Truly

Wait who needs to get a smear test again?

SNP ministers have been accused of sowing confusion after urging “anyone with a cervix” to get a smear test rather than saying “women”.

People all over Scotland are rummaging through their attics and pantries trying to find that pesky cervix.

A Scottish Government information campaign launched today also says “people” are being urged to attend a test, and that “two people” die from cervical cancer every day.

It adds: “Cervical screening is offered to anyone with a cervix aged between 25 and 64.” 

This isn’t flaky attention-seekers on TikTok, it’s a government.

The row over the choice of language comes after some politicians have been accused of transphobia for saying only women have a cervix.

Accused by whom, where? It’s mostly angry teenagers on social media, right? I don’t think even Jolyon Maugham troubles himself to tell governments not to tell women to get screened for cervical cancer.

Canterbury Labour MP Rosie Duffield last month stayed away from her party’s conference as she felt unsafe after receiving abuse for making the statement on Twitter.

Her stance brought her into conflict with trans rights supporters who say that people born as women but who now identify as men are truly men despite also having a cervix.

Well…despite also having a cervix, ovaries, a uterus, a vagina, wider hips, more tilted thigh bones, smaller lungs…you get the idea. The bodies are different in many ways, and “woman” and “man” refer to the bodies, but never mind that, “identifying as” has now replaced all that. If Dolly Parton says she identifies as a man then by god she is truly a man. That’s what “truly” means.

The Scottish Government has also shifted from using the word “women” to “people”.

In June, after it emerged 430 women were wrongly excluded from the screening programme, the Government said the “women affected” would be offered fast-track appointments.’

However a press release today was headed “People urged to attend smear test”.

It referred to “people” five times, “those eligible” for cervical screening twice, and “anyone with a cervix” once.

The word “women” was used once, in the sentence “one in three women still don’t go for the  five-minute smear test that can stop cervical cancer before it starts”.

And this is the government talking.

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