Failing to refer to a gender-confused student, professor, or staffer by his or her “preferred” pronouns could become a fireable or expulsion-worthy offense at the University of Minnesota, according to proposed guidelines currently under consideration. The administrative policy document, titled “Equity and Access: Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Names and Pronouns,” claims that individuals’ understanding of their own gender “may include female, male, transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, gender nonconforming, Two Spirit, intersex, nonbinary, and many others.” It further claims that gender identity “cannot be observed” and “may shift over time,” and that “the only way a person can know an individual’s gender identity is when they tell you.” . . . The document also calls for allowing gender-confused individuals access to “University activities and programs consistent with their gender identities including, but not limited to, housing, restrooms, locker rooms, recreation services and activities, and camp programs.” [emphasis added]When I was a college student, there were protests to defend the right of free speech on campuses across America but apparently that right has been abridged -- all when it comes to the ever touchy subject of sex identity and gender.
What is the most egregious part of this whole thing is the insistence that the only way a person can know an individual's gender is when they tell you. So, instead of name that normally begins a conversation, the announcement of the gender of the moment will come first and this will be the defining characteristic of everything else -- name, personal pronoun, appearance, dress, interest, whatever. It is one more example of the exaggerated role of desire and how this has become the only sacred truth that cannot ever be transgressed upon the soil of an institution of higher learning. No religious truth can be allowed to stand without skeptical review but we must take a person at a . . . the person's word. Today I am a. . . so call me. . .
Of course, the university will not be arbitrary and will hold a 30-day public comment period this fall before enacting the final version of the new rules. Great comfort there, eh? But Lake Wobegon has learned to be embarrassed by the U of M before. This university is certainly no stranger to promoting political correctness and the latest left-wing ideas. Just before Christmas, faculty and staff were told not to display either religious or secular Christmas and Hanukkah on campus -- anything and everything including Santa Claus, Nativity scenes, dreidels, or menorahs. In May, the school backed down after public backlash forced them to cancel plans to teach a doctor to perform abortions and provide abortion training. . . for now.
My point, of course, is that universities have long ago surrendered their credentials as places of higher learning and adopted a single prong view of what will be taught and what will not be allowed to be taught, discussed, or spoken out loud. At the very time when independent and religious schools are most needed, the position of most of these is financially tenuous and under threat from those who insist that government money defines the curriculum and agenda of the campus. Think about this as you send your sons and daughters off to uni this month and pray for them!