Fresh off a controversy over its state song, Maryland’s state motto is now in the cross hairs of one state senator who says it’s sexist.
Maryland’s official motto is the motto of the Calvert family, which originally settled the state. It reads, in Italian, “Fatti maschil, Parole femine,” which translates literally to “Manly deeds, Womanly words,” or, more abstractly, “Strong deeds, Gentle words.”
“Strong deeds, Gentle words” is also the official translation endorsed by the state.
One Maryland lawmaker claims the motto is sexist and, through recently introduced legislation, has demanded it be changed, The Washington Post reports.
State Sen. Bryan Simonaire, a Republican from Anne Arundel, told the Post the state motto “just struck me as sexist,” and filed legislation for the next legislative session that would change it.
“I have five daughters, and I’m very concerned that Maryland is holding onto outdated references,” he told the paper. “I don’t believe Maryland is a sexist state.”
In the past state lawmakers have tried to change the translation of the motto, but each time the efforts have failed.
Last week, a state advisory panel suggested that the state change its official song, “Maryland, My Maryland,” because, they said, the song has racist undertones.
According to the state advisory panel the lyrics of the Civil War-era song, which refers to Abraham Lincoln as a “despot” and called on Maryland to join the Confederacy, doesn’t reflect the feelings of the people of Maryland.
In replacing the 150-year-old song, the panel recommended adopting “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the state song. Its author, Francis Scott Key, was from Maryland and it is about a battle that took place in Baltimore.
The panel also suggested simply abandoning the idea of having a state song. New Jersey is the only state in the union that does not have an official state song.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has repeatedly voiced opposition to the song change, calling it simply “political correctness run amok.”
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