“Pregnant people” in parliament

8 in 10 people will get pregnant within 1 year having regular sex. Really doctor?
Equality Act 2010: Woman is not a dirty word

Is this what was intended by “gender neutral drafting”?

Since 2007 it has been government policy to use “gender neutral” language in legislation. As Jack Straw said, as Leader of the House, this was a move away from the previous situation where “male pronouns are used on their own in contexts where a reference to women and men is intended”.

“It may seem a small thing in one sense, but language is important. We have a society in which we believe men and women are equal, so why shouldn’t the law refer to us equally?”

Of course this policy was never meant to refer equally to men or women, where only one sex was meant. While gender-neutral language can be positive this does not mean erasing all language about the sexes. The CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women makes this clear.

Why do they want to legislate for “pregnant people?”

Perhaps this tortured and awkward language is simply the result of a junior drafter getting the wrong end of the stick about what “gender neutral” drafting requires and mechanically going about replacing the words “woman” and “she” with “a person”, even where it reduces clarity. In which case it might simply be fixed like a typo.

The world according to Global Butterflies
Spot the difference?

Sex matters: language is important

It shouldn’t be impossible to correct the over-enthusiastic gender neutralisation that replaced the word “woman” and the pronoun she with “A person” if someone would be brave enough.

“It may seem a small thing in one sense, but language is important.”




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Maya Forstater

Maya Forstater

This is mainly where I write about sex and gender