See, I’m not the only one weirded out by the word “co-ed”

From: rnewtonATkent.edu on a word-a-day mailing list I'm subscribed to:

The most egregious example of gender-bias in English is, I think, the existence of two words for students. Male students are students; but female students are co-eds. This originates in schools being for males only. So, when they allowed girls to come "along" (this is what co- means), they were viewed as nonessential appendages. Kind of like Adam being created independently, and then Eve was formed to assist him. I have insisted that all my students expunge this word from their vocabulary. I no longer allow them to say they live in a co-ed dorm, for example, since that implies that the dorms are really there for the one sex only. There are only male dorms, female dorms, and mixed- gender dorms (although this is a misnomer, since gender is not the same as sex; but we can't very easily call them two-sex dorms without raising eyebrows; unisex might work?).

E-Mail from wsmith

On Technorati: ,