Oxford University Students Will Use Gender Neutral Pronouns [VIDEO]By Jane Reed, UniversityHerald Reporter
Using "He" or "She" is a way to distinguish gender in conversations and language. However, Oxford University students are now being asked to use gender neutral pronouns moving forward. They will be using "Ze."
Students are being encouraged to use the gender neutral pronoun "Ze" to make transgender students feel safer and comfortable. To minimize offenses and distress, using "Ze" is considered to be a much more easy way to refer to a person, regardless of gender. Oxford University is also citing its behavior code to reference the use of "Ze." But using gender neutral pronouns is not new. In the United States, Wesleyan University have been using "E," "Ey" or "Per" for several decades.
According to the Oxford University's behavior code, using the wrong pronoun repeatedly to define a transgender individual is considered to be an offense. The use of the gender neutral "Ze" by schools hope to seep into university classes, lectures and seminars. This is to encourage awareness about the transgender students in universities and colleges. Some transgender students do not necessarily identify themselves as male or female, the Huffington Post reported.
Students at Oxford University who fail to follow this new procedure may be charged with harassment. The transgender guidelines and policies in the school are currently being updated to reflect this.
An LGBT rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, said he welcomes the change in policies but highlighted that it should not be compulsory. He explains that although it is positive to not always emphasize on gender, being politically correct is not the issue. He wants Oxford University to understand that it is about acknowledging the fact that the person has changed identities and respecting people's rights to not define themselves to a particular gender. He hopes no one is censored in this aspect, Mail Online reported.
Using "Ze" as a gender neutral option is said to be a considerate step. Cambridge University is said to be taking the same direction.
To find out more about transgender pronouns, check out the video below.