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There are 12 comments on POV: Expanding the Definition of Women at Women’s Colleges

  1. Re Wellesley College:

    You state that Wellesley is one of the schools that needs to change, but I think their policies are much more relaxed than what you read. Last year they graduated a student who was male for all four years. They seem to be much more open minded than the official policy would make you think.

  2. “But, that mission will not be served by exclusionary admissions practices that echo the exclusions women have experienced from higher education. When the US Congress enacted Title IX of the US Educational Amendments Act of 1972, which prohibits discrimination “on the basis of sex,” some educational institutions (including Harvard) successfully lobbied for exemptions for single-sex educational missions.”

    Based on the faulty assumption that women are now treated equally to men… Discriminating against men in a patriarchal society is not “the same” as discriminating against women. Let’s not forget context when it comes to talking about gender, sex, and admissions on college campuses.

    In a world that is extremely hostile to women, female-born women have the right to a safe space unto themselves.

  3. I support anyone who currently identifies as a woman being admitted to women’s colleges, and I also don’t think they should kick out someone who decides to transition to being a man during the course of their college career there. I want to be clear on that and do not want to align myself with anyone who supports trans woman-exclusive policies.

    That said, Mt. Holyoke’s policy is, in fact, eroding at the institution of women’s colleges and women’s safe spaces. Their policy is literally “everyone but cisgender men.” And in that way, it is another hit in a long line of people insisting that women expand their spaces to include everyone. Again, I have NO ISSUE with us expanding our idea of “woman,” but that’s not what Mt. Holyoke is doing. They, like some others, are re-defining “woman” to mean “not a cis man.” This is not far off from bathrooms divided into “men” and “unisex” (not men’s, women’s, and unisex OR just unisex) or asking why women’s shelters aren’t helping everyone else, too (nevermind that they are but having the right to put their primary focus on women). Or! For example! “Women’s Studies” programs being forced to change to “Gender Studies” and offer classes on masculinity. Privileged white men get to retain their spaces–women, an already vulnerable group, must give up theirs for anyone and everyone else.

    Plus, it’s actually not actually honoring trans identities. If you’ve been living as a boy/man since you were 13? That’s fine–you were *born* with the right parts. And somehow *that’s* not reducing someone to their genitals?

  4. It’s hilariously ironic that men’s colleges have been opening the doors to women since at least the 70s, yet few (if any) women’s colleges are able to reciprocate, even for trans students. And yet we are labeled as bigoted.

    1. Yes, so ironic that men took ages to allow HALF THE POPULATION admittance, whereas something established as another option for women is struggling with something only recently gaining traction. Checkmate, feminists!

      1. That’s an awfully verbose way to describe what is essentially sex discrimination.

        The fact remains, that the sole remaining institutions engaging in any sort of sex discrimination are exclusively female ones, which is incredibly ironic and hypocritical.

        There’s no amount of red herrings or counterexamples that are going to spin that in a positive light, it’s a huge stain on whatever movement you think you are promoting.

    2. Totally agree! There is certainly a double-standard,and this doesn’t only apply to education,but also to clubs and organizations as the feminist agencies will take ther men-only ones to court, but will insist on maintaining the status quo for the women-only ones.

  5. You mention that gender neutral housing is available to all students at BU, but this is sadly not the case. Freshmen are excluded from the policy, and I have several friends who were unable to secure gender neutral spots due to the lack of spaces that were designated GN. There is still MUCH room for improvement in the policy, and saying that it’s mere existence is enough doesn’t cut it in my book.

    1. I can’t stand how this article acts like BU is some haven for trans people.

      In addition to the lie about gender neutral housing, health services is painfully discriminatory toward trans students, to the point where I pay a high copay to go to a dr I prefer rather than dealing with them any longer. They also don’t have a preferred name option in their system so trans students must out themselves to every professor and TA if they want to go by a name that matches their identity. And there are almost no gender neutral bathrooms on campus.

      We aren’t special. We aren’t even very good.

  6. In her piece in the New York Times, Ruth Padawer focuses on the issue of women’s colleges admitting, and conferring diplomas on, transmen. In other words, should women’s colleges admit people who identify as men but who are biologically female? This is a very different question from the issue of admitting transwomen. Padawer explores the question of whether women’s colleges will survive, in light of our evolving understandings of gender. For better or for worse, the answer seems to be that they will not.

  7. It’s hard for me to keep quiet on the topic of women in college (chromosomal issues aside) when this post is at a university, my alma mater, that allows their incoming professors to heckle rape victims! I have a humble request, let’s talk about it. My opinion on Saida Grundy is pretty simple “College professor heckles rape victim. College professor loses job.” What do you say?

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