The European Union has banned the use of the word “man” in Parliament so as not to offend minority groups.
Officials and MEPs were issued a new rulebook recently entitled, “English Style Guide: A handbook for authors and translators in the European Commission,” in which the use of gender neutral terms was encouraged.
Voiceofeurope.com reports: In other words, what words they can and can’t say, they have been asked to refrain for the “generic use of man” when they speak.
According to the rulebook, “Gender-neutral or gender-inclusive language is more than a matter of political correctness. Language powerfully reflects and influences attitudes, behaviour and perceptions”.
“Much existing EU legislation is not gender-neutral and the masculine pronouns ‘he’ etc. are used generically to include women. However, gender-neutral language is nowadays preferred wherever possible.
“In practice, gender-neutral drafting means two things:
- avoiding nouns that appear to assume that a man rather than a woman will perform a particular role: ‘chairman’ is the most obvious example;
- avoiding gender-specific pronouns for people who may be either male or female. “
Some more examples of preferred speech are words such as:
- “political leaders” is preferred to “statesman”
- “artificial” or “synthetic” is preferred to “man-made”
- “businessperson” in place of “businessman” or “businesswoman”
- and “tradesperson” would be preferred to “tradeswoman” or “tradesman”
The rulebook as described by the EU body “aims to avoid phrasings that could be seen as conveying prejudice, discrimination, degrading remarks or implying that a certain gender or social gender represents the norm.” The purpose of the guidelines is to encourage a non-sexist, inclusive and fair language, the secretariat of the European Parliament asserts.
Members of the European parliament reacted to the warnings of using the word ‘man’ in the gender neutrality rulebook. They called them “absolute b*llocks”.