Ze Has Arrived? Oxford Union Denies That It Barred Using “She” or “He”[UPDATED]

oxford_university_coat_of_arms-svgWe have previously discussed the move to expand the pronouns used at schools and allow students to chose a gender but also a pronoun. Indeed, at George Washington University where I teach, the school is asking faculty to list their preferred pronouns so I recently received an email from a colleague with “Pronouns: he, him, his” after his name. Over the weekend, stories appears in various sites that Oxford University has asked its faculty and students to stop using “he” or “she” entirely in favor of “ze.”  It now appears that the story was based on a policy to encourage the use of correct pronouns and not any mandate.

This appears less of a “fake news” story as misreading of the policy.  Oxford University’s behavior code makes using the wrong pronoun to define a transgender person an offense. It now requests that only the gender neutral pronoun be used.

In countering stories claiming a mandatory rule, the Union released this statement:

“We would also like to clearly state that we would never tell anyone to use ‘ze’ pronouns instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ if ‘he’ or ‘she’ is the pronoun someone wishes to use. That would be misgendering and would likely have the biggest impact on individuals who may already be struggling to get people to use ‘he’ or ‘she’ for them. It would be totally counterproductive.”

What do you think about the idea of a mandatory or voluntary program to shift to “ze”?

67 thoughts on “Ze Has Arrived? Oxford Union Denies That It Barred Using “She” or “He”[UPDATED]

  1. Academics in the English-speaking world are doing their damndest to induce the public and the legislatures to strip them of their autonomy and provide legal and institutional architectures which will allow labor markets to do without them.

  2. Apparently professors and university administrators have dumbed down or forgotten some of the rules they were taught 60 or so years ago. I learned there already is a pronoun that is non-gender-specific which is used when gender doesn’t exist or can’t be determined. That pronoun is “it”. Seems like that would apply here, since college students these days are often gender-indetermanent.

    • We use words to communicate our thoughts. By limiting ourselves to words no one might find offensive, we are severely limiting our ability to communicate. Interestingly, that limitation provides more opportunity for miscommunication and more opportunity to offend because we were not understood.

      BTW, what is with this right not to be offended? And who gets this right? It does not seem to be evenly applied to all – only “qualified minorities”. I say no to either a mandatory or voluntary neutralization of our language If you want to be understood, the words used should be finite. Next thing you know, we won’t be able to provide race or skin color in a description of a crime suspect.

      • That ‘next thing you know’ started back in the early 2000’s at least in Jefferson County, Washington. Having witnessed a robbery I gave the investigating deputy the following description Male approximately six foot tall, 150 pounds, slender build. Later on the State Police stopped by and asked what about race. “Can’t do that here but you can say heavily tanned. Next thing I heard I had been called to be a witness at the trial.

        I received that bit of humorous news I was on the other side of the world middle of the Indian Ocean. Upon return the Deputy said if we had been allowed to enquire as to complexion and coupled with your statement he was a frequent customer it would have made the job much easier. I learned the deputy’s attempts to interjection the information was denied as hearsay. The ‘suspect’ was released to the custody of his parent singular and later arrested on a similar charge and convicted with other such in between. Having reach the appropriate age he went into adult population and later died of an STD but since it was hearsay I’m not allowed to say he was selling himself for cigarettes. No one would come to his AIDe.

        There is a story by Robert Heinlein where he explains how as a society we treat our children badly and not as well as we treat our dogs A dog poops on the carpet the appropriate training measures are taken. A child continues to misbehave everyone protects him from any sort of punishment and the training never takes place. But let’s suppose one day the dog owner after scolding disapprovingly sees the dog is grown up and still craps on the carpet. Then shoots it. Not likely wouldn’t you say.

        But when the child craps on society and later becomes an adult and is still doing the same and we electrocute him or her doesn’t that dehumanize both the child and society? This particular individual suffered a fate far worse than getting his nose rubbed into the mess on the carpet.

        I have to agree with Mr. Heinlein. As a society we treat our children far worse than we do our dogs. Part of it is not ‘profiling’ someone by saying outright he was a caucasian. By then it was probably too late anyway.

