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Sanders bans use of ‘woke’ language in government documents

Joined by lawmakers and other state government officials, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders displays an executive order requiring the use of gendered language in state government documents.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders

An executive order signed Thursday by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders bans the use of certain non-gender specific words and phrases in government documents.

The order applies to terms like “pregnant people” and “birth giver,” used to describe people who are pregnant but do not identify as a woman.

Speaking at the State Capitol on Thursday, Sanders cited the birth of her three children as giving her more clarity on the issue.

“That experience underscored to me that a woman’s perspective is important and fundamentally different from a man’s,” Sanders said. “Nowadays though, only conservatives seem to be making that point. On the left, women have taken a backseat to political correctness.”

The governor’s executive order also bans the terms “human milk,” “menstruating person, and “chestfeeding” in favor of using gendered language. When asked to provide specific examples of government documents using the now-prohibited language, Sanders said she’s only seen one specific example from the state Health Department.

“Does it matter if there’s one? Is that not enough? How many times should a woman have to be insulted before we stand up and say ‘We’ve had it?’ It shouldn’t even take one time, but one instance to me is enough for us to stand up for women and say that we can do better. And we will,” Sanders said.

According to Fox News, Sanders was referring to a memo issued by the state Health Department warning of the dangers chemicals known as PFAS pose to pregnant people. The governor said she has been made aware of several other instances of “woke” language in state government documents.

Sanders signed a similar executive order banning the use of the word “Latinx” shortly after becoming governor earlier this year. The non-gender specific term is used to refer to people of Latin American cultural or ethnic identity.

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Daniel Breen is News Director of Little Rock Public Radio.