State Department Changing Passport Applications

Normally I wouldn’t care, however this for some reason has just rubbed something the wrong way. 

“The words in the old form were ‘mother’ and ‘father,’” said Brenda Sprague, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services. “They are now ‘parent one’ and ‘parent two.’”

I initially didn’t think much other than, “The economy is in the tank and they have nothing better to do.”  Then I talked to my mom and she pointed out something that I hadn’t considered. You are now placing numbers on individuals, number 1 and number 2, primary and secondary.  You now will be placing an importance on which parent is more significant.  As my mother said, “Most of the time the father will always come first.”  From the continuing conversation she felt it a slight towards women in the home and belittling them into second place.  While some families may have an environment which supports such a description, most do not, furthermore many will feel slighted by it.  Note my mom made that statement as one of her first complaints when I informed her of it, she made that connection in her mind with very little effort.

This is by no means the end of the world, but I do dislike it because it is the further infection of political correctness for the sake of political correctness,  much like rewriting Tom Sawyer.

Update: Side comment from “The Short Lady With the Grey Hair”: If anyone asks about your mother’s feminist standing, you can state that you were raised in a traditional two parent home with each parent holding the traditional roles. She does support many of the actions of feminism but resents the actions of any group that attempts to neutralize the roles that others play in society or the home. Feminists or homosexuals or transexualts or religious nuts. There are too many more important things to be worrying about. Wake up and smell both the coffee and the roses.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

About Barron

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

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6 Responses to State Department Changing Passport Applications

  1. Gay_Cynic says:

    The world changes.

    Lots of kids these days don’t HAVE Father/Mother to fill out in the nice fields. They have “Dad 1/Dad 2” or “Mom 1/Mom 2” or more exotic arrangements like “Useta Be Dad now Mom 1+Mom2”.

    And that’s not a bad thing. Better a kid have two loving parents of some description, than one or none. The kid has a spare should a bus run over one of the parents – and that part isn’t orientation or gender specific.

    Sooo…it’s not political correctness. It’s *accuracy*, and recognizing that not everyone fits that cookie cutter mold anymore. And I don’t have a problem with accurate. If you must be PC , set up the field as “parent/guardian” with 5 or 6 slots for names to drop in along with what kind of legal proof of relationship is required and/or displayed to the interviewer regarding each “person somehow responsible for child(ren)”.

    Mother/Father worked just about as long as we accepted that was the only configuration. We’ve learned better. Thus we need to adapt the bureau-crap to reflect our new understanding of reality (i.e., “HEY! Families have more than one shape!”)

    • Barron Barnett says:

      Sooo…it’s not political correctness. It’s *accuracy*, and recognizing that not everyone fits that cookie cutter mold anymore. And I don’t have a problem with accurate. If you must be PC , set up the field as “parent/guardian” with 5 or 6 slots for names to drop in along with what kind of legal proof of relationship is required and/or displayed to the interviewer regarding each “person somehow responsible for child(ren)”.

      That right there is the money shot. Why is there a number? That’s the whole issue, if they did parent/guardian who the hell cares at that point (this honestly is what it probably should be if you’re going to change it). The second you have added a number it creates the primary secondary paradox. I understand that families have different shapes and sizes. This change is being made to make it easier for those with the differences to be more comfortable.

      For example with you GC 1 and 2 is the equivalent of who’s the father and the mother on the form. Should you be listed as the father or the mother in the relationship. It’s not proper or correct at all now is it? At the same time are you the head of the relationship (1) or following (2)? My wife and I both are in our relationship together, neither is ahead of the other. As such why do we have to place one(1) ahead of the other(2) when they both have the same role?

      Which do you want to be, number 1 or number 2? Mother and Father are both biological, however moving to 1 and 2, who decides who’s first and who’s second? You could also just have “Mother/Father” on each line.

      So if it is just about accuracy as you claim, why place a distinction about 1 and 2? Why not as you said parent/guardian on two lines? Why not “mother/father” on two lines? Even in a same sex household, the gender description of father and mother still exist. If you’re going to mess with the form, at least do it right!

    • Barron Barnett says:

      Sooo…it’s not political correctness. It’s *accuracy*, and recognizing that not everyone fits that cookie cutter mold anymore. And I don’t have a problem with accurate. If you must be PC , set up the field as “parent/guardian” with 5 or 6 slots for names to drop in along with what kind of legal proof of relationship is required and/or displayed to the interviewer regarding each “person somehow responsible for child(ren)”.

      That right there is the money shot. Why is there a number? That’s the whole issue, if they did parent/guardian who the hell cares at that point (this honestly is what it probably should be if you’re going to change it). The second you have added a number it creates the primary secondary paradox. I understand that families have different shapes and sizes. This change is being made to make it easier for those with the differences to be more comfortable.

