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Just one week after creating a House rules package removing the words from any legislation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to herself as “a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter” during her opening of the impeachment debate.
She is technically not in violation of her own restrictions, as gendered language was only banned from legislation and other written texts, not speeches or conversation. However, there is something deeply ironic about forbidding others’ use of words while so prominently centering them in her speech.
At the opening of the 117th Congress, Pelosi and Rep. James McGovern proposed a now-passed rules bill that banned gendered language from any official House documents, including legislation. The bill to make this the most language-censoring Congress in U.S. history banned words such as “mother,” “wife,” “daughter,” and “grandmother,” replacing them with awkward alternatives that ignore the realities of human sex.