The Telegraph have recently reported on language inclusive guidelines that have been in place in Cardiff Metropolitan University for the past couple years. The guidelines outline a number of phrases that could supposedly be interpreted as offensive. Such phrases included ‘fore-fathers’, ‘mankind’, ‘right-hand man’, and ‘sportsmanship, among a list of 34 words and phrases. The reason Cardiff gave for these guidelines was to embrace cultural diversity through the the new language restrictions.
The university has been accused of suppressing freedom of speech and expression, especially pertinent to the disciplinary procedures that the students and staff could be forced to go through if they do not comply with the language restrictions put forth in the list of phrases.
This university is essentially exerting authoritarian control over all the people in its community, backed up with the threat of disciplinary action for those that oppose it. Regardless of what type of ‘inclusive’ behavior this is supposed to help usher in or promote, it is without a doubt a suppression of speech, not specifically for ideas being spread, but for the words people use. It is the university dictating the speech that is ‘wrong think’ and what should be viewed as the right way to speak. This goes even further because the students are told that that the ‘stereotyping’ language that has been banned “denies peoples individuality” and that by using the institution approved speech they should try to, “promote an atmosphere in which all students feel valued”.
The kind of language that is used is indicative of the campus’s moral policing. By refusing to cooperate with the policy, students deny peoples individuality(bad), so they should ACTIVELY try to ‘promote a space where people feel valued'(good). And by policing in this way, they can silence the students and faculty by guilting or punishing anyone of them that would step forward to oppose this policy.