No more ‘he’ and ‘she’: New rules for the U.S. House go gender neutral

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He, she, father and mother — such terms may no longer be welcome in the upcoming 117th Congress if new changes to House rules are approved.

The U.S. House Committee on Rules provides for a new Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth which “will address issues of inequities on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, or national origin,” according to an advisory issued Friday.

The office will also “honor all gender identities by changing pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral,” the advisory said.

The House resolution is clear about what specific designations and pronouns are not welcome. The naval term “seamen,” for example, will be replaced by “seafarers.” In addition, “chairman” becomes “chair” in the new directive.

“In clause 8(c)(3) of rule XXIII, strike ‘father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, 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, or granddaughter’ and insert ‘parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, first cousin, sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepsibling, half-sibling, or grandchild’,” the resolution stated.

Other language replacement directives also do away with the phrase “submit his or her resignation” and replace it with “resign.” The phrase “he or she holds” is to be replaced by “such Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner holds” — while ‘himself or herself” is to be replaced by “themself.”

These measures, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rules Committee chairman James P. McGovern will make the House of Representatives “the most inclusive in history.”

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