US’ prestigious Princeton University has ordered its staff to stop using the term ‘man’ as part of an effort to remove ‘gendered words’ for fostering an inclusive environment.
The Princeton University’s Human Resource department has largely wiped the word ‘man’ from its vocabulary with the relatively new policy in effect at the Ivy League institution spelling out the directive in a four-page memo that aims to make the department more gender inclusive.
Instead of using ‘man’, employees are told to use words such as human beings, individuals or people, the campus news outfit The College Fix reported.
Instead of “man and wife” use spouses or partners. Switch out ‘man made’ with artificial, handmade or manufactured, the guidelines state.
Do not use the verb ‘to man’ as in to work something, instead use to operate or to staff. Throw out workman-like and replace it with skillful, the memo states.
The memo goes on to list a variety of occupations that typically include the word ‘man’ in them and offers replacements — business person instead of businessman, firefighter instead of fireman, ancestors instead of forefathers, and so on.
“Consistent with style guidelines issued by Princeton’s Office of Human Resources and Office of Communications, and as endorsed by the Institutional Equity Planning Group as a preferred University practice, HR has developed these gender inclusive style guidelines, to be utilised by all HR staff members in HR communications, policies, job descriptions, and job postings,” the memo is quoted as saying.
John Cramer, Princeton’s director of media relations, said the guidelines “reflect the university’s initiative of fostering an inclusive environment”.
Many universities have also encouraged the campus community as a whole to use gender neutral or gender inclusive language.
Last year, the University of Tennessee’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion suggested students use the pronouns ze, xe, hir, hirs and zirs, along with others, for those who do not identify with a particular biological sex.
About concerns over whether or not students would see their grades suffer for not following its guide in classwork and common speech, Cramer clarified that “these are guidelines issued by HR, developed in cooperation with Institutional Equity Planning Group for communication and job postings. Students are not mandated to follow this policy.”