According to a report out of Campus Reform, two Washington State University professors are threatening to deduct points from students for using language they deem offensive or hateful.
1. Gross generalizations, stereotypes, and derogatory/oppressive language are not acceptable. Use of racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, classist, or generally offensive language in class or submission of such material will not be tolerated. (This includes “The Man,” “Colored People,” “Illegals/Illegal Aliens,” “Tranny” and so on – or referring to women/men as females or males) If I see it or hear it, I will correct it in class since it can be a learning moment for many students. Repeated use of oppressive and hateful language will be handled accordingly – including but not limited to removal from the class without attendance or participation points, failure of the assignment, and – in extreme cases – failure for the semester”
2. “A Note on [In]appropriate Terminology: Don’t use it.
• Not “colored” person/s/people but “people of color.”
• Not “the white man” but “white men,” “white males,” or “white society”
• Not “illegal alien” or “illegals” but “undocumented” migrants/immigrants/persons. Note that the Associated Press (AP) has determined not to use it: ‘The Stylebook no longer sanctions the term “illegal immigrant” or the use of “illegal” to describe a person. Instead, it tells users that “illegal” should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally.’
• If you use the above terms in your writing, your grade will suffer a deduction of one point per incident.””
Some language limits can be understood, but banning “illegal immigrant” is way too far for me. Even still, at least that’s somewhat understandable. I can see why someone would be taken aback by the word “illegal” as an adjective, even if this is political correctness run amok.
However, male/female to describe men and women? Seriously? Have we reached that point?
I hope any student who is harmed by these limits slaps a lawsuit on Washington State University. They’re a public school. They shouldn’t be allowed to have these limitations on the books.