An “Introduction to Linguistics” instructor at the University of Maryland allegedly accused a male student of “mansplaining” after he questioned her claim about sexism in job titles.
“Look, it’s really cute that you, as a white male, would tell me what I’m not allowed to be offended by, as a minority female,” the instructor tells the unidentified student in an audio recording posted on Reddit over the weekend. “Thank you so much for doing that; that’s called ‘mansplaining,’ so stop.”
The rebuke was prompted by the student’s attempt to understand her assertion that the suffixes “–ette” and “–ess” are “diminutive,” and therefore “infantilizing,” which was made in relation to the term “poetess.” The student says he understands that “-ette” has a diminutive root in French, but questions whether the same is true of the other suffix.
There are two issues to this story. First is the obvious racism on the part of the instructor. Follow that with the assertion that if one labels someone with a gender specific name or such that is some how demeaning.
Whether one is called a poet for a male or a poetess for a female does not diminish their work. Perhaps if this instructor had actually read some poems by famous female authors she would realize that their being female did not stop them from being praised for their work.
As a side issue one thing that infuriates me is when I see teachers who use their class to promote their agendas rather than teach the subject with no embellishments.