Two dispatches from the world of liberal academic idiocy:
At the University of North Carolina, they’re advising employees to avoid offending their co-workers by saying things that could be defined as “microaggressions.” So what are they so worried about?
Well, talking about a “Christmas vacation” is out, so is complimenting someone’s shoes and referring to a co-worker’s “husband” or “wife” instead of “partner” or “spouse” are all examples of microaggressions that can really hurt peoples’ feelings, CampusReform is reporting.
Some other examples? Saying you “don’t know” any gay people – even if you don’t; declaring that you’re “OCD” about something or that when you’re forgetful, you might say you’re “ADHD” because it minimizes people with REAL mental issues – and the kicker:
Telling your staff that you should “have a staff retreat at a country club” and “plan a round of golf.” How is this a “microaggression?” Because some people can’t afford to go to a country club and don’t play golf.
According to UNC, “having an office dress code that applies to men and women differently assumes that your staff fits into one of two gender categories; can also be a violation of anti-discrimination policies.”
For the same reason, the guide adds, “only having ‘man’/’woman’ or ‘male’/‘female’ as options for gender on forms” constitutes a microaggression because it means that one “must fit in the gender binary and select among these predefined categories.”
And while we’re on the subject of what to say, over at the University of Pittsburgh, they’ve decided that correct English is merely a “social construct.”
In the completely insane “Gender Inclusive Language Guidelines,” they advise people to use completely made-up words so as not to offend people whose psyche is so fragile, they can fall to pieces at the mere utterance of a gender-specific pronoun. Here are some “suggested” sentences to use when going about your day (I’m NOT kidding here, folks):
“Ze loves coffee!”
“I asked zim to meet me in the library”
“I read zir book in my composition class”
“Ze taught zirself to play the guitar.”
They have a question-and-answer section. In one of the “questions” they argue that English has specific rules of right and wrong. Their response: “Correct is a social and ideological construction that only began to become conceivable, especially for English, in the 17th century.”
Another “question” is that this is all just political correctness gone haywire. Their response is long and just awful:
No one is ordering you to use this language. However, some people are asking you to be considerate of their wishes and sensibilities. In short, it’s merely politeness — politeness is about consideration for other people. You are free to not use this language (it is merely a suggestion for those who would like to know how people would like to handle such things). 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. Isn’t it nice to have a little guidance about how to be considerate and polite?
It’s not “politeness.” I’m not a “zhe” or a “zim” or a “zir.” I am offended by those terms. It’s not “considerate” or “polite” to begin calling everybody by a feel-good, fairytale name to accommodate the delicate sensibilities of a tiny, tiny few.