Politics & Policy

University Warns Professors That Their Students’ Genders May Change Over Time

Pittsburgh’s “Cathedral of Learning”
This information was part of the University of Pittsburgh's "Gender-Inclusive/Non-Sexist Language Guidelines and Resources" document.

The University of Pittsburgh has released a set of “Gender-Inclusive/Non-Sexist Language Guidelines and Resources” informing instructors how they should be talking in their classrooms in order to not offend anyone.

One suggestion is to ask “students to write down preferred names and pronouns” on the first day while also keeping in mind that just because a student wanted a particular pronoun on the first day doesn’t mean that he/she/they/zi/zie will always want that pronoun because “a person’s gender identity may change over time.”

“Zi” and “zie” are provided as examples of gender-neutral pronouns in the document, as well as the singular use of the pronoun “they.”

Oh, and in case you’re one of those people who thinks that using “they” to refer to a single person is grammatically incorrect, the guidelines clarify that thinking this way is actually wrong:

“By this argument we should bring back singular thou/thee/thine!” it exclaims.

To make sure professors are prepared, the document provides a small sampling of the certainly infinite number of genders that are out there:

#related#“Some genders include masculine, feminine, genderqueer (queer, fluid, or non-binary gender identity), agender (neutral or non-existent gender identity and/or expression), cisgender (gender identity and/or expression that is “cis,” or “on the same side as,” assigned sex category), and transgender (any gender identity or expression that differs from sex assignment). Trans refers to a range of non-cisgender identities, including transgender and transsexual.”

It also suggests avoiding “sexist” language such as “freshman” and “congressman,” and “including the Gender-Inclusive/Non-Sexist Language Syllabi Statement in your syllabi to let students know that you want your classroom to be an inclusive space.”

Although the document does clarify that the guidelines are by no means mandatory, it also compares not following them to insulting a stranger’s outfit:

“You are free to not use this language . . . you are also free to criticize the way someone is dressed even if you don’t know them, but then most people would probably think you are rude,” it states.

“Isn’t it nice to have a little guidance about how to be considerate and polite?” it asks.

The guidelines were co-authored by linguistics professor Scott F. Kiesling and visiting English/Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies lecturer Julie Beaulieu.

Most Popular

PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More
Film & TV

Joker: An Honest Treatment of Madness

When I saw that the New York Times and The New Yorker had run columns berating the new Joker movie, criticizing it not simply on cinematic grounds but instead insisting that the film amounted to a clandestine defense of “whiteness” in an attempt to buttress the electoral aim of “Republicans” — this is a ... Read More
Elections

The Democrats’ Disastrous CNN LGBT Town Hall

A few days after Donald Trump committed the worst foreign-policy blunder of his presidency by betraying America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, former vice president Joe Biden, the elder statesman and co-frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary, was on a national stage talking to CNN’s primetime ... Read More
White House

What Is Impeachment For?

W hat is impeachment for? Seems like a simple question. Constitutionally speaking, it also appears to have a simple answer: to cite and remove from power a president guilty of wrongdoing. Aye, there’s the rub. What sort of wrongdoing warrants removal from power? I’d wager that the flames of ... Read More
Elections

Beto Proposes to Oppress Church with State

Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign is within the margin of error of non-existence, but in his failure he has found a purpose: expressing the Democratic id. His latest bid for left-wing love came at a CNN forum on gay rights, where he said that churches that oppose same-sex marriage should have to pay ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Resigns

Fox News Channel's chief anchor, Shepard Smith, announced on air Friday that he would be resigning from his post after 23 years with the network. “This is my last newscast here,” said Smith. “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged.” He ... Read More