Inclusive Language and Students as Customers

Inclusive Language and Students as Customers November 28, 2012

I had my attention drawn to a rather strange article by a Butler student. The article begins by referring to a professor requiring the use of inclusive language – that is, not saying “he” when you mean “he or she” and not using “mankind” when you mean “humankind,” and so on.

But the student then goes on to complain as though they are being asked not merely to recognize the existence of people of different genders in mixed groups, but to somehow think themselves into the shoes of those who are different than them.

What is most disturbing is the conclusion, where the student suggests that they are paying tuition not to be taught, trained, educated, provoked, and held accountable for learning during their time as students, but because they are “paying customers” they should – and I quote – “speak as I always have and conduct myself in the way I deem fit.”

Click through to read the whole thing, and tell me if you find it as bizarre, misguided, and depressing as I do that a student has so badly misunderstood what a university is for and what it means to be a student at one.

Next he’ll be saying that, since he is paying the university, he should be able to write as ungrammatically as ever. The logic is the same.

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