EU Releases Guide On Gendered Language, Discourages Words Such As ‘Mastermind’ And ‘Workmanship’

The European Institute for Gender Equality, a division of the European Union (EU), has released a 61-page document titled “Toolkit on Gender-sensitive Communication” that calls for lawmakers to stop using “gendered language.”

The document outlines “discriminatory” and “offensive” language and provides suggestions to lawmakers for what words to use instead.

For example, it says that the phrase “Joe Public” should be replaced with “average citizen,” and the WWI phrase “no man’s land” should be replaced with “unclaimed territory.” Additionally, it says that “mastermind” should be replaced with “creator” and “workmanship” with “handiwork or expertise.”

It also suggests that common phrases such as “husband and wife,” “brother and sister,” and “king and queen” should be swapped at times to put the female first.

Furthermore, the toolkit contains a section titled “Pronouns,” which lists “ze” and “hir” under the “neutral” pronouns section and suggests that lawmakers use these pronouns to remain “gender-sensitive.”

The toolkit also contains an “Adjectives” section that presents alternatives to adjectives that “carry a gender connotation,” such as “shrill,” which it recommends replacing with “high pitched, grating voice.”

Member of Parliament (MP) Lee Anderson reacted to the document by calling the EU “idiots” and his fellow MP Tim Loughton accused the EU of “trying to turn everyone within its borders into a single characterless homogenized entity,” according to GB News.

The EU Parliament is also considering changing its rules to make its committees more gender-balanced.

An internal letter seen by POLITICO states that one of the possible proposals could be that each committee needs to be 30-35% female.

Currently, the EU Parliament’s ratio of male to female members is 61% male to 39% female. In 14 out of 26 committees, less than 39% of members are female.

The rules already state that gender must be taken into account when appointing the most senior roles in the Parliament.

These measures are part of the Parliament’s five-year “gender action plan,” which states that its “key principles” are “inclusion of intersectionality” and “gender-transformative approaches.”