In an effort to promote “gender equality” and further the use of “non-sexist and gender inclusive language,” the parliamentary wing of the European Union (EU) has issued new guidelines laying out best practices for communicating in gender neutral terms.
The new rules are being issued on the 10th anniversary of the EU’s original gender neutral guidelines published back in 2008.
The original guidelines recommended the removal of the terms ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’ in case they offended any women. Other axed terms included ‘sportsman’ and ‘statesman’ which were replaced with ‘athletes’ and ‘political leader’.
The updated rules build on the previous efforts by further recommending the removal of terms like ‘businessman’, ‘businesswoman’, ‘fireman’, ‘stewardess’, ‘layman’ and even ‘policeman’ and ‘policewoman’.
Preferred words include ‘executive’, ‘firefighter’, ‘flight attendant’, ‘layperson’, and ‘police officer’.
The EU says that “bias-free language has more chance of being accepted by users if it is natural and unobtrusive.”
For example, a term like ‘fisherman’ is still considered acceptable because the corresponding terms like ‘fisher’ or ‘fisherfolk’ “are not widely accepted,” according to the EU.
While the goal of the guidelines is to reduce sexism by using gender neutral words, the booklet produced by the EU contains absolutely no references to any studies that prove this hypothesis.
Studies have been done which indicate that people who speak gendered languages like French can be more sexist than those who speak natural gender languages like English.
However, such studies have been criticized because they do not control for cultural factors which play a huge role in a person’s view of gender.
Also of note, given the rise of transgender issues to the mainstream and the recent revelation that there is now at least over 50 different genders, the new 2018 guidelines make no mention of either.
If the EU is aiming to “treat all genders equally,” as they state in their handbook, should they not take all the other genders into account?
What do these new rules do to promote equality for gender nonconforming or agendered people? What if they don’t feel represented by these new terms?
The EU, in their efforts to be more inclusive, have fallen down the rabbit hole of political correctness.
The moment they started to create policy and guidelines based upon how people feel about certain terms, they opened themselves up to endless language alterations based solely upon the subjective whims of politically correct activists.
If the EU wishes to adjust the parlance of the day, they should make the case with facts, not feelings.