Students at Wellesley College in Massachusetts–one of the historic Seven Sisters schools–voted Tuesday to admit trans men in a non-binding resolution that also calls for making conversation more gender inclusive–meaning they’d like to toss the word “women” altogether from the approved language able to be uttered on campus. What the heck happened to the feminists in this country?
Would past alumnae Hillary Clinton, Nora Ephron, or Madeleine Albright be sanguine about this? Ephron and Albright are no longer alive to answer, but I imagine all three strongly weighed the fact that the college was all-women in their decisions to attend. After all, there were plenty of other schools they could have gone to.
Hillary, I’m guessing, would be all in on this action, because every modern Democrat has seemingly sprinted to the extreme left.
The New York Times reports:
The referendum, which was nonbinding, called for opening admission to all nonbinary and transgender applicants, including trans men. Currently, the college allows admission to anyone who lives and consistently identifies as a woman.
The referendum also called for making the college’s communications more gender inclusive — for example, using the word “students” or “alumni” instead of “women.”
Wellesley already previously changed its gender policy in 2015, allowing anyone who consistently identifies as female to attend (provided they survive the application process, of course). Now, however, if the school does decide to honor its students’ vote and allow undergrads who “identify as male” to enroll, would it really be a women’s college anymore?
I would argue that it really hasn’t been one since 2015, but this new proposal would truly make the claim utterly meaningless.
I also imagine that it won’t be long before a person born as a male and identifying as such is going to wonder why he is not allowed to roam the august halls, as Guy Benson points out above. Because if you’re going to allow people born female but identifying as men, wouldn’t it be discrimination to refuse admission to biological men?
It could all get very confusing. Actually, it already is–I just got dizzy writing that.
The school could just decide to let in qualified applicants regardless of gender or identity, and I’d have no issue with that. Harvard, Princeton, and Yale all changed from male only to coed during their long histories, and there are countless other examples of single-sex schools moving away from that model.
But it seems Wellesley’s going to continue to have problems threading this needle of who’s allowed to attend. In the mission and values section of their website, they write:
“Wellesley’s mission is to provide an excellent liberal arts education to women who will make a difference in the world.”
Obviously, if they ultimately decide to let people identifying as men attend, that statement becomes preposterous (if it’s not already).
Brittanica describes the founder’s ideals:
Wellesley College, which was chartered in 1870 and opened in 1875, was founded by Henry Fowle Durant to provide women with college opportunities equal to those of men. Wellesley was the first women’s college to have scientific laboratories, and its physics laboratory was the second in an American college.
I actually feel sorry for the administrators and alumni who cherish the school’s history as a historic women’s college, because they’re fighting a losing battle as the meaning of the word “women” is being systematically erased from society. But institutions like this look silly when they bend over backward and contort themselves with tortured language to try to describe various genders, and it just ends up becoming absurd.
Either you’re a women’s college or you’re not, and it doesn’t seem likely that Wellesley can in good conscience continue to pretend that it is.
Wellesley’s president Paula Johnson, who’s been taking fire from both sides of the debate, says:
“There’s been an evolution in our country, and we’re a microcosm of that,” she said. “Yes, it is representative of a changing world and a changing conception of gender. It does not mean that Wellesley isn’t a women’s college and an inclusive community. Those two can live together.”
All I can say to President Johnson is–good luck with that.
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