England’s Department of Education is having guidelines sent to every school in the country on Tuesday instructing them to ban “sexist” language — such as “man up” and “cupcake” — in the hopes that these terms will start to be considered as unacceptable as racist ones.
“We have always had clear policies on racist language but now we are making it clear to staff that any kind of sexist language is not acceptable,” Janice Callow, deputy head of Fairfields High School in Bristol (one of the pilot schools) told the Sunday Times.
“We used to say ‘Man up, cupcake,’” Callows added. “We’ve stopped that. Saying ‘Don’t be a girl’ to a boy if they are being a bit wet is also unacceptable. Language is a very powerful tool. You have to be so conscious of what you are saying to children.”
Other banned “sexist” phrases, according to the Daily Telegraph, will include “boys telling girls to ‘make them a sandwich,’” “calling boys ‘sissies’,” and “calling girls who study male subjects ‘lesbians.’”
#share#According to the Telegraph, the guidelines are based on a report from the Institute of Physics. They’re being sent to all the schools “at the government’s request,” according to the Sunday Times.
#related#The Telegraph also reports that the guidelines tell schools to appoint “gender champions” to convince more female students to take traditionally “male” classes (such as physics and computer science) and more male students to take traditionally “female” ones (such as English literature and psychology.)
In addition, many schools have already established task forces of students who will be policing their classmates’ language and attitudes and reporting (read: tattling on) any student who dares to violate the new standards.