Hollins University Faculty and Students Challenge “Binary” Gender Classifications For Admission

Hollins University is one of the oldest women’s colleges in the country but now faces a growing challenge over the use of gender as a defining characteristic. Some students and faculty are demanding that Hollins allow for non-binary individuals to apply for admission. However, that step raises additional questions as to applicants who were born female but identify (or have transitioned) as males . . . or biological males.

Women’s colleges have long struggled with the conflict of resisting gender classifications in society while enforcing gender classifications for admissions.

At Hollins, the issue previously came up as some students decided to transition to being male. The school eventually agreed that they could remain at the all-women’s school despite being male.

Now students are objecting to barring non-binary applicants who do not identify as women. According to NPR, the small Hollins University still specifically excludes non-binary applicants due to its “guiding principle” to serve those who “consistently live and identify as women.”  The school’s transgender policy states:

“Since its founding in 1842, Hollins’ mission has been to provide an exceptional undergraduate liberal arts education for women. In furtherance of our mission, tradition, and values as a women’s college, and in recognition of our changing world and evolving understanding of gender identity, Hollins will consider for admission those applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth. Enrolled students who transition during their time at Hollins may graduate.”

However, some faculty and students have denounced the policy while acknowledging that the entire school is based on a gender discriminatory premise by only allowing women to be students. Hollins senior Kendall Sanders, who identifies as non-binary and uses  “they/them” pronouns, insists that “My womanness, my femininity does not define me.” That can prove a difficult view to accommodate at a school that is defined by gender.

If gender should not define students or admission, the question is whether Hollis should maintain its identity as a “women’s college.”

For Hollins professor LeeRay Costa  the answer is that the college must change. The “feminist cultural anthropologist” who teaches a course on “Girlhood Studies,” the school needs to “reject that binary” and get rid of the emphasis on “woman-ness.” Instead, she calls for opening admission to anyone “whose gender makes them marginalized in society.”

Other women’s colleges have struggled with the same contradiction in defining their institutions along gender lines while opposing gender definitions. Smith College, for example, will admit biological men who now identify as women but will not admit biological women who now identify as men:

Are trans women eligible for admission to Smith?

Applicants who were assigned male at birth but identify as women are eligible for admission.

Are trans men eligible for admission?

Smith does not accept applications from men. Those assigned female at birth but who now identify as male are not eligible for admission.

Under this newly clarified policy, what is required of applicants to be considered for admission?

Smith’s policy is one of self-identification. To be considered for admission, applicants must select ‘female’ on the Common Application.

It is not clear how the Smithsonian’s newest assistant, Q, would fare in the admissions process. Q is being showcased as the future in a “genderless world.” It is a voice “synthesized by combining recordings of people who identify variously as male, female, transgender, or nonbinary.”

Smithsonian’s purpose of developing Q was to realize “a future where we are no longer defined by gender, but rather by how we define ourselves.’”

Since Q does not identify as a female, an application to Smith would be barred since the school states “to be considered for admission, applicants must select ‘female’ on the Common Application.”

48 thoughts on “Hollins University Faculty and Students Challenge “Binary” Gender Classifications For Admission”

  1. Male and female have been around for millions of years, and
    they will be around for millions of years in the future.
    Oh, humans and their silly abstractions.

    1. Sexual (i.e. male and female) reproduction does seem to be a fit (i.e. durable, robust) model for conceiving our Posterity.

  2. If men are equal to women, then why can’t I give birth to a baby through my penis?

  3. I would say don’t get me started on the “gender preference” thing but guess I’m already started.

    I am no ones judge when it comes to personal choices in life. Especially when it comes to matters of sex. But I have to be honest with myself at the end of the day, and herein lies the rub for me and I believe for so many others. Like the Cake Baker they tried to force to make a wedding cake for two gay people, yet in his heart he believed that was wrong based on his understanding of his religion. The couple could have went to another f@3$ing bakery. I understand he was polite about it, he just couldn’t cross that personal line for himself. But they pushed it. Sued him. Brought him all kinds of negative attention. I think he ultimately prevailed on that one, can’t recall (when I write a comment in this blog I am not googling or researching as if writing some sort of school paper. I just sort of think aloud, especially on a Sunday morning, my one day off in the week, and everything I write is strictly from memory, so pardon if I am incorrect there). But whether or not he prevailed my point is the couple could have just showed some class, instead of so much a$$ and just gone to another bakery. When we start crossing into the realm of sexual matters, these become very personal both for the religious and non-religious. Personal sense of morality should not be something subject to law. And one should not need some organized religion to be protected from such intrusions or attempts to manipulate or coerce someone into going against that which they believe. No doctor should be compelled to perform an abortion who does not believe it is morally ethical. No baker should have to bake a cake that has some message or artwork on it that he believes is immoral. No religious body or minister should have to perform a marriage that is outside of his or her religious doctrine or permissible acts. No one should be compelled, to go against their own sense of right and wrong at the insistence of another or some nanny state government kowtowing to them.

