In the increasingly enlightened time in which we live, it seems there are fewer and fewer universal truths. Just ask Lake Ingle, a male student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, who was banned from his religious studies class after he had the audacity to say there were only two genders.
Ingle’s class had just finished watching a video presentation in which a transgender woman discussed male condescension, male privilege and sexism. Class instructor Alison Downie then opened a discussion with female students being allowed to speak first. After no females offered input, Ingle expressed his opposition to the structure of the discussion and objected to one “woman’s” video account being treated as reality. He also offered up the official view of biologists that only two genders actually exist.
The next day, Downie presented Ingle with official university documents alleging that his classroom comments were disrespectful, damaging to the learning environment and spoken out of turn. A university provost’s letter also barred Ingle from class until the matter was resolved, with the school later ordering him to issue an apology and to “listen silently” while the professor and any students be allowed to express how they felt during the time he made his offensive comments.
Fortunately, Ingle is challenging what he views as a violation of free speech. Yet, this is an example of the institutional intolerance to rational discussion of anything on today’s college campuses. And for those who may be mildly confused about the facts specific to gender in the 21st century, consider also the case of Massachusetts’ Mount Holyoke College.
Recently, this institution of higher learning issued a guide to its professors advising them to refrain from using the word “women” when describing the school’s female attendees. Instead, simply using the word “students” is more “gender-inclusive.” Of course, Mount Holyoke is an entirely-female university, but the policy will facilitate the school’s desire to “foster intersectionality in the classroom.” In the words of those who run the school, “traditional binaries around who counts as a man or a woman are being challenged by those whose gender identity does not conform to their biology.” Still confused?
Mount Holyoke’s newfound awareness is further reflected in its updated admission standards under which qualifying applicants will include biologically born females who identify as women, men, “other,” or who don’t identify as women or men. Biologically born males will qualify if they identify as women, “other,” or intersex (born with both male and female anatomy) and identify as women. Got that?
Naturally, “biological males who identify as a man” need not apply. After all, Mount Holyoke is an institution for “gender-inclusive students,” dare one say females.
Meanwhile, at the University of Texas at Austin, the school’s Counseling and Mental Health Center hopes to assist male students redefine gender identity and form a
“healthier” sense of masculinity via a series of posters through its MasculinUT program. The posters encourage men to wear nail polish, dresses and makeup, and even display flowers in their beards.
The campaign’s goals include “promoting healthy models of masculinity to prevent interpersonal, relationship and sexual violence on campus.” MasculinUT also believes men suffer when they are told to “act like a man, be successful, or become a bread- winner.” Of course, none of this should add any confusion for anyone; especially boys and men who seem to be under attack on numerous fronts across society at large.
In today’s culture of academia, these qualify as examples of higher learning at its finest. Yet if you are thankful that your own child attends a college other than Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Mount Holyoke in Massachusetts, or the University of Texas at Austin, don’t get too comfortable. Countless other academic institutions across the land promote similar enlightened drivel to their student bodies. The reality is that more colleges and universities than not are likely using obscene levels of student financial contributions to support such concepts. What’s even better is that this new understanding of gender can be expected to become part of other interactive settings across a society in which reality has become whatever the powers that be say it is.
Comic great George Carlin could have reasonably been discussing such gender enlightenment when he once said, “I have a very low tolerance for stupid crap (bs).” And the worst part is that parents are providing tens of thousands of dollars for their young skulls filled with mush to be indoctrinated in such literal nonsense.
Mark Figley is a political activist and guest columnist from Elida. Reach him a email@example.com