Radio host slams proposed new term for 'pregnant women'

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·2-min read

Melbourne radio host Tom Elliott lambasted "politically correct idiocy" he says is filtering into Australia from the UK.

Elliot accused the UK of trying to "de-genderise the English language", labelling it "very strange stuff".

He referenced the decision of hospitals in England's south to refer to breastfeeding as chest feeding for inclusiveness.

The move was followed by a similar decision by the Australian National University.

"ANU is committed to equity and diversity and ensuring we reflect the broad nature, background and experiences of Australians and our society, as well as a being a safe and welcoming campus for all people," a university spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia last week.

Elliott was angered by comments made by Harriet Shing, Victoria's first openly gay female MP, who called for more inclusive language in Australia, including the removal of gender when referring to someone who is pregnant – a move that has been put forward in the UK parliament.

Support for  using gender-neutral terms for pregnant people is gaining momentum in Australia. Source: Getty, file.
Support for using gender-neutral terms for pregnant people is gaining momentum in Australia. Source: Getty, file.

Proposal to drop the terms 'mother' and 'father'

The Australian National University’s Gender Institute guide includes similar advice, advising the use of the terms gestational or birthing parent rather than mother, and the terms non-gestational or non-birthing parent rather than father.

“This is madness in the UK and they’re pursuing this politically correct idiocy with great fervour over there [and] it is spreading here," Elliott said on 3AW.

On Thursday, the use of the term person over mother in legislation allowing cabinet ministers maternity leave was rejected.

"This amendment means the law will no longer protect trans and non-binary individuals as it should," transgender charity Mermaid said in response.

"This is yet another example of an insidious campaign that follows a pattern of taking a minority group and portraying them as a threat to women, but providing no evidence."

Elliott's remarks come as toy giant Hasbro announced it would be dropping the honourifics from Mr and Mrs Potato Head.

There is a global push for the use of gender neutral language, with French MPs looking to block the use of such terms as they are said to be too confusing and would endanger the French language.

Author Anthony Peregrine said in an opinion piece for The Telegraph gender neutral terms would turn French into "gobbledegook".

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