    So again, I really don’t have any problem with someone who wants to change the sex they were born with. I think its ridiculous, and I think most end up regretting it but I also think its their choice if they are over 21. Prior to 21 or at least 18, I think its criminal. I think its criminal to chemically castrate young boys completely screwing up for life their biological systems, turning them into a woman before they have a chance to even know what it is to be a man, …and vice versa on the feminine side of the coin. But more so with a boy, as killing a young mans testosterone is robbing him of the richness of the life he was given, and the experience of growing into a young man. All too often now everything I see seems to demonize everything masculine, and everything about being a male, (especially a white male but that’s for another topic) and everything seems to say being a female is better. All the super heroes they are pushing on the kids (and sadly “adults” now, which is also another topic, adults watching super hero cgi garbage routinely) are female or minority charachters. And gay. Everyone’s turning gay it seems. Like they feel this need to push homosexuality on children. And its working. We’re cranking out more and more effeminate males and more and more masculine females than any generation before. In fact the average male now under 35 are all a bit chubby, have soft pasty skin and wear beards, apparently so people from my generation can distinguish them from the females. They are all quite sensitive, most husbands are being driven by their wives at least around these parts (and I’m in rural Virginia) and when they have kids the dad walks around with a diaper bag and a chest harness holding the kid while the mother goes out to earn a living. And if I mention it, then I’m called “homophobic”, or “mysoginistic’ and told I’m “afraid” of losing masculine white privilege, or something similar.

    And I can see how it happens. So many “good ole boys” now work jobs where they polish a seat with their a$$. In fact, even construction has turned into a mechanized process where you seldom see anyone really working a sweat like we did back in the 70s when I was framing homes in University Park Maryland (yes I framed a lot of those houses next to the U of M back in the day) or digging trenches with a shovel and a bosch hammer. Now everything’s mechanized and motorized. Your average construction worker back in my day was lean and hard, and worked a seriously hard day. Today the average worker has a belly the size of a wrecking ball and wheezes whenever he has to stand up. The only people in shape do so by spending hours in gyms and spas, wearing spandex or riding stairmaster’s listening to some video of a trainer yelling at them to push harder.

    We are creating a generation of effeminized males with soft pasty skin, delicate spindly fingers (so they can type on those teeny phones) and other assorted youth who all want to either sing, dance, be a CEO of their own corporation in their 20s or just not work period. So with all this free time and demonization of the old work ethic and pretty much anything perceived as “masculine”, its not hard to understand how they could get wrapped up in nonsense like this.

    But make no mistake about it, at least in my opinion, its all nonsense. Pure nonsense. I think many of them don’t necessarily “identify” by another gender I think they are just going through the same hard things of teen years the rest of us did and instead of coping and growing with their bodies, its easier to beleive that “God got it wrong” or “nature got it wrong” and “I’m supposed to be a guy or a girl”, so they pursue this change, placing themselves in their own little world (usually with their help of an encouraging parent) and now find they have support groups and people everywhere they can turn to because after all, their problem isn’t simply the toughness of teen years, its they got the wrong genitalia and so instead of worrying about competing against their own gender, …for example a boy pretends to be a girl so now he can go to gym class and not worry about being outclassed or bullied by the other boys (and for the record I am not endorsing bullying and I myself wasn’t one of the tough kids I was tiny as a boy and younger than most in my class so I was bullied like so many others in those years) or worse, a girl gets testosterone injections, which technically means she’s on steroids, which make her muscles grow, etc much faster than the boys in her age group, and she can now go in and wrestle against boys. Or in some cases, they still let her compete with the girls, so she outclasses them all with her test-pumped muscle and aggression. Its about not having to face their teen years, as the teen they are. Its about getting to be someone else, someone who now has all sorts of outside support. Its hard to do of course, but so is just growing up as who you are. Its the parents at the end of the day, promoting it and pushing this which is from everything I can see, some form of mental issue that will only grow worse in life. After all, is Bruce Jenner happy now that he has been turned into what “looks” like a woman? He’s not a woman. He sort of looks like one, has some parts that “look” like woman parts. But they are not. Are they. They’re things “crafted” by crafty doctors who are happy to take their money. But again, after all that, its their right. I have ZERO problem with them doing it as long as they do it when they are adults, and not children.

    But here is the issue. An issue they create. They are forcing it on everyone suddenly. They’re trying to equate it to racial discrimination or true gender discrimination. They are telling us we HAVE to speak the words they invented to define their neurosis (I refuse to call it gender identification or whatever, at best its gender confusion) and we have to now redo our schools, stores, etc to accomodate them.

