Washington State Now Has Gender-Neutral Laws

The state just completed a six-year effort to rewrite its laws using gender neutral language.Terms like fisherman and freshman were replaced by "fisher" and "first year student." "Penmanship" became "handwriting."

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

It was a yeoman's task but they would never put it that way in Washington State. The state just completed a six-year effort to rewrite its laws using gender-neutral language. Terms like fisherman and freshman were replaced by fisher and first-year student. Penmanship became handwriting. More than 3,000 sections of the law were revised but some words did not change. Manhole and man lock are words that survived; they just couldn't find a better way of saying them.

It's MORNING EDITION.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.