Flunked for Referring to the Two Sexes

Some professors at Washington State University are threatening to flunk or expel students who choose to use “hateful” language such as referring to men and women as male and female. Professor Selena Lester Breikss, in explaining the language rules in her Women & Popular Culture class, says, “Repeated use of oppressive and hateful language 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.” Additionally, any other terms considered “racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, classist, or generally offensive language” are off limits in her classroom. And in Michael Johnson Jr.’s Race and Racism in U.S. Popular Culture class, students are required to “acknowledge” the existence of “heterosexism” as somehow oppressive.

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