Bristol University has been ridiculed for encouraging staff to use a gender pronoun guide which included “catgender” for people who identify as cats, and “emojiself” for people who identify with emojis.
The university’s “Using Pronouns At Work” guide links to a website that says some people may choose to use “Emojiself pronouns” – identifying with emojis – or “Nyan pronouns.”
Bristol University includes ‘catgender’ in pronoun guide https://t.co/RmG4xKBEVM
— The Independent (@Independent) February 8, 2022
“Nyan” is the Japanese word for “meow.” According to the guide, this may be used by people who identify as “cat gender” – feeling a strong association with cats.
University staff are also encouraged to use their own pronouns when they introduce themselves to others, saying whether they identify as a “he,” “she,” or something else entirely upon meeting a new person.
Social media users were quick to mock the announcement.
“For God’s sake, what have we come to? Catgender??? When will this insanity end?” said one user.
“You can sort the ‘catgender’ rubbish easily; Male toilets, Female toilets, and a tray of cat litter by the entrance doors,” said another.
Still one more user added: “Are you saying I cannot be a Jedi biscuit????”
Responding to the criticism, a spokesperson for the university said that the college was “committed” to gender inclusion.
“The correct use of pronouns is important to some members of our University community,” they said.
“We have a guide on our website which is designed to help people understand the different variations and nuances that this covers. This linked to an external LGBTA Wiki page with further information, which in turn links to a separate page on catgender.
“These external links are not official university guidance and we are disappointed that it has been reported as such. With this in mind, we have now removed this link and apologise for the confusion caused.”