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美国堕胎争论中正在消失的一个词:女性

A Vanishing Word in Abortion Debate: ‘Women’
美国堕胎争论中正在消失的一个词:女性

The American Civil Liberties Union, whose advocacy on reproductive rights is of more than a half-century vintage, recently tweeted its alarm about the precarious state of legal abortion:

近期,半个多世纪以来一直在倡导生育权利的美国公民自由联盟发表推文,对合法堕胎的危险状态表示担忧:

“Abortion bans disproportionately harm: Black Indigenous and other people of color. The L.G.B.T.Q. community. Immigrants. Young people. Those working to make ends meet. People with disabilities. Protecting abortion access is an urgent matter of racial and economic justice.”

“堕胎禁令更多地伤害的是:黑人原住民和其他有色人种。LGBTQ社区。移民。年轻人。那些为了维持生计而工作的人。残疾人。保护堕胎权是种族和经济正义的当务之急。”
 

从医疗组织到年轻的活动人士,几年来,“女性”这个词在谈论堕胎和怀孕时几乎消失了。

This tweet encompassed so much and so many and yet neglected to mention a relevant demographic: women.

这条推文包含了如此多的群体,却忽略了一个相关的人群:女性。

This was not an oversight, nor was it peculiar to the language favored by the A.C.L.U. Language has been changing fast, even as the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn a constitutional guarantee to abortion rights and progressives face the task of spearheading opposition.

这不是疏忽,也不是出于公民自由联盟的语言偏好。即便是在最高法院似乎准备推翻对堕胎权利的宪法保障,进步人士要承担带头反对的任务时,语言也在一直快速发生变化,

From Planned Parenthood to NARAL Pro-Choice America to the American Medical Association to city and state health departments and younger activists, the word “women” has in a matter of a few years appeared far less in talk of abortion and pregnancy.

从“计划生育协会”到“美国支持选择权全国废除堕胎法协会”(下文简称NARAL),到“美国医学协会”,再到城市和州的卫生部门,乃至更年轻的活动人士,“女性”一词几年来很少出现在关于堕胎和怀孕的讨论中。

Driven by allies and activists for transgender people, medical, government and progressive organizations have adopted gender-neutral language that draws few distinctions between women and transgender men, as well as those who reject those identities altogether.

在跨性别者的盟友和活动人士的推动下,医疗机构、政府和进步组织采用了性别中立语言,对女性和跨性别者以及那些完全拒绝这些身份的人几乎不做区分。

This speed of change is evident: In 2020, NARAL issued a guide to activists on abortion that stressed they should talk about a “woman’s choice.” Two years later, the same guide emphasized the need for “gender-neutral language.”

这种变化的速度是显而易见的:2020年,全国废除堕胎法协会向堕胎活动人士发布了一份指南,强调他们应该谈论“女性的选择”。两年后,该组织发布的同样指南强调了“性别中立语言”的必要性。

Last year, the editor of The Lancet, a British medical journal, apologized for a cover that referred to “bodies with vaginas” rather than women.

去年,英国医学杂志《柳叶刀》的编辑还曾就其封面中提到“有阴道的身体”而不是女性而道歉。

Today, “pregnant people” and “birthing people” have elbowed aside “pregnant women.”

如今,“怀孕人士”和“分娩人士”已经把“孕妇”这个词挤到了一边。

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a section on “Care for Breastfeeding People,” the governor of New York issued guidance on partners accompanying “birthing people” during Covid, and city and some state health departments offer “people who are pregnant” advice on “chestfeeding.”

美国疾病控制和预防中心的指南中有一个关于“乳房喂养者护理”的章节,纽约州州长针对在新冠期间陪伴“分娩人士”的伴侣发布了指导意见,纽约市和一些州的卫生部门为“怀孕人士”提供关于“乳房喂养”的建议。

The Cleveland Clinic, a well-known nonprofit hospital, posed a question on its website: “Who has a vagina?” Its answer begins, “People who are assigned female at birth (AFAB) have vaginas.” The American Cancer Society website recommends cancer screenings for “people with a cervix.”

著名的非营利医院克利夫兰诊所在其网站上提出了一个问题:“什么人有阴道?”答案是:“出生时被归类为女性(AFAB)的人有阴道。”美国癌症协会网站建议对“有宫颈的人”进行癌症筛查。

This reflects a desire by medical professionals to find a language that does not exclude and gives comfort to those who give birth and identify as nonbinary or transgender. No agency appears to collect data on transgender and nonbinary pregnancies, but Australia has reported that about 0.1 percent of all births involve transgender men.

