Wokeness Today: “Correctness” in Language is Passe, Says Professor

As I continue my foray into the world of online college newspapers in my dogged, selfless attempts to grasp the intricacies of wokeness, I have discovered just how determined left-wing academics are in their efforts to reshape every aspect of society and the way we speak and otherwise express ourselves. These people are control freaks.

Here, dear reader, is today’s example, an October 28, 2021 editorial in The Pitt News, the University of Pittsburgh's daily student newspaper. Entitled, Editorial | Pitt’s gender inclusive language guide is useful, worthy of praise it encapsulates the woke obsession with the matter of pronouns and issues such as:

taking accountability for accidentally misgendering a person

I see. If I see a 300-pound, six-and-a-half-foot tall man who is convinced he is a woman, I am supposed to be held “accountable” for misgendering him—and this sort of utterance policing is supposed to make me, an actual woman:

feel welcome and at home on campus

I am so glad that I graduated some time ago from this very institution and so do not to have to face some sort of discipline for refusing to go along with someone else’s fantasy land existence.

One common feature of editorials like these is that they coo things that are clearly false such as this:

Referring to a person as “they,” even when it doesn’t perfectly agree with English language conventions, is not some desecration of the language, it’s simply a modicum of politeness to a fellow human being.

Um, it is indeed a desecration of the language and is confusing to boot. For example, “I love my brother. They are a fine person.” Say what? One is simply not obligated to speak utter nonsense out of a “modicum of politeness.”

The editorialists refer us helpfully to this language guide. They chirp:

…as students, we could not be prouder of Pitt’s efforts to make every member of our community feel welcome and at home on campus. This language guide published by the University offers simple, easy suggestions that can go a long way in ensuring people feel respected and their experiences are treated with value.

Okay, let’s look at some of these suggestions.

One thing one notices right off is that those who put these types of “resources” together don’t seem to notice that the policies they blandly assure the reader are ever so wonderful and just turn out to far more problematic than they first appear.

For example, in his contribution to the resource page, a certain Pitt professor of linguistics writes:

No one is ordering you to use this language.

Oh? On this page we read:

Students, faculty, and staff may share their preferred pronouns and names, and these gender identities and gender expressions should be honored.

Yeah, I grant that “should” does not necessarily mean “must.” We will see what happens in that respect at Pitt—and at other American institutions of higher education. “Should” is moving perilously close to “must”—and we will see below that this is all part of the plan.

That statement about honoring gender expressions comes from the document referred to here:

…consider including the Gender-Inclusive/Non-Sexist Language Syllabi Statement in your syllabi to let students know that you want your classroom to be an inclusive space.

which clearly does the opposite of what it claims to do:

Following these guidelines fosters an inclusive and welcoming environment, strengthens academic writing, enriches discussion, and reflects best professional practices.

in that

a)    Forcing actual women to “affirm” what are clearly men as women is not a “welcoming environment” but a creepy one in which biological truth is denied and travestied and requires the actual women to engage in truth denial

b)    Using “they” as a singular does not strengthen academic writing—it muddles it and renders it nonsensical

c)    Forcing people to remain silent rather than speak untruths about what sex someone obviously is squelches discussion rather than enriching it

d)    It is not best professional practice to force other people to deny reality in the name of “politeness”

Let us look at what this professor of linguistics, a so-called expert, says:

Correct is a social and ideological construction that only began to become conceivable, especially for English, in the 17th century. Correctness is arguably a social evaluation mechanism to know who has learned the language of a particular group (class, race, etc.).

Soooo, anything goes. Why then do we need, um, Gender-Inclusive / Non-Sexist Language Guidelines or, you know, professors of linguistics—who tend to be, well, members of a group. In this case, a woke subset of one, the subset members wanting to impose their gender identity-centered mandated forms of discourse on other people.

Let’s see what else we can find of interest among these guidelines.

It is almost endearing that the creators of these thought control woke policies assume that absolutely everyone is onboard with their demands and that students will somehow benefit from watching their instructors abasing themselves in order to avoid offending the gender-identity obsessives:

If you make a mistake, take accountability for your error by correcting yourself before continuing your conversation. Everyone in the space will appreciate your effort.

This is truly disturbing stuff—every classroom is to become a social minefield.

Again, the word “inclusivity” is used to exclude those who do not like being forced to refer to a man as a woman or vice versa. If everyone can be a woman, then what is the point of the woman’s movement or gender studies or the American Association of University Women and so forth?

This is rather chilling:

We hope to foster a culture of inclusivity throughout the University of Pittsburgh. The best way to keep up with all of this information is to stay educated.

About what, exactly? Apparently, neologisms that no one seems to be using:

Gender-Inclusive Pronouns for Third Person Singular

ze/zie  zim     zir      zirs    zirself

We are given these examples:

Ze taught zirself to play the guitar.

I read zir book in my composition class.

One does not have all the time in the world…

Notice how demanding these activists are:

If you are writing about someone you do or don’t know (just as when you are talking to someone), use the same language that the person uses when naming or identifying themselves.

Well, you know what? I am a woman and I don’t think I have the right to tell other people to address me as, “Sir.” Just the way life is.

Note that these people are not shy about their plans to impose the views of the woke elite on the rest of society and how much effort they are putting into normalizing their rejection of basic concepts of womanhood and so forth:

the more institutional (especially education and media) support such proposals have, the more people come to accept them

Noting undemocratic or classist about that, huh.

It is any wonder that average people are finally rebelling against the wokesters and running for school boards and starting to take a hard look at what is going on at American institutions of higher education? Kids formed in these sorts of hypersensitive environments are going to be afraid to say anything that is not acceptable to the social left or are going to become intolerant, easily offended woke warriors themselves. Just look at the praise the Pitt editorialists lavish on passages like this:

…language is a social practice, and there is a mutually informing and reinforcing relationship between language and thought/ideology. Changing the language is part of making the world a more equitable place for people who don't feel they fit into the gender binary.

Oh, they are not asking for much. Just the wholescale redesign of the English language to suit the preferences of a tiny minority of rather troubled people and the control of the very thoughts of those who are not among that favored few.

And Pitt is only one instance of this campaign to make us deny basic biological facts. And we told to smile and cheer on our own cultural destruction:

Isn't it nice to have a little guidance about how to be considerate and polite?

Parents: avoid the University of Pittsburgh like the plague.

Subscribe to Crazy Radicals

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.