Blinken's Banter: State Department's Memo Makes Wordplay A Gender Game Changer

By Jennifer Wentworth | Wednesday, 21 February 2024 08:30 PM
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In a recent communication to State Department personnel, Secretary of State Antony Blinken of the Biden administration advised against using certain terms deemed "problematic."

The memo, titled "Modeling DEIA: Gender Identity Best Practices," obtained by the National Review, highlighted the importance of avoiding terms like "manpower," "son/daughter," and "husband/wife" to prevent potential misgendering.

Blinken's memo suggested alternative phrases such as "labor force," "everyone," "folks," and "parent," "child," and "spouse" or "partner" to foster a more inclusive work environment. Emphasizing the significance of understanding gender identity, the memo defined it as "the innermost concept of self as masculine, feminine, a blend of both, or neither."

Furthermore, the guidance recommended refraining from gender-specific language when referring to military personnel, opting for gender-neutral terms like "brave soldiers" instead of "brave men and women on the front lines." It acknowledged that gender may not align with one's assigned sex at birth and underscored the importance of respecting individuals' chosen pronouns, including she/her, he/him, they/them, and ze/zir.


While encouraging sensitivity in addressing pronouns, the memo cautioned against pressuring individuals to disclose their pronouns and advised handling mistakes in misgendering with "subtlety and grace." A State Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the leaked document, as reported by the National Review.