Google staff complained word FAMILY instead of children was homophobic

By Leah Simpson For

Google was forced to backtrack on its use of the word 'family' after staff at its California headquarters kicked off because the term was used in the context of having children, it has been revealed.

The tech giant experienced a backlash from its own employees in March 2017 after a presentation about a product aimed at young people seemed to replace the term with the word 'family', leaving out various groups.

Far-right publication, the Daily Caller News claimed on Wednesday to have viewed internal communications from an insider in Mountain View where one employee stormed out of a meeting and called the company's poor choice of wording 'offensive, inappropriate, homophobic, and wrong'.

Google reportedly had to rethink the word 'family' in March 2017 when staff complained

According to the website, approximately 100 people in Silicon Valley showed they agreed with the person's views by up-voting a statement they posted to the company's board.

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

The member of staff explained further that while their intention was not to completely obliterate the word at the Google HQ, it should not be used when specifically referring to parents.

Google's employee added that it conjures up reminders of organizations that use the word 'family' to suggest 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 mean 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 totally wrong too. It only works if we have advance shared conception of what 'the whole family' is, and that is almost always used to mean a household with two adults, of opposite sex, in a romantic/sexual relationship, with two or more of their own children.'

Employees at California HQ said the term was 'offensive, inappropriate, homophobic, and wrong' when used in a presentation about a children's product. VP Pavni Diwanji (pictured) told staff to be more conscientious about referring to family

Pre-empting an explanation that the presentation was simply 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'.'

Others at Google seemed to agree according to TDC report.

An unmarried person who did not have children at the time admitted 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 absolutely homophobic by its very definition.'

Diwanji said: 'As a team we have very inclusive culture, and want to do right'

Someone who wasn't in a heterosexual partnership explained their definition 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 trans feminine 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 caused Google vice president Pavni Diwanji to chime in on the thread with a vow 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 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.'