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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was called out online for using gender-specific pronouns in her Twitter bio a day after she announced new rules for the chamber eliminating them.
The rules for the incoming 117th Congress, unveiled on Friday, contain a proposal to replace gender-specific language referring to House members and their family with gender-neutral terms.
Pelosi, along with the chairman of the House Rules Committee, Rep. James McGovern of Massachusetts, announced that the chamber’s rules will “honor all gender identities” through modification of pronouns and references to familial relations in the rules, the panel announced.
The proposed change alters “pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral or removes references to gender, as appropriate, to ensure we are inclusive of all Members, Delegates, Resident Commissioners and their families – including those who are nonbinary,” McGovern’s announcement noted.
Changes include “seamen” to “seafarers,” “chairman” to “chair” and “submit his or her resignation” to resigns.
Meanwhile, references to mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, and all in-laws are to be changed to “parent, child, sibling, spouse, or parent-in-law” rather than uncle, aunt, stepparents, siblings-in-law, and the like.
“Thanks to the leadership of Chairman McGovern and our Members, Democrats have crafted a package of unprecedented, bold reforms, which will make the House more accountable, transparent and effective in our work to meet the needs of the American people,” said Pelosi in a statement Friday.
The new rules package will be put up for a vote when the new Congress meets. It also includes some changes to ethics, accountability, and inclusion, the Rules Committee noted.
Twitter user Catturd called out Pelosi a day after the new rules proposal was announced for using gender-specific terms — “mother,” “grandmother” — in her Twitter bio.
Why is Nancy Pelosi breaking her own new rules on her twitter bio? pic.twitter.com/wKuF3KnwaT
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) January 2, 2021
Others joined in calling Pelosi out.
Members of Congress also blasted the gender proposal, with some characterizing it as inconsequential compared to much more important work lawmakers should be focusing on.
“Instead of reviving the economy, restoring our Constitutional freedoms and delivering results for the American people, Speaker Pelosi has chosen her debut legislation — which would ban words like mother, sister and daughter,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), told the New York Post Saturday.
“Obviously she is triggered by the historic number of GOP women elected to Congress who will fire Nancy Pelosi once and for all in 2022,” she added.
New York GOP Rep.-elect Nicole Malliotakis also criticized the rule change.
“There are millions of Americans suffering, our economy is hurting, vaccine distribution is lagging and Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats are worried about this nonsense,” she said, according to The Post. “Here’s a gender neutral word to describe this legislation: ridiculous.”
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), who is in a race with Democratic rival Raphael Warnock ahead of Tuesday’s run-off election, also mocked the proposal.
“The far-left’s priorities, everyone. If you’d like to still be able to call yourself a father, daughter, mother or son, vote for me and @Perduesenate on Tuesday,” she tweeted Saturday. “Sincerely, A Proud Daughter.”
The far-left’s priorities, everyone!
If you’d like to still be able to call yourself a father, daughter, mother or son, vote for me and @Perduesenate on Tuesday.
A Proud Daughter https://t.co/HtqXFkgrYQ
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) January 2, 2021
McGovern, meanwhile, wrote in a tweet that he is “proud to start the 117th Congress by drafting these historic rules changes,” describing them as “the most inclusive in our nation’s history.”
1/ I’m proud to start the 117th Congress by drafting these historic rules changes that further @HouseDemocrats commitment to accountability, transparency, and ethics; embrace technology; and help make this House of Representatives the most inclusive in our nation’s history. https://t.co/Y22s5uZXPi
— Rep. Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) January 1, 2021
When Congress returns, Democrats will have a slight majority, making it more likely that the new proposal will be adopted.
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