A London University received backlash after it decided to remove the word ‘woman’ from its maternity policy, declaring “maternity” and “menopause” applied to “all genders.”
The University of the Arts London (UAL) was slammed by free speech campaigners and MPs, accusing it of’ erasing’ women’s experience.
In a LinkedIn post from October 2022, University of the Arts London Vice Chancellor James Purnell wrote, “At UAL, we are introducing equal parental leave. Every new parent will be entitled to six months at full pay,” adding, “It is fair to every kind of parent, of whatever gender or sex, or sexual orientation, whether adopting or not.”
In another press release, the University said its maternity and menopause policies are “irrespective of gender, sexual orientation or how people become parents,” in what appears to be them justifyng removing the word woman.””
The policy itself states, “We wish to affirm in our use of language in this letter that not all pregnant people are women and thereby acknowledge trans, non-binary, gender-queer and gender fluid pregnant people and parents.”
The University also notes that it “may also be experienced by colleagues who do not identify as female.”
“UAL recognizes that menopause may also be experienced by colleagues who do not identify as female, so this guidance and support content is intended to support anyone experiencing menopause, regardless of their gender identity,” the university asserts.
Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis slammed UAL for abandoning “basic biology.”
“It is disturbing that a university does not understand the basics of biology… I hope [it] will stop this pathetic woke nonsense,” Gullis commented.
Meanwhile, the think tank Free Speech Union director, Toby Young, said the university “has become so pickled in woke gobbledegook it’s becoming a bit of a joke. I hope it can correct course before it goes bankrupt.”
“Nearly all these institutions are publicly funded, yet all the polling indicates the public are overwhelmingly opposed to this nonsense,” Young added.
Earlier this year, Britain’s National Health Service was accused of ‘erasing’ women after removing all references to women from an online advice section about menopause.
It also removed guidance pages on ovarian cancer, removing instances of the word “women” to be more “inclusive” toward trans, non-binary, and intersex people.
But the move was met with backlash after a letter signed by over 6,000 people was sent to the NHS, calling for an end to the “underhand” removal of the word’ woman or women’ in favor of gender-neutral terminology.
As The Scottish Daily Express reported:
It demands that phrases like “mensurating person” and “those with a cervix” be adjusted to “women” in order to prioritize the sex-based care biological females need to access.
Around 1,200 clinicians added their signatures to the letter- totalling 6,300 names- arguing that vulnerable women and those whose English is not their first language are at risk of being left out of initiatives aimed at improving access to vital services.