Johns Hopkins University has referred to a woman as a “non-man” in the school’s new LGBTQ glossary, prompting backlash from critics.
The prestigious Baltimore research university’s LGBTQ glossary defined a lesbian as “a non-man attracted to non-men.”
“While past definitions refer to ‘lesbian’ as a woman who is emotionally, romantically, and/or sexually attracted to other women, this updated definition includes non-binary people who may also identify with the label,” the definition adds.
The entire glossary has since been taken down, pending review.
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, tweeted her criticism as well.
“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.
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
Some critics on social media questioned why “gay men” were still referred to as just “men.”
After criticism, the university took down the glossary to review its definitions and replaced it with an explanatory statement.
“Upon becoming aware of the language in question, we have begun working to determine the origin and context of the glossary’s definitions. We have removed the page from our website while we gather more information,” the university said in its 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.
“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 statement said.
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.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Paula Neira, who is program director of LGBTQ+ Equity and Education at Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity, was responsible for approving the “lesbian” glossary definition.