1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Forced to use (gender) language conventions in university

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Arent11, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton King, Warrior, Prophet, Magician, Lover

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    10,158
    Don't understand
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_orthography_reform_of_1996
    But this was about a school, or a title given by it, so I reckon the government had the right to comply with the wishes of the Galilean rebel.
     
  2. Pokurcz

    Pokurcz Emperor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,139
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Karlstad, Sweden
    The problem as I see it is exactly what it entails in practice, its a infringement on freedom of thought when one party, no matter how well intended, forces its principles upon people, to be practically implemented, none the less.
    Its exactly this sort of BS that creates more enemies than it raises awareness. And it does so more effectively in precisely the same people that it most desperately needs to sway in its favor, because, rightfully so, people feel they are not allowed even to think freely.
    Frankly its an example of sheer arrogance, only because it make sense in a western society fringe movement that has been building momentum; and I'm all about women's rights, it doesn't mean it makes sense to everyone or that it even makes sense practically when it basically undermines the righteousness of the cause. :hammer2:
     
  3. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    20,544
    Well Phenomenology of the Spirit is a great example of why precision in language is important. Hegel masked the fact that his philosophy was a bunch of nonsense with incomprehensible language, and somehow he became one of the most influential philosophers in history even though no two persons ever interpreted him the same way.
     
  4. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Messages:
    9,395
    I think the university is exactly where you would expect these things to manifest, as people in the university-age-range are exactly the people who start getting into being politically active a lot more than before (and are often encouraged to do so), but don't yet have the experience to realize when they're just being really stupid while trying to do something that's good for society.

    Living right at the border of a city that's housing one of the biggest universities of Germany, I know that effect pretty well (especially as some of my real life friends are students there) - it does ripple into the surroundings of the university, where it is filtered into something more useful, but on the university itself, such things remain unfiltered and turns into often really, really misguided efforts.

    That's not to say that the universities themselves are "infested" with this sort of stuff of course, as far as I can tell, aside from some social justice courses that sound exactly like the things you'd hear from America, the university as a whole has done a pretty good job at being progressive when it comes to gender and race without getting into loony territory.
     
  5. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Messages:
    49,912
    Location:
    Stamford Bridge
    If it was just students then yeah I might agree with you, but the administration.. and professors?

    Besides, if you want to be politically active, go into politics, not linguistics.
     
  6. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Messages:
    9,408
    Gender:
    Male
    That's not about Latin, that's about German.
    Anyway, that reform is one of the reasons I still play fast and loose with S's and commas. Can't be bothered, unless I have to write something official.

    Which university ? Cologne was the biggest (measured by number of students when I last checked) and there was none of that nonsense when I attended. Well, very little of that nonsense concentrated on a handful of nuts who cut off their dreads because they read about "cultural appropriation" in some blog. Charitable people indulged them for five minutes and sought someone else to talk to, less charitable people said something like "Ah, uhm, OK" and talked to someone else.
     
  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Messages:
    49,912
    Location:
    Stamford Bridge
    What changed in German wrt commas? The last change I remember hearing about was that the ß was being eliminated. Which is a shame IMO, at least from my own pov, because I have fond memories learning German in school and being excited that there's new letters I've never seen before.
     
  8. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,672
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Linguistics are an essential function of politics. The words they mean and their wider cultural context convey powerful and important messages. That essential relationship is core to Linguistic Structualism, Modern Marxist theory, Feminist theory. Although Foucault was himself a poststructualist, the same kind of understanding of the relationship between language and political power is central to his writings.

    Ess-tsett wasn't done away with, the prescriptivist rules for its use were merely altered to make it more consistent and predictable. The basics of the rule is that ess-tsett is used following a diphthong or a long vowel, while a double s follows short vowels. So daß and eßen become essen and dass, but aß and ließ stay the same.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  9. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Messages:
    9,395
    Naming the university is giving away a bit too much about my identity to be honest, so let's have a look at Cologne instead. After looking around a bit on the internet, I've found this official guide for gender-neutral language. It goes pretty deep into gender specific language if you consider that it's an official document by the university. Among other things, it states that „Der Verfasser des Werkes ist unbekannt.“ is not okay, because it is gender-specific, and it tells students that they should think about the ways in which they use gendered language, and then has a list of words attached to it that includes things like "Staatsmännisch", "Manneskraft", "Meisterschaft" and tells students that they should avoid them because they reflect traditional gender roles and gender stereotypes.

    That's again the official guide. It's relatively harmless in that it does not tell people to use any "creative" ways to un-gender words and instead just advocates for vigilance in how you speak, but the attitude is already there as a general guide for everyone, so why would I assume that it does not translate into more extreme versions in the people who visit social justice related courses?

    I did not find any evidence of that specifically for the University of Cologne, but here's something that was released by the "AG Feministisch Sprachhandeln" of the Humboldt-Universität, Berlin (which has 32,553 students according to wikipedia).