      For example with you GC 1 and 2 is the equivalent of who’s the father and the mother on the form. Should you be listed as the father or the mother in the relationship. It’s not proper or correct at all now is it? At the same time are you the head of the relationship (1) or following (2)? My wife and I both are in our relationship together, neither is ahead of the other. As such why do we have to place one(1) ahead of the other(2) when they both have the same role?

      Which do you want to be, number 1 or number 2? Mother and Father are both biological, however moving to 1 and 2, who decides who’s first and who’s second? You could also just have “Mother/Father” on each line.

      So if it is just about accuracy as you claim, why place a distinction about 1 and 2? Why not as you said parent/guardian on two lines? Why not “mother/father” on two lines? Even in a same sex household, the gender description of father and mother still exist. If you’re going to mess with the form, at least do it right!

  2. Gay_Cynic says:

    The world changes.

    Lots of kids these days don’t HAVE Father/Mother to fill out in the nice fields. They have “Dad 1/Dad 2” or “Mom 1/Mom 2” or more exotic arrangements like “Useta Be Dad now Mom 1+Mom2”.

    And that’s not a bad thing. Better a kid have two loving parents of some description, than one or none. The kid has a spare should a bus run over one of the parents – and that part isn’t orientation or gender specific.

    Sooo…it’s not political correctness. It’s *accuracy*, and recognizing that not everyone fits that cookie cutter mold anymore. And I don’t have a problem with accurate. If you must be PC , set up the field as “parent/guardian” with 5 or 6 slots for names to drop in along with what kind of legal proof of relationship is required and/or displayed to the interviewer regarding each “person somehow responsible for child(ren)”.

    Mother/Father worked just about as long as we accepted that was the only configuration. We’ve learned better. Thus we need to adapt the bureau-crap to reflect our new understanding of reality (i.e., “HEY! Families have more than one shape!”)

  3. Gay_Cynic says:

    Just my observation of same-sex households…usually one title is dropped in house, and there is just Daddy (or in more specific settings, Daddy John and Daddy Bill) and the same on the gals side of the house..and honestly that’s a fairly small subset of the non-standard, simply that with which I’m most familiar. And the roles tend to be fairly fluid as to who is doing what at any given time. More “an adult should be able to cook, nurture, defend, teach, clean, build, do math, etc” than “boys should do this, girls should do that” sort of thing in the instances I’ve observed.

    The numbering I’m not fretted about, because I don’t see it as an expression of dominance in a relationship but more a “yet another expression of the bureaucratic mindset, which would individually number flatulence if it could”. I also don’t see it as *necessary* or *relevant* to anyone without that mindset.

    In other words I’d suggest that two things are going on here..

    1) An attempt to reflect the reality of “who is in charge of these kids and by virtue of what relationship” without a bunch of either judgement or shoehorning into badly fitting categories.

    2) (please picture overwrought gov’t sort here) “THERE MUST BE NUMBERS! AND ORDER! AND DETAIL! AND MORE NUMBERS! AND FORMS! IN TRIPLICATE!AIIEEE!!” as said functionary tears at hair and dances about (badly)…

    #2 is obnoxious, but in this instance, I would suggest largely harmless (though a tad stupid).

  4. Gay_Cynic says:

    Just my observation of same-sex households…usually one title is dropped in house, and there is just Daddy (or in more specific settings, Daddy John and Daddy Bill) and the same on the gals side of the house..and honestly that’s a fairly small subset of the non-standard, simply that with which I’m most familiar. And the roles tend to be fairly fluid as to who is doing what at any given time. More “an adult should be able to cook, nurture, defend, teach, clean, build, do math, etc” than “boys should do this, girls should do that” sort of thing in the instances I’ve observed.

    The numbering I’m not fretted about, because I don’t see it as an expression of dominance in a relationship but more a “yet another expression of the bureaucratic mindset, which would individually number flatulence if it could”. I also don’t see it as *necessary* or *relevant* to anyone without that mindset.

    In other words I’d suggest that two things are going on here..

    1) An attempt to reflect the reality of “who is in charge of these kids and by virtue of what relationship” without a bunch of either judgement or shoehorning into badly fitting categories.

    2) (please picture overwrought gov’t sort here) “THERE MUST BE NUMBERS! AND ORDER! AND DETAIL! AND MORE NUMBERS! AND FORMS! IN TRIPLICATE!AIIEEE!!” as said functionary tears at hair and dances about (badly)…

    #2 is obnoxious, but in this instance, I would suggest largely harmless (though a tad stupid).