Bournemouth council to discuss replacing Mr and Mrs with Mx

19 March 2021, 12:59 | Updated: 19 March 2021, 16:49

Bournemouth council will discuss using gender-neutral language across its reports and formal communications
Bournemouth council will discuss using gender-neutral language across its reports and formal communications. Picture: Google

By Patrick Grafton-Green

A council will discuss replacing Mr and Mrs with ‘Mx’ and he and she with ‘they’ in all its written and verbal communications.

The motion “to use gender-neutral language across the council’s reports and formal communications” will be discussed next week, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council confirmed.

Under the proposal, people would be addressed as 'Mx" instead of Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms.

Instead of being referred to as he or she, people would be called 'they’, while instead of Mr or Madam Chairman, ‘Chair’ would be used.

The motion has been proposed by independent councillor L-J Evans and seconded by Labour member Lisa Lewis.

The aim is to prevent unconscious bias and stop people using ‘reinforced historic gender stereotypes’.

"It is not political correctness gone mad," Ms Evans said at a previous council meeting.

"Words matter. Language reflects and influences attitudes, behaviours and perceptions."

She said use of gender neutral language is a way to avoid "one sex and gender" becoming "the norm".

It is about "clarity, inclusion and equality", she said.

A council spokesperson said: "The motion proposed to use gender-neutral language across the council’s reports and formal communications, has been bought forward by an elected member and will be discussed at Council on Tuesday 23 March.

“At this stage the motion has not been approved."

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