Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.
March 15, 2009 permalink
Politicians demand neutral language for women.
Euro chiefs ban 'Miss' and 'Mrs'
The European Parliament has banned the terms 'Miss' and 'Mrs' in case they offend female MEPs.
By Simon Johnson, Last Updated: 3:06PM GMT 15 Mar 2009
The politically correct rules also mean a ban on Continental titles, such as Madame and Mademoiselle, Frau and Fraulein and Senora and Senorita.
Guidance issued in a new 'Gender-Neutral Language' pamphlet instead orders politicians to address female members by their full name only.
Officials have also ordered that 'sportsmen' be called 'athletes', 'statesmen' be referred to as 'political leaders' and even that 'synthetic' or 'artificial' be used instead of 'man-made'.
The guidance lists banned terms for describing professions, including fireman, air hostess, headmaster, policeman, salesman, manageress, cinema usherette and male nurse.
However MEPs are still allowed to refer to 'midwives' as there is no accepted male version of the job description.
The booklet also admits that "no gender-neutral term has been successfully proposed" to replace 'waiter' and 'waitress', allowing parliamentarians to use these words in a restaurant or café.
It has been circulated by Harold Romer, the parliament's secretary general, to the 785 MEPs working in Brussels and Strasbourg.
Struan Stevenson, a Scottish Conservative MEP described the guidelines as "political correctness gone mad."
He said: "We have seen the EU institutions try to ban the bagpipes and dictate the shape of bananas, but now they see determined to tell us which words we are entitled to use in our own language."
Philip Bradbourn, another Conservative MEP, vowed to ignore the booklet, which he described as a "waste of taxpayers' money" and called on Mr Romer to reveal its cost.
He added: "I will have no part of it. I will continue to use my own language and expressions, which I have used all my life, and will not be instructed by this institution or anyone else in these matters."
Seven years ago, an attempt to amend noise laws came close to effectively outlawing bagpipes.
However, a number of bizarre EU rules remain in place, including a directive stating that every pair of rubber boots must be supplied with a user's manual in 12 languages.
Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)