Officials at the University of California System have reportedly told school staff that the terms "women" and "female" are not "necessarily linked."
What are the details?
(This is, perhaps, why they call it "higher education." Because you have to be high in order to believe it.)
The Office of the President is using the initiative to train school employees in sensitivity toward gender pronoun usage. The office debuted the initiative in September, revealing that its focus is on "educating staff around how we can support trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming staff by implementing simple changes in how we use pronouns in the workplace."
The need for such an initiative apparently stems from the institution's desire to avoid making any colleagues to feel "uncomfortable" or "unwelcome" due to using incorrect pronouns. A portion of the program focuses educating staff that just because a male or female colleague outwardly appears to be a man or woman respectively, it's not necessarily the case.
Sarah McBride, who is media and communications director for the Office of the President, told The Daily Californian that building such an inclusive environment is important to the school.
"We strive to build a culture where employees feel accepted and individual differences are respected and valued as part of our broader commitment to diversity," she explained.
A portion of the directive attempts to define gender and gender identity. It reads, "When you first heard about the Gender Pronoun Initiative, it may have prompted you to consider your assumptions around what the word 'gender' means."
The missive goes on to explain the definitions of "gender expression/presentation," biologically assigned sex, and more. It also points out that terms such as "'female,' 'woman,' 'girl,' 'male' 'man' and 'boy' are not necessarily linked to each other but are common gender identities."
Further, it points out that while gender expression simply deals with the "physical manifestation of one's gender identity," "being genderqueer/diverse or non-binary has nothing to do with looking queer or non-binary."
It also points out that "chromosomes do not determine genitalia."
You can read more on the background of the program and its future aims here.