On January 1, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi proposed that these terms to be struck from clause 8(c)(3) of Rule XXIII of the House’s Code of Official Conduct: “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, … nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, grandson [and] granddaughter.”

These terms are to be replaced with “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, … sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepsibling, half-sibling [and] grandchild.”

Is this an attempt to use “gender-inclusive language” or an attempt to neuter? How can it be gender inclusive when you deny the right of gender identity to the majority of Americans? What are the ramifications of this action?

Should we assume that all legislation written in the 117th Congress will be void of any real terms that give us an identity? Should we assume that this attempt to verbally neuter us will be carried down to the state and local level?

Should we assume that the House leadership will also seek to eliminate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day from our yearly calendars? Should I tell my children to refer to me as parent and not Mom, Ma or Mother? Should Hallmark discontinue the production of cards that reference the birthdays of our brother, sister, mother, father, etc.?

It has been about a year since the arrival of the novel coronavirus in the United States. The economic and public health challenges this has created are enormous.

Many businesses have been closed, many never to open again. Rather than try to unite Americans to overcome the challenges of 2021, Speaker Pelosi chooses to focus her attention on verbally neutering our language.

If you wish to congratulate Speaker Pelosi on this proposed change to the House rules, she can be reached in DC at 202-225-4965.

Nancy Foster

Louisville

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(16) comments

hermit thrush

what an amazing, twisted, hysterical, paranoid letter.

Is this an attempt to use “gender-inclusive language” or an attempt to neuter?

the former.

How can it be gender inclusive when you deny the right of gender identity to the majority of Americans?

no one is being denied anything. everyone remains free to identify as they see fit.

What are the ramifications of this action?

none except showing greater respect and consideration for all people. (i know, the horror.)

Should we assume that all legislation written in the 117th Congress will be void of any real terms that give us an identity? no. our identities come from ourselves. they do not given by the particular language used in congressional legislation.

Should we assume that this attempt to verbally neuter us will be carried down to the state and local level?

no. no is being "verbally neutered." everyone is free to use the words they want.

Should we assume that the House leadership will also seek to eliminate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day from our yearly calendars?

no.

Should I tell my children to refer to me as parent and not Mom, Ma or Mother?

you should ask your children to call you what you like to be called. the language used in legislation has no bearing on this.

Should Hallmark discontinue the production of cards that reference the birthdays of our brother, sister, mother, father, etc.?

no.

none of this is the slightest bit hard or complicated.

Pitbull

"Our identities come from ourselves". That is,, of course, overly simplistic and overly complicated, at the same time. Your sexual identity starts with a good look in the mirror at bath time. That is where you start, hermit. Not the slightest bit hard or complicated.

hermit thrush

trans people are real. denying that is bad.

KRobbins

Another bright, shiny object to distract the Trumpers. My cat has a longer attention span.

minder

[beam]

Charlie McGrath

The majority of the people in the world identify themselves as a man or a woman. Period! I don't care what you are or what you want to be but don't tell me and the rest of the world what we have to be. You people still don't get it. The most important issues on the coming agenda are race and gender. The unity rhetoric thing is working out just as expected.

hermit thrush

the number of people telling you what you "have to be" is zero. that is the whole point, actually.

zeitgeist

[thumbup]

Pitbull

Nancy, don't listen to the arrogant and inconsistent people who are aghast at your comments. Your letter is solid and logical. Fancy Nancy IS trying to neuter us, as is the entire liberal establishment. Use this discussion as an example of how these nuts have left the rest of us in the middle of the political road, not the other way around. And this fake indignation about what you choose to concentrate on right now? Fake and inconsistent, as usual for these genderless humanoids. One more thing, people in Lowville are generally more grounded than the uppity, sanctimonious types who criticize them.

Eagle24

SERIOUSLY??? We just had a failed attempt to overthrow the Capitol by a mob and you're worried about some obscure "gender-inclusive language"....don't you get news in Lowville? You actually think NOW's the time congress should take up that issue?? We just had a 9/11 event, the country is in the worst pandemic in 100 years, a potential impeachment, and you're worried about gender language... God help us...

Farmer Liz

By the same token, in light of all that is happening in our country right now, THIS is what you chose to focus on. Pot, meet kettle.

rdsouth

Yes, removing terms from official language that involve gender is a good thing. Rare people who are not clearly male or female are not the main point, though disregarding them is also problematic. The main reason for doing this is to eliminate sexism generally. For example, when laws don't refer to "husband" and "wife" they can't include paternalistic mandates. They instead refer to "spouse" so it's the same both ways. There's nothing here to be outraged about. You can still use these terms privately.

Pitbull

...for the time being.

hermit thrush

what paranoid lunacy.

Pitbull

Better start calling WIC, PIC. Better start calling Uncle Sam, Brother of my Mother Sam. Better call the NYT the Grey Genteel Person. We are really a stupid society.

hermit thrush

"We are really a stupid society."

no better illustration of that than the preceding words in pb's comment.

if you think no one could possibly be so stupid as to mistake a) someone addressing others with inclusive, respectful, gender-neutral language for b) imposing gender identities on others, then today must be your first day at the wdt comments.

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