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New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

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New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Old 04-03-18, 01:12 PM
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New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

This college tells its students and professors not to use the word "women," but the college itself violates its own policy and uses the word.



https://nypost.com/2018/03/26/mount-...tudents-women/

Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

March 26, 2018

An all-women’s college in Massachusetts is asking its professors to stop calling students “women.”

Mount Holyoke College’s web page suggests professors refer to the student body as “Mount Holyoke students” instead of “Mount Holyoke women” and avoid saying things like “we’re all women here…” or referring to “the two genders,” WWLP reported.

The tips are part of the “Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students” guide created by officials at the historic women’s college, in an effort to promote a “gender neutral” environment, the web page says.

“As we know not every Mount Holyoke student identifies as a woman,” acting President Sonya Stephens said in a statement. “But every student at Mount Holyoke has the right to live and learn in an inclusive environment that is free from hostility and respectful of their identity.”

Other parts of the school’s website boast being founded “by a woman!” in 1837 and prompts: “Imagine if everyday were International Women’s Day. Meet Mount Holyoke.”

The college is still committed to its mission as a woman’s institution — the first of the Seven Sisters — but changed its policy to allow people “biologically born male” who identify as other/they or woman to attend.

They also formed a gender inclusion task force to assist with the changes.

“They’re being very inclusive not just in the sense of gender, sexual orientation but also socio-economically and culturally so I think this is another step in making people feel welcome,” said Mount Holyoke alumna Samantha Rosado.
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Old 04-03-18, 01:33 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

So? If you don't like it, don't enroll there.
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Old 04-03-18, 01:38 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Not sure why the other thread was locked (the news was real, even if the commentary was heavily biased) but I'll just re-post my reply:

--

we have these facts:

- Mt. Holyoke College is set in South Hadley, Massachusetts
- officials at Mt. Holyoke College created the Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students guide (direct link to the guide)
- the guide is purely aimed at embracing transgender and non-binary individuals who attend the college. I suggest y'all lurking to actually read it. Such as this important section:

Making Mistakes
We all make mistakes. As professors, when we do make a mistake, we have the opportunity to set a tone of respect in the classroom and model active learning for our students.

A few tips from Dean Spade’s classic “Making Classrooms Welcoming for Trans Students.”

“If you make a mistake, correct yourself. Going on as if it did not happen is actually less respectful than making the correction. This also saves the person who was misidentified from having to correct an incorrect pronoun assumption that has now been planted in the minds of any other participants in the conversation who heard the mistake.

If someone else makes a mistake, correct them. It is polite to provide a correction, whether or not the person whose pronoun as misused is present, in order to avoid future mistakes and in order to correct the mistaken assumption that might now have been planted in the minds of any other participants in the conversation who heard the mistake.”
Sounds pretty reasonable to me

--

To address the NY Post "commentary" directly:
An all-women’s college in Massachusetts is asking its professors to stop calling students “women.”
No, they're not. They're suggesting that they stop referring to the ENTIRE STUDENT BODY or ENTIRE CLASSROOMS as women. Here's why:

September 2014:
All-Women’s Mount Holyoke College Changes Policy To Welcome Transgender Students
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/...n_5760952.html

According to Mount Holyoke’s website, anyone who is female or self-identifies as a woman is welcome to apply to the college. This includes transgender men and women, and individuals whose gender identity falls outside the male-female binary. Only persons who are both biologically male and self-identify as male will not be considered for enrollment.
So what they're saying in the Guide (linked above) is that staff should not assume anything about their students. Again... seems reasonable.

It's just the TERFs that don't want to see this happen. Everyone else is on-board or indifferent.

