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New guidelines published on inappropriate language

The Western Plains Diversity Council has issued advice on words and phrases that should not be used when talking to or about women in politics. As a rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t use it to describe female politicians, don’t use it to describe male politicians either.

Girls Referring to female politicians as ‘girls’ is sexist and inappropriate because the word should only be used to belittle and disparage male footballers.

Aggressive, domineering These words are often used by men to describe female leaders. They can be used about men who lead too, but usually only in a caring, supportive sort of way.

First names Addressing women in politics by their first names is so far entrenched that people seem blind to its use. Look out for it.

Double standard Uptown University linguist Deborah Stoner-Sloth has identified what she calls ‘The Hillary Factor’ — a sexist double standard where women who have aspirations to lead are criticised by their opponents for being too aggressive and domineering.  But when Hillary says Mr Trump is temperamentally unfit to hold office because he is too aggressive and domineering, she is not using a double standard, she is being caring and supportive (see above).

Ballocks This is perfectly acceptable.


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