"Political Correctness Gone Mad' Says Former Royal Navy Head On Gender Neutral Ships

24 April 2019, 14:04 | Updated: 24 April 2019, 14:24

Admiral Lord West was the head of the Royal Navy between 2002 - 2006.
Admiral Lord West was the head of the Royal Navy between 2002 - 2006. Picture: PA

"Political correctness gone mad" is how the former head of the Royal Navy referred to the de-gendering of ships by a maritime museum.

Admiral Lord Alan West warned that it's “very dangerous road we are going down” if traditions are changed because of “tiny pressure groups.”

The Scottish Maritime Museum announced in a Facebook post that they are bringing in signs referring to ships in gender-neutral terms after vandals scratched out ‘she’ and ‘her’.

"We can’t afford to replace all signs but new signs are gender neutral. Get in touch, we would love to discuss it," the Facebook post said.

Lord West, phoned the BBC's Today show to point out that boats have been referred to as 'she' for centuries. The former head of the Royal Navy said "it is an insult to a generation of sailors," he said a ship is like a mother, "they preserve us from the dangers of the sea."

Museum Director David Mann said the museum, was forced into the move by vandals.

Mr Mann said it is the second time this year vandals have targeted the “very expensive” signs.

He said they are now looking to phase in the use of new gender-neutral signs adding that they "recognise the changes in society."

A spokesperson for the Royal Navy has insisted the tradition will not be changed for military ships: “The Royal Navy has a long tradition of referring to its ships as ‘she’ and will continue to do so.”

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