Using the term ‘girls’ or ‘ladies’ is considered gender discrimination at one UK school, which is now encouraging students to use ‘gender-neutral’ language.
These changes are being made at Headington School in Oxfordshire, which is one of the UK’s top girls’ schools.
Its headmistress, Caroline Jordan – who is also president of the Girls’ Schools Association – told The Sunday Times that the school’s girls should refer to one another as ‘pupils’ or ‘students’.
“I feel that every year there are more young people posing questions around their gender identity. I do not want anyone to think that girls' or boys' schools are invested in one way of being a girl or one way of being a boy,” she said.
“My view is that where you can use gender-neutral language about people that is a good thing.”
According to reports, it was Gendered Intelligence board of directors chairman and co-founder, Jay Stewart, who told GSA to start using gender-neural language.
Stewart has donned the phrase ‘young ladies’ as sexist and transphobic.
The bizarre move comes after parents were told to help their four-year-olds choose a gender before they started school.
Despite making headlines, Headington School is not the first school to do this.
Egalia pre-school and Nicolaigården, both located in Stockholm, Sweden, adopted this policy years ago, rejecting gender-based pronouns with the hope of grooming children to think of one another on equal terms.
Careful not to exclude any groups within its communities, most of the children's books include homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children.
To help avoid gender bias, the school’s 33 students are encouraged to avoid using the words 'he' and 'she' when referring to one another. Instead, children are encouraged to call one another by their first name, or use ‘they’.