'Whipped into shape' is a 'violent' phrase? Brandeis adds it to its list.
The saying is part of the university's expansion of its 'oppressive language' list, which 'Campus Reform' covered earlier this year.
Brandeis says that the phrase 'whipped into shape' can evoke 'imagery of enslavement and torture.'
Brandeis University recently expanded its controversial “oppressive language” list.
Campus Reform previously reported that the Brandeis University Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center released an “Oppressive Language List” on its website. Among the terms that the university discouraged was "rule of thumb," "freshman," "walk-in," "picnic," and "policeman," as those words are used to "perpetuate oppression.”
Campus Reform also revealed that Brandeis used several of the “oppressive” words and phrases on its own website. For instance, the Brandeis University Teacher Education Program Handbook uses the phrase “rule of thumb” — even though it is considered “violent” because of its origin in “an old British law allowing men to beat their wives with sticks no wider than their thumb.”
After Campus Reform released its report, Brandeis added a disclaimer indicating that "use of the suggested alternatives is not a university expectation or requirement."
For example, the phrase “I’m so OCD” is listed under “identity-based” oppressive language. The webpage says that “ableist language can contribute to stigmas about and trivializes the experiences of people living with disabilities, mental health conditions, and more.”
Meanwhile, the phrase “whipped into shape” can evoke “imagery of enslavement and torture.” Brandeis suggests using “organize,” “spruce up,” and “put in order” in its place.
The university also rebranded the “Oppressive Language List” as a “Suggested Language List,” explaining that “students who have been impacted by violence and students who have sought out advanced training for intervening in potentially violent situations" provided recommendations for words and phrases to include.
Other universities have adopted similarly restricted language lists.
For instance, Campus Reform reported on Wednesday that the Office of Social Justice & Inclusion at Florida International University released an “Inclusive Language Guide” on its website that asked university community to stop using “non-inclusive” language such as “waiter/waitress” and “steward/stewardess.”
Other suggestions include replacing “freshman,” “man-made,” “manhole,” and “manpower” with “first year,” “artificial, human-caused”, “sewer cover,” and “workforce,” respectively.
Julie Jette, assistant vice president for communications at Brandeis University, told Campus Reform that because of confusion regarding the guide, it is now hosted on a non-university website.
"Because there continued to be confusion about whether the list represented university policy, the list was retired from the Brandeis website and the students have now established a non-university webpage for their Suggested Language List," Jette said. "We know the intentions of the students are good, wanting to provide suggestions for those who are concerned about the language they use with those who have been impacted by violence in their lives."
Jette also said that the list was never "an official Brandeis policy" and said that "Brandeis has a deep commitment to free speech and free expression."
"Our website reflects Brandeis’ policies and commitment to free speech, and we have been able to help students share their list in a way that does not cause confusion about the university’s policies," Jette said.
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