Varied ‘gender deduction’ law pass in New York
Minara Helen Eti: Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation Thursday replacing the word “salesman” with “salesperson” — the latest in a series of moves by Albany toward gender-neutral and other woke language.
“Jobs have no gender, but unfortunately, many of our state’s laws still use gendered language when discussing professions that are practiced by people of all genders,” state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-Nassau) said of the bill she sponsored with Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell (D-Manhattan).
In addition to replacing the word “salesman,” which a summary of the measure deems “antiquated,” the new law replaces instances of “his” or “her” with “their” in relevant statutes affecting the real estate industry.
“We want our workplaces to reflect the diversity of New York, and the best way to achieve that goal is by making sure all realtors feel that they belong and the profession is accessible,” O’Donnell said in a statement.
Thursday’s bill signing is the latest example of New York state government’s nomenclature kick.
Another bill – sponsored by state Sen. Samra Brouk (D-Rochester) and Carrie Woerner (D-Saratoga) — approved by Hochul Wednesday removes gendered references to office-holders in local legislative bodies — like “councilman” — in favor of words like “council member.”
Other new laws scrap the use of the terms “mentally retarded” and “inmate” in favor of “developmentally disabled” and “incarcerated person.”
“There is no place for the ‘R’ word in our vocabulary and certainly not in our laws,” state Sen. Roxanne Persaud said in a statement celebrating enactment of the former law. Not everyone has been on board with the changes.
“Welcome to Democrat-controlled New York … Where the ‘incarcerated individuals’ are running the asylum,” Michael Fraser, a spokesman for Republican Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay, quipped earlier this month.
Thursday’s law, which overwhelmingly passed the Assembly and state Senate, was less controversial. “I’m fine with this,” tweeted upstate radio host Doug Goudie before adding: “‘Inmate’ being changed to ‘incarcerated individual’ however is still ludicrous.”