        • Michael Aarethun – Heinlien believed in a universal draft, as do I. We all serve, in some capacity, for 6 years, or we are not allowed to vote.

          • Paul I’m a big fan of that. Universal not meaning that everyone MUST get drafted but that everyone CAN serve voluntarily. The Prize at the end was full citizenship meaning one could hold elected or appointed office as well as vote. It also called for no one who had not served ‘in combat, running for President or whatver the top job was. The idea not theory is those who have seen the elephant and not bought the farm were least likely to choose war. Obama just proved that every day for eight years.

            Two other caveats. No one could be refused if they volunteered. A job within the ranks must be found even if they were blind paraplegics and had count hair son a caterpillar by touch regardless of age. So that’s numbe one. No one could hold a commission without first being in combat. But here’s a third. Society did not look down on those who elected to not exercise that right and go for full citizenship.

            In his fictional world school and parents prepared the young people to make a moral choice and exercise the responsibility.

            The final comment of the many available goes like this. No draft. If it’s worth doing enough will come forward if they don’t it isn’t worth doing OR use what you have more wisely. Not as cannon fodder.

            That is the major error of the current, still in force draft system.

            I posted the above for those who have not read Heinlein but mistakenly perhaps thought watching the movie was the same as reading a book.

            • And if you haven’t figured it out the book is and the movie was Starship Troopers. The first written simultaneously on three intellectual levels The latter ….POS.

  3. Perfect response. Most of the time these PC idiots are just too lazy to look in the dictionary. They chose person to replace he or she etc.and I caught on right away. Per SON is there a per. daugher? I don’t THINK so Duuhh

    I have yet to find a need for Co-City Council Acting Chairperson or the like. The Chair will do or helmsperson when The Helm or helmer will do. The list is endless. As for those idiots in Congress The House refers to which House? They are either Senators, Representatives or Congressionals.

    As for PC and the rest of this garbage I don’t use slang especially that from institutions of higher snowflaking. Snow Flake is also gender neutral.

    I cannot imagine looking at some one and saying How are it? And Ze sounds suspiciously neo fascist. Which is a good gender neutral word to describe the practioners of Political C-Rap Speak.

        • When you stop to remember what ‘it’ signifies as a word one leaves with a very large indifference to zee ‘it.’ But not to worry or fret. It is a way of establishing it self as something to be ignored or at best laughed at. Objectively speaking about it, — it is a case of what is an it, why should I care?– If I lost youI can add more punctuation. But if not it is – not.

          That’s is enough. I have to go do important stuff – or something.

  4. I think it’s a ridiculous idea, and people need to stop this delusion that the entire world needs to conform to spare their feelings.

    There is a broad range of gender identity, sexual preferences, and even mental illness that can affect how someone views himself, herself, or “zeself?” Some people believe they are unicorns or aliens or the Queen of England. You cannot and should not expect the entire world to keep up with the myriad possibilities. Just be yourself, and don’t worry how others address you. It was funny when they tried to guess androgynous Pat’s gender on SNL, but they shouldn’t take PC so far.

    I have a problem with the hard Left increasing government intrusiveness, the control of people’s private lives and thoughts, and ascribing evil tendencies to those who don’t play ball. No, you are not transgenderphobic if you don’t want to bother with “ze” or any other non-binary pronouns.

    • The opposite is for people who mindlessly jump into this new fad. The other name for them is good little left wing fascists doing as they are programmed to do – nothing to admire but one might pity them or just find them contemptible. Better yet. Ignore them or start laughing. and them ignore them.

  5. Regardless of whether this situation actually existed, or the reported events occurred, or this was a ‘fake’ story, please know that it was VERY real.

    The intelligence and law enforcement communities call this “jingling the wire”: Operatives say or do something to cause a subject under surveillance to take action. In this case, that subject was all of YOU.

    Akin to a military border incursion, or like the Soviets testing US and NATO defenses by near violations of air/naval spaces, SWJ’s wanted to know if you were watching, and willing to react. And, you did. Kudos to those of you who took them on.

    Be forewarned: SJW’s will keep testing your readiness, and jingling your wires.

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