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Aussie University Apologises For Guidelines That Deemed Terms 'Husband' And 'Wife' Offensive

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Aussie University Apologises For Guidelines That Deemed Terms 'Husband' And 'Wife' Offensive

An Australian university has come under fire after a transgender student objected to a list of terms deemed offensive in their discrimination guidelines.

South Australia's Flinders University has since apologised and removed its harassment and discrimination guidelines in the wake of the complaint.

The guidelines deemed terms such as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ inappropriate, likening them to derogatory terms such as ‘homo’ and ‘f****t’. 

The main issue with the list, however, came with Flinders University referring to the ‘condition of transsexualism’ being appropriate despite it being regarded as outdated. 

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The World Health Organisation stopped listing transgender as a mental health condition in 2019, with the term ‘transsexual’ considered offensive in the community. 

Credit: Flinders University/YouTube
Credit: Flinders University/YouTube

A staff member who saw the post from the transgender student reviewed the guidelines and offered an apology.

In a statement, Flinders University said: “We agree that the content on the website is inappropriate.

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“We are taking immediate action to remove it and will engage with students and the wider diversity community on our campuses to review the content.

“Equality, diversity and inclusion are fundamental values that we are committed to upholding in words and in practice – it is clear that improvement is needed and we still have work to do.

“We commit to doing this work.”

It is unclear why the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ were included on the ‘inappropriate’ list.

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Jane Russo from Transcend, a national support group for transgender people, spoke to The Advertiser, saying the list was outdated.

She said: “We've gone beyond this kind of language. When it comes to husband and wife it really comes down to a matter of personal choice.

“As for transsexual – it is a mix of language which misconstrues sexuality and gender.”

Transgender rights have been a contentious and consistent topic on the 2022 election trail.

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Liberal candidate Katherine Deves was recently called out for multiple transphobic social posts, including one that said she would get ‘triggered’ by the LGBT flag. 

She had also posted topless photos of a trans teenager who had undergone top surgery and wrote: “This photo just hit my feed. It is beyond heartbreaking.”

She added to her initial tweet, saying: “They will not stand for seeing vulnerable children surgically mutilated and sterilised in furtherance of an unattainable idea.

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“The lawsuits will be legion, as will the government inquiries. Complete failure of safeguarding. Mark my words.”

Ms Deves apologised after being called out for the language used toward transgender people. 

However, the Prime Minister continued to support the Warringah Liberal candidate, claiming her primary issue pertained to women’s sport rather than transphobia. 

He said: “The remarks that Katherine has made in the past that have been insensitive... she's withdrawn those remarks and I think she has learned that in taking forward the primary issue that she is seeking to raise, as a woman raising three daughters of her own, is about women and girls in sport.

“That's what she's seeking to bring attention to.”

Featured Image Credit: Cavan Images / Alamy. Flinders University / YouTube.

Topics: Australia, Education, LGBTQ

Jayden Collins
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