[lg policy] Princeton HR department: Don’t use word ‘man’

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Aug 18 11:00:07 EDT 2016

 Princeton HR department: Don’t use word ‘man’
Jeremy Beaman - University of Mobile
<http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/author/jeremy-beaman/> •August 18, 2016
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[image: Man.Shutterstock]

The Princeton University HR department has largely wiped the word “man”
from its vocabulary.

The relatively new policy
in effect at the Ivy League institution spells out the directive in a
four-page memo that aims to make the department more gender inclusive.

Instead of using “man,” employees are told to use words such as human
beings, individuals or people.

[image: princeton]Other guidelines? Instead of “man and wife” use spouses
or partners. Switch out “man made” with artificial, handmade or
manufactured. Don’t use the verb “to man,” as in to work something, instead
use to operate or to staff. Throw out workmanlike and replace it with

The memo goes on to list a variety of occupations that typically include
the word “man” in them and offers replacements: business person instead of
businessman, firefighter instead of fireman, ancestors instead of
forefathers, and so on.

“Consistent with style guidelines issued by Princeton’s Office of Human
Resources and Office of Communications, and as endorsed by the
Institutional Equity Planning Group as a preferred University practice, HR
has developed these gender inclusive style guidelines, to be utilized by
all HR staff members in HR communications, policies, job descriptions, and
job postings,” the memo states.

In a statement to* The College Fix*, John Cramer, Princeton’s director of
media relations, said the guidelines “reflect the university’s initiative
of fostering an inclusive environment.”

While Princeton’s language policy for its Offices of Communications and
Human Resources, Princeton’s LGBT Center also offers a guide
on various gender pronouns for those who identify as “transgender,
genderqueer, and other gender-variant,” suggesting “ze, zie and hir,” “they
and theirs,” and “Ey, em, eir and emself.”

Many universities have also encouraged the campus community as a whole to
use of gender neutral or gender inclusive language.

Last year, the University of Tennessee’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion
suggested <http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/23990/> students use the
pronouns ze, xe, hir, hirs and zirs, along with others, for those who don’t
identify with a particular biological sex. The University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill’s Writing Center developed
<http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/24261/> an exhaustive list of words that
contain potentially biased or offensive implications, such as businessman,
policeman, and even freshman, so that students might avoid using them in
their writing.

Such policies regarding gender language have concerned free speech

Marquette University’s Writing Center wrote a policy
similar to UNC Chapel Hill’s, and it implies that those who do not abide by
it may face consequences.

“When you are writing about people in general, many of your professors will
expect you to use ‘inclusive’ or ‘nonsexist’ language, that is, gender
neutral language,” Marquette’s website states, adding that many people find
non-neutered language “not only inaccurate but offensive.”

Concerns about whether or not students would see their grades suffer for
not following its guide in classwork and common speech caused Tennessee’s
Office of Diversity and Inclusion to issue the following statement: “We
recognize that most people prefer to use the pronouns he and she; we do not
dictate speech. We do strive to be a diverse and inclusive campus and to
ensure that everyone feels welcome, accepted, and respected.”

Cramer clarified Princeton’s policy in a similar way, saying “these are
guidelines issued by HR, developed in cooperation with Institutional Equity
Planning Group for communication and job postings. Students are not
mandated to follow this policy.”


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