Gender Binary

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), “a woman” has promised the 117th Congress will be “the most inclusive in history.” Thanks to her subversive colleague, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D., Mo.), “a man”, she’s off to a rocky start.

Cleaver, an ordained Christian minister (ugh), delivered the opening prayer to the House of Representatives claiming without evidence that God “created the world and everything in it” and urging this “monotheistic God” to deliver “peace across this land” as if America is the only country that matters.

Cleaver’s brazen attempt to “derail” Pelosi’s genderless agenda is an inauspicious sign for Democrats in 2021. Leave it to Cleaver, whose insulting “theocratic diatribe” proved once again that Democrats will never not be in a state of disarray.

If that wasn’t problematic enough, Cleaver concluded by embracing a binary view of “gender” that is anything but inclusive. Cleaver’s unusual signoff “Amen and awoman” was a direct shot at Pelosi’s recent proposal to “honor all gender identities” by mandating the use of “gender-neutral” terminology in congressional texts.

Pelosi officially introduced “gender-neutral” language into a new “code of conduct” ahead of the 117th Congress, changing the rules of address to promote diversity.

“It promotes inclusion and diversity. That includes changes that would: establish the Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth; require standing committees to include in their oversight plans a discussion of how committee work over the forthcoming Congress will address issues of inequities on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, or national origin; honor all gender identities by changing pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral; make permanent the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to facilitate a diverse workforce that is reflective of our Members and the districts they represent; and survey the diversity of witness panels at committee hearings to ensure we are hearing from diverse groups of experts as we craft legislation.”

If voted in, the new rules package would take the current binary address terms that refer to gender identities, personal pronouns, and familial terms, and encourage Congress to replace them with the appropriate gender-inclusive language instead.

The familial terms “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, grandson, and granddaughter” are to be replaced with gender-neutral terminology in the 117th Congress, according to the rule.

Instead, the terminology for these family relations are to be referred to as: “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, first cousin, sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, step-sibling, half-sibling, or grandchild.”

The proposal also includes the use of gender-neutral pronouns like “themselves” instead of “himself” or “herself.” This will extend to job titles as well. For example, the new text uses “He” or “she” would become “Member,” “Delegate” or “Resident Commissioner” “chair” instead of “chairmen” and “seafarer” instead of “seamen.”

And Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern quipped, “This proposal also shines a light on those struggling to get ahead in America today and ensures we remain focused on the most pressing issues facing our nation. I want to thank my colleagues, outside stakeholders, and all those who helped us develop these transformative ideas.”

 Republicans opposed the changes and some GOP lawmakers spoke out against them, deriding them as unnecessary. In a tweet, new Brooklyn and Staten Island Representative Nicole Malliotakis, who boasts a long record of anti-LGBTQ actions dating back to her time in the State Legislature, denounced the gender-neutral language.

“There are millions of Americans suffering, our economy is hurting, vaccine distribution is lagging and Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats are worried about this nonsense. Here’s a gender-neutral word to describe this legislation: ridiculous.”

Anti-LGBTQ Representative Nicole Malliotakis of Staten Island and Brooklyn thinks gender-neutral language is “ridiculous.”

As “lunatic” alcohol infused Pelosi opened debate for what would become the second impeachment of President Donald Trump, she identified herself using “gender-specific” language.

“I stand before you as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter. A daughter whose father proudly served in this Congress.”

In the days after the speech, widespread social media posts called Pelosi a “hypocrite”, falsely claiming that she had recently banned words like “wife” and “mother” from all House communications.

“Pelosi Only Makes It a Few Days Before Violating Her Own ‘Woke’ Rules,” read the caption of a Facebook video shared more than 10,000 times.

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