I had a revelatory moment when reading this story. Someone was actually paid to write this “language guide” that recommends not using certain words because they aren’t “inclusive” enough, or don’t reflect “diversity.” Someone sat around dreaming up reasons why some words that were historically innocuous, or even generated pride, had suddenly become objectionable.
What kind of loon would apply for a job like that?
No matter. The University of New Hampshire’s “Bias Free Language Guide” reinforces the notion that the elites at our universities have gone stark, raving mad, with the promise that their insanity will only get worse.
“American,” “illegal alien,” “foreigners,” “mothering,” and “fathering” are just a handful of words deemed “problematic” by the University of New Hampshire’s Bias-Free Language Guide.
According to the university’s website, the guide “is meant to invite inclusive excellence in [the] campus community.”
Terms also considered problematic include: “elders,” “senior citizen,” “overweight,” “speech impediment,” “dumb,” “sexual preference,” “manpower,” “freshmen,” “mailman,” and “chairman,” in addition to many others.
The guide defines words such as “homosexual” as “problematic,” offering “Same Gender Loving” as a more inclusive substitute. Similarly, a lack of gender-neutral bathrooms is, according to the university, “ciscentrism.”
The university defines “ciscentrism” as “[a] pervasive and institutionalized system that places transgender people in the ‘other’ category and treats their needs and identities as less important than those of cisgender people.”
“Ciscentrism,” according to the university, “includes the lack of gender-neutral restrooms, locker rooms, and residences.”
Saying “American” to reference Americans is also problematic. The guide encourages the use of the more inclusive substitutes “U.S. citizen” or “Resident of the U.S.”
The guide notes that “American” is problematic because it “assumes the U.S. is the only country inside [the continents of North and South America].” (The guide doesn’t address whether or not the terms “Canadians” and “Mexicans” should be abandoned in favor of “Residents of Canada” and “Residents of Mexico,” respectively.)
The guide clarifies that saying “illegal alien” is also problematic. While “undocumented immigrant” is acceptable, the guide recommends saying “person seeking asylum,” or “refugee,” instead. Even saying “foreigners” is problematic; the preferred term is “international people.”
Using the word “Caucasian” is considered problematic as well, and should be discontinued in favor of “European-American individuals.” The guide also states that the notion of race is “a social construct…that was designed to maintain slavery.”
The guide also discourages the use of “mothering” or “fathering,” so as to “avoid gendering a non-gendered activity.”
Even saying the word “healthy” is problematic, the university says. The “preferred term for people without disabilities,” the university says, is “non-disabled.” Similarly, saying “handicapped” or “physically-challenged” is also problematic. Instead, the university wants people to use the more inclusive “wheelchair user,” or “person who is wheelchair mobile.”
Using the words “rich” or “poor” is also frowned upon. Instead of saying “rich,” the university encourages people to say “person of material wealth.” Rather than saying a person is “poor,” the university encourages its members to substitute “person who lacks advantages that others have” or “low economic status related to a person’s education, occupation and income.”
Creating an entirely new vocabulary that makes communication far more difficult than it need be just to assuage the supposed “offended” feelings of anyone except white male Christians would be hysterically funny — if the authors had any sort of a sense of humor.
But they don’t. They live their lives examining language under a microscope, burrowing ever deeper into meaning and intent, looking for microagressions and transgressions against their rigid, formulaic codes of speech, while slaying imaginary dragons of racism, sexism, and all the other evil “isms” out there.
If there goal is to make it impossible to have a rational discussion about anything, they are almost there.