Skip to comments."Penmanship" is now "handwriting" as Washington state removes gender bias in statutes
Posted on 04/23/2013 3:03:39 AM PDT by rickmichaels
SEATTLE - Washington states governor signed into law on Monday the final piece of a six-year effort to rewrite state laws using gender-neutral vocabulary, replacing terms such as fisherman and freshman with fisher and first-year student.
Lawmakers have passed a series of bills since 2007 to root out gender bias from Washington statutes, though a 1983 state mandate required that all laws be written in gender-neutral terms unless a specification of gender was intended.
This was a much larger effort than I had envisioned. Mankind means man and woman, said Democratic state Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle.
The new gender-neutral references, for example, include journey-level plumber instead of journeyman plumber, handwriting in place of penmanship, and signal operator for signalman.
Theres no good reason for keeping our legal terms anachronistic and with words that do not respect our current contemporary times, Kohl-Welles, the 475-page bills sponsor, told Reuters.
Several words, however, arent easy to replace, said Kyle Thiessen, the states code reviser, who heads up the 40-staff Washington Code Revisers Office agency.
The state likely wont change the words airmen and seaman, for example, because of objections by the states Washington Military Department, he said.
Civil engineering terms such as man hole and man lock, also will not be changed because no common-sense substitutes could easily be found, Thiessen said.
Nearly 3,500 Washington state code sections, out of a total of about 40,000 have been tediously scrubbed of gender bias, although most involve adding pronouns she and her to augment the existing he and his, Thiessen said.
The bill passed the Democrat-controlled state House 70-22 on April 9 and unanimously cleared the state Senate on Feb. 8 before being signed by Democratic Governor Jay Inslee.
Washington state is the nations fourth to boast of eliminating gender bias from its official lexicon, following in the footsteps of Florida, North Carolina and Illinois, Kohl-Welles said.
Other states that have passed gender-neutral constitutional mandates include California, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Utah, Kohl-Welles said. At least nine other states are currently considering gender-neutral legislation, she said.
Words matter, said Liz Watson, a National Womens Law Center senior adviser. This is important in changing hearts and minds.
Whoever controls the terms controls the debate.
Doesn’t the term “handwriting” discriminate against people without hands?
It's also Greek for "same".
-- a) From the Greek homos meaning same / the same, as in homosexuality (same-sex love), homogenous (uniform). (The opposite is hetero- from the Greek heteros meaning different from);
-- b) From the Latin homo, meaning human / human being (a member of the genus Homo), as in Homo sapiens, hominophobia, homicide.
That's why a lesbian is also a homosexual.
workcraft, brinkscraft, statecraft and craftcraft?
I’m guessing they won’t touch “manslaughter” because if they make it too generic people might think it includes fetuses.
Eastern Washington state is quite conservative. The west coast of the state is a la-la land filled with the enlighten elite.
It doesn’t get much dumber than this.
I actually heard an Army sergeant address a group of men, "Menses, we..."
I kid thee not.
Are they going to change “mailman” to “person person”?
While Rome burns...
At least the dipsticks (that’s polite-speak for different descriptive term) are still teaching cursive, by whatever name ... provided it is cursive, and not merely printing.
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