Queering Zoom: students and educators say online learning must be more inclusive
Here’s a good article from the University of Alberta student newspaper: Queering Zoom: students and educators say online learning must be more inclusive.
A couple of points and counterpoints:
While professors often include anti-harassment and inclusionary policies in their syllabus, Morris noted that they feel these are hollow statements.
“[These professors that have these inclusion policies] don’t do the bare minimum, and aren’t putting their pronouns into their Zoom names or their emails,” they said. “It kind of feels like a slap in the face, like that was definitely just a copy and paste.”
“Some people are simply not ready to reveal their pronouns,” she said. “I’ve been there before, where I’ve just not been comfortable talking about my gender identity … [for some transgender people, pronouns] could be a really intense source of gender dysphoria.”
Yabut said while this is why she believes pronoun use should not be standardized, she would like more effort to be put into ensuring the classroom is a space where students are encouraged to share their pronouns if they so choose.
At the very least, students, staff and faculty should have the ability to include preferred pronouns. I’ve had mine in my email signature for over a year now (it’s the simplest thing to signal respect for people’s gender identity), and last week requested that our IT office include my preferred pronouns as part of my Zoom name. It’s frustrating that the latter is a mediated process, but my request was handled with courtesy and professionalism. I believe students at UofC are already able to make their own changes, but faculty and staff display names are more hard-coded and tied to our back-end systems. It’s been 9 days so far, which of course is too long, but I’m betting things will become more streamlined sooner than later!
Is this a new concept for you? Here’s one place to start reading: United Nations Gender-inclusive language.
Are you able to display your preferred pronouns at your place of work?
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