Wednesday, September 2, 2015

News Coverage and Outrage over UT's Politically Correct, Gender Neutral Pronoun Policy

The creation by the University of Tennessee of new gender neutral pronouns and the effort to promote their use has been international news, the butt of jokes, and created angry push back from State law makers. Below is a sampling of what is being reported:

Top lawmakers promise action over UT pronouns post
by Adam Tamburin, The Tennessean, Sept. 1, 2015 - Top state and federal lawmakers are reacting with outrage, and promises of action, after a post on the University of Tennessee Knoxville website got national attention for encouraging students to use gender-neutral pronouns.

 Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said on Facebook that the post, written by the director of UT's Pride Center, was "the clearest example of political correctness run amok that I have seen in quite some time." Ramsey, R-Blountville, said he expected the General Assembly to "weigh in on the issue" in January if UT doesn't "take quick action" first.

Call me 'ze,' not 'he': University wants everyone to use 'gender inclusive' pronouns by Todd Starnes, Fox News -  UPDATE: Rickey Hall, the vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, said their quest for gender neutral pronouns is not an official university policy.

“It’s not policy,” he said. “It’s about inclusive practice.”
Hall told me the gender neutral pronouns were a way of “exposing our students (to an) increasingly diverse and global world.”
Gender-neutral terms encouraged at UT, criticized by legislators 
Knoxville News Sentinel - Staff and students in the University of Tennessee Office for Diversity and Inclusion want people to think beyond the "he/she" pronouns and are encouraging use of gender-neutral pronouns such as "xe," "xym" and "xyr."
University of Tennessee switches gender-specific pronouns 'he' and 'she' for 'xe' and 'ze' to promote inclusivity
by Jess Staufenberg,The Independent (a British national morning newspaper published in London)- Gender-neutral pronouns for transgender and queer-identifying people - such as "xe" and "ze" - are being encouraged at a second university in the US. The University of Tennessee has asked tutors to consider asking students which pronouns they wish to be addressed by, warning against assuming gender-binary pronouns "he" and "she". Donna Braquet, director of the Pride Center at the university in Knoxville, has posted advice to respect that some students may identify differently to the gender assigned them on the register. "The more we make sharing of pronouns a universal practice, the more inclusive we will be as a campus," writes Ms Braquet.
 USA Today: 'she' don't apply: University promotes gender-neutral pronouns
 Say what? University of Tennessee invents pronouns ‘ze, hir, hirs’ New York Daily News - ...Tennessee students and teachers who are unable to use the neutral pronouns should politely ask "Oh, nice to you (insert name). What pronouns should I use?" Braquet said.

Oh, please, say critics who think that is taking things much too far.

"We have paid people a lot of money to sit around and come up with this nonsense," said state Rep. Bill Dunn, a Republican from Knoxville.
"If you say I'm going to meet 'ze,' someone's going to think you're going to meet someone from another planet," he told WATE-TV this week.
This is only a sample.  It is covered in The Huffington Post, Red State, The Daily Caller, and various news programs and newspapers across the country and many blogs have picked up the story. Daily Motion, the French video-sharing website, has a video that is humorous but sympathetic to the new pronouns in the Comedy & Entertainment category (link).

I think the State Legislature should take serious action.  A University employee with time on their hands to come up with something this stupid has too much time on their hands and maybe their position needs to be defunded. Parents should ask themselves is this is where they really want to send their children to college, and alumni should ask themselves if their alma mater is worthy of their financial support.

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