The Girl Guides have been given a “woke” makeover to make them more “modern and relevant”. Senior organisers at Girlguiding have issued an “inclusive” language guide which calls for words such as mother and father to be ditched.
Leaders are advised to use “parents and carers” when referring to this group in general. Also suggested is calling girls “they” instead of “she” if unsure about which pronoun a member prefers to use.
The charitable organisation, which began in 1910 and describes itself as “girl only”, also states it wishes to “welcome trans girls and non-binary young people”.
The update is revealed in a 60-page document sent to Guide and Brownie leaders this month. It states that Girlguiding has refreshed its “brand purpose” and “tone of voice” to attract a younger generation.
But last night former education minister Andrea Jenkyns said: “Girl Guides have been at the heart of our country for over a century, teaching millions of young women the skills that they need to become proud, proactive and practical members of society.
What this ‘woke’ rebrand tells us is that the Guides have lost their way.”
The document offers explanations of how to use language in relation to disability, age, and race. It states: “Everyone’s different and has their own language preferences.
It’s always best to ask or listen to how the person describes themselves and use that language where you can.
“Be specific when talking about a person or community. Name ethnic groups instead of using broad terms like Bame.
“Bear in mind that not all families have mothers and fathers. Use ‘parents and carers’ when referring to this group. If you’re writing about someone’s sexual orientation, use the terms they use. If you need to be more inclusive, say LGBTQ+.”
The tone of voice guide says: “We’re a girl-only space for all girls and young women. We’re also proud to be a transinclusive organisation and welcome trans girls and non-binary young people.
“We know the term ‘girl’ may not cover these young people.When we can, we adjust our language to be gender neutral.”
Former security minister Sir John Hayes, who chairs the Common Sense group of MPs, plans to write to chief guide Tracy Foster.
He believes the organisation’s former patron – “our beloved late Queen” – would have been “horrified”. He said it is not clear whether Girlguiding is “just clueless” or has been “infiltrated by militants”.
A Girlguiding statement said: “Changing our look and feel doesn’t change the core of who we are – but it does keep us current and helps makes us attractive to as many people as possible.”
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