During early April, 2017 a student at the University of Arizona, Cailin Jeffers, was the subject of a number of news stories (including the one here) about her experience with Northern Arizona University English professor, Dr. Anne Scott, who subtracted points from her college paper due to her use of the word “mankind” in reference to human beings.
Jeffers was kind enough to conduct a short text interview with me about her experience, which I hadn’t gotten around to publishing until now.
I also thought it was very relevant in the wake of the recent news about the American Psychological Association new guidelines on masculinity, since their guidelines are also used in writing academic papers, along with the Modern Language Association’s.
In Jeffer’s case, her college professor subtracted points from her paper based of the MLA guidelines, which requires students to use gender-neutral language.
As Jeffers pointed out to me in our interview, “If I am required to use MLA format, and the MLA says we have to use gender-neutral language with their format, then that’s what we have to do.”
I asked Jeffers about a conversation she had with her English professor after discovering she was marked down about why it happened. She said, “I was told that it was something that both the MLA and the English department enforced.”
She also added, “the conversation was mainly focused on how ‘mankind’ does not mean ‘all people’ to all people, that words matter, and that this is something that all the other professors enforce.”
Jeffers also expressed that she felt the guidelines needed to be changed and added, “I understand using ‘he/she’ or ‘their’ in certain contexts (for example, ‘A good student should remember to bring his/her book.’). However, ‘mankind’ is gender-neutral. There is no reason to censor it because a FEW people find it offensive.”
Her college professor also received a number of death threats in response to her decision of following MLA guidelines, and Jeffers expressed she never wanted that to happen, and had nothing personal against her professor. Jeffers also emphasized, “she really is a great teacher.”
I was not able to reach Dr. Scott for comments, but Jeffers also let me know, “I don’t think she actually has a problem with the guidelines, based off of what she told me.”
The MLA’s guidelines are also relevant in the wake of the American Psychological Association’s recent change in guidelines on men and boys.
An essay I found posted on the EU website, Euro-Healthy, describes how it is that postmodernism relates to psychology.
The essay concludes that psychology is inherently postmodern in its rejection of grand-narratives, prioritization of utility, its search for a new legitimizing principle, its ironic view of truth, and its acknowledgment of language games.
In the context of grand narratives, the essay’s author (whose name is not revealed – also mentions Wilhelm Wunt, who is regarded as the father of experimental psychology, as well as the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud.
Wunt’s laboratory, the author writes, “…was set up to find the objective truth behind human behaviour,” while the truth-seeking theories of Freud “…were thought to free people from their troubles and improve their standards of living.“
Postmodernism also largely helped to shape Fabian Socialism, which in turn was hugely influential in the formation of both the League of Nations and the United Nations.
So, it may come as no surprise to know the Modern Language Association is also affiliated with UNESCO, through its connection with the Oslo-based International Federation for Modern Languages and Literatures.
It could thus be argued that, in addition to pushing anti-Christian, postmodernist and Marxist narratives, the MLA and ALA are both helping to push the agenda of the United Nations through the public academic system in the United States.
It also my come as no surprise as to who some of the members of both organizations are.
Included on the member list of MLA Officers and the Executive Council are:
- First Vice President, Judith Butler – critical theorist, Third-Wave feminist, and author of a multitude of works, including Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990)
- Angelika Bammer, author of Partial Visions: Feminism and Utopianism in the 1970s
- Jean E. Howard, author of Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories (1997) and Marxist Shakespeares (2000)
- Elizabeth Mathews Losh, Co-editor of Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and the Digital Humanities
- Lecturer in German at Muhlenberg College, Julie Shoults, who wrote a number of research papers, including one titled, Fostering Global Citizens: Feminist Pedagogy in German Language & Lieterature Classrroms
Members of the American Psychological Association’s Board of Directors include:
- President Rosie Philips Davis, recipient of numerous awards, including the APA Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues mentoring award
- Past President, Jessica Henderson Daniel, editor of Featuring Females: Feminist Analysis of Media and The Complete Guide to Mental Health for Women
- Cynthia de las Fuentes, PhD, whose APA division memberships include the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues. Her profile page on Psychology Today’s website also lists “feminist psychotherapy” as one of her issues of focus.
- Sandra L. Shullman, who authored a number of academic papers, including Toward a Feminist and Multicultural Model of Consultation and Advocacy and Toward an Affirmative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Leadership Paradigm
- Dianna L. Prescott, PhD, member of APA division 30, aka the Society of Psychological Hypnosis
There are other members listed of both the MLA and the APA, but I thought these individuals were particularly noteworthy, due to their obvious biases towards both Marxism and feminism. And I also found Diana Prescott’s affiliation with the Society of Psychological Hypnosis to be interesting.
I won’t dive off the deep end and imply that the writing guidelines are being used in part for the purposes of mass hypnosis, but…
And, pro-Israel Zionists who I communicated with online understood the implications of third-wave feminist and Boycott and Divestment Sanctions supporter, Judith Butler being on the MLA’s membership list.
One may be of the opinion that Jeffers’ only had a small number of points subtracted for her use of the word “mankind” in her paper. So, why does it matter? It matters for the same reasons any issue matters relating to the control and manipulation of language and words in society.
Furthermore, I have little doubt the control over usage of language and words is part of a larger plan that involves the weaponization of sex and gender roles to meet the ends of a deeper racist, elitist, and eugenics-based agenda.
There is clearly something very wrong with all of this. It would be an understatement in saying it is a massive disservice to both society and humanity when the schooling system is used as a form of weaponization against natural law, traditional masculine roles, and effectively itself.
With that, here is a quote from the 1972 book, Deschooling Society, by Sephardic Jew and Roman Catholic convert, Ivan Illich:
“The school system today performs the threefold function common to powerful churches throughout history. It is simultaneously the repository of society’s myth, the institutionalization of that myth’s contradictions, and the locus of the ritual which reproduces and veils the disparities between myth and reality. Today the school system, and especially the university, provides ample opportunity for criticism of the myth and for rebellion against its institutional perversions. But the ritual which demands tolerance of the fundamental contradictions between myth and institution still goes largely unchallenged, for neither ideological criticism nor social action can bring about a new society. Only disenchantment with and detachment from the central social ritual and reform of that ritual can bring about radical change.
The American university has become the final stage of the most all encompassing initiation rite the world has ever known. No society in history has been able to survive without ritual or myth, but ours is the first which has needed such a dull, protracted, destructive, and expensive initiation into its myth. The contemporary world civilization is also the first one which has found it necessary to rationalize its fundamental initiation ritual in the name of education. We cannot begin a reform of education unless we first understand that neither individual learning nor social equality can be enhanced by the ritual of schooling. We cannot go beyond the consumer society unless we first understand that obligatory public schools inevitably reproduce such a society, no matter what is taught in them.”
* For the full text of Deschooling Society, please click here