It is possible that the words “man” and “woman” have some objective meaning, something important that is being validly described. In which case which is used about whom can be important. Alternatively, the words are just vague smears of meaning in which case who gets called what doesn’t matter very much. Like the work “nice” or summat.
Could go either way, that’s up to the people using the language because they are the people deciding what a word means. Then we get the edge cases:
Mr Connell, a journalist in his thirties, took the case to the High Court last year and then later to the Court of Appeal. But his claim was dismissed at both hearings, with judges ruling he must appear as “mother” on the certificate.
On Monday, his legal challenge suffered further defeat after he was denied permission to mount an appeal at the Supreme Court on the grounds that the case does not raise “an arguable point of law”.
The refusal means Mr McConnell will not be able to take his case any further in the UK courts.
The landmark case arose after Mr McConnell became pregnant several weeks after legally transitioning to become a man. Having given birth, he was told by the General Register Office, which oversees the registration of births in England, that the law required him to be registered as the baby’s mother.
If “man” and “woman” have those objective meanings, those tight descriptions of something useful, then McConnell was a woman at the time of the pregnancy. This is what the word means. Therefore mother and so on, not father. There it’s even more obvious – which gamete was provided? Gestation? Mother.
Alternatively, words have those elastic, smeared, meanings, in which case what in buggery is everyone shouting about?
What cannot be true is that this is important, definable, enforceable in law, and also not an objective evaluation. But look at what is happening. An insistence that there is no useful meaning to the words being used and also that this must be enforced in a court of law.
None of this has anything at all to do with how McConnell wishes to live his life. We’re liberals around here, that path from cradle to grave is his alone to navigate. BTW, this journalist is the one working at The Guardian which helps to explain the logical confusion on display, no? In the paper as a norm that is…..
Try it out here. Egg from ovary, fertilised then gestated in uterus, birth given through cervix and vagina. The English word for the person immediately surrounding all this activity is “father”, is it?