Times are changing and, for the most part, they are going in the right direction. This is especially true when it comes to LGBT equality, particularly in the education area. However, there is a loud, whining, bigoted people who are kicking and screaming and gnashing their teeth at the idea that LGBT people exist, and that fundamentalist Christian bigots are quickly losing the legal right to discriminate at will. To that end, the conservative response to the University of North Carolina’s release of a gender-inclusive language guide is predictably bigoted, and teeming with panic about the latest piece of evidence that their ordered, black and white, right-wing Christian view of the world simply isn’t reality anymore.
Fox News predictably framed the news about the new language guide as some kind of effort to remove the word “man” from society’s language, with a headline that read, “University’s Writing Guide Discourages Use of the Word ‘Man.'” Of course, this isn’t at all true. The concise simple explanation, straight from the guide, reads:
“English has changed since the Declaration of Independence was written. Most readers no longer understand the word ‘man’ to be synonymous with ‘person,’ so clear communication requires writers to be more precise.”
That is exactly right. When using the default “man” to refer to a person by default, you run the risk of misgendering people, and erasing gender identification. Particularly in an educational environment, this is important, to make sure the institution is safe, welcoming, and inclusive for all. Well, of course, the right-wingers completely lost it on social media over this coming change at the University of North Carolina, and promptly spewed forth an unending stream of nausea-inducing ignorance on the Fox News Facebook post:
And there are many more just like that still flowing in. Unfortunately, most of these people see this positive change as a reason to forbid their own children to go to a progressive university like the University of North Carolina. That’s too bad, because after being raised by these numbskulls, they could definitely benefit from an environment that is diverse and inclusive of all. Oh well, their loss.
Bravo, UNC. This is a great step.
Here is footage of the Fox coverage of the language guide, also predictably ignorant:
Featured image via video screen capture from Fox News