Last edited by Dan; 04-03-18 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 04-03-18, 01:49 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Originally Posted by Dan View Post
Not sure why the other thread was locked (the news was real, even if the commentary was heavily biased) but I'll just re-post my reply:

--

we have these facts:

- Mt. Holyoke College is set in South Hadley, Massachusetts
- officials at Mt. Holyoke College created the Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students guide (direct link to the guide)
- the guide is purely aimed at embracing transgender and non-binary individuals who attend the college. I suggest y'all lurking to actually read it. Such as this important section:



Sounds pretty reasonable to me

--

To address the NY Post "commentary" directly:

No, they're not. They're suggesting that they stop referring to the ENTIRE STUDENT BODY or ENTIRE CLASSROOMS as women. Here's why:

September 2014:
All-Women’s Mount Holyoke College Changes Policy To Welcome Transgender Students
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/...n_5760952.html



So what they're saying in the Guide (linked above) is that staff should not assume anything about their students. Again... seems reasonable.

It's just the TERFs that don't want to see this happen. Everyone else is on-board or indifferent.


Great!

In the original thread, the person who posted it used a source that no one else here seems to be familiar with, but listed other sources (including the New York Post) as having posted the same content. I just wanted to show that this was real news. I don't have any problem with people wanting everyone to feel comfortable in their gender identity.

Lesson for the origianl poster of the other thread: when something is published by different sources, always choose the most reliable of those sources when you post an article.

Maybe a mod could merge the two threads?

And I totally agree with the comment, "If you make a mistake, correct yourself. Going on as if it did not happen is actually less respectful than making the correction."
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Old 04-03-18, 01:52 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

NY Post is, at best, questionably real news. They may have some facts right, but not all. And their commentary is about on par with LifeZette here.

edit: and the title you gave this thread (copied from NY Post) is also a lie.

Gender Neutral/Affirming Ways to Address Your Class
When discussing the student body, say ‘Mount Holyoke students’ rather than ‘Mount Holyoke women.’
Avoid making statements like ‘We’re all women here...’, or referring to ‘...the two genders...’
Invite your students to let you know if you misgender them so that you can avoid doing so in the future.
Use gender neutral language whenever possible, but certainly in your syllabus and other general written communication.
Whenever possible, avoid making assumptions. For example, don’t assume someone is or isn’t a MHC student based on your perception of their gender.
Relatedly, avoid making assumptions about how students experience their own genders, even if they’ve named a particular identity.
When writing letters of recommendation or any other official communication about a student (especially students who’ve come out to you as trans or gender nonconforming or non-binary), write a quick email to ensure that you’re using the correct name and/or pronoun for that context.
A good rule of thumb: if you’re not sure, ask!
Originally Posted by grundle
Lesson for the origianl poster of the other thread: when something is published by different sources, always choose the most reliable of those sources when you post an article.
Nah. The lesson for the original poster (there and here) is to dig down to the FACTS of the matter and understand HOW and WHY something is actually happening instead of relying on heavily right-wing blogs or opinion columns on issues; especially when it involves being inclusive to LGBT+ people.

Last edited by Dan; 04-03-18 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 04-03-18, 03:59 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

I don't know why the original thread was locked, either. No explanation was given.

What would be interesting would be to know who retitled the thread "Fake News"...and why.

I first saw the story days ago on Yahoo News. I'm posting that article below so that other posters can then proceed to label Yahoo as "Fake News."

I haven't seen anyone disputing the facts of the story, so it would be interesting to know why the other thread was locked. Saying that the Lifezette source is "unreliable" as an excuse simply doesn't fly; I've run into the biggest liars and most unreliable sources in my lifetime on the internet, but that doesn't mean that everything they say is false.

Mount Holyoke College for Women Tells Professors to Avoid the Word 'Women'
[Yahoo Lifestyle]
Elise Solé
March 26, 2018

Mount Holyoke, a women’s college in Massachusetts, is discouraging professors from using the word “women.”

