Activists: All-Women’s Colleges Hurt Non-Binary, Transgender Students

trans
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

The media and activists at the all-female Hollins University in Virginia want to open the doors to potential students who define themselves as “non-binary” — which could include men — but the school’s board chairwoman is pushing back.

“I have a lot of compassion and empathy for those [non-binary] feelings, but we are a women’s institution,” said Alexandra Trower, the chairman of Hollins’ board. “We’re very clear and open about what our mission is — and people have a choice about where they go to university.”

Taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR)  targeted Hollins University by interviewing students and administrators about how the women’s institution should not limit admission to females “to reflect a shift in the way that people understand gender. Some students identify as transgender or nonbinary, not exclusively male or female. So who belongs at a women’s college?”

Left-wing NPR staffer Melissa Block reported, “that all-women idea can be complicated for students who don’t see themselves that way, like Kendall Sanders, a Hollins senior from Little Rock who’s nonbinary.”

“I think it honestly started maybe my — the end of my freshman year,” student Kendall Sanders said in the NPR report. “I was just thinking, and I was like, I don’t think I care about being a girl.”

“I really just want to escape the binary,” Sanders said. “I don’t want to spend my life trying to prove that I am one gender. I want to wake up, put on some clothes, go out into my day. If you perceive me as one gender, that’s OK, too. But for me, it just is what it is.”

NPR, which sought out the small minority of Hollins students who embrace the LGBT ideology, reported:

Here’s how Hollins’ latest admissions policy works. If you’re a transgender woman, you can apply. If you’re a trans man, no. But if you transitioned to male after you get to Hollins, you can stay. And that’s an important shift. Before 2019, if you transitioned while at Hollins, you’d have to transfer out. Finally, if you’re nonbinary, Hollins says no, your application will not be accepted. To be admitted, you have to, quote, “consistently live and identify as a woman,” and that’s messed up, says sophomore Willow Seymour, who is genderqueer.

“Personally, I think it’s pretty offensive to exclude nonbinary people,” Seymour said. “I know that historically it’s a women’s college, but a lot of people see it as, like, a refuge from patriarchal structures, and nonbinary people deserve to be as much a part of that as anyone else.”

NPR’s report includes one woman, Jaiya McMillan, identified by Block as “cisgender,” who agrees with the LGBT ideology.

When asked if Hollins should be more inclusive, McMillan said, “Absolutely, absolutely. I think maybe a school with everything under the sun, except for cis men.”

NPR found a professor, LeeRay Costa, who used to teach women’s studies but now teaches gender and women’s studies. 

“We see a lot more fluidity, so people moving along a spectrum and not feeling like they have to be fixed in one place and exploring,” Costa said.

Block concluded that Hollins may face the same fate as other all-women colleges.

“Overshadowing this discussion is the fact that a dozen historically women’s colleges have either closed or gone coed in the last seven years, faced with declining enrollment or financial trouble, each school trying to figure out how to adapt in a more genderfluid world,” Block said.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.