American, grandfather, brave and master: Words Stanford University includes in its index of ‘harmful language’ because they are ‘ableist, sexist or racist’

Daily Mail

Stanford University has published an index of ‘harmful language’ that it wants to eliminate because the terms are ‘ableist, ageist or racist‘ — including the word American — as it calls for US citizen to be used instead.

The University revealed the plan in May, and wants to remove the words from its IT systems and websites, with grandfather, brave and master are also on the list.

The Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative will also aim to educate people about the impact that ‘racist, violent and biased’ words have.

It has listed 10 sections where ‘harmful’ language can occur under the headings: ableist, ageism, colonialism, culturally appropriative, gender-based, imprecise language, institutionalized racism, person-first, violent and additional considerations.

It has also asked people to stop using the term ‘American’ as there are 42 countries in the Americas, and it implies ‘that the US is the most important country in the Americas’, the list says.

In the culturally appropriate category, it says names should be used instead of ‘chief’ or ‘Pocahontas.’

Elsewhere it also asks for the term ‘abort’ to be changed to ‘end’ or ‘cancel’, instead of linking it to abortion.

The site also suggests replacing ‘Karen’ with ‘demanding or entitled White woman’, while a ‘child prostitute’ could be changed to a ‘child who has been trafficked’.

It its section on ableist language, the institution says it will ‘addict’ for a ‘person with a substance abuse disorder’, and ‘committed suicide’ to ‘died by suicide’.

It also says it will swap the term ‘blind review’ for ‘anonymous review’, while ‘tone deaf’ should be swapped for ‘unenlightened’ and ‘handicap parking’ changed to ‘accessible parking’.

It also states in its gender-based section that ‘pronouns’ should be used instead of ‘preferred pronouns’, as the latter implies that ‘gender identity is a choice’.

It also warns against words ending in man or woman, such as ‘freshman’ or ‘congresswoman’ as it is not inclusive.

The section on institutionalized racism states that ‘black mark’ and ‘black sheep’ are not used because of ‘negative connotations to the color black’.

It also suggests that ‘legacy status’ is used instead of ‘grandfathered’ due to ‘roots in the ‘grandfather clause’ adopted by Southern states to deny voting rights to Blacks’.

Language deemed to have ‘violent’ connotations are also advised against including  ‘pull the trigger’ and ‘killing two birds with one stone’.

Other suggestions include changing ‘immigrant’ to ‘a person who has immigrated’ and ‘prisoner’ to ‘a person who is/was incarcerated’ in order to not define someone by a singular characteristic.

Some of the words considered ‘harmful’ from grandfather to brave

Original: walk-in

Swap: drop-in, open office

Reason: ‘Ableist language that trivializes the experiences of people living with disabilities’

Original: grandfather

Swap: legacy

Reason: ‘This term has its roots in the “grandfather clause” adopted by Southern states to deny voting rights to Blacks’

Original: guru

Swap: expert, subject matter expert (SME), primary, leader, teacher, guide

Reason: ‘In the Buddhist and Hindu traditions, the word is a sign of respect. Using it casually negates its original value’

Original: brave

Swap: none/do not use

Reason: ‘This term perpetuates the stereotype of the “noble courageous savage,” equating the Indigenous male as being less than a man’

Original: man hours

Swap: person hours, effort hours, labor time

Reason: ‘This term reinforces male-dominated language’

Original: American

Swap: US Citizen

Reason: ‘This term often refers to people from the United States only, thereby insinuating that the US is the most important country in the Americas (which is actually made up of 42 countries)’

Original: whitespace

Swap: empty space

Reason: ‘Assigns value connotations based on color (white = good), an act which is subconsciously racialized’

Original: prostitute

Swap: person who engages in sex work

Reason: ‘Using person-first language helps to not define people by just one of their characteristics’

Original: kill(ing) two birds with one stone

Swap: accomplish(ing) two things at once

Reason: ‘This expression normalizes violence against animals’

Original: trigger warning

Swap: content note

Reason: ‘The phrase can cause stress about what’s to follow. Additionally, one can never know what may or may not trigger a particular person’

2 thoughts on “American, grandfather, brave and master: Words Stanford University includes in its index of ‘harmful language’ because they are ‘ableist, sexist or racist’

  1. “Original: whitespace

    Swap: empty space

    Reason: ‘Assigns value connotations based on color (white = good), an act which is subconsciously racialized’”

    Which means, maybe the name WHITE HOUSE ought to be changed as well to EMPTY SPACE HOUSE because after all the ‘president’ and ‘first lady’ residing in it are basically EMPTY vessels as the spirit of evil or Satan resides within them, leaving them empty of any spiritual or otherwise goodness.

    As for Brave, will the likely wokesters (being techies and all, where most are woke) running the Brave broswer change the name of this, because after all wokesters are anything but noble!

  2. More insanity ever being served up. So now they’re going after the word “American.” Hard to not take that personally is putting it mildly. Could it possibly be they want to completely disappear that identity by attempting to push us into the “anything but that” category. I can identify as a multiplicity of things but not as American. Well, I think I feel like singing:

    My country tis of thee,
    Sweet land of liberty,
    Of thee I sing.
    Land where my fathers died!
    Land of the Pilgrim’s pride!
    From every mountain side,
    Let freedom ring!

    Okay, maybe we’ve never really had pure, unadulterated liberty, but we know it exists, and our Bill of Rights is there to see that it does. Political correctness is surrender. I shun it with everything in me.


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