In another Orwellian attempt to deny reality and wage war against nature, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill now offers a “gender-inclusive” writing guide that essentially bans the word “man”.
Here’s a quote from the guide:
“‘Man’ and words ending in ‘-man’ are the most commonly used gendered nouns in English…For example, Star Trek writers developing material for contemporary viewers were able to create a more inclusive version of the famous phrase ‘where no man has gone before’ while still preserving its pleasing rhythm: Star Trek explorers now venture ‘where no one has gone before'”.
The guide also takes aim at the Declaration of Independence:
You have probably encountered documents that use masculine nouns and pronouns to refer to subject(s) whose gender is unclear or variable, or to groups that contain people who are not actually men. For example, the U.S. Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal.” Generations of Americans have been taught that in this context, the word “men” should be read as including both men and women.
Unfortunately, what the guide fails to realize is that the reason Star Trek phrased it “where no man has gone before” is because during the show’s creation, space exploration was a mostly male occurrence (and not because of the patriarchy, but because women were more committed to raising their kids at home, rather than working a boring 9-to-5 job for a male boss in Corporate America).
The guide also discourages using words ending with “-man”, such as “freshman”, “chairman”, “mailman”, “policeman”, etc.
Here’s a pictured list of the discouraged words from the university’s website:
The writing guide also provides alternative strategies when writing about people who’s gender is unknown:
“In situations where a pronoun needs to refer to a person whose gender isn’t known, writers sometimes write out both pronoun options as ‘he or she’ or ‘he/she’ (or even ‘s/he’), ‘her/him,’ etc.”
However, the guide also warns that:
“…by going out of its way to refer to both genders, this approach risks calling attention to gender in situations where it’s really not relevant. Using “she or he” or similar constructions can also inadvertently exclude people who do not refer to themselves using either pronoun.”
The guide even suggests that not implementing these new “gender-neutral” grammatical rules could negatively impact students’ grades:
These kinds of values and assumptions about gender can weaken arguments. In many of your college writing assignments, you’ll be asked to analyze something (an issue, text, event, etc.) and make an evidence-based argument about it…Critically examining the role that gender has played in your decisions about the content of your paper can help you make stronger, more effective arguments that will be persuasive to a wide variety of readers, no matter what your topic is or what position you take.
As reported here a couple weeks ago, this is not the first university to implement writing guidelines that pander to these politically-correct sensibilities in the trans-community.