North Arizona University seems to have their panties up in a bunch, after a student got into trouble for using the word “MANKIND” in his essay for English class. She is now facing repercussions for using the word mankind as a synonym for humanity.
This is absolutely ridiculous because mankind is defined in the dictionary as “the human race” which is not only gender inclusive, but essentially also defines the word humanity!
The student in trouble, Caitlin Jeffers, was told by her professor to try and avoid using gender-specific language at the beginning of the semester, and she used to word as a test to see if her grade would actually be lowered.
After getting her grade, she went to a meeting with the professor, where she was told, despite what the dictionary says, the word mankind IS gender inclusive.
“She told me that ‘mankind’ does not refer to all people, only males. I refuted, stating that it does refer to all people, [but] she proceeded to tell me that I was wrong; ‘mankind’ is sexist, and I should make an effort to look beyond my preset positions and ideologies, as is the focus of the class,” Jeffers claimed.
Scott offered Jeffers the opportunity to rework the essay to increase her grade, noting that she must remove the word “mankind” to do so.
“I will respect your choice to leave your diction choices ‘as is’ and to make whatever political and linguistic statement you want to make by doing so,” the professor wrote. “By the same token, I will still need to subtract a point because your choice will not be made in the letter or spirit of this particular class, which is all about having you and other students looking beneath your assumptions and understanding that ‘mankind’ does not mean ‘all people’ to all people. It positively does not.”
Scott reportedly also sent an email to the class that she will continue to dock points from students’ work when it uses gender-specific language.