University: These Words Will Hurt Your Grade
A couple of liberal professors at Washington State University have found a novel way to make sure their students fill their essays with politically correct terminology. Rather than merely encouraging their classes to adopt the language of the left, these professors will take points off for every violation. How better to teach eager minds than to limit their freedom of expression! When they say college is the place you go to “learn how to think,” this must be what they mean.
According to a report from Campus Reform, students in these WSU classes are being given a set of guidelines that tell them what they can and cannot say. To be sure, some of them are obvious in nature – students are instructed to refrain from using “racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic” language in either class discussions or submitted material. This is to be expected, although their inclusion of “classist” material is a bit of a head-scratcher.
It’s when the guidelines move to the specific that things get wonky. Terms such as “The Man” and “illegal aliens” are forbidden. Most puzzling of all is the ban on “referring to women/men as females or males.” It’s hard to even understand what’s going on with this one. It’s now offensive to use “females” and “males”? What, specifically, is the problem with those terms? This doesn’t appear to be a restriction of the “no gender pronouns” variety, as they clearly allow “women” and “men” to be used. The PC left has gone so far off the reservation, it’s tough to even know where the offensiveness lies.
For each violation of these speech codes in their writing, students will lose a point off their grade. Violations in class “will be handled accordingly – including but not limited to removal from the class without attendance or participation points, failure of the assignment, and – in extreme cases – failure for the semester.
You know what’s really depressing about all of this? Liberals used to be the defenders of free speech. Once upon a time, they were the ones who fought vigilantly against censorship, no matter where they found it. Now it seems to fall to conservatives to protect the 1st Amendment, just as it is our duty to protect the 2nd. Can’t these people pick up the slack a little? Does the Constitution mean anything to them anymore?
You might argue that little harm is being done by banning the word “tranny” from class, and that’s probably true. But banning words is one small step from banning ideas. Anyone care to bet how welcome conservative essays and arguments are in these classes? One can guess that even a student who carefully adheres to all the rules and regulations would still meet some serious resistance if they wrote an argument championing deportation. In fact, that probably flies under the “xenophobic” category at WSU.
You have to feel sorry for conservative-minded students attending college in 2015, but hopefully they can persevere. We need them.