As your typical man on the street, I was recently talking to the girls in the office about this and that. I was blindsided when the gals told me I should follow the rules set forth by the Glasgow (Scotland) City Council regarding the use of sexist language. It appears that certain words are no longer “permitted” because they are offensive. One of the dears was rather harsh with me. I said to her, “Love, I’ll say what I damn well please!”
The guide offers a full list of the most shameful examples of sexist-speak. Top of the list are endearments.
“Don’t assume it is acceptable to address women by endearments such as ‘dear’, ‘pet’ and ‘love’ when you would not address men in such a way,” the guide instructs. “Don’t refer to women as ‘girls’, for example, ‘the girls in the office’.”
It adds: “The term ‘ladies’ should only be used in situations where the parallel term ‘gentlemen’ is used.”
All references to a person’s gender should be avoided, the guide goes on. “A person’s gender is rarely relevant to the job they do, so don’t use ‘lady’ or ‘woman’ to highlight gender inappropriately, for example ‘woman driver’, ‘lady curator’, ‘lady councillor’, ‘woman director’. Similarly don’t add ‘ess’ to the end of job titles as in ‘manageress’ or ‘stewardess’.”
“Some words and phrases such as ‘manpower’ and ‘man the office’ exclude or ignore women. Use inclusive terms like ‘staff’ and ‘workers’ and ‘staff the office’.”
When will it end?