Grilling politicians on who has a cervix isn’t journalism – it’s toxic, transphobic theatre

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09/29/2021

Labour MP Emily Thornberry has expertly demonstrated how the question “do only women have a cervix” should be answered without feeding into a toxic debate. The reductive question has become the centre of political discussion since Labour leader Keir Starmer said it’s “note right” to say only women have a cervix during an interview with Andrew Marr. That question was put to him in relation to a tweet posted by Labour MP Rosie Duffield in August 2020, where she claimed only women have cervixes.  Following Starmer’s interview, health secretary Sajid Javid wrongly suggested that Duffield’s initial statement was a “scientific fact”. Instead of discussing any of the real issues facing trans, non-binary and intersex people – such as the ongoing healthcare crises – journalists have instead rushed to add fuel to the fire. The debate was raised during an interview with Emily Thornberry on Politics Live – and she responded in the best possible way. Thornberry told the hosts that claiming only women have a cervix is “factually inaccurate”, adding: “There are men who have cervixes – there are men who are trans and they’re men. It’s just factually wrong.” She has won praise from many trans and non-binary people for answering the question in a clear, evidence-based way that avoided feeding into a toxic debate.

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