这反映出医疗专业人员希望找到一种语言,不排斥那些作为非二元性别以及跨性别者进行分娩的人,并对这个群体给予安慰。似乎没有任何机构收集关于跨性别和非二元性别怀孕的数据,但澳大利亚报告称,约0.1%的分娩涉及跨性别男性。

Ti-Grace Atkinson got on the phone from her home in Cambridge, Mass., and sighed. She has counted herself a radical feminist for most of her 83 years. She quit the National Organization for Women in the 1960s when it refused to aggressively push for abortion rights.

蒂-格蕾丝·阿特金森在马萨诸塞州剑桥的家中接受电话采访时叹了口气。今年83岁的她在人生大部分时间里都认为自己是激进的女权主义者。1960年代,当全国女性组织拒绝积极推动堕胎权利时,她退出了该组织。

She is wearied by battles over gender and language, which she said are pushed by transgender activists and eager progressives and no less eagerly opposed by right-wing politicians. It is distant from the urgent needs of women, who make up 50.8 percent of the population.

她对有关性别和语言的斗争感到厌倦。她说,跨性别活动人士和积极的进步人士推动这些斗争,而右翼政治人士也同样强烈地反对这些斗争。这与占人口50.8%的女性的迫切需求相去甚远。

“I want to see material change,” she said. “Taking away our reproductive rights is going to sharpen the battle. This is about women and our rights; it’s not a language game.”

“我希望看到实质性的变化,”她说。“剥夺我们的生育权将使这场斗争更加激烈。这关乎女性和我们的权利;这不是语言游戏。”

Last year, Dr. Sara Dahlen wrote an editorial for a British medical journal in which she noted the pressure for clinicians in Britain, where questions of gender are no less charged, to use phrases such as “human milk” rather than “breast milk.” She cautioned they risked losing a larger audience.

去年,萨拉·达伦博士为一家英国医学杂志撰写了一篇评论文章,她在文中指出,在性别问题同样严重的英国,临床医生受到了压力要去使用“人乳”等词语而不是“母乳”。她告诫说,这样的医生有可能会失去更多受众。

“If the aim is to maximize respect for every person’s sense of self, it must follow that female patients who simply understand themselves as women cannot either be expected to ‘go along silently with language in which they do not exist,’” she wrote, quoting advocates of gender-neutral language.

“如果我们的目标是最大限度地尊重每个人的自我意识,那么就不能指望那些仅仅将自己理解为女性的患者‘默默地接受并不包括她们的语言’,”她引用性别中立语言倡导者的话说。

For those who fight in the trenches of reproductive politics, the surprise is that a turn to gender-neutral language surprises. Louise Melling, a deputy legal director for the A.C.L.U., noted that not long ago male pronouns and terms such as “mankind” were considered sufficient to cover all women. Language is a powerful instrument, she said, and helps to determine political consciousness.

对于那些在生育政治的战壕中战斗的人来说,转向性别中立语言让一部分人感到惊讶这一点是出乎意料的。公民自由联盟的法律副主任路易斯·梅林指出,就在不久前,男性代词和“人类”等术语还被认为足以涵盖所有女性。她说,语言是一种强大的工具,有助于决定政治意识。

“Language evolves and it can exclude or it can include,” Ms. Melling noted in an interview. “It’s really important to me that we think about pregnant people. It’s the truth: Not only women give birth, not only women seek abortion.”

“语言在不断演变,它可以排斥,也可以包容,”梅林在接受采访时指出。“对我来说,为怀孕人士着想真的很重要。这是事实:不仅仅是女性会生育,也不仅仅是女性会寻求堕胎。”

NARAL punctuated this point in a tweet last year defending its use of “birthing people”: “We use gender neutral language when talking about pregnancy, because it’s not just cis-gender women that can get pregnant and give birth.”

去年,NARAL发推解释为什么使用“分娩人士”一词时就强调了这一点:“我们在谈论怀孕时用性别中立语言,因为并非只有顺性别女性可以怀孕和分娩。”

Feminists such as Ms. Atkinson and the writer J.K. Rowling have been outspoken in stating that women have a right to their spaces — locker rooms, domestic abuse shelters, prisons — that are separate from men and transgender women.

