Ann Widdecombe says city’s proposal to use gender-neutral titles is a ‘waste of money’
Former minister Ann Widdecombe has slammed Oxford city council for considering dropping binary gendered titles in order to become more trans-inclusive.
The city council is introducing the gender-neutral title Mx and has said it is considering dropping the use of Mr, Ms, Miss and Mrs, because “they are not inclusive of transgender people”.
For the time being, the Mx title will be available as an option on official forms, but the council has not ruled out removing titles on official documents in future.
A review was carried out by the council after a head teacher in Oxford suggested that schools should stop using gendered pronouns to refer to students in case any are questioning their gender identity.
Caroline Jordan, the head teacher at Headington School should refer to pupils as “pupils” or “students”.
The city executive board added: “The requirement to record a title could also be made optional rather than mandatory.”
The review panel’s report suggested that consideration to be given “to whether there is merit in phasing out the use of titles on council forms and databases over the medium term”.
The panel which carried out the review has said the results hope to make the council as “inclusive as possible”, and the results were welcomed by Oxford Pride. Rob Jordan, chair of Pride, said he welcomed the introduction of Mx, but does not think gendered titles should be scrapped.
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But not all were welcoming of the change.
Ann Widdecombe said the hange was “a waste of time and money”, and “another example of political correctness”.
The former MP told the Daily Mail: “Haven’t Oxford City Council got anything else to worry about? It’s a waste of time and money and achieves nothing… The English language evolves and develops all the time but this is just nonsense.”