A government account for the island of Jersey left one crucial demographic out of a post encouraging cervical screenings—women.
Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands. It is “a self-governing dependency of the British Crown and is not part of the UK and isn’t represented in the UK parliament,” according to their government website.
On Twitter, the account wrote, “If you are a transgender man, a gender non-conforming person, or assigned female at birth and with a cervix, you can book your free cervical screening today. Contact your GP or Le Bas Centre on 443781. We are working to make it as comfortable as possible for you.” A hashtag at the end reads, “Don’t put it off.”
Along with the caption was a photo of what appeared to be a man with facial hair, dressed in a suit.
The post drew strong backlash from several British Twitter users.
English actor James Dreyfus ridiculed the government account as “Oafs. Every last one of you.”
In follow-up posts, he said he found the post “irritating” because it was “virtue signaling” and “inaccurate” to say women were “assigned female at birth.”
Responding to a critic who suggested he was against cancer screenings, Dreyfus added, “I am of course, referring to the ‘assigned female at birth’ descriptor. Sex is observed at birth. As for the second poster, I can’t see the word ‘woman/ women’ anywhere. Language matters. Sex matters.”
British actor Matthew Marsden mocked the post as comical, sharing a GIF of clowns, while UK psychologist Emma Kenny slammed the post for excluding women.
“Why have you not put woman in there? You can’t exclude women from a medical post that affects us! This creates unnecessary upset and widens division. By erasing a word we treasure and are empowered by you disrespect so many of the population,” she wrote.
Daniel Moylan, an English Conservative politician, ridiculed the post for not being inclusive enough. “You’ve left out persons assigned male at birth with a cervix. What do they do?” he teased.
British journalist and former member of the European Parliament Martin Daubney wrote, “Make. This. Madness. Stop,” with a GIF of a man slamming his head on a desk.
Australian opinion columnist Rita Panahi also mocked the account with a GIF of a boy attempting to put a tampon in his nose.
This isn’t the first government entity to omit women from information concerning women’s health.
Under the Biden administration, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has been criticized for repeatedly referring to pregnant women as “pregnant people.”
Legacy media outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post have also been accused of “erasing women” by using gender-neutral language around pregnancy.