Lindsay McCarthy-Calvert, a birth coach who used a ‘transphobic dogwhistle’ on Facebook, has been fired from Doula UK after an investigation found her comments violated its equality and diversity guidelines. Complaints from Facebook users led to a four-month investigation during which McCarthy-Calvert was repeatedly asked by the national association of doulas to delete her post.
The 45-year-old finally deleted the post but later resigned from the organization, saying that Doula UK had “acquiesced” to the petitions of the trans community and that “the leadership [of Doula UK] are paralysed by not wanting to upset transgender rights activists.”
Doula UK’s investigation began after more than 20 people complained about McCarthy-Calvert’s Facebook post. Her comments were made in response to a smear-test campaign by Cancer Research UK that stated that cervical screenings are “relevant for everyone aged 25-64 with a cervix.”
“I am not a ‘cervix owner’ I am not a ‘menstruator’ I am not a ‘feeling’. I am not defined by wearing a dress and lipstick. I am a woman: an adult human female,” McCarthy-Calvert wrote.
The phrase “woman: adult human female” has been often used by Standing for Women, known as a trans-exclusionary radical feminist group. The group has posted transphobic content on social media and expressed its opposition to reforms to the Gender Recognition Act that would enable trans people to change their legal gender with billboards in Liverpool and Birmingham.
Standing for Women, which is led by Posie Parker, a prominent “gender critical feminists,” also printed T-shirts with the phrase “woman: adult human female” on them. Parker, who also goes by Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, recently gave an interview to a well-known white nationalist called Jean-François Gariépy.
On social media, many have been critical not only of the group’s transphobia but also its alliance with hate groups. “The whole "adult human female" thing is the same as an alt-right dogwhistle. The people it's aimed at know that it's a nasty intimidation tactic, but to the average person on the street it seems like an uncontroversial statement,” tweeted Danielle Gales.
In her Facebook post, McCarthy-Calvert says women are accused of transphobia more often than men, claiming that men are not “subjected to cries of bigotry and transphobia when they say they don’t want to have sex with a woman with a penis.” After a four-month investigation, Doula UK’s board of directors found that McCarthy-Calvert’s post “does breach Doula UK’s guidelines.”
Doula UK, a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization for doulas, supports families through “pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenthood.” A spokesperson for Doula UK stated, “We’re proud to be an LGBT inclusive organisation, and being open minded, objective and inclusive are key values of Doula UK. Unfortunately, one of our volunteers felt they could not stand by these principles and decided to leave of their own accord.”
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has issued an official statement, which supports access to care and non-discrimination for transgender and gender variant individuals. The statement clearly opposes discrimination in any setting, including health care, employment, housing, public accommodation, education and licensing.
Meanwhile, the American Medical Association (AMA), as well as 15 medical, mental health, nursing and other health care organizations, filed a brief urging the Supreme Court of the United States to rule in favor of protecting transgender individuals from employment discrimination to safeguard their physical and mental health.
“The AMA cites more than four dozen studies and papers demonstrating the consensus among health care professionals regarding: what it means to be transgender; the protocols for the treatment of gender dysphoria, which include living in accordance with one’s gender identity in all aspects of life; and the predictable harms discrimination poses to the health and well-being of transgender individuals,” the organization says.