[lg policy] Words you can’t use at Princeton: Mankind, manpower, forefathers — even freshman!?

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Fri Aug 19 11:05:16 EDT 2016

Words you can’t use at Princeton: Mankind, manpower, forefathers — even
<http://nj1015.com/author/deminskianddoyle/> By Deminski and Doyle
<http://nj1015.com/author/deminskianddoyle/> August 18, 2016 5:16 PM
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Oh man. Oh person!

The human resources department at Princeton University last year sent out a
four-page memo spelling out a more gender-inclusive language policy for any
kind of HR interaction <http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/28540/>.

The policy — which the Ivy League university’s Institutional Equity
Planning Group says is preferred campus policy — strikes out the use of
nearly 40 words and common phrases that include “man” or differentiate
Here are some highlights from the changes:

   - Instead of *forefathers,* use the term “ancestors.”
   - Instead of *mankind,* use “humanity” or “people.” (Keep in mind the
   definition of mankind means the human species collectively)
   - Instead of *man and wife,* use “spouses” or “partners.”
   - Forget about *man hours, man made *or* manpower*. It’s now “person
   hours,” “handmade” or “manufactured,” and “personnel” or “workforce.”
   - Don’t say *cleaning lady, actress* or *policewoman*. Say “office
   cleaner,” “actor,” and “police officer.”
   - And my favorite: Instead of *freshman,* use “first year students” or

You can view the full memo here.

A spokesman — sorry, spokes*person —* for the university told
TheCollegeFix.com <http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/28540/> that the
guidelines “reflect the university’s initiative of fostering an inclusive

I have absolutely no issue whatsoever with expanding traditional gender
pronouns like she/her and he/him to include other gender variations.

Although a lot of people will have some reading up to do
in terms of what is and isn’t appropriate, if you identify as transgender
or genderqueer, you should be referred to with the pronouns that suit you.

While it makes more sense to use “their” in place of “him/her” in many
instances, the extremes that Princeton is taking this to is concerning.

In fact, Princeton University should absolutely change its name in light of
this policy. Early versions of the name of the town that became Princeton
include Princetown and Prince’s Town. I’m no expert, but I believe that
implies a man founded their town. One of our forefathers ancestors.

As a proud member and advocate of the LGBTQ community, I will support any
measure that leads to inclusion for all, no matter how you identify
sexually or where you land on the gender spectrum. This, however, is an

It will be interesting to see how far Princeton takes this in the months
and years to come.

*Read More: *Words you can't use at Princeton: Mankind, manpower,
forefathers — even freshman!?


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