Queensland MP Robbie Katter has proposed legal protection for people who refuse to use gender-neutral language, saying that they are being discriminated against and could even be prosecuted in the future.
Appearing on 2UE talkback radio, the Katter’s Australian Party member claimed that in settings such as universities, gendered words such as ‘he’ and ‘she’ have been banned.
Katter referred to gender-neutral language such as ‘they’ as “the terms of gender fluidity”.
“Don’t force everyone,” he said.
“We should be allowed to say his or her if we want and not be punished for it.
“It’s really just trying to put the brakes on some of this political correctness gone mad.”
Multiple Australian universities last week rejected claims that gendered words had been banned, saying they had only issued guidelines to students encouraging gender-neutral language, such as police officer instead of policeman, and use of the singular they.
Katter’s ‘He Said She Said’ bill would protect people from hypothetical repercussions from using gendered terms.
“It’s having a bit of tolerance both ways that some people prefer to use those traditional terms that we’re used to and comfortable with, and don’t like being forced to use language that is different and not that practical,” said Katter.
He said that changes around other gender-related issues should not follow marriage equality.
“That’s not a blank cheque to say everything that’s got anything to do with that sort of issue… that the public have voted for it,” he said.
Katter said language such as referring to a mixed-gender group as guys was “common sense”.
“We accept we’ll cop a lot of criticism for this sort of thing, but we just feel that someone needs to get a counterpoint to this sort of stuff in government,” he said.
“That’s fine if you want to use different words but don’t force everyone to do it, because that’s the height of intolerance.
“You shouldn’t be marked down on university assignments and you shoudln’t be prosecuted in the future if you’re using terms that people aren’t comfortable with, which are his and her.”