Some students at the venerable, all-female Wellesley College are calling for an end to use of the term … women.
A staff editorial in the Wellesley News bemoans the popular on-campus catchphrases such as “Wellesley sisters,” “Women Who Will,” and “Wellesley women,” and asks that instead there be a more concerted effort to use gender-neutral language all around.
In particular, three suggestions put forth by the campus journalists are:
When discussing the student body, say “Wellesley students” rather than “Wellesley women.”
Avoid making statements like “We’re all women here…”
Use gender-neutral language whenever possible in syllabi and other general written communication.
The editorial also criticized Wellesley’s transgender policy, which accepts students who were born male but identify as female, but not students who were born female but identify as male.
It described the five-year-old policy as complacent and neglectful of the transgender and nonbinary community, and called on administration to revise it, as well as “usher in a more inclusive language standard for official communications. Additionally, we ask students to reflect these changes in their everyday lives in order to foster a more kind, empathetic environment.”
“… Our sentiments should not be misconstrued as a blanket demand to censor campus dialogue or dictate everyday behavior,” the editorial added. “We are merely advocating for a kind environment for all marginalized identities that may step foot on Wellesley’s campus which can be implemented through policy and cultural shifts within the community and beyond.”
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