House Democrats 'Cancel' Themselves With Gender-Neutral Rules Excluding 'Mother,' 'Father'

AP Photo/Steve Helber

On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new rules package explicitly striking gendered language from the official House Rules. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) noted that at least 23 of the Democrats who voted for the new gender-neutral rules nevertheless use gendered terms to describe themselves on social media.


House Democrats passed the new rules in a partisan vote, 217-206. The rules approve proxy voting during the coronavirus pandemic and ease budgetary restrictions for climate-related proposals, but the most controversial change involves striking gendered language.

The rules strike “himself or herself” and replace those words with “themself.” They change “chairman” to “chair.” They change “seamen” to “seafarers.” They strike the gendered terms for family members, replacing them with clunky descriptions.

One section of the new rules involves striking “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, step-mother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, step-sister, half brother, half sister, grandson, or grand-daughter” and replacing those words with, “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, first cousin, sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, step-child, stepsibling, half-sibling, or grandchild.”

“This is stupid. Signed, a father, son, and brother,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted, demonstrating the point.


The NRCC identified 23 vulnerable Democrats who voted for these rules and who nevertheless identify themselves using gendered language in their Twitter bios.

For instance, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), identifies herself as a “mom” on her Twitter bio.

Katie Porter gender neutral
Twitter screenshot of Katie Porter’s bio. Courtesy NRCC

“In her quest for peak wokeness, Katie Porter cancelled herself and disrespected everyone else who views themselves as a mom,” NRCC spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair said in a statement.

Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) also voted for the rules, but he identifies himself as a “husband” on Twitter.

Darren Soto Democrat gender neutral
Twitter screenshot of Katie Porter’s bio. Courtesy NRCC

“In his quest for peak wokeness, Darren Soto cancelled himself and disrespected everyone else who views themselves as a husband,” NRCC spokeswoman Camille Gallo argued.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) also voted for the gender-neutral rules, even though she identifies herself as a “mom” on Twitter.

Darren Soto Democrats gender neutral
Twitter screenshot of Katie Porter’s bio. Courtesy NRCC

NRCC drew attention to other vulnerable Democrats who supposedly canceled themselves: Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) calls himself a “dad” and a “husband” in his Twitter bio; Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) identifies herself as a mom; Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) calls herself a mother; Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Wash.) also identifies herself a mom.


Other offenders included Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), Jahana Hayes (D-Ct.), Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), Andy Kim (D-N.J.), Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), Ron Kind (D-Wisc.), Ami Bera (D-Calif.), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.), Josh Harder (D-Calif.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), and Susie Lee (D-Nev.).

Of course, these Democrats are right to call themselves husbands and fathers, wives and mothers. It is also not quite inconsistent for these Democrats to strike these gendered terms from the House rules but to keep using them in their personal lives. However, it is asinine for them to suggest that such terms are offensive and then to go about using them themselves. Striking the terms from the House rules does indeed suggest a fundamental disrespect for ordinary men and women who use the normal and perfectly acceptable words for men and women.

This assault on gendered language is heinous, in part because science does not support the transgender movement behind it. Human beings are male or female, down to every single nucleated cell. A few suffer from tragic disorders of sexual development — the intersex — but even their DNA is male or female.


These House Democrats deserve ridicule and opprobrium for going along with this “gender-neutral” insanity. This should come back to bite them in 2022.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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