California State University, Chico recently unveiled its "We Don't Say" campaign that features a video (below) and posters of student athletes listing off phrases and words that they don't say, such as "like a girl" and "man up."
The campaign is the brainchild of the Chico State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which was inspired by a similar campaign at Duke University in 2014, notes the Daily Mail.
Some of the phrases on the posters are universally offensive, such as the N-word, a three-letter derogatory phrase that describes gay people, and a crude phrase, used by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in 2005, to describe a female sex organ.
Some of the forbidden phrases on the posters include arguments and assumptions that not all people agree on:
I don't say "man up" because it insinuates women can't be courageous.
I don't say "like a girl" because gender has no limits.
I don't say "runs like a girl" because being a female doesn't hinder my athleticism.
We don't say "just kill me" because suicide is not a joking matter and never will be.
I don't say "coward" because you can't judge someone else by your own standards.
Other words judged to be offensive include: "Spaz," "That's Retarded," "No Homo," and "SheMale."
Haley Kroll, co-president of the Chico State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, explained the poster campaign on the Chico State Athletics website:
Everyone is welcome here. We are a family. We want everyone to feel included, and we want our language to reflect that.
I hope people see them–not only the rest of our student-athletes, but school wide. I hope when people see them they begin to realize these words do hurt people. Even if it doesn't mean anything to you, it will mean something to the person next to you, or in your class, or on your team.
While some praised the campaign on Facebook, others have likened it to censorship, notes the Daily Mail:
They are words and the truth hurts. Why should we all be so sensitive to other peoples opinions. We should be raised to not let other peoples opinions bother us.
I wouldn't use derogatory words around people that they would offend out of respect but if i did then they shouldn't let the words bother them either.
I don't let anyone, especially athletes, tell me what words I can use. The authoritarian smugness of this campaign is frightening.
Awesome! I am a Chico graduate and now a high school teacher that advises a GSA club (gay straight alliance or gender and sexuality alliance). Our words have the potential to hurt or heal each day. This is a nice reminder of that. I will share this with my students.
I am frankly surprised at how many people still don't understand, and are threatened and verbally violent when they see these.
Keep on speaking out for strength and compassion, because that is how the world changes for the better.
Sources: Daily Mail, Chico State Athletics / Photo credit: Chico State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee via YouTube