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12.49 2 Sep 2015


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There is criticism today of an American University's suggestion that people avoid using pronouns like he or she, and instead use invented words like Ne and Ve to protect gender neutrality.

The University of Tennessee has produced a document covering suggested language they hope will make their campus more inclusive.

The guidelines have been issued by the University's Pride Centre, its LGBTQ+ and Ally Resource Center.

Suggested list of pronouns from University of Tennessee's Pride Centre

Donna Braquet, Director of the Pride Center, says: "We should not assume someone’s gender by their appearance, nor by what is listed on a roster or in student information systems.

Transgender people and people who do not identity within the gender binary may use a different name than their legal name and pronouns of their gender identity, rather than the pronouns of the sex they were assigned at birth."

Braquet recommends that lecturers ask students to identify themselves, rather than calling roll and that you directly ask "What pronouns should I use?” on being introduced to a new person.

 

Backlash

Republican Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee, Ron Ramsey, described the guidelines as 'political correctness run amok'.

He says the University's reputation has been 'tarnished' by events.

Mr. Ramsey warns the guidelines should be reversed, adding: "the legislature will most certainly weigh in on the issue when we return in January".

Meanwhile, The Family Action Council of Tennessee, which aims to promote traditional family values, has issued a call to action among its supporter base.

In a statement, they write: "Let's not let UT (University of Tennessee) use our tax dollars to neuter the English language and foist on our state a radical understanding of male and female!"


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