The code of conduct was issued by the school in a document titled, “Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students” from the college’s Teaching and Learning Initiative, a hub for student-centered teaching.
Mount Holyoke College, an all-women’s school in Massachusetts, is discouraging the use of the word “women” to address its students in class. (Photo: Getty Images)

Here are the suggestions professors may follow:

When discussing the student body, say “Mount Holyoke students” rather than “Mount Holyoke women.”
Avoid making statements like “We’re all women here…” or referring to “the two genders.”
Invite your students to let you know if you misgender them, so that you can avoid doing so in the future.
Use gender-neutral language whenever possible, but certainly in your syllabus and other general written communication.
Whenever possible, avoid making assumptions. For example, don’t assume someone is or isn’t a MHC student based on your perception of their gender.
Relatedly, avoid making assumptions about how students experience their own genders, even if they’ve named a particular identity.
When writing letters of recommendation or any other official communication about a student (especially students who’ve come out to you as trans or gender-nonconforming or non-binary), write a quick email to ensure that you’re using the correct name and/or pronoun for that context.
A good rule of thumb: If you’re not sure, ask!

The guidelines were put in place in 2017 to prevent students from being subject to various forms of “disrespect” — for example, when professors mispronounce students’ names or misgender them. “Students who are worried about not being treated with respect can’t concentrate on what we’re saying,” the guidelines state.

“We want to be respectful of our students, and not all may identify as women,” Keely Savoie, interim director of media relations at Mount Holyoke, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The guidance is for professors navigating the landscape of students whose genders they can’t determine on their own accord.”

Savoie also sent Yahoo Lifestyle a statement from Mount Holyoke’s acting president, Sonya Stephens, which read:

“As we know, not every Mount Holyoke student identifies as a woman. But every student at Mount Holyoke has the right to live and learn in an inclusive environment that is free from hostility and respectful of their identity. We are deeply committed to this belief — and to all of our students.

“To this end, Mount Holyoke’s Teaching and Learning Initiative recently provided classroom guidance to faculty on respectful ways to address students. The values that guide our community are not well understood by all, as evidenced by the recent attention we have received from a variety of websites and news outlets, and by the ensuing correspondence and comments on social media. Today, as a result of this attention, you may even have seen news crews on campus.

“We understand that holding these values — and standing by them — often comes at a price, especially in an age of viral sound bites. But we will not shy away from upholding and defending our values, or from advocating for the identities expressed by all members of our community.”

In February, similar guidelines were put in place at Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind., when the school’s Online Writing Lab, a research and writing resource, discouraged gender-based language. Instead, it suggested swapping “humanity” or “people” for “mankind,” “coordinator” for “chairman,” and “mail carrier” for “mailman.”

“Reducing gendered language is a good thing, because it increases inclusivity,” Christia Brown, PhD, a professor of developmental and social psychology at the University of Kentucky and the author of Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

A study published in February in the journal Pediatrics found that almost 3 percent of teens (in Minnesota) did not identify with “boy” or “girl” labels. According to the American Psychological Association, nonbinary people make up 25 to 35 percent or more of transgender populations. The organization also notes, “The lack of cultural visibility of non-binary identities may make the identity development process more difficult for non-binary individuals.”

Mount Holyoke’s guidelines have run into some backlash on Twitter from commentators who have labeled them “PC crap” and “laughable.” However, Brown says sensitive terminology benefits everyone. “Gendered language enforces gender stereotypes for both those who do, and don’t, fit typical identities,” she says.
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Old 04-03-18, 04:04 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

The description of the university from Mt. Holyoke's own Facebook page reads thusly:

"Founded in 1837, Mount Holyoke is a liberal arts college for women that prepares students to become strong, confident leaders in a rapidly changing world."

But the acting president sent Yahoo this statement:


“As we know, not every Mount Holyoke student identifies as a woman. But every student at Mount Holyoke has the right to live and learn in an inclusive environment that is free from hostility and respectful of their identity. We are deeply committed to this belief — and to all of our students.


It would be interesting to hear an explanation of how a college "for women" includes students who do not identify as women.


