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Posted by: Charles Jun 23 2018, 03:21 PM
Opinion: Diversity warriors need to leave our language alone

Gemma TogniniThe West Australian
Wednesday, 20 June 2018 2:00AM


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Gender Specific words Illustration: Don LindsayPicture: Illustration: Don Lindsay

A couple of weeks ago, in these very pages, I wrote about certain words that have been hijacked and held hostage. To be clear, I didn’t intend to be talking about ... well, talking, so very quickly but when the beer’s free you grab a middy, right?

As they say in the classics, s... just got real and instead of words being taken hostage, this time it’s the entire conversation. Let me explain.

Some of you may have seen the news over the past couple of days that Curtin University has warned its staff and students against using what it calls gender-specific language.

Other universities have language guidelines, too. UWA’s version counsels students not to use words like “mankind”.

You know, as in “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. Terms like that are no longer acceptable. They’re vetoed. Gone. Blacklisted.

Curtin, however, has raised the stakes, admitting that “it’s possible a student may fail an assessment or be subject to actions under the student charter, or misconduct provisions” for failing to comply.

Stop and think about this, I mean really think about it for a second. A university has adopted a policy which could see students fail if they don’t all speak the same language. Language developed and rolled out under some diversity policy, crafted no doubt in the Petri dish of academic hysteria that bears precious little resemblance to the real world.

The message here is simple — what matters is compliance to a centrally mandated policy on language used in academic expression, not the expression of individual voices in a respectful, mature manner.

The university says it’s all to ensure that staff and students communicate in ways that are inclusive and that reflect a commitment to valuing diversity — although one could strenuously argue it does not reflect a commitment to valuing diversity of expression.

Again — a student could fail an assessment for not using the approved language. Higher education, anyone?

I hear what you’re saying — one example does not constitute a hostage situation and I agree, but it’s not just one example. A few short months ago it was Qantas who rolled out a so-called gender-neutral approach to language on all of its flights, under of course the banner of diversity.

What that meant was avoiding words like love, mum, dad, husband, wife and guys.

It is a special kind of inanity that pushes these kinds of agendas without understanding just how ridiculous they are.

How about this? How about the fact that some people quite like being referred to as someone’s wife or husband? Not quite diverse enough, apparently.

I don’t mind being called love, or darls, depending on who’s saying it and of course, the context, because as an actual adult with the ability to discern, I can tell when someone is being patronising or instead using the vernacular or a term of affection.

In addition, I am not fundamentally obsessed with the idea of getting offended.

Want more? Sure, no problem. Just this week, Cancer Research UK dropped the word “women” from its pap-smear test campaign ... because, diversity. Again, let’s just pause to consider this one.

Women, who you know are the single largest at-risk group of contracting cervical cancer, on account of having cervixes, are no longer being directly spoken to, because ... diversity.

The organisation was quoted as saying it decided to change the language to encourage more transgender men to get tested, rather than focusing on the traditional at-risk group of women aged between 25 and 64.

In a tweet, Cancer Research UK wrote “Cervical screening (or the smear test) is relevant for everyone aged 25-64 with a cervix”. Technically correct but fundamentally very stupid.

I understand the intent, which is to ensure that trans men don’t neglect their screenings, but instead of fostering inclusion and understanding the move alienated and infuriated women. Remember them?

If the intent was to be truly inclusive, why not just say women and trans-men?

One leading advocate in the LGBTQ community put it perfectly when I asked him. “Trans people want to be recognised and treated equally — so let’s be inclusive. Why wouldn’t they just say women and trans men?”

Why wouldn’t they indeed? Inclusive, clear and represents diversity.

In public speaking terms, the diversity warriors are losing the room, and by the room I mean most of us.

Silliest thing is, this kind of nonsense, this kind of alienating, over the top social-linguistic engineering doesn’t foster inclusion.

It doesn’t breed tolerance and understanding.

It doesn’t remove barriers, it creates them.

And of course, it diminishes and undermines genuine instances of discrimination and bias. Devalues them. They get lost in the peripheral, ultimately disposable rubbish being pushed by those with nothing better to do.

To suggest that referring to someone as a husband or a wife constitutes divisive language (because that’s the opposite of inclusive, right?) is in fact disrespectful nonsense.

Threatening students with lower graded assignments for failing to adhere to an “inclusive language” policy sounds like something the Stasi dreamed up in the dead of winter.

Leaving out the word women in a campaign to encourage cervical cancer screening is like omitting the word vagina when referring to natural child birth. (Oh, but we want to be inclusive to people who may identify with having a vagina…).

Enough already. Enough.

Who is buying into this?

I don’t think many, if any, of us are.

I truly believe most Australians regularly practise respect for their neighbours, colleagues, friends and family regardless of their race, sexuality and faith.

It is reflected in their everyday language, including the wonderful vernacular and turn of phrase that is so beautifully inclusive, and helps make us who we are.

