Oxford University has put out guidance advising colleges and academic departments to stop referring to staff by “gender-specific” titles such as Mr and Mrs.
The advice, issued by the university’s Equality and Diversity Unit, says that only gender-neutral academic titles such as Dr and Professor should be used, while noting that some staff may prefer to be referred to under the invented gender-neutral title of Mx.
The Transgender Guidance Report says: “The Equality and Diversity Unit suggests that departments and colleges remove all gender-specific titles from websites and print information, retaining only academic titles such as Dr, Prof.
“In the meantime individuals should be given the option of appearing without a title.”
It also notes: “In non-binary communities, Mx and Msc are gaining popularity, and some non-binary people prefer constructed pronouns such as ‘zie’ or ‘ey’.”
Last week, Breitbart London reported that the university’s student union told students to use the pronoun ‘ze’ rather than ‘he’ or ‘she’, as the traditional pronouns suggest there are only two genders.
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell welcomed the advice, telling MailOnline: “It is good to have gender-neutral pronouns for those who want them but it shouldn’t be compulsory.
“This issue isn’t about being politically correct or censoring anyone. It’s about acknowledging the fact of changing gender identities and respecting people’s right to not define themselves as male or female.
“Giving people the ‘ze’ option is a thoughtful, considerate move.”
However, there is evidence of a growing backlash against the moves.
Canadian professor Jordan Peterson released a video on YouTube in which he criticised the Canadian government’s plans to implement legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on “gender identity and gender expression”.
“The changes of the law scare me because they put into the legal substructure of the culture certain assumptions about basic human nature that, not only I believe to be untrue, but they’re also dangerous and ideologically motivated,” he said.
Regarding the advice from Oxford Students Union, he said: “UK universities should resist this. Whole disciplines have become irretrievable from these doctrines.”