Call to Action Now! Demand Penn Med to Stop Erasing Women!
A few minutes of your time to make our united voices heard against medical erasure of women
The University of Pennsylvania has been in the news a lot lately for its administration’s failure to denounce antisemitism and poor response following the Hamas attack in Israel. We have previously stated the geopolitical conflicts in that region is beyond the scope of our Substack, and we reaffirmed our mission to call out male violence against women regardless of how it might offend any political sensitivity. Our previous position remains unchanged. But as long as UPenn is under media scrutiny, we want to bring your attention to something else for which UPenn should be soundly denounced in the news: The Erasure of Women.
Thanks to a fellow woman advocate, we have been alerted to Penn Med’s intentional, misogynistic, professionally reckless, and legally negligent failure to mention the word “women” even once in a press release this year about pregnancy’s complications that could lead to women’s death. In its article titled Pregnancy Complications Tied to Higher Risk of Death as long as 50 Years Later, (archived link in case they stealth-edit post publication) references that should point to “women” are replaced with “people who have given birth”, “people with complicated pregnancies and deliveries”. Black women are referred to “black pregnant people”. The result is ridiculous statements such as these below would be comical if the negative impact on women and blatant sexism against women aren’t so dire:
“In the United States, more than 800 people die every year giving birth.”
Pray tell: Who might those people be????!!!!
“. . . out of every 100,000 births, more than 23 result in the death of the person delivering.”
For crying out loud! Has the US Postal Services, UPS, FedEx, and Amazon not alerted their employees yet???? For every 100,000 births that take place, 23 people “delivering” will die. Die, I tell you!!! This is serious, serious occupational hazard and we must address this at once.
“We know that the context of childbirth has changed since the 1950s and ‘60s, but these findings demonstrate how crucial it is to people’s long-term health that we invest in preventive care and screenings for people with complicated pregnancies and deliveries.”
On yes. We absolutely should screen men every time they visit their doctors to make sure their long-term health won’t be harmed by women getting pregnant. We’ve heard talks about men suffering mental health crisis but by god! Why didn’t anyone tell us how men’s long-term health will suffer because of pregnancies? Do men find the existence of pregnancies mentally traumatizing? Are men not getting enough sleep because women are pregnant? Are there no one around to feed men when women get pregnant? We absolutely must invest more to research and investigate so we can protect men’s long-term health when “people” face complicated pregnancies and deliveries!!!!
“. . . deaths in childbirth and the immediate postpartum period disproportionately affect Black people.”
Wow. Sounds serious! Who’s going to tell Patrick Mahomes and Giannis Anteokounmpo? And all the other black men? They’re more likely than men and women of other races to die from childbirth and postpartum syndrome.
Let Us Unite and Act Now!
The systemic erasure of women is rapidly taking place in all facets of our healthcare industry. Now is the time to call out medical institutions like Penn Med for their rampant misogyny, and cowardice in speaking the truth. The university-wide cowardice has led UPenn to blatantly discriminate against female student swimmers when Lia Thomas f/k/a Will Thomas unfairly competed on the women’s swim team and subjected them to sexual harassment in locker rooms. It has led to their reluctance in denouncing terrorism and the subsequent big donors revolt. For us, we must not let their erasure of women slide.
We call on all of you to email Frank Otto, the contact person listed in the press release, to loudly object to their female erasure. His email address is: Francis.Otto@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.
We encourage you to write your email in your own voice. But if you can’t, below is a template we have drafted for your convenience.
You can also leave him a phone message at: 267-693-2999
United, we can take a stand. UPenn is in the media’s eye right now. We should hold them accountable for writing women out of medical care, too. Let’s do this and make our voices heard!
Share this message with every person who can email him to speak up against medical sexism against women.
Mr. Frank Otto,
I am emailing you in regard to the Penn Medicine news release entitled “Pregnancy Complications Tied to Higher Risk of Death As Long As 50 Years Later” published March 14, 2023.
It is extremely disconcerting to read an article from a renown medical organization about the risks and causes of death that are exclusive to women without seeing the word “women” or “female” once. Pregnancy and childbirth are extremely dangerous for women, even in America. Seeing this topic get more attention is extremely important to me because I am woman, and this is an issue that only women face, regardless of the trendy tinkering of language to change the definition of what a woman is.
By omitting completely gender specific language and categorizing pregnancy as a risk that happens to some “people”, your article minimizes the fact that pregnancy is essentially a women's health issue. The demographic of people that this article specifically pertains to is completely erased in favor of vague and borderline incorrect terminology. The refusal to acknowledge women is not “inclusive”. Rather, it is sexist and discriminatory toward women. The article pretends that being a woman doesn’t matter when it comes to pregnancies. It further tells women that they can be deprioritized on a whim even on a medical issue that vastly impacts them to the point of death (as the title of your article pointed out) to cater to the political demand of a few.
What you and Penn Med has done is to politicize what should be a political neutral subject, even if doing so would lead to confusion by the demographic of people who needs the information (namely, women), and contribute to the erosion of public trust toward medical institutions. Although women as a population are politically diverse from left to right, Penn Med has chosen to impose a specific political and ideological agenda to the exclusion of all women who hold different stances. Is it Penn Med’s new mission to treat and communicate medically important information only with women who submit to your politics? Would you rather women who do not submit to your politics die for the sake of pleasing a vocal group of political activists?
Please respect women and their unique medical needs moving forward. The word “Women” is already inclusive as it includes half the population. It is the category of people that can and most likely will become pregnant at some point in their lives. If you feel the need to be more gender specific, “Women and transmen” would be appropriate as it’s completely clear whom the target audience is.
Thank you for your time.