Today in ridiculous political correctness: Easthampton High School in Massachusetts—the most politically progressive, liberal state in the nation—is tired of freshmen. Not 9th graders. The word "freshmen." The problem? The "men" part of the word.
The school has a Gender and Sexuality Alliance Group, which sounds like a good idea, because equality and open-mindedness and all. However the same group took a look at the school's handbook (that book literally no parent ever reads when the kid brings it home to be signed or whatever) and decided the non-gender neutral term "freshmen" had to go.
So now, as Fox 25 reports, the booklet states that for "class meetings and activities, including the class dues, students will be considered first years, sophomores, juniors, and seniors."
A school committee policy subcommittee (say that three times fast) chairwoman told a local paper that the change was a "way to foster a more inclusive and equitable environment, and was in concert with the many transformations underway at our district."
Students reportedly can still say "freshman," but the school wants to ensure it spotlights equality among genders on paper.
As well-intended as such moves seem, though, it's hard to read about them and wonder where the line is.
Sure, students can use the word "freshman" casually for now. But who knows when school administrators will decide to bring penalties in a crackdown on that as well?
It's a slippery slope. What's next? "Snowman?" "Acumen?" "Semen?"
One thing we know for sure: If Matthew McConaughey's Wooderson from Dazed and Confused found himself plopped down in front of Easthampton High today, he'd definitely find all this very, uh, confusing.
h/t Fox 25