To lose that would be a terrible shame.


https://thewest.com.au/opinion/gemma-tognini/opinion-diversity-warriors-need-to-leave-our-language-alone-ng-b88871166z

Yet another fine opinion piece by Gemma Tognini.

How ridiculous has it become that our tertiary institutions are judging students, not on the academic worth of their work, but on whether the language used is gender specific or gender neutral?

Can you imagine how well this would be accepted in France where nouns are either male (le) or female (la).

For a university vice-chancellor to suggest that students who employ gender specific language would be subjected to "educative and/or other actions" sounds like something from a George Orwell novel.

The warning issued by Curtin University that "it is possible a student may fail an assessment or be subject to actions under the Student Charter or misconduct provisions" for failing to comply with their gender neutral policy indicates how serious this problem is.

As a letter writer in The West wrote, "If the PC brigade prevail, we will lose not only what is left of free speech, but constantly struggle to find safe words."

The "progressives" behind this insanity have a lot to answer for. Rational debate is suppressed by the PC advocates who label any reasonable dissent or protest as "hate speech".

Posted by: Alicia Jun 23 2018, 04:51 PM
The University appears to be bullying and using standover tactics to force language change onto students and as a byblow, onto the populace as well. If they are imagining they are being “progressive” , I have news for them. This little lot sounds more like communist China, Kim Jong Un, or some sort of middle ages Pope or similar. This lot need to get out of the cloistered little world which they inhabit, and touch base with real life. We, the “common man” are surely not going to let this rubbish go on without calling it for what it is. Too much of our history, language and freedoms have been interfered with by the “wanna be” leaders of a bold new social engineering era, a dawn of a bland and vague way of communication. We have a rich, varied and nuanced language, which has served us well in the past. This is not something coming from “the people”, it is bullying, dictatorial and censorship. Mostly, it is an attempt to halt free speech and free dom of thought, the opposite of what universities are supposed to be doing. http://fairdinkumnewschat.b1.jcink.com/uploads/fairdinkumnewschat/soapbox_888.gif

Posted by: Bear Jun 23 2018, 04:55 PM
The only way I see leftism progressing is downward and backwards - gone are the days of 'common sense' schools now openly seek to find something 'wrong' with a student, added funding will not improve educational results.

I see more and more young people who have very poor literacy and numeracy skills, 20+ year olds who write like a 4 year old, some words are hard to work out because the spelling is so poor - as for basic numeracy, just give them back their phones or a calculator, what were they doing at school for all those important years?? http://fairdinkumnewschat.b1.jcink.com/uploads/fairdinkumnewschat/smiley_don_t_know.gif

I hope that migrants can keep this country going!



Posted by: Alicia Jun 23 2018, 06:29 PM
Shades of 1984. http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/rolleyes.gif

Posted by: Bill Jun 24 2018, 02:34 PM
From Bear:
The only way I see leftism progressing is downward and backwards

That statement ignores thousands of years or cultural and social evolution Bear.

The world that you live in today has evolved from social and cultural evolution/revolution brought about through the determination and in some cases death of 'insane progressive leftists' (according to your definitions of the left http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/biggrin.gif ).

Our great grandparents would not recognize the world that we live in today, and we won't recognize the world as it exists in even 100 years time.

We can only shape the future world that we have an investment in. All of us here have passed that stage in our lives. The young, who have an investment in the future and most likely those on the left will shape the future.....while we pine for the past where we were comfortable and secure.

Language, like social norms, change over time according to the wishes of contemporary society. We can live in the past for a while, but eventually we die, and society moves on without us.





Posted by: Charles Jun 24 2018, 04:50 PM
"Language, like social norms, change over time according to the wishes of contemporary society. We can live in the past for a while, but eventually we die, and society moves on without us."

Change evolves naturally. It shouldn't be forced by academia or by a noisy minority who gag rational debate with name-calling and labels.

Posted by: Alicia Jun 24 2018, 06:41 PM
Yes, like our language is like a living language. The like young ones arlike in charge now. I’m like glad that they are going to be like living with it. http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/laugh.gif

Posted by: Bear Jun 24 2018, 11:29 PM
"We can only shape the future world that we have an investment in. All of us here have passed that stage in our lives. The young, who have an investment in the future and most likely those on the left will shape the future.....while we pine for the past where we were comfortable and secure."

I hope that you are speaking for yourself Bill http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/rolleyes.gif - your use of 'all of us here' does not encompass every member, and those whom you speak of on the left need to be wary not let the 'extremists' of their group get the upper hand, if so then all our efforts will be lost.


The Truth About the Regressive Left.


Posted by: scepo Jun 25 2018, 07:13 AM
Bill just can't bring himself to criticise anything the progressives do, even if it is far out and regressive.

He can only criticise conservatives. http://fairdinkumnewschat.b1.jcink.com/uploads/fairdinkumnewschat/smiley_don_t_know.gif

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