CALL me old-fashioned, but I tend to think it is a bit rude to meet someone then immediately ask if they are a man or a woman – or neither.
But that is precisely what student leaders at Edinburgh University are trying to encourage at Freshers’ Week this year.
So-called “pronoun badges” are being offered to all students in an attempt to “normalise” the sharing of pronouns and avoid the “misgendering” of transgender students.
Basically, they are being asked to wear a badge with “he”, “she” or “they” written on it so others know how to address them.
New guidelines also urge students to put their preferred pronouns in their email signatures.
The National Union of Students estimated in 2015 that 28,000 students in the UK were transgender.
Edinburgh University are trying to encourage pronoun badges at Freshers’ Week[/caption]
That is around one per cent of the entire student population.
But in an attempt to make a minority feel more comfortable on campus, all new students at Edinburgh are being told to make trading pronouns as routine as trading pleasantries.
They are not alone in this.
The students’ unions at both Oxford and Cambridge have asked students to share their pronouns at events, meetings and in classes.
Oxford University’s Students’ Union has also asked students to share their pronouns at events[/caption]
An Oxford SU official said this was “standard practice” across the country.
All the while it is not even clear that trans students themselves are demanding these invasive policies.
I would imagine many of them would rather not be asked to spell out their gender identity at the beginning of every social interaction.
The pronoun-badge scheme is just the latest mad PC policy to come out of student life, in which the uptight policing of what people can say and do has become the norm.
The pronoun-badge scheme is just the latest mad PC policy to come out of student life[/caption]
Joyless student leaders have developed a totalitarian streak that would be scary if it was not so farcical.
Many of them seem to think that fancy dress is the new frontier in hate crime.
According to Spiked’s 2018 Free Speech University Rankings, 11 students’ unions have banned “offensive” fancy dress, and Edinburgh is one of the worst offenders.
Officials at Edinburgh have banned students from dressing up as Pocahontas, Caitlyn Jenner and — get this — gangsters. An attempt to protect that most downtrodden of groups, the organised-crime community.
Officials at Edinburgh have banned students from dressing up as Pocahontas, Caitlyn Jenner (pictured)[/caption]
Leeds students’ union investigated its hockey team for holding a chav-themed social, and the University of East Anglia banned a local Tex-Mex restaurant from handing out promotional sombreros at a freshers’ fair, accusing it of “cultural appropriation”.
Our top universities have been overrun by PC belligerents.
They’ve been reduced to a national embarrassment.
Worse still, this millennial madness seems to be catching on off-campus.
Our top universities have been overrun by PC belligerents (pictured Cambridge University)[/caption]
Now politicians are starting to behave like fun-starved students who want to ban anything that offends them.
Labour’s equality spokesman Dawn Butler took time off from summer recess to lambast Jamie Oliver for “appropriating” Jamaican culture with his new microwaveable “jerk rice”.
Canterbury Labour MP Rosie Duffield has backed a boycott of a Japanese-themed cocktail bar in her constituency because it dressed white waitresses as geishas.
That leading politicians think offensive speech should be shut down, and that borrowing from Jamaican cuisine or donning a kimono is akin to racism, shows how far the “safe space” has spread.
Jamie Oliver was accused of appropriating Jamaican culture with his new microwaveable jerk rice[/caption]
It is not just the world of politics, either. No British institution seems to be safe from this killjoy influence.
F1 and British darts this year caved in to campaigners and brought an end to walk-on models, putting a lot of women out of work in the process.
Indeed, more and more companies are taking their lead from student politicos.
Edinburgh’s pronoun policies come after HSBC introduced a string of gender-neutral pronouns last year.
HSBC introduced a string of gender-neutral pronouns customers could chose to go by last year[/caption]
Customers can now choose to go by Mx, Ind, Mre, Msr, Pr, Sai, Ser or Misc*, if they so wish.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, officials have drafted guidelines that would force teachers to tell pupils as young as five that “your gender is what you decide”.
It is bad enough that difficult debates about gender are being shut down on campus, but now PC orthodoxies are being preached everywhere you turn.
Even the armed wing of the State is being drafted in to enforce the prevailing groupthink.
In Scotland, officials have drafted guidelines that would force teachers to tell pupils as young as five that ‘your gender is what you decide’[/caption]
As we speak, Merseyside Police is investigating a feminist group for distributing stickers that say “Women don’t have penises”.
Expect more of this. Because the campus PC police of today are going to be the teachers, CEOs, politicians and, er, police of tomorrow.
Somewhere out there our future prime minister may be sitting in a students’ union office, updating the campus blacklist.
Millennial madness is about to go mainstream.
What those pronouns mean
- Mx: mix.
- Ind: individual
- Mre: mystery
- Msr: combination of miss and sir
- Pr: person.
- Sai: pronounced “sigh”, a term used for person in Asia
- Ser: pronounced “sair”, term used in Latin America
- Misc: miscellaneous
- Tom Slater is deputy editor of Spiked and co-ordinator of the Free Speech University Rankings.