‘Woke madness’ as ‘policemen’ and ‘chairman’ axed for gender neutral terms

Magistrates have been given new guidance for what words it should and shouldn’t use, with words like policeman and chairman being scrapped in favour of terms that are gender neutral.

Instead policemen will be replaced by police officers and chair will be used instead of chairman.

Additional guidance states that magistrates mustn’t say “disabled person” but rather “person with a disability”.

The phrase “committed suicide” or “taken their own life” is also out, with “died by suicide” now considered the appropriate phrase.

The Magistrates Association style guide now advises its staff to avoid gender specific phrases, in the latest move to police everyday language.

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Magistrates have also been told to avoid umbrella terms about race, such as “black, Asian or minority ethnic groups”, which can be “unintentionally divisive”.

Chief executive of the association, Tom Franklin, says he wants the guide to “be part of everyone’s working day”.

However, Tory MP Nigel Mills told The Sun: “This is just going too far now. Policemen have been policemen since time began.

“With a backlog of cases surely magistrates need to focus on punishing criminals rather than worrying about upsetting people with the wrong words. It’s woke madness.”

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One magistrate told the publication: “We’ve got bigger things to be worrying about in the courts system. The pressure with the number of cases is huge.”

The Magistrates’ Association said: “We strive to use inclusive terms and phrases to avoid anyone feeling excluded from our events, activities and organisation.”

This isn’t the first time in recent weeks that the language used by institutions has been put under scrutiny.

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Head of the army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, in a plan to make regiments more inclusive, is set to move away from centuries of history by ditching the titles.

Gender-neutral ranks may replace the world-famous Guards regiment, and even General Sir Patrick’s own regiment, the Rifles.

The move comes off the back of female soldiers telling the General that the masculine titles are exclusionary.

However, some women, serving in previously male-only regiments, are leading the backlash against the plan.

One female corporal in the Rifles blasted the 57-year-old General during a gathering of women soldiers: “Don’t you dare take my rank of Rifleman, I’m proud of it.”

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