My second eldest daughter, Thing 2, graduates high-school this spring whereupon accolades for successfully making it through the simplest part of life will no doubt be generously bestowed upon her. After that comes…well, therein lies the proverbial and axiomatic rub. College seems to be all the rage these days for young high-school graduates so I suppose in order to avoid rocking the cultural and aphoristic boat, college is where we will probably send her.
But we are of course concerned. Concerned that she will make good decisions. Concerned for her safety. But most of all concerned that once she gets out into the real world she might get her feelings hurt. This is why we have scoured the finest of educational institutions in search of the one most likely to protect her from those nasty microagressions of self-expression that are bound to emotionally scar her and render her unable to function due to a general feeling of victimizing disagreement.
Looking around, we liked the University of Florida. They had a lecturer who had banned words like ‘boyfriend,’ ‘girlfriend,’ ‘husband,’ ‘wife,’ ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ because they are not inclusive enough as they refer to traditional community structures that have been in place since the recording of time. Norms, schmorms, I always say. Nothing says “ignorance” like immemorial societal convention.
And pronouns are the worst: him, her, she, it. Where does it end? I’m so enraged I just might take a nap. Luckily there are a number of schools to choose from that have banned such hateful noun forms: KU, NC State, and all the U-Dubs. Pittsburgh goes so far as to warn its faculty to be careful about which pronouns they use even after a student has voiced a preference because students might change genders over time—as genitals tend to morph. Like the good folks at George Washington University say, “Refusal to use preferred gender pronouns should be considered an act of violence”—which brings back memories of all those Replacement-Word Riots of the 80s. Better call out the National Guard.
We also liked the University of New Hampshire. They use a “Bias-Free Language Guide” that states using words like ‘healthy’ or ‘opposite sex’ or ‘senior citizen’ are “problematic” as they tend to be descriptive. And we all know that description is just a front for spitefulness. They prefer using terms like ‘non-disabled’ or ‘other sex’ or ‘old people.’ Really, New Hampshire? ‘Old people’ is better than ‘senior citizen’? I guess it’s because the term ‘citizen’ is so exclusionary. They also prefer ‘resident of the U.S.’ over ‘American’ because the term ‘American’ ignores Central and South America—and Canada is all, you know… showing emotion.
Reminds me of that Lee Greenwood classic,
I’m proud to be a resident of the U.S., where at least I know I’m free
To use a phrase like ‘resident of the U.S.’ and not be discriminatory…
Given such vicious and hurtful cultures on college campuses today, it didn’t take us long to narrow our choices down to two: The University of California and The University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. UC is presided over by Janet Napolitano of Homeland Security fame and whose name would be great for a Ben & Jerry’s tri-colored ice cream. She instituted a policy wherein faculty is not allowed to say such uninformed phrases as, “America is the land of opportunity” or “The most qualified person should get the job” or “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.” If only the millions of annual immigrants knew the evil of such ideas, they could save themselves a lot of trouble.
Also barred from the UC campus are questions like, “Where are you from?” or “Where were you born?” because getting to know someone via small talk is inherently offensive. And compliments are a BIG no-no. Describing one as “a hard-worker” or “raising the bar” or “a rock star” implies that academic success is somehow preferred over just writing the school a check and drinking beer for four years, an idea so typical of ignorant mediocrophobes.
Stevens Point has jumped on the UC banwagon with a nearly identical policy, pointing out that denying one’s racism or sexism is in fact evidence of one’s racism or sexism. Spouting off such phrases as “I am color-blind” or “There is only one race: the human race” is in fact aggression against the other as it denies them as distinct racial or cultural beings and has thankfully been expunged.
Of course, banning spoken words and phrases on our college campuses is only the beginning of creating a doubleplusgood society wherein such hateful and divisive notions never even spring up as thoughts. We should probably get rid of any books or pamphlets that contain them just to be sure. And art forms that might imply them. The last thing I want is to fork over thousands of dollars for Thing 2 to sit on a college campus and be exposed to some sort of bigoted open dialogue or dangerous free exchange of ideas. What kind of education is that?
Of course, you could challenge my thoughts in the comment section, but you would be jeopardizing my non-disabled well-being with your violent refusal to agree. Such a conversation would not make me feel safe and is therefore banned.