A Brooklyn College professor is facing criticism after he threatened to remove any student who used the wrong pronouns for him any other person in the class.
Campus Reform reported on Thursday that a professor at Brooklyn College, Dr. Brandon Aultman, included a clause in his course syllabus that promises to eject any student who engages in “intentional misgendering.” Aultman teaches LGBTQ politics at the school.
In the original syllabus for his course, “Fundamental Concepts in LGBTQ Studies,” the professor wrote:
Pronouns, Gender Identity, and Racial Insensitivity: My name is B. Call me B. I am nonbinary, transfeminine. For my information concerning the use of these terms please consult http://transstudent.org. I use gender-neutral pronouns (they/them). I adhere to a strict policy of respect for the gender, sexual, and racial identities of my students. Intentional misgendering, as with any attempt to slur another student’s personal integrity on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion, will result in immediate dismissal from class for that session. Continued abuses will result in disciplinary action with the appropriate administrators.
Aultman goes by the name “B” and publicly identifies as “nonbinary, transfeminine." He urges his students to use they/them gender pronouns when referring to him, as he does not identify as a man.
In his Rate My Professor profile, the students reviewing his professionalism and course content all refer to Aultman as "they."
Oxford Dictionaries defines “misgendering” as to “refer to (someone, especially a transgender person) using a word, especially a pronoun or form of address, that does not correctly reflect the gender with which they identify.”
According to Campus Reform, Aultman’s edict may have been in contradiction to Brooklyn College’s procedures in handling class disruptions. The policy states that if a professor has a “disruptive, but non-threatening student,” who “refuses to desist and continues to interrupt” or if the student is “hostile,” the professor may dismiss the student from the class session.
However, “disturbing communication” only merits reaching out to the student and reporting him or her to the head of the department. Under the college’s guidelines, misgendering another student would not merit immediate dismissal from the class or disciplinary action.
A media relations spokesperson for the college told Campus Reform that they were “not aware of this classroom guideline” in reference to Aultman’s clause and told the professor “to not dismiss students from the session, but rather to consider a range of effective pedagogies instead and to use the college policy with regard to gender discrimination.”