The PJ Tatler

'Critical Theory' in Action: No Idea Too Stupid to Try

What difference does it make?

What difference does it make?

That would be on the Left, whose war on everything continues to rage under the guise of “academic freedom” — by which they mean, of course, the loss of freedom. Today’s enormity comes to us from — where else? — the lunatic City University of New York, which has decided to ban the honorifics “Mr.” and “Mrs.” as… as… well, something:

Mr. and Mrs. Politically Correct have laid down the law at City University of New York, where gender-specific salutations are now a no-no. School officials sent out a memo barring professors and other staffers within the graduate program from addressing students with titles like “Mr.” and “Mrs.,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Effective Spring 2015, the (graduate center’s) policy is to eliminate the use of gendered salutations and references in correspondence to students, prospective students, and third parties,” read the memo to employees. “Accordingly, Mr. and Ms. should be omitted from salutations.”

While the directive specifically targets written interactions with students and prospective students, Tanya Domi, a spokesperson for the school told the newspaper that the policy should be “interpreted as broadly as possible.”

Here’s a typical example of what passes for thinking among the professoriat:

“I don’t use ‘Mr.’ or ‘Mrs.’ anyway,” Claire Bishop, an art history professor, told the newspaper. “What’s anyone’s marital status got to do with how we address them?…Why should women have to say whether they’re married or not? That’s increasingly something that our society has got to take into account.”

You see how this “critical theory” racket works: first they indict the language, then they attack the institution, then they re-focus on the language to eliminate the concept altogether — in this case, heterosexual marriage. The mechanism in this case is the infamous Title IX of 1972, which may have seemed like a good idea at the time to some, but was always viewed as a club by the Left, to begin bludgeoning society into submission with creative interpretations of the law.

Free speech advocates worry that policies like the one at CUNY lead to a slippery slope that intrudes on academic freedom. “Title IX prohibits discrimination—nothing more,” Ari Cohn, a free speech lawyer told The College Fix for an article on the matter. “Unfortunately, this problematic justification is emblematic of a pattern that FIRE is increasingly concerned by: Title IX is being turned into a Swiss army knife that can be used by colleges and universities to justify (and provide political cover for) virtually any academic or institutional policy even tangentially related to sex or gender.”

How about that!