This week it goes to Brighton and Hove Council for wasting scarce time, effort and money on procrastinating over scrapping the titles "Mr, Mrs and Ms".
For why is the council considering this idea?
The proposal to scrap all titles from official council forms and paperwork comes after transgender activists complained that the names forced people to choose between genders.
The proposal has the backing of Brighton and Hove City Council’s deputy leader Phelim MacCafferty.
Seemingly a scrutiny panel (which looked into the lives of the transgender community in Brighton) is to put forward a number of recommendations, including the scrapping of Mr and Mrs, to the council for approval in December.
According to the Argus Coun MacCafferty, who chairs the panel, suggested calling people by their titles on official forms was “completely useless”.
“Trans people aren’t necessarily male or female and sometimes they don’t want to be defined by their gender.The use of a "title" in communications (oral or written), as far as I was brought up to understand it, is done out of courtesy/manners.
Putting Mr and Mrs on a form is completely useless. This is an issue that concerns most institutions from banks to mobile phone companies.
Why is Mr on my debit card, for instance? I don’t understand why it’s there.
We should at least examine the issue and we will have the recommendations early next month.”
However, as is the case with so many things in life, you cannot please all of the people all of the time.
Steph Scott, an LGBT activist who defines herself/himself as ‘genderqueer’ – neither male nor female – described the titles Mr and Mrs as “extremely outdated”.
“Being called Mr or Mrs forces me to choose between genders.Seemingly Brighton and Hove City Council has already started addressing people by the gender-neutral title 'Mx' on their tax forms.
It’s assuming people live in a binary world where you’re either one thing or another and it pigeonholes people.
I think it’s a good idea to expand across the city because it’s about getting people to be aware that gender isn’t just male or female.”
We face many years of austerity and cuts, yet the issue that vexes the mind of Brighton councillors is this one!
Has the council lost all sense of proportionality/reality as to what is really important at the moment?
Personally speaking I would prefer to be called "Excellency", but the council haven't yet set up scrutiny panel to look into that.
Brighton and Hove council, well deserving Prats of The Week!
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