CNN sparked outrage and indignation on Twitter.com when the cable news network referred to a majority of its audience as "individuals with a cervix".
On Thursday, CNN tweeted, "Individuals with a cervix are now recommended to start cervical cancers screening at 25 and continue through age 65, with HPV testing every five years as the preferred method of testing, according to a new guideline released by the American Cancer Society."
Individuals with a cervix are now recommended to start cervical cancers screening at 25 and continue through age 65, with HPV testing every five years as the preferred method of testing, according to a new guideline released by the American Cancer Society https://t.co/gUhYdIIx69
— CNN (@CNN) July 30, 2020
CNN's followers reacted angrily to the offensive description. They schooled CNN on the proper language to describe biological females.
One user tweeted: "There is a word in the dictionary for the people you are referring to: WOMEN."
Another wrote: "Individuals with a cervix?????? We all realize only biologic women have a cervix right???? Is there a reason we cant call it what it is?"
A third user tweeted: "It's not just the headline - they get through the entire article without using the words 'woman' or 'female' once."
Others defended CNN for using inclusive and diverse language to describe a tiny segment of their audience.
"[A]ll of the ppl replying "don't you just mean women!" conveniently forget 1. trans ppl exist and 2. chromosomal abnormalities often result in ppl who aren’t biologically female having a cervix."
For anyone who doesn't understand: "individuals with a cervix" is, I believe, a way to be inclusive of non-binary and trans individuals. It's not women erasure ????
— #NoJusticeNoPeace (@jamiceara) July 30, 2020
If that is the case, a report by @CNN on prostate cancer would refer to 'individuals with a prostate'... But it doesn't. It refers to MEN.
— mariamush Esq. ?? ?? ?? ???? ???? (@mariamush) July 31, 2020
My OBGYN gives pap smears to lots of women. She also gives paps smears to lots of people who aren’t women. Bc we also have a risk for cervical cancer.
— Cecil the Insufferable Poet (@SuburbanGargoyl) July 31, 2020
It’s not just the headline - they get through the entire article without using the words “woman” or “female” once.
— Shatterface (@Shatterface) July 31, 2020
This sounds very important because of course nobody wants cancer. How can I find out if I have a cervix? Is that like a mole or something? I have a few of those. My mom has quite a few so it's probably hereditary. Should I ask family members if they have cervixes too?
— IndependentTweeter ????? (@RocknRikRampage) July 31, 2020
What is the politically correct term for intellectual disability? I want to make sure I'm inclusive when I talk about people who work for CNN.
— Leonydus Johnson (@LeonydusJohnson) July 31, 2020