Undergraduate students at Harvard were told in a mandatory Title IX training session that using wrong pronouns may constitute abuse, according to materials reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
Some of the attitudes that "contribute to an environment that perpetuates violence" include "sizeism and fatphobia," "cisheterosexism," "racism," "transphobia," "ageism" and "ableism," according to the online training, which all Harvard undergraduates were required to complete in order to enroll in courses.
In addition, the training session stated that "any words used to lower a person’s self-worth" are "Verbal Abuse,'' the Free Beacon reported.
Harvard College dean Rakesh Khurana told students in a video introducing the training session, which started in 2016 and two years later was made a prerequisite for course enrollment, that ''we all have an essential role to play in creating a community that cultivates gender equity and inclusion. Completing this course is a critical step in establishing a shared understanding of the values here at Harvard College."
The university is vague about what exactly happens to someone who does not adhere to its interpretation of Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex, with Harvard declaring that violations "may" result in "termination, dismissal, expulsion" or "revocation of tenure."
The training also includes numerous scenarios that involve potential Title IX violations and explains how students should react to them, telling students that they should "prioritize social justice and inclusion" and "intervene" whenever "harm" occurs.
The course states outright in one of the scenarios presented that "repeatedly using the wrong pronouns" is a potential violation of federal law, which the Free Beacon called ''a striking example of how Title IX can be weaponized to target speech, not merely conduct.''
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