(Btw...the original thread...now locked...has a link on Yahoo under the original thread title...not the bastardized "Fake News" remake).
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Old 04-03-18, 04:32 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Pro-tip: Yahoo Lifestyle appears to be merely an op-ed offshoot of, but not in direct association with, Yahoo News. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle vs. https://www.yahoo.com/news/.
The above piece falls under the umbrella of the former, but I can understand why that may confusing to anyone who is not aware of the subtle, but real, difference between these sites, not unlike the difference between Google Search and Google Image Search, for example.

Anyway, I'm not sure why we need three separate opinion pieces on the same topic. I hear Breitbart has a piece on this hot topic as well! But no matter. The Yahoo piece does give the most neutral tone, but still gets a few things wrong.

Starting with the title: "Mount Holyoke College for Women Tells Professors to Avoid the Word 'Women'"
Without qualifying directly what they're talking about, this is false. The school is suggesting not to refer to the entire student body as women, or an entire classroom as women, because that may be inaccurate.

Further, they don't seem to mention the 2014 policy change ("anyone who is female or self-identifies as a woman is welcome to apply to the college. This includes transgender men and women, and individuals whose gender identity falls outside the male-female binary. ") which is pretty critical information in regard to why they felt the 2017 Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students guide was an important, but belated, next-step in promoting inclusion.

I'm not sure why some insist on defaulting to far-right opinion pieces on these issues, under the guise of "This is just what I happened to find first" when neutral information is readily available. Hmm.
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Old 04-03-18, 04:36 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Seems like some people are obsessively focusing on how this college chooses to address its student body, which seems odd as this is a private school and I thought conservatives were for private institutions running things as they wish.
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Old 04-03-18, 04:39 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

It would be interesting to hear an explanation of how a college "for women" includes students who do not identify as women.
https://www.mtholyoke.edu/policies/a...ender-students

Mount Holyoke College welcomes applications for our undergraduate program from any qualified student who is female or identifies as a woman.

As a pioneer in higher education, Mount Holyoke remains committed to its historic mission of providing access to excellence for academically talented women regardless of socioeconomic background. The College values each student’s development, both academically and personally, and recognizes that self-identity may change over time.


1. Is Mount Holyoke College still a women’s college?

Yes, Mount Holyoke remains committed to its historic mission as a women’s college. Yet, we recognize that what it means to be a woman is not static. Traditional binaries around who counts as a man or woman are being challenged by those whose gender identity does not conform to their biology. Those bringing forth these challenges recognize that such categorization is not independent of political and social ideologies. Just as early feminists argued that the reduction of women to their biological functions was a foundation for women’s oppression, we must acknowledge that gender identity is not reducible to the body. Instead, we must look at identity in terms of the external context in which the individual is situated. It is this positionality that biological and transwomen share, and it is this positionality that is relevant when women’s colleges open their gates for those aspiring to live, learn, and thrive within a community of women.

Mount Holyoke is a liberal arts college dedicated to academic excellence in the pursuit of knowledge. Throughout our curriculum, in every department and program, there are courses in which faculty and students come together to interrogate social practices and engage in bold inquiry. The College’s practices and policies should align with our core values around individual freedom, social justice, and diversity and inclusion, in support of our mission of using liberal learning for purposeful engagement in the world.

2. Mount Holyoke College’s policy on the admission of transgender students states that it welcomes applications for its undergraduate program from any qualified student who is female or identifies as a woman. Can you clarify “who is female or identifies as a woman”?

