As I continue my peregrinations around the world of online student journalism in American higher education, I am discovering how eager woke students are to ban words that are not generally regarded as offensive. Not by sane people, anyway.
The latest example is the word, “woman.” This word is a terrible, terrible thing to the news staff of The Wellesley News, the independent student newspaper of Wellesley College.
In an editorial of May 13, 2021 entitled, “We’re not all “Wellesley Women” anymore. What’s taking the College so long to see that?” we learn that because transgender students want more “inclusive” language to be used at the college, modes of expression must become ever more policed and free expression curtailed. This repression is being advocated by student journalists, mind you.
Now traditionally, journalism is a field that tends to disapprove of censorship and language policing.
Oops, I used the word “traditionally.” That is not a word that woke people like. Traditions are bad. All such values as, er, um, free speech on college campuses must be smashed so that transgender people feel comfortable.
Speaking as, well, a woman I had no idea that the word “woman” was a problem. My mother is a woman. My sisters are women. Most of the women I know I are women. Actually, all of the women I know are women. We are women. We don’t “identify” as women.
But the strident students of The Wellesley Newswon’t have that. They say:
Approximately one year ago, the Wellesley News published a staff editorial on Wellesley College’s usage of gendered language. To this day, no noticeable changes have been made by the administration; the College has continued to utilize gendered terminology in all official documents and on its website.
So, just to be clear. One of the famous women’s colleges in the world (Hillary Clinton being probably its most notable graduate) should not use “gendered language.” Why is that? Because men who want to be considered women but who are not biologically women want to prevent actual women at a women’s college from using the word “women.” And this is supposed to advance the cause of—what, exactly? It certainly is not advancing the cause of women to expunge the words “women” and “woman” from university documents, policies and so forth.
The very concept of womanhood is already stretched to the point of absurdity at Wellesley. Here is some topsy-turvy language that shows how far the college is already twisting basic biological facts to appease the transgender juggernaut:
Wellesley is deeply committed to our mission to educate women and the College is proud of its history of graduating women who demonstrate the value of women’s leadership. Wellesley does not accept applications from men. Those assigned female at birth who identify as men are not eligible for admission.
Are trans women eligible for admission?
Yes. Wellesley accepts applications from women. Those assigned male at birth who identify as women are eligible for admission.
Whoa, hold on. “Those assigned male at birth who identify as women are eligible for admission.” But you just said, “Wellesley does not accept applications from men.”
So, men who are not actually women but “identify” as women can be admitted to Wellesley. But women who want to be men can’t be and neither can men who are perfectly happy being men.
Maybe the staff at The Wellesley News has a weird point. If Wellesley College is already applying the word “women” to men who say they are women but who are not, why hang on to the word “women” at all? Why have a Wellesley College at all, for that matter? Given that a man who says he is a woman is not a woman (unless you are delusional), what the college says here is, hmm, how shall I say this--ridiculous:
It is clear that the concept of a women’s college, and the reasons for having one, are as relevant today as they were at our charter date in 1870. Wellesley’s mission—to provide an excellent education to women who will make a difference in the world—is only strengthened by broadening our understanding of what it means to be a woman
Sorry, no. Broadening what it means to be a woman to the point of absurdity means it is well past time to shut your doors as a women’s college.
One has a certain amount of sympathy for the bumbling administrators and board of trustees given hassle of trying to grasp the illogical, downright goofy position of student groups given voice in The Wellesley News. They demand that the women’s college that they chose to attend because it is, you know, a women’s college (although only just at this point, as noted above) and that is not exactly a secret, do such things as:
openly accept non-men
What on earth those are is not explained. This is all very tiresome. The poor college students of today have to spend hours and hours in the bogs of word banning and daffy definitions.
The editorial demands that the college refrain from continuing the:
erasure of transgender and non-binary students at Wellesley
Using the word “erasure” is pretty rich coming from the two groups that are ferociously attempting to erase the word “women” and generally understood conceptions of femaleness from their college—and, they hope, society at large. They want to stamp out the supposedly medieval evil of “normative ideas of gender” and argue that quashing use of the words “woman” and “women” (except, presumably when men want to apply the words to themselves—all in the name of “inclusivity”) from Wellesley will create:
a much more beautiful and meaningful community
Parents, you might want to send your daughters elsewhere.