One of the nation’s most prestigious universities is ordering students to attend mandatory training on using “correct” pronouns for their fellow students, warning that using their real pronouns may constitute “abuse” and could lead to disciplinary action.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the Ivy League school Harvard University now requires all students to attend mandatory Title IX training sessions. At these sessions, they are told, among other things, that “using the wrong pronouns” for students who believe they are a different gender constitutes “abuse,” and that “any words used to lower a person’s self-worth” are “verbal abuse.”
The online training session, which must be completed before students are allowed to register for classes, includes a “power and control wheel” graphic that details “harmful” conduct, caused by attitudes and other factors that “contribute to an environment that perpetuates violence.” Some of the “problematic” concepts included in the lesson are “racism,” “transphobia,” “ageism,” “ableism,” and “cisheterosexism.” The training consists of multiple “scenarios” featuring instances of students who identify as something other than their actual gender, or otherwise have a mental illness or disability, facing some level of “harassment” from someone who addresses them by their correct pronouns.
“We all have an essential role to play in creating a community that cultivates gender equity and inclusion,” says Harvard College dean Rakesh Khurana in a video introduction before the training. “Completing this course is a critical step in establishing a shared understanding of the values here at Harvard College.”
Harvard first announced the training back in 2016, making it a requirement for course registration in 2018. The university states that potential violations of its broad and ambiguous Title IX policy may lead to “termination, dismissal, expulsion” or “revocation of tenure.”