Minister Draws Ridicule By Suggesting Removal of ‘Man’ From Everyday Words

Fine Gael - Josepha Madigan - Twitter

A government minister says the use of words like ‘chairman‘, ‘spokesman‘ and ‘fireman‘ could be creating an unconscious bias.

Josepha Madigan has suggested changing gendered titles.

The minister of state for inclusion is encouraging people to become more aware of the words they use in everyday conversation

I want to ensure that young girls when they’re growing up, that they don’t rule themselves out of certain positions just because they see a taxman, or a weatherman or a fireman.”

The minister wants people to understand how these words may alienate females.

Where there is unconscious bias created, then I think we need to interrogate those words. Many of these words that we use on a daily basis were thought of or designed or created decades and even centuries ago, so looking at the constitution, we often have to look at the role that our language plays everyday, which is used to describe men and women in modern Ireland.”

The minister’s call for a review of gendered titles would also include the Kerryman newspaper. Independent TD for Kerry, Michael Healy Rae finds it a bit strange:

I’ve never once in my life heard of a lady come in and say ‘this is an awful heading, The Kerryman newspaper. This is political correctness gone mad. And I think that government ministers at the minute, be they senior or junior, have better things to be worried about.

I think the next thing we’ll have to change will be that the title of Ceann Comhairle in the Dáil will have to change, the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad will have to change and the ‘manhole’ in the ground by the local authority will have to be called a ‘personhole’. It is absolute balderdash of the worst type.”