Hello iPLEDGE, *I am writing to you today to bring to light the inherent transphobia and sexism prevalent in iPLEDGE. You may not be aware to the extent of the damage caused by referring to those with vaginas, ovaries and*or uteruses as "female" instead of "assigned female at birth." Labeling trans men and non-binary folks as "female" and "women" because of their reproductive systems is unbelievably disrespectful and harmful.*By describing those with female reproductive systems as "assigned female at birth," you are respecting their identities and not labeling them on the sole basis of their anatomical makeup. Using the phrase "those assigned female at birth" is an easy way to fix this inconsiderate categorization. Further, while some trans and gender non-conforming individuals do decide to become pregnant, most are extremely uncomfortable with the idea, causing this process to be harder than it needs to be. There must be a way for trans*non-binary individuals to bypass these pregnancy procedures with a note from a gender therapist or a doctor. Not doing so is sexist and transphobic* those assigned male at birth do not go through any of the same hoops those assigned female at birth do, even though they have the same potential to cause birth defects in babies as those assigned female at birth do. The only difference is that those assigned female at birth harbor the baby in their bodies for nine months, while those assigned male at birth do not. Personally, as a trans-masculine nonbinary individual (assigned female at birth), I will never become pregnant because doing so would cause unbearable dysphoria. When I learned that iPLEDGE would force me, and not my assigned male at birth counterparts, to undergo the long process of pregnancy testing, birth control and monthly meetings, based solely on my genitalia, I felt viscerally angry, pained and saddened. Is my mental health less important than an unborn baby that will never, ever be conceived? While I do understand the logic and compassion for babies fueling iPLEDGE, I will not stand for such sexist and transphobic ideas to persist. There are simple changes that you can make, and I urge your, for the sake of trans-men, non-binary folks and anyone with a a ******, ovaries and*or uterus, to make a positive change in the program: replace "female" and "women" with "those assigned female at birth," allow trans*non-binary individuals to be exempt from the pregnancy testing (like their assigned male at birth conterparts) with a note from their doctor or therapist and consider changing the program entierly because it is built on a base of the sexist idea that those who become prengnat are responsible for their babies while those with penises are not- both are needed to make a baby and both*should be held equally responsible. This is ****, it is time you caught up with the times and changed your ways.**Thank you,**Shannon Ford Rudek*(they*them)
GetHuman-srudek did not yet indicate what iPledge should do to make this right.