Aussie Rules: QF Staff Get A Lesson In Politically Correct Language
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
Qantas has reportedly advised staff not to 'manterrupt' women and to avoid words such as 'mum,' 'dad,' 'husband' and 'wife.'
They have also been warned that words like 'love, honey and darling' might offend customers.
The information was included in an information pack distributed to employees as part of the airline's 'Spirit of Inclusion' month.
It said that gender-specific terms such as 'husband and wife' could be seen to exclude same-sex couples, while addressing passengers as 'mum and dad' might upset single parent families.
Staff were also warned not to 'manterrupt' women – a term used to describe when a male talks over a female.
Details of the instructions were leaked to The Daily Telegraph in Sydney.
One section apparently urged staff to 'recognize reality' and suggested they stop referring to the arrival of the British in Australia as a 'settlement' and describe it instead as 'colonization', 'occupation' or 'invasion.'
It explains: "Describing the arrival of the Europeans as a 'settlement' is a view of Australian history from the perspective of England rather than Australia."
However, former Australia prime minister Tony Abbott told 2GB Radio that he thought the suggestions in the information pack represented 'political correctness gone too far.'
"Qantas staff are very good people... they've got to deal with just about every possible type of person, and they don't need this kind of nonsense, they really don't," he said.
The pamphlet was devised by the Diversity Council of Australia and similar information was provided to many of the council's other 450 members. It said that it was not telling people what they could and could not say.
From our perspective halfway around the world, most of the advice sounds like common sense. Although why flight attendants would feel the need to be discussing ‘the British Invasion’ is beyond us.