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18 May, 2020 19:26

So, your Landlord is now your… Owner? UN-backed list of ‘gender-neutral’ terms met with brutal mockery

So, your Landlord is now your… Owner? UN-backed list of ‘gender-neutral’ terms met with brutal mockery

The UN has rolled out a shortlist of gender-neutral terms that should be utilized when you’re unsure of a person’s gender. The exercise in language-policing, however, seems to have seriously flopped, after it got shredded online.

The list was posted online on Monday by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality, also known as ‘UN Women,’ and contains a handful of examples of words that should be used to try not to offend someone through misgendering him/her/them.

“Help create a more equal world by using gender-neutral language if you’re unsure about someone’s gender or are referring to a group,” the agency urged. Its shortlist promptly went viral – but probably not in the way the UN entity expected.

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Many social media users were particularly baffled by the suggestion of calling a landlord an "owner." Misgendering aside, using such a term would make some conversations both awkward and confusing.

Others pointed out that the "family name" and "maiden name" are actually two different things which simply cannot be mutually substituted.

Many Twitter commenters accused the UN of trying to police language, condemning the gender-neutral list as coming straight from some Orwellian alternative reality.

Some pointed out that while the UN tried – and apparently failed – with this exercise in English, in many other languages virtually all the words are gender specific and staying "gender-neutral" in these languages is virtually impossible.

A lot of users have apparently missed the "if you're unsure about someone's gender" part, believing that the UN was forcing them to use the terms all the time, and raging over that.

A handful, however, delved way too deep into the matter, suggesting unconventional solutions to the issue.

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