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14 August, 2020

Cowboy or Cowperson?

Gender specific language is under threat as we move into more neutral, politically correct society according to Robbie Katter, KAP Leader in Queensland. Could this result in a name change for the NQ Cowboys? Could they at some stage be known as the NQ Cowpeople? This is a possibility according to Katter.

The LNP and Labor have refused to provide vital protections for Queenslanders wanting to use traditional, gender-based language, with the two major parties teaming up to vote down Katter’s Australian Party’s “He Said, She Said” bill overnight.

The private member’s bill, first introduced into the parliament by KAP Leader Robbie Katter in 2018, proposed legal protections for people who are be discriminated against for using gender-specific language such as "he" and "she" at their workplace, university or other organisation.

Mr Katter said the bill, while slightly pre-emptive, was about drawing a line in the sand with regards to increasingly hostile and intolerant elements of society that demand everyday people bow down to their agendas under the guise of “political correctness”.

“Our language and our rights are incrementally being encroached upon by stealth and what the KAP has done with our bill is challenge this trend,” he said. 

The KAP bill’s intent was two-fold:

  1. “To protect an individual’s right to use traditional gender-based language”
  2. “To protect businesses and other organisations from disadvantage in the provision of facilities and services that exclusively recognise gender as either male or female”.

The KAP was prompted to pursue the legislation after being contacted repeatedly by university students who were frustrated with being forced to use often grammatically and factually-incorrect, yet “politically-correct” language throughout their studies.

“It is unsurprising to see our attempt to protect the rights of the often silent majority dismissed so flippantly by the major parties, but this does not make it any the less disheartening,” Mr Katter said.

“I, for one, am open to using new language however I don't want to be forced to completely change how I speak and even how I think because I am told to.

"I believe protecting people from discrimination if they continue to want to use words like 'he' and 'she' is a primary right that should be preserved.

“The way things are going, you or I could end up in trouble for calling the North Queensland Cowboys, “cowboys” – will there be a day we’ll have to call them the “cowspeople”?

“Who knows!”

Mr Katter said while he acknowledged the reasons behind a push by some sections of society for the use of gender-inclusive/fluid/diverse language, respect was a two-way street.

“Without the protections we have been fighting for, every day people can and will be subject to the enforcement of new language conventions – whether they like it or not,” he said.

“You cannot fight discrimination by discriminating in the reverse and I just refuse to sit by while radical ideologists suggest otherwise.

“The fact that 85-plus MPs in our Queensland Parliament do not respect or care for this premise is deeply disappointing.

“The LNP members, in particular, should hang their heads in shame.”

Despite attempts by the major parties to suggest otherwise, the KAP bill was not designed to legalise hate speech. 

For this reason, it contained a specific clause that disallowed the use of gendered-language that is used with the intention of “offending, humiliating or intimidating another person”.

“I would suggest the bill does the opposite, as we ensured its parameters had zero encroachment on the rights of people who choose to use non-gendered/alternative language to call themselves or one another whatever they like,” Mr Katter said.

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