The University of Vermont is now offering “neutral” as a third gender on their campus information system. The word “they” is now a substitute for he or she among the transgender community on campus.
According to The New York Times, students can select their own identity, including a new first name (regardless if legally changed) and choose their given pronoun, such as “they.” This information is used in a student’s file and helps professors correctly address their students.
Vermont is the first in recognizing a third gender among a growing number of colleges that have been concerned with “identity politics.” However, adding the gender-neutral option was not an easy task. It “took nearly a decade of lobbying, the creation of a task force of students, faculty members and administrators, and six months and $80,000 in staff time to create a software patch.”
Will more universities adopt a third gender? And are our educational institutions so concerned with gender-identity that they will use a grammatically incorrect pronoun of “they” to refer to a single person in an effort to be more “gender aware?”
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.