Gender Alienation

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By The Article Blogger 54

In my opinion, ‘brilliant’, ‘flair’ and ‘genius’ are gender neutral, but according to the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, “Cambridge academics are being discouraged from using terms such as genius, brilliant or flair in feedback for fear of alienating female students”¹.

A mathematician or student of mathematics for example, can be either male or female or indeed any of the other established and recognized gender identities. By that token, then surely anyone who qualifies as such can be a ‘brilliant’ mathematician, have a ‘flair’ for mathematics or be a mathematical ‘genius’ regardless of gender. If that assumption is correct, then I fail to see how the use of these terms can alienate anyone, female or otherwise.


1Harris, S. (2017, June 13) Now saying genius ‘can alienate female students’ by Sarah Harris.  Daily Mail, P.27 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4598036/Saying-genius-brilliant-alienate-female-students.html

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First published on Blog54 Tuesday 20th June 2017

Updated and republished on Blog54 Tuesday 10th October 2017