'Mother' and 'Father' advised against.

(58 Posts)
AdaFuckingShelby Sat 13-Mar-21 10:07:35


What's next? Primary care giver day?

OP’s posts: |
Lilyofthevalleys Sat 13-Mar-21 10:10:04

Are they rebranding as Personchester university?

AdaFuckingShelby Sat 13-Mar-21 10:14:26

Haha, as an alumni I might suggest itgrin

OP’s posts: |
WoolOfBat Sat 13-Mar-21 10:15:01

Happy Legal Guardian of Unspecified Gender Day!!

AdaFuckingShelby Sat 13-Mar-21 10:15:27

Alumnus to be preciseblush

OP’s posts: |
Quadzilla Sat 13-Mar-21 10:15:42

Stonewall tell them to remove gendered terms including mother and father. A FOI to my local council showed feedback from Stonewall explicitly advising these word changes in policy so you can be rewarded by climbing their Workplace Index.

WoolOfBat Sat 13-Mar-21 10:15:59

Sorry if I offended anyone by just presuming their day....


MsSavouryPancake Sat 13-Mar-21 10:17:13

Not read alot about this particular uni but my children's ( oldest mid 20s) schools used "Parent /Guardian " ever since I can remember.

AfternoonToffee Sat 13-Mar-21 10:19:41

Some of it just seems good advice though, I can't help but think it is a bit of a storm in a teacup. Lots of posters on here complain about the term ladies and everyone is just as welcoming.

I think it is a bit OTT to have guidance, but we live in a time where people are so fearful of saying the wrong thing in case in unleashes the wrath of doom that they want their backs covered. So it as a start of a pushback maybe.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 13-Mar-21 10:20:21

This sounds like a bit of a non-story tbh. Using a neutral wording 'parent or guardian' is afaik completely normal for letters from school for instance. It avoids the assumption of a 2 parent heterosexual household in which the mother does the bulk of the parenting, for instance.

In most cases the move to sex neutral language is a good thing. It's bad only when misapplied to situations which truly are sex specific eg anything pertaining to pregnancy and childbirth.

JellySlice Sat 13-Mar-21 10:22:13

From what is in the article this change seems reasonable. Why not use sex-neutral and gender-neutral language where sex and gender are irrelevant?

DaisyWaldron Sat 13-Mar-21 10:23:32

I really don't see what the issue is. I think I've been a "parent or guardian" on just about every child-related letter I've ever had some nice giving birth. And I'm in my mid forties and finding Mother's Day incredibly hard this year after losing my mother - assuming that everyone has a mother or a father (or a husband or a wife) when that's clearly not going to be the case for everyone is just inconsiderate. Use the word "mother" if you know it's appropriate, and use more widely-applicable words when you don't.

DaisyWaldron Sat 13-Mar-21 10:24:56

since giving birth.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 13-Mar-21 10:26:16

^ A University of Manchester spokesperson said it had "simply produced a guidance document for our staff that encourages the use of more inclusive language to avoid bias or assumptions".^

^ "In that, we recommend the use of the term 'parent/guardian'," they added.^

^ "This is well established terminology and does not in any way mean that we are banning the words 'mother' or 'father'."^

That sounds perfectly fine and sensible, and actually quite surprising it wasn't already the norm.

Deliriumoftheendless Sat 13-Mar-21 10:28:25

Using parent/guardian is appropriate when you don’t know the family situation, I think.

I work in primary and use the term “a grown up at home” if I don’t know the kid well- some kids live with aunties, grandparents, are in care etc. Some don’t have mums due to bereavement, some have been left by parents. So there’s all that as well.

Obviously you wouldn’t say “your grown up” to a uni student, but if you don’t know who they have at home it is genuinely inclusive to use parent/carer. I would say if you know your student lives with mum/etc it’s better to use the word mum/etc.

FlowersAreBeautiful Sat 13-Mar-21 10:33:44

Why do these 'ideas' seem to spring up around mother's Day and international woman's Day. Be interesting to see if there's anything around father's day

eeyore228 Sat 13-Mar-21 10:36:55

I avoid using any terms when I can. I recall taking a phone call from someone who sounded female but the person was in fact transitioning to male. I was corrected and then threatened. I was mortified because I would not intentionally offend anyone, I apologised immediately and he continued to verbally abuse me. He then made a formal complaint that I was transphobic. Luckily for me manager was with me when I took the call, otherwise Im not sure what would have happened. sad

butterfly990 Sat 13-Mar-21 10:38:08

I thought the term "mother" was now deemed gender neutral or am I out of date with current thinking 🤔

trappedsincesundaymorn Sat 13-Mar-21 10:45:01

I really can't see the problem...it's not like the students have been told they can't refer to their parents as mother or father it just means the staff need to be mindful that not all families are the same.

OnlyTeaForMe Sat 13-Mar-21 10:49:54

I read the headline and then the article expecting to be outraged, but actually, I think this is common and sensible practice in schools and unis.
If they are forbidding the students from calling the adult human female who gave birth to them 'Mother' then I would have reason to be outraged.

cisterectomy Sat 13-Mar-21 10:52:56

Back in the 80s I ended up refusing to take letters home addresses to Mrs (my surname) as I wasn't raised by my mum and dad so the Mrs of the house had a different surname, I made such a nuisance It was explained why by the secretary and head many times why they genetically sent letters to Mrs child's surname. One day my exhasperated teacher Mrs F handed me a letter, and it was addressed to parents and guardians. I didn't complain for me really I went to school with kids in care/foster and had taken action when I'd seen Tony B cry in the cloakroom, he lived with his grandparents, his parents had died. He didn't need to tell me why it was the first time I just knew why. It hurts like fuck to be a kid without a mum or dad and have teachers constantly tell you or ask you take take letters home to mummy and daddy. It's was a constant othering and heartbreak. Im proud enough of that action to tell people about now more than 30years later and the fact I started it in my school Ill take credit for it being standard now. If you were raised in a 2 parent or even 1 parent home you don't know the feeling. And if it stopped another little kid crying in the cloackroom clutching a letter they couldn't deliver to mummy or daddy no matter how much they wanted to. I don't care.

ParadiseIsland Sat 13-Mar-21 10:54:18

Sorry but apart from the first line, I can’t see the issue.

A partner vs husband/wife has nothing to do with gender but the recognition that you might be a couple wo being married.

Some people will be orphans/in care so guardian is more appropriate (and can be found in all the school’s doc at my dcs school)


Biscuitsanddoombar Sat 13-Mar-21 10:57:45

My letters from school were addressed to “dear parent/guardian” I assume it’s just easier when doing a mass mailing to all parents. There are so many things to be pissed off about but I don’t see this as a problem

Imnobody4 Sat 13-Mar-21 11:00:14

I think the reaction is a bit OTT. I've been doing this for decades. The crunch is when people are being banned from using sex specific words at all . For example if I know someone I'll refer to husband or wife or partner or mother or grandad. But if don't know them I'll choose neutral terms.
It's the fact that staff have asked for guidance that bothers me. Is it that they're being subjected to nitpicking criticism and denunctiation from some quarters.

highame Sat 13-Mar-21 11:50:46

I think if Stonewall are involved then my automatic reaction is a lip curl but over the years neutral terms have been introduced that really do make sense. Parent seems perfectly reasonable and in various settings works really well but this doesn't mean words like mother and father etc dissappear, it depends on context.

I remember starting to be used and it didn't take long to adjust though lots of people did and still do use terms like wife and husband. No one is offended, it shows the variety of our relationships.

Now if they were telling me the word mother no longer existed then I would tell you where to sling your hook!

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