Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was widely mocked for suggesting at a town hall meeting that we should use the term peoplekind instead of mankind to be more inclusive. Many suggested that Trudeau would prefer that Neil Armstrong said ‘one giant leap for peoplekind’.
Due to the overwhelming backlash Trudeau claimed his peoplekind comment was only a joke. However a tweet from his most senior advisor Gerald Butts suggested it was a genuine attempt by Trudeau to create a new gender neutral term gone wrong.
— Gerald Butts 🇨🇦 (@gmbutts) February 8, 2018
One organization that does not joke is the United Nations (although many consider it a joke). The UN has a various divisions dedicated to social justice causes. One of those is UN Women who are its entity for for promoting
#genderequality & women’s empowerment.
In the aftermath of Trudeau’s joke UN Women decided to offer its contribution the to debate claiming that saying ‘humankind’ would help fight gender bias and encouraged people to avoid gender-specific nouns.
Want to fight gender bias? Avoid gender-specific nouns!
e.g.: Instead of saying “mankind”, you can say “humankind”🙌 pic.twitter.com/fm5X3OZxsx
— UN Women (@UN_Women) February 10, 2018
But of course ‘humankind’ still contains the world man so it is fair to say that Trudeau’s preference for ‘peoplekind is the better gender-neutral term.
To be fair UN Women does campaign against real oppression that women face worldwide such as child marriage and female genital mutilation. But by entering this ludicrous debate about gender neutral language in western nations, it entirely overshadows any good work it may do on real women’s issues.
The UN has form in picking on western nations for its supposed human rights violations while at the same time having nations such as Saudi Arabia on its Human Rights Council.
Worrying about English words having the word man in them would demonstrate that if that’s all feminists have to worry about in western nations then women are doing pretty well in those places and are free to have the life of their choosing.