Johns Hopkins University Refers to Woman as “Non-Man” in LGBTQ Glossary
Johns Hopkins University has come under fire for referring to a woman as a “non-man” in their new LGBTQ glossary. The prestigious Baltimore research university’s definition of a lesbian as “a non-man attracted to non-men” has been met with criticism and backlash from conservative commentators and gender ideology critics.
Man: no definition needed.
Non-man (formerly known as woman):
a being definable only by reference to the male. An absence, a vacuum where there’s no man-ness. pic.twitter.com/cpSaSR2Vfg
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 13, 2023
After receiving criticism, the university has taken down the glossary to review its definitions and replaced it with an explanatory statement. The glossary was meant to serve only as an “introduction” to the range of LGBT identities, not “as the definitive answers as to how all people understand or use these terms,” the university said.
Criticism and Backlash
Conservative commentators and gender ideology critics were quick to point out the absurdity in this definition from one of the country’s most distinguished universities. “Lesbians are now officially squirrels,” The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro tweeted.
“Harry Potter” author J.K Rowling, who has been an outspoken critic of gender ideology in recent years, also tweeted her criticism. “Man: no definition needed. Non-man (formerly known as woman): a being definable only by reference to the male. An absence, a vacuum where there’s no man-ness,” Rowling wrote in her tweet.
Some critics on social media questioned why “gay men” were still referred to as just “men.”
Review and Explanation
Upon becoming aware of the language in question, the university has begun working to determine the origin and context of the glossary’s definitions. The entire glossary has been taken down, pending review. “Johns Hopkins strives to create a campus culture that is inclusive and welcoming for all gender identities, sexual orientations, experiences and viewpoints, and we are committed to ensuring Johns Hopkins is a place where LGBTQ people feel supported,” the university said in its statement.
In recent years, critics have accused transgender activists of erasing women by defining female in reference to male and allowing men into women’s spaces. The definition was reportedly approved by Paula Neira, a trans-identifying man who is the Program Director of LGBTQ+ Equity and Education at Johns Hopkins.
Neira is a former Navy officer who made history in 2015 when he became the first trans-identifying Navy veteran to have his discharge papers updated to show his new name. He is also an attorney and was instrumental in helping repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, after which gay men and women were allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military. Neira also helped lead efforts to change regulations to allow trans-identifying people to serve openly, but former President Trump reversed that policy in 2017.
“There are still gendered uniforms, there are still gendered birthing spaces and showers,” Neira said in 2020. “That’s not going to change overnight. Some day, will we get there? I hope so, but I don’t foresee that being tomorrow.”
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