Feminism Gone Awry: UNC Bans Word ‘Freshman’ Because It’s Somehow Sexist

Attention college freshman: If you attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, you must no longer refer to yourself as a “freshman” because your school has determined that this term is offensive, inappropriate and sexist. Really. Going forward, we all need to refer to such students in a more “gender-inclusive” way. Sigh.

UNC officials released a statement about their new ban on the word (which really isn’t new because they first announced this ridiculous policy change back in 2009). Guess it’s taken them this long to work up the nerve to actually publicize it. Here’s what they are saying now:

We are “committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community.” Consistent with that commitment, gender inclusive terms (chair; first year student; upper-level student, etc.) should be used on University Documents, websites and policies.

Yep. So instead of “freshman”, they are now calling all incoming college students “first year students.” How creative. Hey, what year are you? I’m a sophomore; I’m a senior, I’m a first year student. 

I suppose it could have been worse if they decided upon “freshperson.”

Luckily, not all students agree with the brilliant minds at their school. Brandon Hartness, Executive Vice Chair for UNC’s  republicans chapter, told Campus Reform he thinks that political correctness has gone too far:

I feel like they are making a big deal out of nothing. Girls are not going to deem the word [freshman] as sexist. I feel like most people don’t even think about it.

Correct. No one thinks about this. Except highly-paid university officials with nothing better to do.

But what they’re really doing is a slap in the face to women and feminism. It’s making a mockery out of females and equal rights. How many women have actually filed a serious complaint about this term being sexist? And even if some did, so what??? Do we have to now bend over backwards for ever overly-sensitive person out there?

I suppose we have to change all other terms with “man” in them–including, of course, the word “woman” because the last three letters are now highly inappropriate for our gender.


Photo: facebook.com/uncchapellhill

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    • R

      I imagine a million other readers who went to women’s colleges are about to chime in too, but — come on. Saying “first year” instead of “freshman” is nooooo big deal, and becomes second nature almost immediately if you go to a school where people actually say this. And as a lawyer now at a big firm, everyone is a “first year,” “second year,” etc., although sometimes I’m tempted to say “sophomore” because to me first year means the same thing as freshman. SHOCKING that a male student thinks it’s preposterous — get over yourself, buddy, women (ugh, they’re not “girls” if you’re in college!) are daring to expect equal treatment and vocabulary that doesn’t presume that male is the default setting!

    • Sorrysister

      I agree with the last comment. I attended a women’s college and transferred to a coed
      college. Using the term first-year was normal at both of them. I also
      think saying that the university banned the word is inaccurate. The
      title of this piece makes it sound as if they are impeding on the
      students’ freedom of speech. You taking offense to the university using a
      more inclusive word to describe a group of diverse people is a slap in
      the face to women and feminism.

    • Michelle Mills

      This is totally stupid. The people that came up with this idea need a real job.

    • scouch

      UNC: U Nut Cases.

    • http://twitter.com/karolynliberty karolynliberty

      This is no big deal and changes a standard (one of the few left) gender-biased term. I searched for a list of biased terms and their (now) more common alternatives and this was the closest to a comprehensive list I found: http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/modules/mod5/5_docs/bias.pdf (esp p.5 for a list of all of the words that include man that are out of favor).

    • T

      Might as well call everyone goys while you’re at it.

    • elles_88

      what about just calling them ‘first years’ like they do in UK, NZ, and AUS? or ‘frosh’. easy fix.

    • SRL

      Really? This article is so over-the-top. They were not “banning” the use of the word; they have just started using another term in official statements, and perhaps the student body will absorb that change. No need to be so reactionary. Furthermore, many people DO think about how the word “freshman” sounds and what it implies. Just because the author hadn’t ever thought about it doesn’t mean the rest of the world also ignored it. I went to a women’s college where we said “first year” because it made sense. And when my brother, who goes to Chapel Hill, said “first year” to describe his classmates a few years ago, I was impressed! I thought it was great that a huge, coed university that didn’t have people demanding change from them just decided, hey, we’re going to choose to give a f*** about our language, because we’d rather make a minuscule change than risk making people feel excluded or frustrated. Who’s really overreacting here?

    • Lastango

      The UNC, eh? Here you go:
      “About a year and a half ago, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro attempted to hire a new chief diversity officer. The university sought an administrator who would focus on increasing appreciation for racial differences on campus — even though UNCG already had five administrators in its Office of Multicultural Affairs tasked with a similar mission.”
      Want to know more about the spread of Diversity Disease? Start here: