Sunday, January 08, 2017
British student union bans use of 'he' and 'she' - because they 'don't want to make assumptions about gender'
A students' union is discouraging its members from using the pronouns 'he' and 'she', to avoid assumptions being made as to how people identify.
Sussex University students' union has released a gender inclusive language policy, which applies to all its meetings, radio broadcasts, communications, societies and elections.
The policy states that preferred pronouns should be stated at the beginning of every meeting, regardless of whether they have been stated at previous meetings, and that gender neutral language should be used when the pronoun is not known.
The policy continues: 'In situations where introductions are not appropriate or where an individual has not directly stated their pronouns, gender-neutral language should be used to refer to them, and no assumptions should be made based on presentation or appearance.
'The gender-neutral pronoun ‘they’ should be used as opposed to ‘he’ or ‘she’, and the pronoun ‘them’ as opposed to ‘him’ or ‘her’.
'Individuals whose gender identities are not known should not be described as ‘men’ or ‘women’, and inclusive terms such as ‘person’ should be used instead.
In 2014, the union marked a 'massive win' and a 'great achievement' when gender neutral toilets signs were placed in 75 of the facilities across the campus.