EU Wages War on ‘Gendered’ Language, Phrases Like ‘Workmanship’ and ‘Joe Public.’


by Jack Montgomery, The National Pulse:

The European Institute for Gender Equality, an agency of the European Union (EU), has issued a lengthy document decrying phrases like “a man’s home is his castle” and traditions like referring to a ship as a “she.”

The ‘Toolkit on Gender-sensitive Communication’ hectors readers on a range of common expressions like ‘Joe Public,’ which they are told to drop in favor of the anodyne “an average citizen.”


Other terms deemed problematic include “brotherhood,” “countryman,” and “Englishman,” with the EU agency recommending “community,” “compatriot,” and “English person” instead.

The toolkit also takes issue with “King and Queen,” “ladies and gentlemen,” “husband and wife,” and related terms, suggesting readers “try swapping the order of these phrases sometimes.”

It also warns against referring to a ship as a ‘her’ rather than an ‘it’, or using language like “France and her citizens” instead of “France and its citizens,” or calling a person’s native language their “mother tongue.”

In some cases, the toolkit tells readers to completely reframe certain adjectives it deems sexist to paint negative behavior as positive; for example, a “loose” woman should instead be described as “having sexual confidence,” while an emotional or hormonal woman should instead be described as passionate, enthusiastic, or empathetic.

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