Senate debates

Thursday, 16 August 2018


Free Speech

12:35 pm

Photo of Janet RiceJanet Rice (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

The Greens oppose this motion. Expanding the use of some simple words and making efforts to improve inclusive language practices in government and business does not pose a threat to Senator O'Sullivan or anyone else for that matter. None of the examples that Senator O'Sullivan has presented restrict the personal freedoms of any Australian. Gender-inclusive pronouns and gender-neutral language demonstrate our commitment to equality and respect for all Australians, regardless of sex and gender. Language evolves. It always has and it always will. Not long ago, the use of sexist language such as the use of the word 'mankind' was widespread, and that is changing. The ease with which my younger friends use the pronoun 'they' to refer to a person regardless of their gender shows me that it's only a matter of time before gender-inclusive language becomes the norm also.


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