The European Union has sent a guidebook to member states telling them that words like “mankind,” “manpower” and “man-made” are no longer acceptable — that rather they should sub in “humanity,” “staff” and “artificial,” and any number of other genderless options.
Doesn’t the EU have enough to worry about, with Brexit and borders and burning fires in the streets and all?
But it’s not just political correctness, the EU says. Rather, it’s all about the behavior modification — as if striking the word “man” from all things publicly communicated will somehow bring about a world of peace, harmony, equality and justice. A nirvana where no misogynist dares enter.
A state of bliss for all of humanity.
Er, strike that — for all of personhoodity. People-ity?
Anyhow, the guidebook is the printed version of the EU’s stated intent in November to work toward genderlessness in all discussions and communications.
“Gender-neutral or gender-inclusive language is more than a matter of political correctness,” the guidebook states. “Language powerfully reflects and influences attitudes, behavior and perceptions.”
Therefore, out with the “statesmen,” in with the “political leaders”; see ya later “businessmen” — and “businesswomen,” for that matter; hello “businesspersons.”
Chairman? Chairwoman? Don’t you dare. A simple “chair” will suffice.
Even chairperson doesn’t work, the EU finds, because the “tendency has been to use it only when referring to women,” the guidebook states.
Of course, nothing in the book is mandatory. But still. Who wants a frowny face from the EU — particularly when the word “sovereignty” has pretty much gone the way the big government bureaucrats now want to send gender identifying words, and the politics and economies of one member state are so intertwined with all the others?
You’d think the 28 countries that make up the European Union might have something better to occupy their time with, like improving the economy and paying down debt. Or figuring out that whole Brexit thing. Or dealing with their border issues. Or putting out fires lit by angry rioters in the midst of learning how socialism really works.
After all, since the “EU’s current problems are largely of its own making,” as the London School of Economics and Political Science puts it, that means the solutions wouldn’t be that impossible to find. If the problems are man-made, so would be the solutions, right?
Make that people-made. Not only is that term genderless. But it’s also faceless. Meaning: no accountability at all.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.