Speed Reading — Gender-neutral Language - Level 6 — 200 wpm

Next Activity:
Try the same text at a reading speed of 300 words per minute.

This is the text (if you need help).

Staff at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra have been requested to avoid the use of certain words related to gender. ANU's Gender Institute issued a list of replacement terms for everyday words like 'mother' and 'father'. The switch in vocabulary is part of an initiative to encourage more gender-neutral language. Staff are being asked to use the term 'gestational parent' instead of 'mother,' and 'non-birthing parent' in place of 'father'. The institute's gender handbook claims the words 'mother' and 'father' exclude non-binary people. These are people who identify as being neither male nor female. Non-binary people feel unrepresented in society because of words that refer to males and females.

The gender handbook explains the suggested nomenclature guidelines. It says: "While many students will identify as 'mothers' or 'fathers,' using these terms alone to describe parenthood excludes those who do not identify with gender-binaries." It added: "This non-gendered language is particularly important in...discussions of childbirth and parenthood." An ANU spokesperson said the handbook was just a guide. It said: "This document is not an official ANU policy....It is a guide developed by expert researchers to assist anyone committed to enhancing inclusiveness and diversity." Last week, a UK university asked its staff to substitute the word 'chestfeeding' for 'breastfeeding'.

Back to the gender-neutral language lesson.

More Activities