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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is attempting to excise all references to either sex in House business to “honor all gender identities” and “promote inclusion and diversity.” On Monday, the House of Representatives is set to vote on a Rules Package for the 117th Congress, which Pelosi and Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern promise will be “the most inclusive in history.”

Congress is following in the illustrious example of companies like Twitter and educational institutions such as the University of Michigan in removing language that recognizes the two sexes from their work product and interpersonal communications.

This would mean replacing any instance of “he or she” with the grammatically incorrect colloquialism of “they” as a singular, or the unnecessarily long “such Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner.” Further, “himself” or “herself” becomes “themself,” a word not recognized by several dictionaries, and acknowledged by the New Oxford Dictionary as “not widely accepted in standard English.”

Words such as “mother” and “father” would be replaced with “parent,” “aunt” and “uncle” with the awkward “parent’s sibling,” and “grandmother” and “grandfather” becomes “grandparent.” I wonder if Pelosi will bring her commitment to language policing to Twitter and remove “mother, grandmother” from her bio.

The insanity spread to the opening prayer, where Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver ended the opening prayer with “Amen and A-women.” Amen does not refer to males at all. It is a word from biblical Hebrew meaning “so be it.” It appears Cleaver,  in the middle of praying to a pantheistic or syncretistic god, didn’t have the cultural literacy to have ever understood the meaning of this basic word from context.

Democrats haven’t said whether references to “congressmen” and “congresswomen” will similarly be removed, nor if Pelosi will continue to be referred to as “Madam Speaker.”

The resolution deserves at least some credit for following its own ridiculous proposed rules, as any instance of singular personal pronoun use was replaced with “they” or “their,” shown under whistleblower protections.

The same bill promises to “give priority consideration to including in the plan a discussion of how the committee’s work will address issues of inequities on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, or national origin.” How can Congress be expected to legislate “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity,” as the new rules require, when they are not permitted to write in terms of sex?

These rules are not helping anyone, but are harming the specificity of language and the unique experiences and basic reality of the sexes in the name of inclusion.

Paulina Enck is an intern at the Federalist and current student at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service. Follow her on Twitter at @itspaulinaenck



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