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Call me “hum”: Scripps’s “gender-neutral pronouns” stupider than U. of Tennessee’s

September 23, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Scripps students: One’s a “hu” and one’s a “per”?

When the University of Tennessee-Knoxville posted a list of suggested “gender neutral pronouns” to be used instead of the sexist “he” and “she,” there was such an uproar (plus roars of laughter at the stupid-sounding new pronouns) that the university’s diversity office promptly removed the directive from its website.

But UT is a public university, accountable ultimately to the taxpayers who help subsidize it.

So that didn’t mean that the campus-administration fad for the gender-neutral is finished–far from it. Scripps College in Claremont, Calif, a private institution that doesn’t have to answer to taxpayers, has come up with a set of pronourns that’s even more elaborate and ridiculous than the UT set. Furthermore, instead of letting students and faculty decide for themselves whether to use them, Scripps is making it more or less mandatory for professors to learn and use the list it has devised:

“The gender-identification page allows Scripps students to choose from ten pronoun options: e/ey, em, eir/eirs, eirself/emse; he, him, his, himself; hu, hum, hus, humself; just my name please; none; per, per, per/pers, perself; she, her, hers, herself; they, them, their/theirs, themse; ze, hir, hir/hirs, hirself; and ze, zir, zir/zirs, zirself.”

I’d personally choose “hum” and “humself”–but your pronoun tastes may differ.

***

Furthermore:

“During the transition to the new pronoun system, students are encouraged to discuss their pronouns with their professors.”

And woe to the professor–I’ll bet–who forgets that student A in that World History 101 class goes by “per,” while Student B is merely a “hu.” I wouldn’t want to be up for tenure when it turns out that I haven’t done my pronoun-memory work.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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