I guess Jimmy Neutron will have to live with “Jimmy Neutron: Boy
Genius . Cambridge University examiners are being told to avoid the words “flair”, “brilliance” and “genius” in the review of student work because these terms are sexist and “carry assumptions of gender inequality.” It appears Madam Curie was just a really solid researcher.
At first I assumed that this was a gag but it appears to be a serious position taken by adults like lecturer on Gender History Lucy Delap, who must be herself really smart but no genius. Delap insists “Some of those words, in particular genius, have a very long intellectual history where it has long been associated with qualities culturally assumed to be male. Some women are fine with that, but others might find it hard to see themselves in those categories.”
So once again we will alter basic nouns and adjectives in case some people might feel uncomfortable with others (including females) being described as “brilliant.” Delap insists that language must change to combat the “male dominated environment” at the school by eliminating such descriptive terms based on intellect.
So the school, according to Delap, is “really try[ing] to root out the unhelpful and very vague talk of ‘genius’, of ‘brilliance’, of ‘flair’ which carries assumptions of gender inequality and also of class and ethnicity.”
All I can say is that Delap and her colleagues have succeeded. That effort is anything but brilliant.