An all-women’s university invokes a “gender neutral” environment…
An all-women’s college in South Hadley, Massachusetts told their professors not to call the female students “women” or to make reference to “the two genders.”
Professors are no longer to say “Mount Holyoke women,” instead they are to say “Mount Holyoke students,” as well as avoiding statements like “We’re all women here…” even though they are an all women’s university. This is all part of the Teaching & Learning Initiative.
The guide claims that “many students spend the first day of class braced against various types of disrespect,” such as “professors who mispronounce their names, call them by the wrong name entirely, misgender them, and so on.”
Fox News reports:
The Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students guide was created by officials at Mount Holyoke to promote a “gender neutral” environment, CampusReform.org reported.
Yet, on the school’s website, it says, “Imagine if every day were International Women’s Day. Meet Mount Holyoke,” and also boasts of being founded “by a woman!” in 1837.
The college now wants professors to take an “inter-sectional approach” to the classroom by “becoming aware of the multiple forms of oppression and privilege each individual faces and how they interact with one another.”
While Mount Holyoke maintains it is committed to its historic mission as a women’s college, it says it recognizes that what it means to be a woman is always changing.
“Traditional binaries around who counts as a man or woman are being challenged by those whose gender identity does not conform to their biology,” the policy states.
The college formed a gender inclusion task force to assist with the changes.
Any “biologically born female” can apply for admission, but only a “biologically born male” who “identifies as other/they/ze and when ‘other/they’ identity includes woman” and one who “identifies as a woman.”
But even with all the safeguards and changes, the college admits it makes mistakes.
“Classrooms are never neutral spaces and are marked by the same inequalities, exclusion and power struggles that exist elsewhere in the world,” the Inclusive Training manual reads. “The point is not to claim a privileged space for the classroom that is somehow exempt from those dynamics, but to work to eliminate them where we can, confront them honestly when we cannot, and find ways to listen and include all our students in equitable, just ways.”
The school did not immediately respond to request for comment.
In 2014, Mount Holyoke College (MHC) announced that it had adopted a formal policy to admit transgender students or anyone who simply identified as a woman.
Speaking during convocation, the assembly welcoming students back to college, MHC President Lynn Pasquerella announced the policy and said the southern Massachusetts college would admit any qualified student who either is female or identifies as such.
“While we have welcomed trans students in the past and for several years have been in conversation with campus constituencies about how to best to foster a respectful environment for all students—we needed a formal policy: one that would articulate our commitment to core values of individual freedom, social justice, and diversity and inclusion,” Pasquerella said during the event, according to an email sent out to the student body.
The policy also said that it did not require anything more from applicants other than a statement of their gender-identification.
“Whether a student transitions suddenly or has a long history with a particular gender identity will not have an impact on how their application for admission is assessed,” the policy read.