Activists are expressing concerns over Johns Hopkins University using the term “non-man” to describe biological women.
The university, based in Baltimore, Maryland, received backlash after defining “lesbian” as “a non-man attracted to non-men” in its glossary of LGBT+ terms.
Women say they are concerned about the liberal university erasing “all female identities” in their glossary.
The terminology, which has been temporarily removed from the website, was initially meant to be inclusive of non-binary lesbians who don’t describe themselves as women.
However, women say the term “non-man” is misogynistic and that Johns Hopkins doesn’t use similar language to describe gay men.
Johns Hopkins took down the online glossary while it looks into “the origin and context of the glossary’s definitions.”
“Johns Hopkins describing women as a ‘non-man’ is outrageous and an insult to women everywhere, especially those who want to be known as women,” Evelyn Okpanachi, 46, told Newsweek.
“It puts us back years as there is more to fight for. The adoption of this term in the workplace is problematic too, as it brings into play the gender bias that we are fighting so hard against.”
“I refuse to be defined as ‘non-man,'” said Dr. Amy Chai, 59, who used to work at Johns Hopkins. “I define myself. I am a woman. I reject the narrative that men are women; it is objectively false.”
Jennifer Smith, 25, told Newsweek, “Using the term ‘non-man’ to describe women seems to me like a poor attempt to avoid wading into the complex waters of gender; yet it ends up erasing all female identities.”