Australian airline Qantas has reportedly advised employees not to “manterrupt” women or use gender-specific pronouns.
According to the Evening Standard, “Qantas airline staff are said to have received an information pack as part of its ‘Spirit of Inclusion’ month detailing a list of potentially offensive terms.”
“Offensive terms” allegedly included gender-specific words such as “mum,” “dad,” “husband,” and “wife,” as well as words such as “love, honey, and darling,” while employees were instructed to “minimise manterruptions,” which was defined as when men “interrupt or speak over women.”
“Language can make groups of people invisible. For example, the use of the term chairman can reinforce the idea that leaders are always men,” the information pack reportedly stated.
In another section, the arrival of the British in Australia was reportedly described as an “invasion.”
“Describing the arrival of the Europeans as a ‘settlement’ is a view of Australian history from the perspective of England rather than Australia,” the information pack declared.
The news was both mocked and criticized by users on Twitter, with one user asking, “Hey will #Qantas now have to rename the cockpit?”
Others blamed the Diversity Council of Australia, who was reportedly behind the change, while some announced their intentions to boycott the airline.
Who or what are the Diversity Council of Australia??? Telling us to remove words like "guys" and "mankind" and "husband" from the workplace in order to build inclusion. And Qantas agrees!!!
— Alan Jones (@AlanJones) March 6, 2018
You can't make this stuff up. Qantas has issued a @DivCouncilAus-designed HR document to staff, recommending they don't use words like "chairman" or "guys", but they won't be renaming their "Chairman's Lounge" https://t.co/abAze1Gq98
— Rachel Baxendale (@rachelbaxendale) March 6, 2018
Left-wing musician and actress Cher, however, appeared to congratulate the change, posting simply, “Thanks Qantas.”
— Cher (@cher) March 5, 2018
Tony Abbott, the former Australian prime minister, accused Qantas of engaging in “political correctness gone way over the top.”
“Frankly, if companies like Qantas want to give their customers a better a deal, they can scrap all these inclusion units, just scrap them and save the money, because it’s just rubbish this idea that we need a corporate thought police,” he expressed. “I mean really and truly, it is a complete and absolute utter waste of money. Qantas staff are very good people, they are decent, sensitive people, and they don’t need this kind of nonsense. It is an insult to them… This is the very weird and strange times in which we live.”
Update — Qantas contacted Breitbart News with the following statement:
· We never issued a booklet to staff to tell them how to/how not to speak to customers on board.
· We DID put some collateral on our corporate intranet about inclusive language in the workplace as part of a focus on inclusion during the month of March.
· These were not rules or a change of policy or procedures. It was simply some material to start an internal discussion about how language choice can impact how inclusive (or not) a workplace is. The material was developed by the Diversity Council of Australia and their content is used by a lot of workplaces, but it is certainly not designed to be customer-facing.
· Unfortunately, this has been misreported by a couple of outlets and since picked up by other media including the Evening Standard. We’re providing this same advice to those other outlets.