We have previously discussed the national trend in colleges and universities to require faculty to use an increasing number of different pronouns for students. Faculty questioning such alternative pronouns have been subject to discipline or condemnation. There is even a move in states like California to criminalize the failure to use alternative pronouns. Now, the women’s college Mount Holyoke has ordered faculty to avoid calling its students “women” since some students may identify as non-genders or different genders.
Mount Holyoke College was created by Mary Lyon as an all-women educational institution. However, the college now maintains that the use of the word “women” will result in “misgendering” students and even warns against such language as “‘We’re all women here…’”
These new designations have led to an equally elastic list of pronouns. So at the University of Vermont, students can choose “he,” “she,” “they,” and “ze,” as well as “name only.” Other options are captures on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee card given to faculty and students: