Springfield College tells students to avoid using terms 'mother' and 'father'

Springfield College in Massachusetts offers pronoun guidelines that discourage students from using the words 'mother,' 'father,' and other 'gender specific' terms.

The “gendered” nouns to avoid include: 'mother/father,' 'sister/brother,' 'mankind,' 'man-made,' 'boyfriend/girlfriend,' 'husband/wife,' 'son/daughter,' 'freshman,' and 'congressman.'

Springfield College in Massachusetts offers pronoun guidelines that discourage students from using the words “mother,” “father,” and other “gender specific” terms.

“Springfield College is committed to valuing and validating the gender identity and expression of members of the campus community,” its website states. 

“One way that Springfield College seeks to create gender-inclusive academic, living, and work environments is by encouraging all members of the campus community to indicate the pronouns they use for themselves, if desired, in classes, residence halls, workplaces, and other settings, and by encouraging members of the campus community to respect these pronouns,” it continues.

[RELATED: Misgendering is an ‘act of violence,’ university argues]

The “gendered” nouns to avoid include: “mother/father,” “sister/brother,” “mankind,” “man-made,” “boyfriend/girlfriend,” “husband/wife,” “son/daughter,” “freshman,” and “congressman.” 

As such, Springfield instead encourages the corresponding “gender-inclusive” nouns: “parent,” “sibling,” “people/human beings/humanity,” “machine-made/synthetic/artificial,” “partner,” “spouse/significant other,” “child/kid,” “first-year student,” and “legislator/congressional representative.”

The college affirms that, “It is a privilege to not have to worry about which pronoun someone is going to use for you based on how they perceive your gender. If you have this privilege, yet fail to respect someone else’s gender identity, it is disrespectful and hurtful.”

When someone does not wish to disclose his or her personal pronouns, Springfield recommends that students “refer to that person by their name only (i.e., Leo’s book is over there. Can you please hand it to Leo?).”

Springfield discourages using the term “preferred pronouns” over “personal pronouns,” since “the pronouns someone uses are not a preference.” If a student does not know another individual’s personal pronouns, then he should “try to use ‘they/them’ pronouns,” the school advises.

As an alternative, students can use “ze/zir/zir/zirself.” For example: “Ze is studying. I studied with zir. The book is zirs.” 

In cases where someone uses unapproved pronouns, Springfield suggests students “say something right away, such as ‘Sorry, I meant they.” Reminding students that “[i]t is your job to remember people’s pronouns,” Springfield also advises that they correct their peers when others are “misgendered” on campus.

Members of the campus community are strongly encouraged to “[n]ormalize the process of indicating your gender pronouns in everyday use with strategies such as including them in your email signature, business cards, website profile, and nametags, or using them as you introduce yourself (i.e., ‘My name is Tou and my pronouns are he and him. What about you?’).”

On a final note, the guidelines recommend students avoid ever expressing that they “don’t care what pronouns are used for me.” Springfield considers such a statement to “reinforce the privilege of people who are gender conforming,” as it “also invalidates the experiences of gender nonconforming and transgender people, many of whom struggle with getting people to use their correct pronouns.

”This is just the latest salvo in the Left’s ongoing war on normalcy. They’re trying to erase sex differences, to pretend that man and woman, father and mother, are just arbitrary categories,” Campus Reform Higher Education Fellow Rob Jenkins said. “It’s also another attack on plain language. One of the main things I teach my writing students is to say what they want to say in as few words as possible. Leftists routinely ignore that prime directive; indeed, they often turn it on its head, inventing new, complex, multi-syllabic phrases to describe simple concepts.”

[RELATED: Massachusetts university provides faculty ‘tips’ for ‘eliminating’ mistakes like ‘pronoun assumption’]

”What are we supposed to call parents now?,” asked Jenkins. “’Male parent’ and ‘female parent’? ‘Non-birthing parent’ and ‘birthing parent’? ‘Gestating partner’ and ‘non-gestating partner’? ‘Egg donor’ and ‘sperm donor’? Please. We already have perfectly good words for those people, words that have served humanity well for millennia. We call them ”mothers” and ‘fathers.’”

Springfield’s gender pronoun guidelines were adapted from Boston Unviersity’s UMass Stonewall Center and the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, and organization that develops documents and curriculum to realize its vision of “higher education environments where LGBTQ people, inclusive of all of our intersecting identities, are fully liberated.”

Campus Reform has reported on many instances of American universities issuing these types of language guidelines in an attempt to control the speech of students and faculty. In March, Campus Reform revealed that Michigan State University was trying to keep students from using words like “Christmas tree,” “terrorist,” or “overweight,” in the name of avoiding offending certain individuals and groups.

Michigan State’s guide cited concerns about “majority religious imagery and language,” in its suggestion that students avoid using terms like “wreath,” “holly,” “eggs,” and “chicks” during holiday seasons.

Campus Reform has contacted the college for comment. This story will be updated accordingly.