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University Urges Staff To Use ‘Chest-Feeding’ Instead Of ‘Breastfeeding’ To Be Gender Neutral

Mark Andrew

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  • The Australian National University’s Gender Institute has released a handbook instructing students and staff members to use “non-gendered language.”
  • Instead of breastfeeding, they are encouraging the use of the term “chestfeeding.”
  • While an ANU representative emphasized that the guide has been “developed by expert researchers,” the document is “not an official ANU policy, process or official prescription.”

A handbook from the Australian National University (ANU) is instructing “any student or staff member involved” in teaching to use certain terms in order to be gender-inclusive. Developed by the university’s Gender Institute, the guide is encouraging people to use “chestfeeding” instead of “breastfeeding.”

Furthermore, the document also suggested using “gestational parent” instead of “mother,”“non-gestational” or “non-birthing” parent instead of father, and “human or parent milk” instead of “mother’s milk.”

According to the handbook:

“When working with student parents, defer to non-gendered language until the student volunteers their preferred nomenclature… Language habits take practice to overcome, and students respect the efforts you make to be inclusive.”

Not surprisingly, the guide has attracted a lot of attention from the public, with some commenters describing the terms as “completely ridiculous.”

In an interview, a spokesperson of the Canberra-based university clarified:

“This document is not an official ANU policy, process or official prescription to staff and students. It is a guide developed by expert researchers to assist anyone committed to enhancing inclusiveness and diversity.

“ANU is committed to equity and diversity and ensuring we reflect the broad nature, background and experiences of Australians and our society, as well as a being a safe and welcoming campus for all people.”

“Members of our community are entitled and encouraged to share their views, and to disagree with the views of others in a respectful way,” the spokesperson likewise added.

Meanwhile, students and staff members are “free to engage with, debate and contest the ideas canvassed in this handbook.”

Watch this vlogger’s rant about the subject:

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