Transport for London (TfL) workers have been told to ditch the phrase "ladies and gentlemen" in order to go gender-neutral.
What should be said instead? Staff have been directed to a more inclusive greetings like "good morning everyone" to make passengers feel more welcome.
The change has not come from out of the blue. Several activist groups have been petitioning for the rewording of the Tube's greeting. Even though "ladies and gentlemen" is a polite saying, some argued that it was outdated, not only because it does not include those who identify as something other than ladies and gentlemen, but also it's just old, maybe from the times of the three ring circus?
What should be said instead? What about from Kinky Boots – "Ladies, gentlemen, and those who have yet to make up their minds." We shall see.
The Transport for London will have to go through all the pre-recorded announcements and create some written guidelines for staff.
Is it such a big deal? Does anyone listen to those announcements? Can anyone even hear them? If someone has the power and the drive to bring up something that may be troubling, they deserve to be heard and the TfL listened. If changing a couple of words can erase any type of discomfort or a feeling of non-inclusion, then why not.
Mark Evers, director of customer strategy at TfL, said: ‘We want everyone to feel welcome on our transport network. We have reviewed the language that we use in announcements and elsewhere and will make sure that it is fully inclusive, reflecting the great diversity of London. I am keen that TfL addresses these concerns by speaking in a more neutral way when referring to gender. TfL has made a commitment to transition from gender-specific phrases like ‘ladies and gentlemen’ which are currently used in announcements, to a gender-neutral alternative such as ‘good morning/good afternoon everyone".
Will staff still use ‘ladies and gentlemen’ on occasion? It may be a slip of the tongue and when it happens, staff will be reminded of the new policy on greetings.
Do you see these changes coming to your country?
Do you think "Ladies and Gentlemen" was just old anyway?