    Among other things, it does have a list with certain "creative ways" to write gender neutral on page 13, which lists the Studierx, the Studier*, and Studier**, which apparently is the plural of Studier*. That I actually admire, just adding an extra * behind the first one to show the plural is rather clever.

    On page 17, it gives the following example sentence:

    Dix Studierx hat in xs Vortrag darauf aufmerksam gemacht, dass es unglaublich ist, wie die Universität strukturiert ist, dass es nur so wenige Schwarze/PoC Professxs gibt.

    So yeah. That nonsense will of course never leave the campus.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  10. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    7,893
    Quite nice for a programming language. Less so for something that might have to be spoken out loud.
     
  11. Arent11

    Arent11 King

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2016
    Messages:
    982
    I have no problems if people want to speak Quenya or Klingon. The point is that they don't force others to do that stuff.
    This was a lecture about french. It had nothing to do with Gender whatsoever. The lecturer should simply stick to her
    job.

    As an adherent of "natural law" I believe in a quid pro quo punishment ;) In the present case, the appropriate punishment
    would be to force them to use a language they don't like.
     
  12. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    7,157
    Location:
    At the bar
    Very much this.

    Your friend should go to back to his lecturer and offer to rewrite the essay to remove the word choices in contention. Then just rewrite the essay to not use pronouns and submit it for regrading.

    The lecturer should be willing to accept this. It is a reasonable response for the issue. If the lecturer does not accept this then he can feel free to escalate this to the department’s chair/dean or the dean of students.

    Your friend should not present this as an issue of principles, but instead use it as a moment to learn how to write without using gendered pronouns (which is a really easy thing to learn how to do once you put your mind to it).
     
  13. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Messages:
    9,408
    Gender:
    Male
    Yeah, it's an official document. I can't be sure if it existed around my time, because no one takes this nonsense seriously. That's the kind of extraneous detail you're supposed to skim, not read. OK, someone had to write up some stuff that everyone dismisses. That's a waste of tax money. Maybe two or three hours pay or so. Well, that's a shame.

    Definitely looks like some administrator's pet obsession that everyone else is indulging because they can't be bothered to discuss this guff.

    It often doesn't even enter the campus. Most students don't even know about it, among those who now I'd say three quarters look at it, laugh, and move on. And a couple of weirdos cut off their dreadklocks and fall back into their old patterns after one or two years.
    Unless you have a class with one of the ten or so weirdo professors who are committed to it, but that's probably as likely as death by banana peel.
     
  14. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton King, Warrior, Prophet, Magician, Lover

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    10,158
    Well that seems cheap. Surely, if the state can dictate the usage of language to its institutions, it can dictate a usage of another language, as well,
    Or are we assuming some destiny-right to infringe on the holiness of ones native language, but not other / dead languages or some such? Surely not a German court. Maybe a French.
     
  15. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    55,835
    Location:
    Thessalonike, The Byzantine Empire
    There can be issues in languages which don't use (the analogous for) "it" both for inanimate objects and indistinct (intentionally or not) gender of living beings. In greek you can use 'it' for those as well. Moreover, the term for "human" (neutral) is routinely used to mean what in english is meant usually by 'man', ie 'man's achievements' (while meaning both male and female) etc.

    Creating new terms like 'ze' sounds rather bad, imo. And given that english won't be getting new grammar either, you are stuck with this issue.

    "Ze germans" /britishjoke
     
  16. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    8,031
    So in essence, your friend is dealing with having to do something silly and arbitrary purely at the whim of a person in authority?

    And they say college doesn't prepare you for the real world.
     
  17. Gori the Grey

    Gori the Grey The Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    6,747
    Why, it prepares you for a position in a presidential cabinet!
     
  18. NovaKart

    NovaKart شێری گەورە

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    5,791
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kurdistan
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the term LatinX which is really popular now among SJWs in American universities. No idea what they do when they're actually speaking Spanish. Or did someone mention this and I overlooked it? I was skimming through the posts. I think you're supposed to pronounce it e, as in Latine instead of Latino or Latina. I saw this in a comments section once.

    I think it was the Latinx student group at some university said it was cultural appropriation for white women to wear hoop earrings.

    I use the pronoun they to refer to an unknown person of either gender, like, "If anyone comes, give them a brochure," or, "Someone left their door open." But if someone said, "I spoke to Barbara yesterday and they told me....," I would find that totally bizarre. Is Barbara two people?
     
  19. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,672
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    We have a nongendered pronoun. That pronoun is "they".
     
    Synsensa likes this.
  20. LucyDuke

    LucyDuke staring at the clock

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    13,582
    Location:
    where mise
    Well here I was coming to post that yes, language is a collection of agreements that can't be well-controlled centrally, but that no, if schools teach something a way, that is a pretty strong influence that you are maybe downplaying. (I blame schools for everyone saying "this is a picture of John and I", which I am grated by despite my better judgement.) And then there you are posting that hey, schools can influence language... and that we should suppress that? Do you consider it damaging?
     

Share This Page