Gender Inclusive Language doesn’t go far enough
As of a few days ago, UNC has changed its policy regarding gender inclusive language so as to provide an “inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community.” What this means is that all official university documents, websites, and policies produced by the university now have to meet a new set of gender inclusive language standards.
The conflict itself arose, when there was a large complaint from various members of the university that the term “freshman” was in some way sexist, and non-inclusive of those that do not consider themselves of the “man” kind. So to change this, words like “freshman” have been stripped from the university language and have been replaced by more “neutral” language like “First-Years”. But of course, since that itself is not enough, words like “chairman”, and “chairwoman” will now simply be replaced by the word “chair”. These types of changes will finally end the popular belief that all of the entering students at Carolina are indeed only males or that the chairwoman might actually be a woman, which should make us all very relieved, but there is still so much more that needs to be done.
Most of the textbooks that our teachers make obligational for us to pay for also use terms like “mankind” and “humans” which is just as immoral, if not worse than the term “freshman” and “chairwoman”. It is utterly despicable for our university to condone such actions that clearly identify one strict societal bound on gender affiliation, and fail to consider those of us whom view ourselves differently. Also this type of neutrality cannot stop at just race, we need to have neutrality and acceptance in all categories of life. This means taking out any mention of the word “dinosaurs” for those students who do not believe in evolution, the term “birthday” for the students that may be Jehova’s witnesses, and “Halloween” since it might suggest paganism for certain students (if I may be audacious enough to call ourselves that word). UNC has a lot of work to do to get to true equality and neutrality in terms of language, and we will not stop until we have it.
In all seriousness, this “neutrality” push in our university is just downright ridiculous. This is just the first step of many that will place our university on the same level of the New York City school districts which, this year, have banned 50 topics from being placed on tests, including words like: aliens, dancing, junk food, abuse, terrorism, divorce, and of course “computers” to be sensitive for those students that may not have one at home. This type of push has nothing to do with equality and how a population on campus has felt discriminated against. It is just a wishy washy campaign that wants everyone to be just happy and special and without bounds so that no one can feel remotely offended. Listen people, we need to get over ourselves. If we think the word “Freshman” is offensive, we might as well not bother producing any documents- just in case a word might offend someone.