Watch your pronouns!

At least if you're on the campus of West Virginia University, whose equity office has announced that referring to someone by a different gender than the one of his/her/zir/per choice could be a violation of Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by educational institutions receiving federal funding.

The Daily Caller reports:

WVU’s Title IX office informs students that federal law — as interpreted by WVU — guarantees students “the right to be called by the name and pronouns consistent with your gender identity.”

And sure enough that language is right on the Transgender and Transsexual page of the university's website.

And at West Virginia, figuring out exactly which gender-identity pronoun you've got to use can take as long as completing your Calculus 101 problem sheet. The university's Title IX office also devotes a page to "proper pronoun usage" that contains no fewer than 35 different different gender-neutral pronouns for the gender-neutral to choose from and then force faculty and fellow students to abide by–or else.

Some samples:

"ze/zie," "ey," "pers," "xem," and "(f)aerself"

The one positive thing about the new usage rules is that they could force students to learn for the first time in their lives the proper rules of usage and morphology. For example, the page explains that "ze/zie" is in the nominative case, while "(f)aerself" is a reflexive. Bet your average WVU snowflake didn't know that!

Now, the WVU is currently a bit on the defensive about the idea that saying "ey" instead of "ze" could get an undergrad into Title IX hot water, so a spokesman (or rather, spokes-"pers") for the university has clarified to Campus Reform:

WVU Title IX Coordinator James Goins, Jr., however, maintains that this is a “misrepresentation of WVU and Title IX policy,” telling Campus Reform that the guidelines are on the website for informational purposes only, and were pulled from the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Goins confirmed that the Title IX office investigates instances of discrimination and harassment, but declared that WVU would “absolutely not” launch a Title IX investigation over a complaint about a student or faculty member using an improper pronoun.

Whew! I'm relieved, (f)aerself.