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Catholic college website page: 'Husband' and 'wife' are not 'gender inclusive' terms

"Husband" and "wife" are not "gender inclusive" terms, according to a Women's Center page on the website for the University of Dayton, a Catholic college in Ohio. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

"Husband" and "wife" are not "gender inclusive" terms, according to a Women's Center page on the website for the University of Dayton — a Catholic college in Ohio.

The page lists examples of gendered terms in one column with their gender-inclusive alternatives in another column. The gender-inclusive alternatives to "husband/wife" are "spouse, partner, significant other."

Other examples of gender-inclusive terms paired with their gendered terms: "common person" as opposed to "common man," "informal agreement" as opposed to "gentleman's agreement," "layperson" or "average person" as opposed to "layman," "humankind" or "society" as opposed to "mankind," "manufactured" or "synthetic" as opposed to "man-made" and "workforce" or "labor" as opposed to "manpower."

A lengthy disclaimer and explanation precedes the list of gendered and gender-inclusive words:

The gender inclusive language list is an educational resource — it is neither a guide nor an advisory nor does it represent University of Dayton or Women's Center policy. It is geared to assist those who prefer to use gender inclusive language as well as those who wish to avoid assuming the gender of an individual being discussed.

Most academic professional associations and journals expect scholars and students to use inclusive language in presentations and publications. The gender inclusive language resource assists students in understanding and complying with these professional expectations.

As a Catholic, Marianist university, we are guided by our mission to foster an educational community that welcomes and includes all people. As a Christian and educational community, we recognize that every person has innate dignity because all people are made in the image and likeness of God and we seek to create an environment where all persons feel respected, safe and valued.

The school repeated much of the above disclaimer to the College Fix, adding that the page on the Women's Center site has been posted "for at least three years."

A University of Dayton student took issue with the page, however, telling Campus Reform it's an example of "over-inclusivity."

“Nobody should treat someone differently due to their gender in today's world," Piran Talkington noted to Campus Reform. "But, by changing words like ‘husband,’ ‘wife,’ and ‘mankind’ you start to erase the history and significance of the journey that has been undergone in order to get society to the point where it is today.”

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