OLYMPIA — The Washington state Senate has unanimously approved a measure that is the final installment of a multi-year effort to remove male-dominated language from the state code.
If signed into law, “penmanship” will soon be “handwriting,” “freshmen” will be “first-year students” and “watchmen” will become “security guards.”
The National Conference of State Legislatures says about half of all U.S. states have moved toward such gender-neutral language at varying levels, from drafting bills to changing state constitutions.
Florida and Minnesota have already completely revised their laws as Washington state is doing.
The gender-neutral measure was passed Friday in the Senate and goes next to the House.