    Everything has to be around this handful of people (growing handful) who want to pretend to be something they are not. I will acknowledge there are a few cases where the gender change seems to make sense, but very very very few. Most are simply parents along with modern for profit medicine placating to a young persons neurosis and pretending its ok. So I think its important to draw the line at one point here, and stop forcing others to accept that which I am sorry, but you can call me racist, homophobic, whatever but I am not. I am simply unable to lie to myself. Period. I can’t lie to myself and tell myself that your disorder is somehow good, or normal. Just like that baker couldn’t lie to himself and make a wedding cake with two guys holding hands on it. He just couldn’t. He wasn’t evil. Or racist. Or a bigot. He was just being honest with himself. So the problem, the real problem isn’t the people who have issues with it, its the people forcing it on everyone else. The f@#ing couple could have just gone to another f#@#ing bakery. End of sermon.

    Ok that was really long, time to make some omlette’s for breakfast so I’ll stop there but sorry it was so long. Like I’ve said before quoting Lincoln from the movie quoting the preacher; “I’d write shorter sermons but once I get started I get too lazy to stop.”

    Peace out.

  4. This is all nonsense based on progressive hypocrisy. Take a look at the basics and what the New York Times video shows and its economics and business writer says. Look at the effect of policy, not at what some tell you the policy is going to do. I can’t believe I agree with a video from the NYTimes.

    Applebaum covers economics and business for the Times. He says: “Blue states are the problem,”

    “Blue states are where the housing crisis is located. Blue states are where the disparities in education funding are the most dramatic. Blue states are the places where tens of thousands of homeless people are living on the streets. Blue states are the places where economic inequality is increasing most quickly in this country. This is not a problem of not doing well enough; it is a situation where blue states are the problem,”

    New York Times video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNDgcjVGHIw&list=PL8BDB0961C1CEF286&index=2

  5. Sex: male and female. Gender is sex-correlated attributes (e.g. sexual orientation): masculine and feminine, respectively. The transgender (or divergent from gender) spectrum includes homosexuals, bisexuals (i.e. ambiguously homosexual). neogenders (e.g. transgender conversion therapy), etc.

    1. A progressive (i.e. [unqualified] monotonic) path and grade. Not the wicked solution, but socially disruptive with collateral damage.

  6. When you no longer teach science or English grammar, you get a society that fudges sex/gender lines and destroys pronouns. I think it’s time to ask, Why? Why do young people want to create a “genderless world”? We know why their adult counterparts are aiding and abetting them — there’s lots of money in today’s “woke” industry, and the Smithsonian should fold and die (but I digress), but why do ordinary human beings want to screw up one of the most fundamental aspects of humanity?

    1. And there you have the crux of the matter: science, grammar, and indeed any literature of any worth is no longer taught. There is no literary canon. Everything is permitted. My granddaughter who is attending a $70,000 a year liberal arts college was told she had to put “her pronouns’ on the door in her dormitory. There are now over 70 pronouns (if you don’t use someone’s pronoun, it is your fault) and over 100 genders. When college academic subjects were called “disciplines,” it meant there were boundaries on that area of study. But no more. There are no boundaries. Psychology and sociology and literature and even math, apparently, no longer recognize limits. It’s a huge expensive joke that isn’t funny. And what I hear from those 18 year olds is that “everybody’s doing it.” So why not? We’re a society that has lost its grip on reality. That’s what I keep coming back to on issue after issue: Rittenhouse crossed state lines; Rittenhouse killed 3 black men; math is racist; we can ignore our DNA and become the opposite sex or any one of over 100 others should we choose to do so. And now Smith won’t accept women who say they are men but will accept men who say they are women? It’s insane.

  7. Once again, it’s individuals who were born and continue to choose to be women who suffer the cost – women who choose to study in an environment without the distractions of men, biological or otherwise, until they choose to enter a place where those distractions are chosen, like a nightclub or some other multi-gendered social event. First they take away the women’s restroom where women used to be able to feel safe and secure from unwanted sexual interactions. Even if those interactions may be rare, when they happen, they are real and the effects can last lifetimes. The point is that this refuge is gone or diminished. Then the snowball rolls through athletics, schools, clubs … It’s not men or males that have to endure this specific brand of physical and emotional intrusion.

    Only people born and choosing to be women are asked to make a sacrifice. Not all feel the threat but a significant number do.

    There are certain facts of life as a human on this planet. They include one’s biological assignment, height, age, intelligence, ethnicity, heritage …

    One can choose to be who they want to be or go anywhere they want, but one’s right to choose can not infringe on someone else’s rights to be who they are. It’s always the woman who is required to compromise.

  8. Since MEN have to register for the draft and women currently don’t, do females at birth who now claim to be men have to register? So many things to consider, that we don’t even know the questions, but there are those who claim to have all the answers.

