28 August 2015

Ciscentrism and Other PC Newspeak Conceits

Recently,  Campus Reform made headlines as it reported upon a "Bias Free Language Guide" posted on an official University of New Hampshire website  which noted problematic words in American (suggested substitute "Residents of America") lexicon. Such inclusive language sought to encourage "[C]ommunication that does not stereotype or demean people based on personal characteristics.”  This suggested UNC PC Newspeak rationale is that:  “Each step of inclusion moves us closer to a full democracy”.

To that end, campus skulls full of mush were encouraged to use non-binary pronouns with spivak pronunciations like ze/zie/hir as are "often used by trans, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people.”  So there's nothing like paying thousands of dollars for an university education, only to finish sounding as if one has a speech impediment  (another verboten phrase - perhaps unconventional pronunciations) engender conversation on inclusive language use.  Would you like fries with that?

Even referring to gender-neutral bathrooms was considered "problematic" to the authors of the "Bias Free Language Guide" as  it reflects ciscentrism, which is defined as a " pervasive and institutionalized system that places transgender people in the ‘other’ category and treats their needs and identities as less important than those of cisgender people.”  Such ciscentrism can also include the lack of gender neutral lockers and residences.  Perhaps this will be featured on "Caitliyn" (ne Bruce) Jenner's new E! television reality show "I am Cait". .Bully for zie/zi (sic).

The UNH Bias Free Language Guide discourages the use of mothering and fathering in order to avoid gendering a non-gendered activity. This politically correct non-gendering language is about as convoluted as Jack Byrnes "Milking Cats" colloquy with Greg Focker in Meet the Parents (2000).Wonder if these PC philological protagonists would be as deft in intellectually accommodating  Stan aka Loretta's right to have babies as portrayed in  Monty Python's "The Life of Brian" (1979)

Demonyms are sensitive subjects because of the sense of latent American imperialism. If one were to identify as "American", that precludes other countries in the hemisphere. Hence, the Bias Free Guide Language Guide suggests "Resident of America".  But that frankly seems incorrect, as it excludes the other hemispheric inhabitants of the continents.  If one were to say "Resident of the United States", it also excludes Mexicans still residing South of the Rio Grande, as they live in "Los estados unidos Mexicanos".  So once again, there is the quandary of including an uninclusive identification: "Resident of the United States of America" or "American" for short.

Of course it would be crass to politically correct types to refer to American citizens.  But it is problematic to refer to "illegal aliens".  It may be acceptable to refer to such persons as "undocumented immigrant" but it is recommended to call them "person seeking asylum" or "refugee" instead.  The UNH PC Newspeak makes saying foreigner problematic, as it is deemed better to say "international people".

As concerned as the UNH Bias Free Language Guide is about people, there is little doubt that our PC betters would still refer to abortion victims  as "clups of cells" or perhaps of fetus (of what?) rather than unborn persons so as not to offend progressive womyn (sic).

Examples of Bias Free Language Guide's Problematic Lexicon 

Other problematic phrases included: "sexual preference", "speech impediment", overweight (as arbitrary), "freshman", (why not sophomore -- a wise fool?), "chairman" and "dumb".  It's a good thing that the latter expression was denounced as there would be no way in UNH PC Newspeak to convey the merit of this Bias Free Language Guide.

After a few days of "problematic" publicity in conservative media circles such as Laura Ingraham, University of New Hampshire President Mark W. Huddleston made an emphatic statement about free speech. This peon to free speech should seem unremarkable in a state with a motto of "Live Free or Die".

Huddleston's denials, however, seem somewhat hollow as the Bias Free Language Guide was part of UNH official website material and it referred to Counseling Center training on" Microagressions: Subtle but Detrimental".  The Bias Free Language Guide seems like companion scholarship, if that is politically correct to say.

Universities ought to be citadels of free speech and a Chatauqua of ideas. Alas today it seems to foster the inculcation of  anarchistic intellectual indoctrination under a polity governance of raised eyebrows. Sorry to say that ciscentrism sounds like politically correct crap which poses as inclusive language but really redefines rhetoric to an unreality that is antithetical.  No wonder George Orwell opined about the risks about truth telling in a delusional society.

h/t: Campus Reform

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