Students threatened with punishment for using wrong pronouns at Pa. university

Point Park University/ Facebook

A small university in Pittsburgh, Pa. is taking decisive action to limit students’ freedom of speech, saying “action could be taken” if they insist on using the English language accurately, the way they learned it.

The requirement is that everyone use the pronouns that certain individuals prefer, rather than the ones that actually apply.

It stands to reason, then, at Point Park University, that if someone wants to be referred to as a lemur or a flamingo, “action could be taken” against those who refuse to do so.

An e-mail from the university’s Office of Equity and Inclusion obtained by Campus Reform called the use of accurate, correct English “Misgendering, Pronoun Misuse, and Deadnaming.”

The school’s “Preferred Name Policy” lets students and faculty to use preferred names when legal names are not required; “deadnaming” is when someone insists on calling you by your real name.

The office told students that “any individual who has been informed of another person’s gender identity, pronouns, or chosen name is expected to respect that individual.”

“If an individual is impacted in a harmful way, action could be taken if a complaint is filed,” the email reads. So if someone’s feelings get hurt, no matter how irrationally or for what reason, someone’s going to pay.

It was not clear what “action” the school would pursue against people who choose to speak freely.

The e-mail included a “Pronouns and Inclusive Language Guide,” according to the report, which recommends using “gender inclusive language” to avoid causing “trans and gender non-conforming folks to feel isolated.” It also recommends trading in terms like “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” “ladies and gentleman” and “he or she” to genderless terms such as “partner,” “students and guests,” and “they.”


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