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Thomas Beatie Gives Birth • Pro-Choice Doctor To Receive Canada's Highest Honor

Illustration for article titled Thomas Beatie Gives Birth • Pro-Choice Doctor To Receive Canadas Highest Honor

Pregnant man Thomas Beatie gave birth to baby girl today via Cesarean natural birth! Congrats! • Two prominent female activists from the group Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise have been detained for 6 weeks for peacefully protesting Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. • A Canadian doctor and Holocaust survivor who fought to legalize abortion in Canada will receive the country's highest civilian honor despite condemnation from anti-choice advocates. • A new art exhibit aims to break Western depictions of Muslim and Arab women by highlighting female artists (Muslim and non-Muslim) from the Islamic world.

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Australian crime victims are demanding that convicted rapist Mike Tyson be barred from entering Australia and "totted out as a celebrity, like some kind of Mother Theresa." • Former Indian septic-tank cleaners and other female "untouchables" put on a fashion show at the U.N. honoring a for-profit organization to help untouchables. • A teen girl in Colorado is sentenced to 18 years in prison after killing her half-sister in a "Mortal Kombat" fight reenactment. • Bob Dylan's ex-girlfriend and muse (and the woman pictured with him on the iconic cover of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan) breaks her silence in a new memoir about the '60s. • Victims of a peeping tom case in Seattle are blamed by the peeper's wife for "putting on a show" because of their broken blinds. • Two more teens videotaped themselves beating up a fellow classmate and putting it on the internet. One word for these girls: idiots. • Gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace continues to run rampant in Bangladesh. • Game makers attempt to woo young girls with a new game that is essentially a lamer version of Guitar Hero.• Could the HPV vaccine cause teen paralysis? • Deliriously cute Leftovers video: ducklings in a bathtub!

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DISCUSSION

Let me try to explain why this is a big deal: This is a man who has gone to great lengths (surgery, hormones, legal changes) to assert his masculinity, more so than most men ever do. Obviously, he's very fond of and insistent on being male. And yet, when it came to having a child, he had no qualms about taking that on, despite that being a traditionally and quintessentially female thing. I believe he said in interviews that at no point did being pregnant make him feel less manly.

It's not a biological breakthrough of any kind, given that he had most of the necessary equipment. The breakthrough is in the mental realm: How we conceive of our gender, and how we revise it.