OTTAWA — The Canadian military’s sailors and the public will have a chance to weigh in as the Royal Canadian Navy moves to drop the term “seaman” when referring to its most junior sailors and replace it with something more gender-neutral.
Navies around the world have described their junior sailors as “seamen” for decades if not centuries, with the Royal Canadian Navy using “ordinary seaman,” “able seaman,” “leading seaman” and “master seaman.”
But those terms are being replaced in Canada as the navy — which is short hundreds of sailors — charts new waters to become more diverse and inclusive, according to Cmdr. Deborah-Lynn Gates, who is responsible for the navy’s personnel policy.
blah blah blah…
Well, I guess one good thing will be no more bad puns about ‘seamen’ / ‘semen’… 😉
Members of the navy as well as the public at large will be able to vote online on two alternatives starting Friday, with both variants substituting “sailor” in place of “seaman” in different ways.
One simply replaces “seaman” with “sailor” in the existing ranks. The other would do away with adjectives such as “able” and “leading” in favour of labels such as “sailor first class” and “sailor second class.”
I suppose, like ‘firefighters’ and ‘police officers’, better than ‘fireperson’ and ‘policeperson’…