Rantings of a sub-editor

August 26, 2010

Whose gynaecologist is it anyway?

Filed under: gynaecologist,word choice — substuff @ 10:22 am

I need help!

I have just objected to a male colleague beginning a story “My gynaecologist is Jane Seymour’s father”.

Am I right to object? It was his mother’s gynaecologist, surely. The words “my gynaecologist”, spoken by a man, suggest to me that a) he is in fact at least partially female, and b) he has been seeing a doctor about some rather sensitive matters. This assertion has earned me an accusation of workplace bullying.

Just my warped mind?

The OED has this to say of gynaecology:
the science of the physiological functions and diseases of women and girls, esp those affecting the reproductive system.



  1. Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have a gynaecologist, not having a womb – which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans’ – but that he can have the *right* to have a gynaecologist.

    Comment by Tom Freeman — August 26, 2010 @ 10:38 am | Reply

  2. I would have to agree that a man shouldn’t be saying “my gynaecologist”. I would be happy to accept our or the gynaecologist my mother had.

    Comment by Krissie — August 26, 2010 @ 10:54 am | Reply

  3. it’s symbolic of his struggle against reality, Tom…

    Comment by People's Front of Judea — August 26, 2010 @ 1:16 pm | Reply

  4. For heaven’s sake – no man has a gynaecologist. It’s not even “our” gynaecologist. You can’t share that kind of thing. It’s just plain wrong, and you are plain right…

    Comment by Freelance Unbound — August 26, 2010 @ 2:31 pm | Reply

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