Internal communications leaked by an insider in Mountain View to Daily Caller
Google told its staff to refrain from using the word ‘family’ because certain employees in the California headquarters became ‘offended’ by the term because it was in the context of ‘having children’ and, therefore, ‘homophobic.’
The search giant saw a massive backlash from workers following a presentation about marketing to a young demographic that used the word ‘family’ while referring to a product aimed at children, leaving out numerous groups.
Internal communications leaked by an insider in Mountain View to Daily Caller revealed one staff member stormed out of a meeting before calling the company’s bad choice of wording ‘offensive, inappropriate, homophobic, and wrong’.
Almost 100 people in Silicon Valley agreed with the person’s views by up-voting a statement they posted to the company’s board, according to reports.
‘This is a diminishing and disrespectful way to speak. If you mean ‘children,’ say ‘children’; we have a perfectly good word for it. ‘Family friendly’ used as a synonym for ‘kid friendly’ means, to me, ‘you and yours don’t count as a family unless you have children,’‘ the employee allegedly wrote.
‘And while kids may often be less aware of it, there are kids without families too, you know.’
The employee then elaborated that it wasn’t their intention to eliminate the term from Google, but it should not be used when referring to parents.
The employee then added that the word ‘family’ to suggests that anyone who isn’t heterosexual may not be included.
‘The use of ‘family’ as a synonym for ‘with children’ has a long-standing association with deeply homophobic organizations,’ the person continued.
‘This does not mean we should not use the word ‘family’ to refer to families, but it means we must doggedly insist that family does not imply children.
‘Even the sense, ‘suitable for the whole family,’ which you might think is unobjectionable, is wrong too. It only works if we have advance shared the conception of what ‘the whole family’ is, and that is almost always used to mean a household with two adults, of the opposite sex, in a romantic/sexual relationship, with two or more of their children.’
Pre-empting an explanation that the presentation was solely identifying everyone, the writer pointed out that a product for children was unlikely to cater to adults, for example.
They added that such uses should come to a halt.
‘If you mean that as a synonym for ‘suitable for all people’ stop and notice the extraordinary unlikelihood of such a thought! So ‘suitable for the whole family’ doesn’t mean ‘all people,’ it means ‘all people in families,’ which either means that all those other people aren’t in families or something even worse,’ the rant continued.
‘Use the word ‘family’ to mean a loving assemblage of people who may or may not live together and may or may not include people of any particular age. STOP using it to mean ‘children.”
According to the DailyMail: An unmarried person who did not have children at the time declared it ‘bothers me too,’ and one woman with a boyfriend and no offspring stated:
‘It smacks of the ‘family values’ agenda by the right wing which is homophobic by its very definition.’
Someone who wasn’t in a heterosexual partnership described their meaning of the word which pointed out it shouldn’t be linked to one household either.
The person commented:
‘My family consists of me and several other transfeminine folks, some of whom I’m dating. We’re all supportive of each other and eventually aspire to live together.’
A married employee who noted she identified as female, the same sex she was assigned at birth, mentioned she uses the word to refer to ‘my husband, my parents, and my pets.’
The uproar made Google vice president Pavni Diwanji chime in on the thread with a promise to change the way they operate.
‘I realize what we said at tgif might have caused concerns in the way we talked about families. There are families without kids too, and also we needed to be more conscientious about the fact that there is a diverse makeup of parents and families,’ Dwiwanji wrote.
‘Please help us get to a better state. Teach us how to talk about it inclusively, if you feel like we are not doing it well. As a team, we have a very inclusive culture, and want to do right in this area.’