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Federal GAO bans gendered terms ‘policeman,’ ‘man-made’ and more, leaked memo shows: Report

A Marine F-35B Lightning II from Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, S.C. flies over the White House on June 12, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. James R. Skelton)
June 02, 2023

The Biden administration is facing criticism after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reportedly implemented a ban on male and female terms.

According to a leaked internal memo from October recently obtained by the Daily Mail, the GAO, which serves as the government’s watchdog organization, issued a new language style guide that prohibits the use of gender-specific terms and “wording that diminishes anyone’s dignity.”

The memo states that inclusive language aligns with the GAO’s mission of appropriately addressing all members of society while respecting their identities and preferences. The style guide suggests alternative terms like “artificial,” “synthetic,” or “manufactured” to replace “man-made” and replaces “manned” with “crewed” or “piloted.” Other words banned include “manpower,” “unmanned,” and “policeman.”

The memo also emphasizes the distinction between sex and gender identity and advises against equating the two.

Furthermore, the memo discourages the use of terms like “alien,” “illegal alien,” “illegal immigrant,” and “illegals” when referring to non-U.S. citizens. Conservatives criticized the GAO’s language policy, considering it a part of President Joe Biden’s administration’s attempt to regulate language and promote what they perceive as a “woke ideology.”

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“When it is necessary to refer to sex or gender identity, be aware of the distinction and avoid equating the two,” the leaked memo reads. “Sex is a classification of people into categories such as male, female or intersex on the basis of biological characteristics.”

The document also addressed gender identity as “a person’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both, or neither,” explaining that, “Gender identity may align with the sex a person was assigned at birth (cisgender), another sex (transgender), or neither.”

Republican Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin stated that the administration should focus on more pressing issues like inflation, crime, and border control instead of imposing an ideology.

A spokesperson for Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) described the GAO’s move as a waste of government resources and accused President Biden of politicizing government agencies.

The GAO describes itself as “an independent, non-partisan agency that works for Congress. GAO examines how taxpayer dollars are spent and provides Congress and federal agencies with objective, non-partisan, fact-based information to help the government save money and work more efficiently.”