New Washington State Law Bans Words ‘Penmanship,’ ‘Freshman,’ ‘Fisherman’ as Sexist

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Political correctness is alive and well in the state of Washington. Governor Jay Inslee recently signed legislation requiring the state to rewrite it laws using gender-neutral vocabulary – replacing terms such as “fisherman” and “freshman” with “fisher” and “first-year student.” Seriously. From Reuters:

Washington lawmakers have passed a series of bills since 2007 to eliminate gender bias in the state’s statutes, and a 1983 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. (Okay, I’m already confused; shouldn’t that be “personkind” now?)

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.”

“There’s 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 bill’s sponsor, told Reuters. (“Anachronistic”, as in the left’s view of the U.S. Constitution?)

Several words, however, aren’t easy to replace, said Kyle Thiessen, the state’s code reviser, who heads up the 40-staff Washington Code Reviser’s Office agency.

The state likely won’t change the words “airmen” and “seaman,” for example, because of objections by the state’s 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. (Since when has common sense ever stood in the way of political correctness?)

“Words matter,” said Liz Watson, a National Women’s Law Center senior adviser. “This is important in changing hearts and minds.” (Really, Liz? Changing “journeyman plumber” to “journey-level plumber” is going to change whose hearts and minds how, exactly?)  Continue reading…

So the never-ending quest to purge from our vocabulary anything and everything that can remotely be considered racist, sexist or mildly offensive by the left continues.

The residential real estate industry is even jumping on the PC bandwagon: the term “master bedroom” is being phased out, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

In its place, builders are beginning to use the term “owner’s suite” or “owner’s bedroom” to describe the largest bedroom in a home. A survey found that six out of 10 major Washington, D.C.-area home builders are making the change on their floor plans.

The reason? “Master” is seen by some as offensive on two fronts: gender, where it apparently sounds masculine, and, race, where it supposedly conjures images of a slave-master. Not to be picky, but I’d think that those who find “master” to be racist would find “owner” offensive as well.

Considering the multitude of problems facing America these days, this all seems to be much ado about nothing. Or is it?

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