“Language that is appropriate and fully inclusive is a matter of life and death…”
In a college commencement speech on Saturday, trans actor Laverne Cox, a man who identifies as a woman, lamented that women who identify as men are not included in the abortion debate.
According to HuffPost, Cox most famous for the role of Sophia Burset on Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black,” gave a speech at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, where the actor recalled a dispute with a Twitter follower who criticized a tweet that erased “trans brothers’ struggle in this fight” by regarding abortion only as a woman’s right to bodily autonomy.
“Woman’s body. Woman’s right to choose. End of story,” was Cox’s tweet accused of excluding transgender people.
“I said to myself: ‘Can we just have a moment where we keep this simple? There’s so much going on in the world right now and it is so complicated,'” Cox said at the commencement speech. “‘Can we have a moment for women? For women to be in solidarity with each other? Can I just be in solidarity with my sisters on this issue? Do we have to make it about all of the complicated nuances of the issue?’”
After reflection, Cox realized that perhaps the critic had a point and that the trans man factor should be included in the abortion debate, because, after all, trans men — women presenting themselves as men — can become pregnant. The actor said that this should be an opportunity to examine the inclusivity of our language on certain issues.
“As I continued to process, I thought, for the first time, ‘What if I were a transgender man?’ What if I were a transgender man… and for whatever reason I became pregnant unintentionally? If I were that trans man, I would really want to have language that incorporated and included my experience,” Cox said. “When we use language that excludes groups of people on pertinent issues, it can jeopardize their health and well-being. Language that is appropriate and fully inclusive is a matter of life and death for so many people out there.”
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[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Paul Bois and originally published at The Dailywire. Title changed by P&P.]
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