In an increased effort to be politically correct, a new inclusive language policy from administrators at Princeton University is seeking to end the usage of gender-specific words like “man” on campus.
The inclusive language initiative, which is headed up by Princeton’s Human Resource’s Department, asks students to refrain from the use of gendered language. To many the effort is an example of political correctness run amok, in that it seeks to coddle the extreme minority of campus dwellers who don’t identify with the gender binary.
According to the inclusive language memo, the “gender binary is the traditional view on human gender, which does not take into consideration individuals who identify as otherwise, including and not limited to transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and/or intersex.”
The memo claims that the use of gender-neutral language will become standard university practice in all “HR communications, policies, job descriptions, and job postings.”
“Consistent with style guidelines issued by Princeton’s Office of Human Resources and Office of Communications, and as endorsed by the Institutional Equity Planning Group as a preferred University practice, HR has developed these gender inclusive style guidelines, to be utilized by all HR staff members in HR communications, policies, job descriptions, and job postings,” the memo states.
This policy isn’t the first of it’s kind. Students are Marquette University are expected to adhere to rigid language standards in the classroom. “When you are writing about people in general, many of your professors will expect you to use ‘inclusive’ or ‘nonsexist’ language, that is, gender-neutral language,” Marquette’s website states, arguing that many people find gendered language “not only inaccurate but offensive.”
The inclusive language memo includes a list of suggestions on how Princeton community members can better adhere to the new practice:
1. Replace gendered pronouns, e.g., he, him, his, and she, her, hers, by rewriting the text in the plural. Example: Each participant must present his ID badge at the door. Revised: All participants must present their ID badges at the door.
2. Eliminate the pronoun altogether. Example: Each employee is expected to turn in his annual disclosure form by the deadline. Revised: Employees are expected to turn in the annual disclosure forms by the deadline. Example: The incumbent is expected to edit a variety of documents. She must also prepare weekly updates. Revised: The incumbent is expected to edit a variety of documents and must also prepare a weekly update.
3. Repeat the noun. Example: The student must submit the course registration papers by July 1. Her guidance counselor will send confirmation by mail. Revised: The student must submit the course registration papers by July 1. The student’s guidance counsellor will send confirmation by mail.
4. Use the second person voice, i.e., address your reader directly, using you and your. Example: The tenant must keep her apartment clean and tidy. Revised: You must keep your apartment clean and tidy.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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