像阿特金森和作家J·K·罗琳这样的女权主义者一直在大声主张女性理应有自己的空间——更衣室、家庭暴力庇护所、监狱——与男性和跨性别女性分隔开来。

These and other pointed criticisms angered transgender activists and their allies, who denounced them as transphobes. Some object as well to the language of the abortion rights movement, which talks of a “war on women.” “It’s really difficult,” a transgender activist wrote, “to be present in a movement that is so incredibly cissexist.”

包括她们在内的许多尖锐的批评者令跨性别活动人士及其盟友愤怒不已,斥其为恐跨者。有些人还反对堕胎权利运动中的语言,比如“针对女性的战争”这样的表述。“这很困难,”一位跨性别权利人士写道,“要出现在一场如此充斥跨性别歧视的运动中。”

In New York City, the progressive Working Families Party and Democratic Socialists of America are political powers. When Politico obtained a draft opinion that indicated the Supreme Court was primed to overturn Roe v. Wade, which provides a constitutional right to abortion, these parties issued ringing denunciations — in studiously gender-neutral language.

在纽约市,进步派组织工作家庭党和美国民主社会主义者是两个拥有政治影响力的组织。当Politico获得的一份判决意见书草案显示,最高法打算推翻为堕胎提供宪法保护的罗诉韦德案判决时,这两个政党发表了明确的谴责——并且精心使用了性别中立语言。

The world of mainstream Democratic politics gives voice to these sentiments in a more familiar argot, one aimed at voters rather than activists.

主流民主党政界用更常见的用语来为这些立场发声,其目标受众是选民而非活动人士。

Last year the Biden administration put out budget documents that reflected the gendered discourse of progressives and referred to “birthing people.” Conservatives pounced.

拜登政府去年的预算文件采用了进步派的性别话语,并使用了“分娩人士”。于是被保守派抓住大做文章。

But this month, when word leaked of a potential Supreme Court turnabout, President Biden was unequivocal and practiced in his language choices. “I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental,” he said. “Basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned.”

但这个月,当最高法立场可能改变的消息传出时,拜登总统的措辞是含混而老道的。“我相信选择权是一个女性的根本权利,”他说。“出于起码的公平和法律稳定性的考虑,不应该推翻它。”

A few left-leaning congressional representatives have adopted movement language. Representative Cori Bush, Democrat of Missouri, testified last year about “birthing people.” But it is far more common to hear senators and congressional representatives, female and male alike, refer to women. “We cannot go back to the days when women had to risk their lives to end an unwanted pregnancy,” said Senator Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist who represents Vermont.

一些有左派倾向的国会议员也采用了这场运动的语言。密苏里州众议员科里·布什去年曾就“分娩人士”事宜作证。不过更多的两院议员——无论男女——还是会使用女性这个称呼。“我们不能再回到以前的日子了,让女性要冒着生命的危险去终止一次不想要的妊娠,”代表佛蒙特州的参议员、民主社会主义者伯尼·桑德斯说。

Prof. Laurel Elder of Hartwick College and Prof. Steven Greene of North Carolina State University have studied the growth of feminist identity by age and education. Many young activists, Professor Elder noted, reject male and female distinctions altogether. “But,” she said, “the reality is that the larger society is not there yet.”

哈特威克学院的劳雷尔·埃尔德教授和北卡罗莱纳州立大学的史蒂芬·格林教授从年龄和教育的角度研究了女权主义身份的发展。埃尔德注意到,许多年轻的活动人士完全否认男性和女性存在区别。“但是,”她说,“现实是主流社会还没准备好接受。”

Professor Greene questioned the wisdom of activists in insisting that a mass-based movement discard its base and core sexual identity. Why not, for instance, insist that women and transgender men are each embattled when it comes to abortion?

格林认为,活动人士坚持要让一场基于大众的运动摒弃其根基和核心性身份,这是有失明智的。为什么不去强调女性和跨性别男性各自都在堕胎问题的战场上奋战呢?

“Activists are adopting symbols and language that are off-putting not just to the right but to people in the center and even liberals,” he noted.

“活动人士在引入的符号和语言不仅惹恼了右派,也惹恼了中间派甚至自由派,”他说道。

For this reason he was not surprised when most Democratic politicians declined to echo the language of progressive organizations. “You don’t become a candidate for the presidency or speaker of the House by being dumb about what works in politics,” he said. “Democrats were not going to be afraid to use the word ‘women.’”

他认为,正因为如此,大多数民主党政治人物都不愿意呼应进步派组织的语言。“要是搞不清政治上什么行得通,什么行不通,你是不可能成为一名总统候选人或众议院议长的,”他说。“民主党不会害怕使用‘女性’这个词。”
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