You won’t believe how universities are still trying to control what students say
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Earlier this year, Stanford University shelved its Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative (EHLI) in response to public scrutiny and faculty pressure. Professor Russell A. Berman said the initiative, which attempted to suppress the use of commonsense terms such as “American,” “ladies,” and “white paper,” was a “catastrophe for the university.”
Stanford has apparently not yet fully absorbed that lesson, as it still maintains an internal “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) Content Style Guide” that is “intended to serve as a resource for campus communicators.”
The guide states that “it is not intended to constrain the academic freedom or free speech rights of members of the Stanford community,” but it takes positions on topics that remain matters of public and academic controversy, and it is part of the university’s official “Identity Guide.”
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The entry for “gender, gender identity” says that “Not all people fall under one of two categories for sex or gender, according to leading medical organizations, so avoid using both sexes, either sex, or opposite sexes to encompass all people.” Colin Wright, an evolutionary biologist, maintains that sex is binary, as do many other scientists and doctors. Should a university communications