Academics at an Australian university, it was reported this week, not only endorse the term “chestfeeding” – they recommend alternatives to “mother” and “father”, too. The proposals appear in Australia National University’s Gender Institute Handbook. Instead of “mother”, the authors suggest “gestational parent” – and instead of “father”, they suggest “non-birthing parent”.
Their joy at trying to change the words means they’ve missed the obvious point. That the distinction between “gestational parent” and “non-birthing parent” is the same distinction as between mother and fact – indeed, as between male and female.
Which doesn’t achieve what they’re hoping to achieve, does it?