Academia has become an insane asylum.
The University of Pittsburgh has released a set of “Gender-Inclusive/Non-Sexist Language Guidelines and Resources” informing instructors how they should be talking in their classrooms in order to not offend anyone.
One suggestion is to ask “students to write down preferred names and pronouns” on the first day while also keeping in mind that just because a student wanted a particular pronoun on the first day doesn’t mean that he/she/they/zi/zie will always want that pronoun because “a person’s gender identity may change over time.”
“Zi” and “zie” are provided as examples of gender-neutral pronouns in the document, as well as the singular use of the pronoun “they.”
To make sure professors are prepared, the document provides a small sampling of the certainly infinite number of genders that are out there:
“Some genders include masculine, feminine, genderqueer (queer, fluid, or non-binary gender identity), agender (neutral or non-existent gender identity and/or expression), cisgender (gender identity and/or expression that is “cis,” or “on the same side as,” assigned sex category), and transgender (any gender identity or expression that differs from sex assignment). Trans refers to a range of non-cisgender identities, including transgender and transsexual.”
It also suggests avoiding “sexist” language such as “freshman” and “congressman,” and “including the Gender-Inclusive/Non-Sexist Language Syllabi Statement in your syllabi to let students know that you want your classroom to be an inclusive space.”