The United Nations has recently published a post on its Twitter account promoting the use of gender-neutral words as opposed to gender-colored ones, such as boyfriend, and girlfriend, or husband, and wife. The UN also doesn’t like names of professions that contain the word “man”, such as fireman or businessman.
“What you say matters. 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 UN post said.
What you say matters.
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. https://t.co/QQRFPY4VRn #GenerationEquality via@UN_Women pic.twitter.com/koxoAZZuxq
— United Nations (@UN) May 18, 2020
The post was followed by a table with appropriate equivalents to gender-colored words. For example, according to the UN, the word “humanity”, which in English is “mankind”, should be replaced by “humankind” with the same meaning. The word “mankind” consists of the words “man” and “kind”, giving some people the impression that it means all humanity without women.
Analogously to that, neither terms “boyfriend“ or “girlfriend” should be used, but instead a neutral “partner”. Similarly, the UN recommends replacing the terms for husband and wife with neutral “spouse”.
The UN is also bothered by words denoting certain professions. For example, firemen, policemen, businessmen, or chairmen are to be renamed according to the UN as firefighters, police officers, representatives, or chairs.