English Professor Orders Students Not to Use the 'Historically' Negative Word 'Female'

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These days, everything is political. And that includes writing at the collegiate level.

Case in point: As reported by The College Fix, a professor at Ohio’s Miami University is training attendees not to use negative words.

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I’m referring to the terms “female” and “females.”

There was a time when the left side of the social aisle appeared to herald any and all things womanly. That time has passed.

Now, it seems, all people can be women, which is to say that “woman” means everything and therefore nothing. Meanwhile, scientific designations related to the (formerly-known-as-the) fairer sex are considered uncouth.

Hence, English Professor James Bromley says to stay away from ’em.

From his Spring ’22 syllabus for Seventeenth-Century English Literature:

Avoid using the words ‘female’ or ‘females’ as nouns when you mean woman or women.

But what if you “mean” “female” or “females”? Evidently, you don’t.

It’s all about knowing your history; the English instructor knows his:

It may not be your intent, but these words, when used as nouns, have historically often carried deprecatory connotations.

But don’t accuse Professor James of ignoring nuance:

“Shakespeare’s female characters” is fine; “females in Shakespeare’s plays” is, at the very least, a more awkward construction.

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With the stroke or your problematic pen, have you ever fancied someone female? If so, don’t toxically and masculinely beat yourself up:

Even the best writers make mistakes. Avoiding them requires leaving plenty of time to draft and revise.

Perhaps you can find a “female”-fighting accountability partner:

Careful proofreading — even by enlisting the help of trusted others — is an important part of the revision process.

There’s much revision to be done, and America’s opened its Wite-Out:

Chief Medical Officer Calls to Black and Puerto Rican ‘Mothers,’ Department of Health Apologizes for the ‘Gendering’

The Emmys Nominates Its First Biological Male for Best ‘Lead Actress’

‘The Practising Midwife’ Magazine Releases Transgender Issue Featuring Bearded Birthing Parent

Hospitals Are Starting to Ask Men if They’re Pregnant

Some experts may well suggest Professor James is still tipping the scales toward too traditional:

Even so, he’s trying to improve the literary landscape. As noted by the Fix, he’s working on a book: Style, Subjectivity, and Male Sexuality in Early Modern English Literature.

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From his bio:

[It’s a] “a book-length project about the intersection of queer sexualities, cultural geography, and early modern material culture.

Hopefully, females will love it.

I mean women.

-ALEX

 

See more content from me:

Follow the Science: New York Will Continue to Make Two-Year-Olds Wear Masks

Catholic University Speaker Calls for Christians to ‘Crucify Their Whiteness’

Chief Medical Officer Calls to Black and Puerto Rican ‘Mothers,’ Department of Health Apologizes for the ‘Gendering’

Find all my RedState work here.

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