A town has divided opinions this week after proposing a ban on formal titles such as "Mr" and "Mrs."
Here's the full story...
Now, this hasn't come as too much of a shock to some because, these days, more and more people are identifying as "non-binary."
Historically, people - transgender people included - are either male or female.
But recently, some are insisting that they don't quite fit into the categories of "man" or "woman," or “male" or “female," and thus identify as "non-binary."
But what exactly does the term "non-binary" mean?
Well, "non-binary" is the term used by people who don't identify as male nor female.
Just to break it down for you...
The idea that there are only 2 genders is sometimes called a “gender binary," because binary means “having 2 parts." Therefore, people use “non-binary" to describe genders that don't fall into one of these 2 categories, male or female.
And that isn't all.
via: ShutterstockOn top of people identifying as "non-binary," some people have been claiming that "male" or "female" are not the only genders out there.
Despite our physical anatomy...
via: ShutterstockThey believe that there are over a hundred genders in which a person can identify.
The British broadcaster, BBC, came under fire for promoting such an "absurd" theory...
In 2019, the BBC told teachers who work with children aged between 9 and twelve that there are “100, if not more" gender identities.
While some praised their efforts of being inclusive...
I’d like to see the @bbc name 100 genders and explain them.— Dull man of GB (@DullManofGB) January 26, 2021
Others were outraged by the concept and insisted that the claim of a hundred genders was actually disrespectful to trans people, and therefore, not inclusive.
Many are still set in the belief that there are only 2 genders.
Stephanie Davies-Arai, the founder of Transgender Trend, which represents parents concerned about the surge in the diagnosis of children as transgender, said:
“This is made-up nonsense. People are free to identify as anything they like, but this does not change the reality that there are only 2 sexes."
No matter what people believe, there's no doubt that there's an increasing fluidity when it comes to some people's gender identity...
Causing many customs and traditions to now be classed as offensive or simply outdated.
The way some view gender is changing.
And now, many of our most traditional customs, greetings, and titles, are slowly getting phased out.
And it's all about aiming to be inclusive to those who identify as "non-binary," or one of the "100 genders."
For example - it was announced in November 2019 that audiences attending theatre performances in the U.K. will no longer hear the greeting, "ladies and gentlemen" under gender-neutral guidelines from the actors' union, Equity.
The advice was aimed at people and venues working with LGBTQ+ performers.
Campaigners for LGBTQ+ rights said that phrases such as "ladies and gentlemen" exclude people who do not identify as male or female, but rather as non-binary, or as a gender outside the 2 traditional sexes.
The phrase has been gradually "phased out"...
With the Royal Shakespeare Company saying that it will "strive to create environments which welcome and support trans people and people who identify their gender as fluid."
And now, over a year on from that announcement...
A small town has followed suit by proposing a full ban on the the titles, "Mr" and "Mrs," and the pronouns, "he" and "she."
The council for Bournemouth, over in the United Kingdom, has called for these "outdated" terms to be banned in all formal letters.
It has also suggested terms such as "madam" and "chairman" to be scrapped too, and to address all of its 395,000 residents using the same pronouns.
The new rules would apply in council meetings and could be extended to all official council communications...
With people been addressed as "Mx" rather than "Mr," "Mrs," "Ms", or "Miss."
Gendered pronouns aren't safe, either.
Instead of people being referred to as "he" or "she" or "Mr" or "Madam Chairman," they will be called "they" and "chair" in the future.
The move is being led by Independent councillor, L.J Evans, who said that using masculine or feminine terms was "unnecessary."
She also added that removing he/she pronouns would also prevent unconscious bias and stop people using "reinforced historic gender stereotypes."
Evans has asked that the council should "endeavor" to use gender-neutral terms in "all written and verbal communications" and where sex and gender "are not relevant."
"The use of masculine and feminine words to cover people, regardless of gender or sex, is unnecessary, inaccurate, and tends to reinforce historic gender stereotypes. Gender-neutral writing is about clarity, inclusion, equality and would help to prevent unconscious bias."
The motion is due to be considered next week at a council meeting.
What do you think on the proposal? Is it a good way to be inclusive? Or is it simply taking things too far?