Gender neutral language ‘preposterous’

OPINION: If there were to be a catchphrase to sum up the current era, it would have to be: "I'm offended."

It seems you can barely utter a sentence nowadays without enraging someone. And it's simply madness.

This week it was revealed that Australian Defence Force personnel were being told to stop using terms that could offend the LGBTI community - oh, sorry, it's the LGBTIQIA community isn't it? We'd hate to offend anyone by leaving them out.

You'd be forgiven for sympathising with the PC brigade in the military for trying to clean up its act with regard to discriminatory behaviour.


But the language guide they distributed to officers in training tells soldiers not to use terms like "him" or "her" and says refusing to cease doing so would be considered bullying.

Soldiers are instructed to use gender-neutral language when referring to relationships or gender identities.

The suggestion is preposterous.

At least one former commanding officer in Townsville is calling it how it is.

Lieutenant Colonel John Salter (Retd) MC today reminds readers that military personnel have a serious job to do and shouldn't be spending their time worrying about using basic English for fear of insulting a minority.


While we're not endorsing anyone swearing or hurling insults in the military, we also have to recognise that the environments in which these soldiers can find themselves are hardly conventional.

If the document were only aiming to legitimately foster a culture of respect, it might have been palatable, but it doesn't.

It takes mollycoddling to a whole new and disturbing level.

Protecting a minority from being offended shouldn't come at the cost of belittling the majority.

If you're offended by "him" or "her", you need to take a long, hard look at yourself.

And Defence needs to scratch this guide and take a reality check.