Including catgender

Adults who work at a university?

Lecturers at a leading university are being given guidance on neopronouns, which include emoji labels and catgender, where someone identifies as a feline.

There are no “neopronouns.” There is slang, argot, jargon, dialect, in-group code, and so on – but no neopronouns. Nobody needs lectures on how to make discourse more muddled and laborious and full of traps.

The University of Bristol has provided guidance for its staff on “using pronouns at work”, urging them to declare in verbal introductions and email signatures whether they use he/him, she/her or they/them, to support transgender students.

Even the Telegraph can’t get it right. We don’t “use” the pronouns other people refer to us – it’s the other people who use them, and it’s nonsense to talk about “using” the pronouns other people call us. Also, this nonsense does nothing to “support transgender students.”

But unlike myriad pronoun manuals on other campuses, Bristol lecturers are also directed to neopronouns which include “emojiself pronouns”, where colourful digital icons – commonplace on social media – are used to represent gender in written and spoken conversation.

Naturally. Thin end of the wedge, innit – unless it’s mockery. How, by the way, does one use a colorful digital icon to represent gender in spoken conversation? Does one keep little digital icons in one’s pocket to whip out on these occasions?

Another section explains how noun-self pronouns are used by “xenic” individuals whose gender does not fit within “the Western human binary of gender alignments”. The webpage adds: “For example, someone who is catgender may use nya/nyan pronouns.”

Catgender, it says, is someone who “strongly identifies” with cats or other felines and those who “may experience delusions relating to being a cat or other feline”. The word nyan is Japanese for “meow”.

This may all be very meaningful for small groups of intense post-adolescents who haven’t grown up enough yet, but for actual functioning adults working in universities it’s an insult.

The Telegraph understands that a University of Bristol staff member was invited to a meeting with a senior diversity manager after objecting to being encouraged to add pronouns to emails, fearing that it undermined the concept of binary biological sex.

Ah a senior diversity manager was it. There’s your problem right there.

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