Lancet 'dehumanizes' women as 'bodies with vaginas', slammed as sexist

Lancet 'dehumanizes' women as 'bodies with vaginas', slammed as sexist
Lancet has been lambasted for their front page with this pull-quote (Twitter/Lancet)

Top medical journal Lancet's latest bid to be more inclusive towards  trans women backfired as they have angered many readers by describing women as 'bodies with vaginas'. The phrase, which appears on the front page of the September issue of The Lancet, has been dubbed as 'sexist' and 'dehumanizing' by many. Used in an article titled 'Periods on Display', the entire sentence reads — "Historically, the anatomy and physiology of bodies with vaginas have been neglected." The article revolves around an exhibition at the Vagina Museum in London which explores the taboos and history association with menstruation. 

Many readers have called for a boycott of The Lancet as they proceeded to cancel their subscriptions. Some academics have termed the stance as 'insulting and abusive' and 'a misguided pursuit of woke points'. The century-old medical journal is the latest to come under criticism for inclusive terminologies. Recently, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals were lambasted for use of terms like 'birthing parents' instead of 'birthing mother' and 'human milk' in place of 'breast milk'. 


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Author Susan Dalgety was among the firsts to criticize the phrase, tweeting, "Are we just supposed to accept this? Are we extremist for objecting to women and girls being de-humanised. Are we really just “bodies with vaginas” to medical professionals?"

"Does @TheLancet have no shame about dehumanizing living, breathing, thinking, feeling women as mere 'bodies with vaginas'?" Psychology professor Geoffrey Miller asked.



David Curtis, honorary professor of genetics at University College London, said, "Just wrote the Lancet to tell them to take me off their list of statistical reviewers and cancel my subscription and never contact me about anything ever again. Absolutely inexcusable language to refer to women and girls."

Prominent feminist Claire Heuchan wrote, "This framing makes it sound like a coincidence that 'bodies with vaginas' have been neglected by medicine, as if it were not the product of a discrimination and oppression specific to the female sex. Medical misogyny... exists - and refusing to acknowledge women perpetuates it. Until [the Lancet starts] writing about 'bodies with penises', dehumanising and neglecting research specific to men, I'm going to call this erasure out for what it is: sexism."

However, the Vagina Museum dismissed the criticism stating that the uproar has been created by individuals who have not read the article. "It looks like some individuals are having a knee-jerk reaction to a pull-quote from the cover of the Lancet from a review of our Periods exhibition. And you haven't read the article, and it shows," they tweeted as a response. 



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