Here’s why the AP stylebook updating its rules is a victory for gender inclusivity
Multiple changes regarding the use of gendered and gender-neutral pronouns have been announced by the Associate Press. The changes might be small, but they’re a positive step in the right direction for the gender equality.
The announcement came on Saturday at AP’s session at the 2017 national conference of the American Copy Editors Society. For the first time, AP style is allowing the use of “they” as a singular pronoun.
And the LGBTQ community and its allies are absolutely considering this a victory for gender inclusivity.
According to Copydesk.org, here is a portion of the AP stylebook update to its LGBT entry (which, by the way, now reads “LGBTQ”):
They write, "In stories about people who identify as neither male nor female or ask not to be referred to as he/she/him/her: Use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or otherwise reword the sentence, whenever possible. If they/them/their use is essential, explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun. Be sure that the phrasing does not imply more than one person."
While this is fantastic news for many, it will probably take some getting used to for journalists and readers.
Clarity is the top priority, and that will involve simple explanation for the person’s gender-neutral preference.
“We specify that you need to make clear in the context that the ‘they’ in question is just one person, said Paula Froke, lead editor for the AP Stylebook at the style conference. “We don’t, among our own staff, want to open a floodgate. But we recognize a need for it, so we want to open it a bit."
Froke said the stylebook also has added or changed several other entries related to gender. By doing so, they hope to recognize that not everything falls into two simple genders. They respect that the language of gender is evolving and hope this new standard will help reflect that.
Many people have taken to Twitter to express their delight over the change. false
We applaud the AP for making the necessary changes. Gender equality is important for all humans, and this is a really big step forward.