Two professors are reportedly encouraging their peers to require that students wear gender pronoun name tags during class periods, a move aimed at driving microaggressions out of the classroom.
New York University Professor Justin Lerner and Simmons College Professor Anjali Fulambarker published an 11-page article entitled, "Beyond Diversity and Inclusion: Creating a Social Justice Agenda in the Classroom," in the most recent edition of the Journal of Teaching in Social Work. In their abstract, Lerner and Fulambarker say the article "explores how to create a classroom grounded in social equality and guided by social work values to foster participation from students across all social identities."
According to Campus Reform, the professors suggest the use of gender pronoun name tags as a means to that end:
To rid classrooms of microaggressions, their first recommendation for professors involves requiring students to wear 'name cards with gender pronouns' so that students 'can avoid being mislabeled from the 1st day.'
'Each week, for the entirety of the semester, students should wear these name tags, which also may help the instructor take attendance by picking up the name tags at the end of class each week,' they explain.
They also reportedly urge professors to foster "dialogue, not debate" in an effort to ensure the "comfort" of students, and identify 'Pow Wow,' 'guys,' and 'American' as microaggressive language.
(I can't believe I just used the word "microaggressive.")
On college campuses, it's getting increasingly difficult for students to fully avoid participating in the acknowledgement of gender pronouns beyond the conventional male and female markers over their four years. As the guidelines reportedly provided by Lerner and Fulambarker remind us, this is not a question that's going away anytime soon.