The following academically qualified students can apply for admission consideration:

Biologically born female; identifies as a woman
Biologically born female; identifies as a man
Biologically born female; identifies as other/they/ze
Biologically born female; does not identify as either woman or man
Biologically born male; identifies as woman
Biologically born male; identifies as other/they/ze and when “other/they” identity includes woman
Biologically born with both male and female anatomy (Intersex); identifies as a woman

The following academically qualified students cannot apply for admission consideration:

Biologically born male; identifies as man
Seems crystal clear to me.
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Old 04-03-18, 04:47 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

It’s only an issue for people who are doing the cultural equivalent of sticking their fingers in their ears and going “La la la la la la I can’t hear you!” in regards to gender/sex issues.
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Old 04-03-18, 04:51 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Seems crystal clear that some posters are obsessed with other posters.

But "no matter."

It is helpful to see all the extenuating circumstances (not posted on the college's Facebook page, at least not prominently if at all) that are used to identify the term "woman."

So, basically, Mt. Holyoke proclaims itself to be a college for women, and that term is rendered basically meaningless since anyone at any time can proclaim himself, herself, or (___) to fall into that category (unless the person...if that term can be applied without offense)...does not prefer any gender...in which case Mt. Holyoke is open to anyone who identifies as anything other than exclusively male (and is born male).

So a person born as female but identifying as male can attend this woman's college.

So biology does not rule except when a male born as a male still identifies as a male. Otherwise, biology does make the difference.

Can a man attend this woman's college. Yes, as long as he was born a female. If he was born male, he's a different kind of man, according to Mt. Holyoke.

Yep, that's crystal clear.
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Old 04-03-18, 05:05 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Assigned male at birth, and identify as a man? Congratulations, you're awesome, but you can't apply for classes at this school.

Any other combination? Please apply and admission will be considered.

Like I said; crystal clear.
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Old 04-03-18, 05:16 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

What a farce.
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Old 04-03-18, 05:22 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

I understand (and partially sympathize with!) the inability of some people to understand why we decouple terms like Male and Man and Boy, or Female and Woman and Girl. It's tough, especially after 20+, 30+, 40+ years of lack of exposure to modern science, information, and data, and with no real incentive to change opinions (other than their own pursuit of knowledge I guess).

I have a much harder time sympathizing with those that try to use that inability to decouple said terms to justify, again and again, dehumanizing other people.
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Old 04-03-18, 06:38 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
What a farce.
Not everyone is like you. I get it. That can be scary.
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Old 04-03-18, 08:43 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Ok, what am I missing? What is the outrage? Is there something I'm supposed to be worked up about?

What is the issue that everyone is worked up about? Who they allow in the college? Being respectful to those that attend the college?
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Old 04-03-18, 08:45 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

I'm... outraged?
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Old 04-03-18, 09:16 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
Not everyone is like you. I get it. That can be scary.
Now, now.

There's no need to be scared.

Buck up. Just because we can't have the ideal doesn't mean that we can't live without fear. And there's always the goal for you to shoot for!
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Old 04-03-18, 09:19 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
I'm... outraged?
Why would a good dinner conversation topic outrage you?

Fear, outrage, confusion...not the reaction one might expect to a curious news item.
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Old 04-03-18, 09:55 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
Now, now.

There's no need to be scared.

Buck up. Just because we can't have the ideal doesn't mean that we can't live without fear. And there's always the goal for you to shoot for!
Oh I’m not scared at all. I’m also not dedicated to rolling the country back 70 years when straight white Christian men called the shots. They seem to be the most scared these days.
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Old 04-03-18, 10:03 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
Oh I’m not scared at all. I’m also not dedicated to rolling the country back 70 years when straight white Christian men called the shots. They seem to be the most scared these days.
Fake News.
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Old 04-03-18, 10:07 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

No good will come of this.
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Old 04-03-18, 10:16 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

Mount Holyoke Bitches is still on the table.
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Old 04-03-18, 10:23 PM
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Re: New York Post (real news): Mount Holyoke wants to stop calling students ‘women’

I like it. In my communications (writing reviews here, for instance) I've been working on ways to form sentences without referring to traditional gender-based pronouns. It's fun and it REALLY points out how the 'default' being in this world is a man.
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