The Princeton University administrators want to do away with the word “man” in the interest of “fostering an inclusive environment,” the College Fix reports. The Princeton human resources department’s new policy for “gender inclusive language” advises employees to avoid “the generic term ‘man’” in favor of even more generic, gender-neutral expressions. For example, words such as “mankind” should be avoided in favor of “humankind,” even though the word “human” still contains “-man,” which could be problematic. Don’t praise a colleague for his or her “workmanlike” performance. Use a more generic descriptor such as “skillful” instead. The policy memo includes the following chart with additional recommendations:
The memo also promotes use of generic terms such as “businessperson” to replace gender-specific words such as “businessman” or “businesswoman.” The word “ancestors” is preferable to “forefathers,” and so on. The policy, which has been endorsed by something called the “Institutional Equity Planning Group” at the Ivy League school, applies to “all HR staff members in HR communications, policies, job descriptions and job postings.” Princeton’s director of media relations told The College Fix the guidelines “reflect the university’s initiative of fostering an inclusive environment,” but added that students are not “mandated” to follow them. A number of other universities have established similar guidelines in an effort to promote gender-inclusive language, including UNC-Chapel Hill, the University of Tennessee and Marquette University. Yale, another member of the Ivy League, has faced student-led efforts to reform its English literature offering because too many of the English authors studied in the courses are white men.