Week 12

Recently, I attended a mandatory workshop hosted by the USF Office of Diversity and Inclusion. This workshop was mandatory for all graduate students that were funded by the department. The workshop began with the speaker asking everyone in attendance to declare their pronouns (she/he, him/her, hers/his, they, them, their, non-binary pronouns, and more). I guess I have been living under a rock (or in the basement laboratory of the Social Science Building with dead things that do not speak unless you give them a voice…) because I was not sure what the speaker was referring to until I heard other students announce their pronouns. I started to catch on before it was my turn to announce my pronouns (her/hers/she). At that moment, I realized that I was desperately in need of this workshop. During the workshop, I began looking around the room at my peers. I wondered how much of this type of knowledge was easily accessible and understandable to people outside of academia; no one outside of the Anthropology Department has ever asked me what my pronouns are…if no one has every asked me what my pronouns are – does this mean they do not know that gender should not be discussed in only binary language and/or are they not aware of terms such as transgender, cisgender, asexual, etc. ? If the answers to the aforementioned are “yes” than I am not surprised. I know many individuals that are “blissfully” ignorant to the changing of the times in which people that fall outside of the categories of male and female are now being rightfully permitted a voice and support in place of silence and discrimination. As anthropologists, humanists, and human beings in general, it is important for us to promote a diverse and inclusive community within our own network as well as outside of it by making people aware that there is in fact a problem. Text-mining is one way to accomplish this task but…again…how many people outside of academia even know what text-mining is…

There needs to be a way in which people within the academic community can translate the knowledge they receive in the classroom to individuals that are outside of the scholarly network. Any ideas?

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