Less than a week after the bombshell news of a leaked White House memo that would define gender as a strict male/female binary based on one's genitals, The Guardian reports that the Trump administration is continuing to try to roll back recent cultural changes on gender with a new attempt to erase transgender people from official government documents.
The US mission to the United Nations is reportedly seeking to eliminate instances of the word "gender" from UN human rights documents and in most cases replace it with "woman." This requested change is indicative of the administration's push to undo the Obama-era evolution of the government's official language regarding gender.
At recent meetings of the UN's Third Committee, which addresses "social, humanitarian and cultural" rights, the US diplomats have reportedly pushed for the rewriting of statements to remove language they argue is based on politically correct "ideology" and not science. Phrases like "gender-based violence" would be replaced by "violence against women," for instance.
"It's clear the administration is engaged in a broad strategy of erasing transgender people's existence across the federal government," Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Centre for Transgender Equality, told The Guardian. "While it's infuriating they would behave in such an extreme and volatile manner at the United Nations, we are confident their prejudice will lose out to science, reason, and the ongoing fight for human rights." Last year, the American Medical Association ruled that gender and sexual identities are not always binary.
"If you only say violence against women, it doesn't really tell the whole story," a senior diplomat at the UN told The Guardian. "We shouldn't be going along with encouraging their society to be regressive. And if that means a blazing row in the Third Committee, I would have a blazing row in committee because I think some things are worth cherishing and worth hanging on to."