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Doing Life Together

upset-534103_1920Americans are losing their common sense. We are becoming offended by almost anything. Here is the latest thing that simply defies reality.

Students at University of California Fullerton were asked to provide a list of “inappropriate” words because they are too gendered. Too gendered? I don’t even understand the assignment. What does it mean to be “too gendered?”

For example, the word “secretary” is on the list. Help me see the gender in that word! A secretary can be male or female. The word is not biased, but since the Cal students think it is, put it on the list. It’s all about what we feel to be true!

Miss or Mrs are problematic too. Apparently distinguishing your marital status is inappropriate. It is too exclusive. Look, if someone doesn’t want their marital status identified, they can go with “Ms.” But don’t tell my kids they can’t call the neighbor, Mrs. Smith. Actually, Mrs. Smith was offended by Ms. Smith!!!

The use of “guys” made the list.  I grew up in the north where everyone refers to “guys” as gender neutral. So who decided it only meant guys? People (the more correct term) who use “guys” did not have a gender in mind–until now. You people decided this, not the north!

And seriously, “man the desk” should be replaced with “staff the desk!” Imagine this conversation…

“Hey, I am leaving to use the restroom, would you please staff the desk.” “How do I do that?” “You know, staff it.” “You mean hire someone?” “No, man it, but not necessarily with a man. Maybe a man, but it could be a woman. So don’t say man. “And don’t say “he” or “she” either–make sure you say ‘they.” “So I need more than one person?” “No just get one person!”

New level of absurdity for sure. Do not write me and tell me how insensitive I am because I am not. And I do recognize the power of language in shaping opinion, but it feels like (so it must be true)  we are looking to find offense.

So Cal Fullerton students, I recommend you spend less time on deciding what words you feel are offensive to anyone and everyone, and actually try to learn something while in college. Perhaps a focus on resiliency is needed in order to prepare you for the real world. In the real world, people don’t spend their time and energy trying to craft a perfect sentence. In the real world, someone will slip and say, “guys!” Then what?

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