Colorado State: Saying ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ Is Offensive, Degrading

Saturday, February 16, 2019
By Paul Martin

16 Feb 2019

Colorado State University recently started a poster campaign that claims that the phrase “ladies and gentlemen” is offensive, and “designed to harm” transgender people.

According to a report from The College Fix, officials at Colorado State University are increasing efforts to police language. A new poster campaign from the Pride Resource Center at the university states that the phrase “ladies and gentlemen” is “extremely degrading and designed to harm.” The poster refers to the phrase as a “slur.”

The Pride Resource Center explained on a page on the university website that the posters were designed to outline some of the difficulties that transgender individuals face.

This poster is intended to raise awareness and skills about some of the experiences trans students often face. While displaying the poster is a great way to demonstrate support, it is important to remember that this is only one small step. In addition to hanging this poster, we invite folks to explore the specific barriers that trans students may face in your areas/offices/services. Posters are available at the main desks of the Pride Resource Center (236 Lory Student Center) and in the Women and Gender Advocacy Center’s main office (112 Student Services Building) during regular business hours.

One can support transgender rights while rejecting the type of word policing that could result in professional or academic consequences for everyday Americans. Based on campus anti-bias policies, it is likely that the use of this phrase could result in university sanctions against the speaker.

It is hard to argue that the phrase “ladies and gentlemen” is used specifically to insult non-binary or transgender individuals. The suggestion that the use of this phrase is a real threat to transgender individuals downplays their actual struggle for acceptance in modern America.

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