The AP Stylebook Torches the Term “Mistress”: She Can Be a Companion or Lover

From Connecting, a website for current and former AP staffers:

The 2020 Associated Press Stylebook is being published soon, and the AP is not humble about what it represents. “The style of The Associated Press is the gold standard for news writing,” they boast, and the book offers a sturdy path to the AP’s “famous” brand of “clarity and professionalism.”

On May 8, they took their torches to the term “mistress” as hopelessly outdated. “We now say not to use the archaic and sexist term ‘mistress’ for a woman in a long-term sexual relationship with, and financially supported by, a man who is married to someone else. Instead, use an alternative like companion or lover on first reference. Provide details later.”
From a Fox News story by Brian Flood headlined “Associated Press mocked for declaring term ‘mistress’ is archaic, exist”:

The Associated Press announced last week that it would ditch the term “mistress” from its vocabulary, noting the word is “archaic and sexist term,” and critics of the decision haven’t held back from mocking it. . . .

Politico columnist Jack Shafer told the AP to “go soak your head,” while sports radio veteran Tony Bruno responded, “How about side piece, kept woman, concubine, shack job, goomah, homewrecker or Lisa Page for short?”

“A one-night stand might be a lover, but not a mistress. A companion could be just any friend. You haven’t solved anything thing here, @apstylebook, you’ve only opened yourself to ridicule,” Shafer added.

The Associated Press has historically dictated the style used by the majority of news organizations, but Media Research Center director of media analysis Tim Graham wrote that it recently began “foregoing clarity for politically correct muddiness.”. . .

He compared the AP’s decision to someone referring to a smoker as a “cigarette enthusiast.”

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