policies for our staff, which we review regularly.”