Twitter users accused of ‘transphobia’ after Cancer Research tweets ‘everyone with cervix’ appeal

Twitter users have been accused of “transphobia” after criticising Cancer Research for an inclusive tweet encouraging “everyone with a cervix” to attend a smear test.

The charity reached out to women, trans men and non-binary people in a promotional drive to encourage members of the public to get tested for cervical cancer.


A scientist lowers biological samples into a liquid nitrogen storage tank at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (Dan Kitwood/Getty)

“Cervical screening (or the smear test) is relevant for everyone aged 25-64 with a cervix,” they tweeted.

“Watch our animation to find out what to expect when you go for screening #CervicalScreeningAwarenessWeek.”

One Twitter user said that the tweet “erased” women and asked the charity to rethink the language as they “rely heavily on donations.”

“You rely heavily on donations. Please don’t erase the word ‘women’ when talking about cervix examinations,” replied Twitter user @gnetharters.

The Labour MP for Redcar Anna Turley also questioned the use of the term.

“Hi @CR_UK why have you used the term ‘everyone with a cervix’ in this tweet please?” the MP tweeted.

“Hi @annaturley why have you used this tweet as a very blatant vehicle for your nonsense please?” replied journalist Beth McColl.

“Just asking for explanation. If we’re defining ourselves, I don’t define myself as someone with a cervix but as a woman. Why does this message not say ‘everyone with a prostate’? I’ve no problem with inclusive language it’s the double standards & removal of the term women I resent,” she replied.

One user said that the charity could lose donations for its choice of language.

“Looking at replies so many people seem totally unaware that trans folk exist, others are so offended that they are going to cancel their donations!!! if you are thinking of canceling your donation because of inclusive language was used you need to take a good look at yourself,” @fizzsnap commented.

Some non-binary and trans people stepped forward to say that not only is the wording helpful, but has saved their lives.

“Alice, your pain must run pretty deep, for you to troll healthcare PSAs like this. At age 51, I’ve had only one screening, & this was a good reminder for me. Your hostile bigotry, however, is an example of why many LGBTIQ people like me avoid routine lifesaving health screenings,” wrote one commenter.

“Thank you for this. I’ve just had a pre-cancerous cervical lesion removed. The misgendering I received at my doctor got so bad I told my husband I’d rather die of cancer instead. But I got through it & am thankful I got checked early!” wrote @remembrancermx, who identifies as genderfluid.

The Labour MP for Redcar was criticised for her tweet, with users asking her to “try and catch up.”

“Not every person with a cervix is a woman. Try and catch up,” tweeted @TheeRachelEvil.

Cervical screening is available for anyone aged 24-65 who wishes to be tested.