Oxford University Trials Gender Neutral Pronouns

Photo: Megan Madden
Students at the University of Oxford are being encouraged to use gender neutral pronouns such as "ze" instead of "he" and "she". The use of "ze" is advised in a students' union leaflet. It is now hoped that university lecturers and seminar teachers will follow suit, The Sunday Times reports. LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has welcomed the university's move towards greater gender inclusivity, telling the newspaper: "This issue isn’t about being PC. It’s about respecting people’s right to define themselves as neither male nor female.” In October, the University of Oxford posted on its website that its transgender guidance is "currently being revised and a draft will be available later this term." Transphobic bullying and harassment is already listed as an offence punishable with expulsion. According to The Sunday Times, the University of Cambridge is also moving towards greater gender inclusivity. Sophie Buck, welfare officer at its students’ union, said: "Events start with a speaker introducing themselves using a gender neutral pronoun. It’s part of a drive to make the union intersectional.” Meanwhile, another leading UK university was criticised over the weekend for sharing graduation ceremony style advice which told students not to dress like Kim Kardashian.

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