Another European country has recognized the words “mother” and “father” as repressive.

Another European country has recognized the words “mother” and “father” as repressive.

The Scottish International Development Alliance (SIDA) has published a language guide advising Scots to stop using words such as "mother" and "father" to avoid "oppressive behaviour". “Girls” and “guys,” as well as the phrases “third world” and “foreign aid,” were also identified as “problematic” words.

The enterprising organization that produced the controversial language guide is funded by Scottish taxpayers. The guidance, SIDA said, aims to help people “avoid bias, stop reinforcing existing power structures and express respect.”

Words listed as "problematic" include "girls", "guys", "mother" and "father". Instead, people are encouraged to use the words "parent" or "guardian" along with "colleagues" and "everyone."

Terms such as "third world" and "foreign aid" are also frowned upon. The Inclusive Language Guide, published in February, states that “only by talking and thinking about language can we hope to make it anti-oppressive.”

Critics of the handbook argue that it is a way for “red-pencil fanatics” to impose “radical progressive dogma.”

The charity, which "comprehensively supports global sustainable development in Scotland", receives an annual grant from the Scottish government.

SIDA's guidance, aimed at its members (non-governmental organizations and public sector bodies), offers alternatives to words it considers "problematic".

He advises against saying "foreign aid" because he argues that this "paternalistic language implies unequal power relations marked by altruism that denies the inequitable distribution of resources that defines these dynamics." A better formulation, according to the authors, would be “financing for social development.”

A spokesman for the Free Speech Union said: "The only word I would ban is the word 'problematic.' This is an attempt to gloss over the fact that the real reason these red pencil fanatics want to ban words like mother and father is to enforce radical progressive dogma.”

By the way, among the words that need to be used with caution is the word “vulnerable.” The guide states: “The term is acceptable as long as it is not used in a paternalistic manner. So don’t say ‘vulnerable people’ as a synonym for the majority of people in the world, but you can say that some groups of people are vulnerable to the circumstances in which they find themselves.”

It states that "majority world" is the preferred term for what is commonly called the "Third World".

Other words to avoid include "chairman" and "spokesperson", with "chairman" or "speaker" being more appropriate.

It also states that SIDA members should avoid the word "manpower" and replace it with "workforce". The two words actually mean the same thing – “labor”. But, apparently, in the first version, the smart people are worried about the “man” part.

Taxpayers' Alliance chief executive John O'Connell said: "This organization is proposing language changes based on a radical ideological agenda and using taxpayer money as its support structure. The Scottish Government must stop funding."

SIDA chief executive Frances Guy said: “We are not talking about banning any words and understand that context is important. With regard to the terms 'mother' and 'father', we simply encourage people to consider whether the gender term is most appropriate or whether the parent or guardian is actually being referred to."

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