A report released on Thursday discusses updated American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines for detecting cervical cancer.

The report omitted the word “woman.” It replaced it with “individuals with a cervix,” in an attempt to use “inclusive language” in light of the existence of women who do not recognize themselves as such but logically have a cervix.

The report begins: “Individuals with a cervix are now recommended to start cervical cancers screening at 25 and continue through age 65.”

The report referred to updated cervical cancer screening guidelines from the ACS, recently published in a paper titled “CA: A Cancer Journal for Physicians. The cited report also uses the same mechanism of inclusive language that avoids using the word woman.

As a result of this attempt to use language more akin to gender equality, CNN was heavily criticized by various sectors and personalities, who point to the action as an extreme way of suppressing the category “woman.” 

Eric Sammons, a well-known Catholic writer, criticized the speech used by the news network as something taken from an “internal Soviet memo”.

“CNN apparently wants to cancel women, but as a full-time writer/editor, I also find the woke need to use clunky language painful to behold. ‘Women is a beautiful word; ‘individuals with a cervix’ sounds like something you’d read in a Soviet internal memo.” Sammons wrote on his Twitter account.

Lila Rose, founder, and president of the pro-life group Live Action, also visited Twitter to criticize the CNN report. “This language is objective and incredibly disrespectful to women,” Rose tweeted.

The tweet that introduced the report quickly went viral and received many comments that triggered extensive discussions among users with varying interpretations of gender perspectives.

Inclusive language

The notion of ‘inclusive language’ has become popular in recent years, driven mainly by the LGBT movements. The concept refers to a mode of expression that avoids definitions of gender or sex.

In its extreme form, “gender-inclusive” language can mean completely replacing the words “male”, “female”, “man”, “woman”, “boy”, “girl” and gender-specific pronouns with neutral words such as “all” and “they” or “their”.

The United Nations defines “gender-inclusive” language as “speaking and writing in a way that does not discriminate against a particular sex, social gender or gender identity, and does not perpetuate gender stereotypes. 

On Friday, CNN’s head of strategic communications defended his departure. He suggested that critics disagreed with the media’s attempt at “inclusion.”

Opponents argue that distorting language and suppressing categories is not the right way to achieve a world without discrimination.