Stan, Loretta, midwifery, and the Enlightenment

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

This is my 2250th post since this blog began in June 2009.  And in all that time I've not had the opportunity to write about Monty Python.  That is odd given how often I've mentioned ESD which is Pythonesque in everything but name.  Happily all that is about to change.

To begin in the late 16th century: John Napier was born in Edinburgh.  He invented logarithms in the 1590s and much else besides.  He had a Scottish seat of higher learning named after him in Edinburgh in 1964.  This is now called Edinburgh Napier University.  I recall going there in the 1980s on an accreditation visitation with the Council for National Academic Awards although I remember the dinner in the George Hotel better than I do the college.

If you look up Edinburgh Napier University on Wikipedia you might be puzzled to see that there's an entry for midwifery.  This says:

Midwifery Programme
In April of 2022, a "Skills Workbook", published by the university's midwifery programme and used to educated students, was leaked to the feminist website Reduxx.  The workbook dealt with catheterization, and told students "while most times the pregnant or birthing person will have female genitalia, you may be caring for a person who has transitioned from male to female and may therefore still have external male genitalia".
In response to the claims made by the university's workbook, Elaine Miller, a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, stated: "it is not possible for a male person to get pregnant". Dr. Susan Bewley, Professor Emeritus in Obstetrics and Women's Health at King's College London called the materials "puzzling", and further stated "The writers seem to have left school remarkably ignorant of basic biology, sex, and anatomy".

So much for Enlightenment values in their birthplace you might think.  For more on this, see Debbie Hayton who write sensibly and sensitively about this topic.

So why Monty Python?  Who are Stan and Loretta?  And what's the link to John Napier?  Well, if you know your Python and have studied The Life of Brian you'll likely not need to view this clip about a meeting of the People's Front of Judea for the explanation it provides for the questions just outlined.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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