Using the word “American” is now problematic according to the University of New Hampshire’s bias-free language guide that was reported on by Campus Reform.
“An integral part of UNH’s mission is to continue to build an inclusive learning community, and the first step toward our goal is an awareness of any bias in our daily language,” says an introduction to the guide.
Instead of "American," it is preferred to describe someone as a “U.S. citizen” or “resident of the U.S.” The guide notes that saying “American” is problematic because it assumes that the U.S. is the only country inside the continents of North and South America.
The university also takes issue with the terms “illegal alien" and “foreigner,” and provides a list of suggested terms to use when referring to different races and ethnicities.
The university’s effort to be inclusive, gives its students and faculty a lot of words they shouldn’t say.
Instead of saying a person is “rich,” the guide suggests “person of material wealth,” because people without material wealth can be rich in spirit or kindness. Instead of “poor,” the university encourages saying, “person who lacks advantages that others have,” or “low economic status related to a person’s education, occupation and income.”
The guide also says not to describe a person as “overweight,” which is arbitrary, but rather to refer to them as a person of size.
The guide also covers sexual orientation and gender identity. UNH says “homosexual” is an outdated, clinical term that may be considered derogatory or offensive. The correct terms to use are “gay” “lesbian” or “same gender loving.”
In its glossary of terms, the guide defines “ciscentrism” as treating the needs and identities of transgender people as less important than cisgender people, or those who identify as the gender they were born with. According to the guide, the lack of gender-neutral bathrooms, locker rooms and residences at a university is an example of ciscentrism.
The guide also includes information on using pronouns correctly.
“Some people may not feel comfortable using traditional gender pronouns (she/her, he/him) to fit their gender identities,” the guide reads. “Transgender, genderqueer, and gender-variant people may choose different pronouns for themselves.”
UNH advises students and faculty not to use the word “guys” when referring to a group of people, and not to use words like “manpower,” “chairman,” and “freshman.”
The guide also encourages students to use "micro-affirmations" instead of "micro-aggressions."
h/t Campus Reform