Google stopped using the word 'family' after employees complained it was 'offensive'

Reuters

Google execs dropped the word 'family' from company presentations after employees complained it was 'offensive' and 'homophobic', media reports have claimed. 

Right-wing publication the Daily Caller said it had seen internal documents suggesting that members of staff at the tech company became angry after 'family' was used to infer households with children. 

It reports that one employee walked out of a March 2017 presentation on unicorn products and started an internal thread to complain that it was 'offensive, inappropriate, homophobic, and wrong' to suggest that a family necessarily included children.

'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'.  And while kids may often be less aware of it, there are kids without families too, you know',' the employee is said to have written. 

'The use of "family" as a synonym for "with children" has a long-standing association with deeply homophobic organizations,' they continued.

'This does not mean we should not use the word "family" to refer to families, but it mean we must doggedly insist that family does not imply children.'

According to the Daily Caller, around 100 employees signalled their support for the statement by upvoting it, with one female colleague saying she felt that use of the word 'family' had excluded her and her boyfriend because they did not have children. 

'[It's] important that we fix our charged language when we become aware of how exclusionary it actually is,' she is quoted as saying.

The backlash reportedly prompted Google Vice President Pavni Diwanji to write to staff asking them to help Google be 'more conscientious' in its use of language.

'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 apparently wrote.

'Please help us get to a better state. Teach us how to talk about it in inclusive way, if you feel like we are not doing it well. As a team we have very inclusive culture, and want to do right in this area.'

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