It’s OK to have wants too…

15260602920_a0e1520023I came across a paper recently that had a title which I really liked.  Which makes a nice change, because more often I find I don’t like the titles of papers, and generally when this happens it is because I don’t think they’re very respectful to women.  (Recent examples of potentially offensive titles that will be in the running when I get invited to go on Room 101 include Management of the obstetric airway – time for a paradigm shift (or two)? – these are real, living, warm women’s bodies that we are discussing, people, not your disembodied medicalised airways!!  And, of course, there are the terms used in the papers such as ‘obstetric career’, which I have ranted about before.)

The title that I liked was this one:

Pregnancy intentions among female sex workers: recognising their rights and wants as mothers

Quite simply, it acknowledges that women (and I’m meaning all women, not just sex workers) not only have rights and intentions and presumably needs, but also wants. And it implies that it’s OK for pregnant and birthing women and new mothers to have wants – which of course it is, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it might not be if you were visiting Earth from Jupiter and happened to find yourself in a waiting room in which a certain genre of journals and websites predominated.

It’s not that hard to use appropriate, woman-centred language, but it does go against the grain in some fields and I hereby applaud, salute and celebrate all of those authors who make the effort to be woman-centred in their approach and writing.


Duff P, Shoveller J, Feng C et al (2015). Pregnancy intentions among female sex workers: recognising their rights and wants as mothers. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care  41(2): 102-8.
photo credit: squirrel 08 via photopin (license)

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