Gawain towler, with his numerous blogs and fancy Press position, is very well known in Eurocircles, and surely does not need an introduction.
He has been ordered (in European terms- asked politely…) to close the blinds on his England Expects blog and surrender quietly into the blogosphere’s night. From the grapevine, I understant that the wrath of the Parliament’s secretary general trickles back to a post on Mr. Towler’s blog on September 1st:
Dear ColleaguesThe Bureau of the European Parliament adopted on 19 May 2008 the language specific guidelines for gender neutral language as outlined in the report by the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity.
DocEP is already ensuring that gender-neutral language is employed in all translations. You are kindly invited to respect the proposed options (e.g.: Rapporteur instead of Drafts(wo)man).
The models of the RdM will be updated as soon as possible.
The report of the High-Level Group is annexed.
DG Internal Policies
LIST OF RECOMMENDED NAMES OF PROFESSIONS AND FUNCTIONSIt is generally not difficult to find a gender-neutral term for professions, occupations, functions, etc. in English, although there are some exceptions. The following is a non-binding list of recommendations, with alternatives where relevant.
Actor/actress (actor is now commonly used for both sexes; use actress if the person’s sex is relevant)
Ambassador (for both sexes)
Author (not authoress)
Business person / executive (plural: business people) (not businessman; alternatively and in plural contexts, use: business circles or business milieux)
Doctor/physician (for both sexes, including for ‘Ärztin’, etc; avoid lady/woman doctor; also applies in the sense of ‘Ph.D.’)
Firefighter (not fireman)
Flight attendant or (in plural) flight crew (not air hostess)
Head/head teacher (of primary or secondary school; not headmaster/headmistress)
Lawyer (for both genders)
Lay person (plural: lay people; not layman)
Lecturer (for both genders)
Manager (not manageress)
Mayor (not mayoress)
Midwife (for both sexes; there is no accepted alternative for male midwives)
Nurse (for both sexes; avoid male nurse)
Police officer (not policeman/policewoman unless the officer’s sex is relevant)
Sales representative (not salesman)
Speaker (for both sexes)
Teacher (for both sexes)
Translator (for both sexes, including for ‘traductrice’, ‘Übersetzerin’, etc)
Usher (not usherette)
Waiter/waitress (no gender-neutral term has been successfully proposed)
Weather reporter/forecaster (not weatherman)
Writer (for both sexes)Unless a person’s sex is relevant, do not precede professions, occupations or functions with ‘lady’, ‘woman’ or ‘female’.
We (Europeans), regardless of political affiliation, position or internal rules… stand behind Mr. Towler, as the outcome of this situation will set a paradigm to the way the Institutions treat bloggers.
Commissioner Wallstrom has set high standards when it comes to discussing the development of the European Public Sphere; and carries a very popular blog. I would very much like to know what her opinion is.
Should a political opinion be limited to those with political power?
We are aware Mr. Towler has broken 1 internal rule as he disseminated (onto the internet and with ironic tone) an email which was very carefully supplied to its readers on a need to know basis. Not more than 7,000 other people…
The politicians responsible should feel ashamed of themselves!
Gawain Towlers post:
Other Bloggers protesting the matter:
Filed under: Blogging, Eurotalk, Media Tagged: | bloggers rights, Blogging, england expects, EU, Europe, European Commission, European Parliament, European Union, gawain towler, Margot Wallstrom, Media pluralism