The boundaries of politically correct progressivism are ever-expanding, being pushed forward by the vanguard of the revolution: college administrators. And at the forefront of the vanguard is the University of Michigan, as reported by Michigan Capitol Confidential.com:
A new initiative by the University of Michigan invites students to report their preferred gender pronouns to the university so faculty and staff can use these when addressing each student.
Students can update their gender pronouns on Wolverine Access, a portal for students, faculty, and staff.
Directions on the university’s website titled ‘Help: Gender Identity’ say: ‘Wolverine Access enables you to add, modify, or delete your designated pronouns on record with the University. Designated pronouns are only shared with those who have a legitimate education interest in the information.
Lest anyone think such lunacy is merely optional and may safely be ignored by professors that think educating students is their reason for being, the Provost relieves them of that delusion:
An email sent to the student body by Provost Martha E. Pollack and Vice President for Student Life E. Royster Harper said students can ‘designate pronouns’ for use on class rosters, presumably so professors refer to students by their preferred pronouns.
‘The University of Michigan is committed to fostering an environment of inclusiveness,’ the letter said. ‘Consistent with this value, the University has created a process for students to designate pronouns with the University and have those pronouns reflected on class rosters this fall.’ [skip]
The letter continued: ‘A designated pronoun is a pronoun an individual chooses to identify with and expects others to use when referencing them (i.e., he, she, him, his, ze, etc.). Faculty members play a vital role in ensuring all of our community feels valued, respected and included.’
Other commonly used gender pronouns might include zie, zim, sir, or ve, ver, vis.
‘Designated Pronouns will automatically populate on all class rosters accessed through Wolverine Access,’ the letter read, noting pronouns will not be listed if students do not choose them.
By this time, gentle readers, you’re wondering if this is an Onion parody, right? We should be so fortunate:
These changes give students the ability to tell the University what pronoun they identify with for use in our communications and interactions with them,’ the letter explains. The letter also says using another student’s correct ‘designated pronoun is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their identity and to cultivate an environment that respects all gender identities.
Hmm. And if I, a rational professor, should refuse to play along?
If a mistake is made by referring to another student with the wrong pronoun, the offending person should acknowledge their mistake and use the accurate pronoun next time, the letter says.
The process was created by a ‘pronoun committee’ made up of faculty and staff from all three campuses (Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Flint). Its existence was first reported by the campus newspaper, The Michigan Review.
“Pronoun Committee?!” Can’t you see that on a graduate’s resume? “I served for four years on the Michigan pronoun commission, ensuring respect for the identities of special snowflakes and cultivating an environment that respected all gender identities.” I’m still trying to figure out for what sort of job that would be a positive recommendation. But if they also served on the more obscure but vital gerund committee, or the hyperactive verb committe, they’d be a shoe-in.
Reason.com has a follow up story that proves, conclusively, there is justice in the universe, or at the very least, a wicked sense of humor:
A student has taken advantage of the opportunity afforded by University of Michigan’s new pronoun policy, which allows students to list their chosen pronouns on the official bios that are sent out to their teachers.
The student, Grant Stroble, has listed his pronoun as ‘His Majesty.’
He is stunning and brave. Applaud his courage. Weep openly, if you must. [skip]
Stroble—a conservative student and member of Young Americans for Freedom’s Board of Governors—told The College Fix that he has no problem with students asking to be identified in the manner that makes them most comfortable. But he found the university’s new policy to be absurd:
In an interview with The College Fix, Strobl said that ‘I have no problem with students asking to be identified a certain way, almost like someone named Richard who would like to be called Dick. It is respectful to make a reasonable effort to refer to students in the way that they prefer.’
However, he added that he does have a problem when the university institutionalizes the use of pronouns that are completely arbitrary and may possibly sanction people for referring to someone different than their preference.
Strobl continued, ‘So, I henceforth shall be referred to as: His Majesty, Grant Strobl. I encourage all U-M students to go onto Wolverine Access, and insert the identity of their dreams.”
I would say “His Majesty Grant Strobl for president,” but I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. Suffice it to observe that His Majesty will go far in life. A well developed sense of ironic humor helps mightily in that.
Despite Strobl’s Michigan-granted royalty, some of the University royalty are not amused. This was, of course, inevitable. Via YAF.org News:
Friday afternoon, a University of Michigan statistics professor threatened to ‘punish’ anybody in her class who used the school’s new pronoun designation tool to change their pronoun to “His Majesty” like YAF Chairman Grant Strobl did earlier this week.
According to student sources, the professor, identified as statistics lecturer Nadiya Fink, told her class they would be punished if they changed their pronoun to something ‘disrespectful’ to students who are ‘different’ than ‘us.
Hmm. And who, precisely, would “us” be? Apparently, only they know who is us. Fink—an entirely appropriate name, considering—doesn’t tell, but one might reasonably suppose she means people that take such things as pronoun mandates oh so seriously.
Fink remarked, ‘People who do what that kid did will be punished.
Punished? Perhaps by being called by the wrong pronoun? How horrible that would be! Actually, Fink’s threat is surely a macroaggression. The University will have to build Strobl an entire building of safe spaces, and name it his chosen pronoun: “His Majesty Hall.” It has rather a nice ring.
Strobl’s legendary trolling has since gone viral, earning coverage from dozens of leading television, radio, and online outlets.
Unfortunately for Fink, the logic behind the university’s new tool clearly allow for students to follow Grant’s lead. If Grant claims he identifies as ‘His Majesty,’ the university can no more invalidate his identification than they can invalidate anybody who identifies as ‘ze’s’ identification.
They that live by the pronoun shall die by the pronoun. One can be reasonably sure Strobl, and any other bright student that follows in his grammatical footsteps—I’m partial to “his majestic funkiness”—will be censured, and one would hope they would file formal protests. Unfortunately, the University will surely not require any complaining, uh, fink, to obey the University’s own pronoun pronouncement. People like this are immune to shame, and incapable of seeing hypocrisy where their own progressive political correctness is involved.
Still, keeping them stirred up is a worthy endeavor. Such people deserve every little bit of mockery that can possibly be heaped upon them. Call it definition of character.