‘She’ is not welcome on campus

‘She’ is not welcome on campus

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville drew widespread derision last week for publishing a pronoun usage guide that asked students and professors to add the gender-neutral descriptors ze/zir/zirs and xe/xem/xyrs to their vocabularies. Conservatives accused the university of encouraging political correctness run amok, and the left accused the right of callous, lazy disregard for the feelings of transgender students.

In truth, both accusations contain at least a kernel of wisdom. But whether or not students take kindly to new pronouns, it’s important to remind universities that they have no right to compel members of their campus communities to use sensitive language, even though college administrators across the country are constantly trying to do just that.

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