    Easiest way to solve some of these trans problems, is to no longer allow “women’s” colleges, men’s colleges, and then we get to the “historically black colleges,” (if one is born white, but claims to be black), thus we will all live in a world where nothing matters and nobody cares. and we will all live happily ever after…

    Please don’t take these comments seriously…I don’t.

    1. Please don’t take these comments seriously…I don’t.

      Rest assured Alfred, if you can think of it in jest, someone is thinking of it seriously.

  9. (OT)

    Glenn Greenwald on the use of “he’s not a real journalist” to attack political opponents (including Project Veritas):

    Here is “the authoritarian tactic that is typically used to justify governmental attacks on those who report news and disseminate information: namely, to decree that the target is not a *real journalist* and therefore has no entitlement to claim the First Amendment guarantee of a free press.”

    “What is most striking about this weapon is that — like the campaign to agitate for more censorship — it is led by journalists.”

    “All of this demonstrates how dangerous it is to invoke this very same not-a-real-journalist tactic against O’Keefe and Project Veritas.”

    And then, digging deeper, he makes this remarkable identification:

    Those who use this tactic “are unwilling and/or incapable of thinking in terms of principles, ones that apply universally to everyone regardless of their ideology.”


    1. Those who use this tactic “are unwilling and/or incapable of thinking in terms of principles, ones that apply universally to everyone regardless of their ideology.”

      Sam, you could have posted this in response to my questions below. Without universally recognized definitions, then I don’t believe principles can universal.

  10. Where does this all end? How can we expect to live in a civil society, with all the trappings of laws and regulations that come from recognized definitions of everything, if those definitions are ripped out from their roots?

    1. Olly: Great point — “if those definitions are ripped out from their roots?”

      You can see this played out in the fascist, Covid controls: “Let’s redefine “health risk” as anyone who might be or could be infected (i.e., “asymptomatic”). Since that ‘definition’ includes everyone, let’s lock them all down.”

      And now with the fascist attempts to target political opponents, and usurp free speech: “Let’s redefine the opposition as ‘domestic terrorists’ and ‘white supremacists.'”

      “Where does this all end?”

      If the objectivity of definitions is not fought for — it ends in total control.

  11. Why can’t people just go to another school? Why ruin it for the people who specifically chose an all women’s school for reasons of their own? There is an entire segment of society that seems to exist merely to trash those things that others hold dear.

  12. Far too much attention to Ding Dongs….abolish Women Only Schools….as that is discrimination based upon Sex.

    Require Women to register for the Draft….now that would twist some knickers….thinking of Males who conveniently claim to be Women to avoid having to do so.

    Women wanted equality….give it to them…equality that is.

    Make all colleges, Universities, trade schools, military units…..everything asexual….let sex biological, identity based, or of any classification exist and end this madness.

    Same for Race….end the use of Race Identity of any kind, skin color, hair, nation of origin……just end it division of people by Race.

    As to religion….do the same…..eliminate any use of Religion or Absence of Religion as a topic of classifying people…..be done with that too.

    Think about how all this division of peoples we have to deal with now would end instantly…..except for those demanding we use some form of each and/or all…..at least then we would be down to two kinds of people….those for it and those against it but the argument would be about the process and not the rest of the false narratives being run out every day by some very confused people.

  13. Sometimes science is too complicated for lay people to understand. Trust the experts and everything will be fine.

    1. We have a women’s college in our town and used to joke with our son that he could demand to be admitted and be the first male student in the name of equality as women have with traditional men’s colleges. Of course, we were just joking and he protested while laughing. But never did we imagine men would gain entrance by transitioning! How the world has changed in just ten years…

  14. This where the left always get caught in their own idiocy. Fine eliminate gender. Gender preferences, that is.

    PGA, not LPGA.

    University of Iowa is starting women’s wrestling. It already has a premire wrestling program, no need for a second program.

    And of course, Title Nine become unconstitutional.

    1. Throw in some Jello or Mud….and Female Wrestling could become a very popular sport…..oh wait….that has been tried already.

  15. What does “transgender” mean? Did 5he make remove his dong or did a female remove a clit and add a dong?

    1. If ‘womanness’ does not define these binary or trans individuals I have a couple of questions: Why attend an all-women university? Why transition at all, if gender is a moot point?

    1. What’s next?
      I went to liberal arts women’s
      school. By admitting men I believe they tackled this “problem .”

      1. A quick check found that 1 in 30,000 male births will have gender disphoria and 1 in 100,000 female births. Not sure how many of these are active in demanding that society changes for them. But there appears to be a simple solution. If a person can document going through the medical procedures to change sex, then the person will be accepted with the new sex. The notion that an obvious male or female can demand acceptance by simply declaring to be another sex is something that should be questioned.

        1. “A quick check found that 1 in 30,000 male births will have gender disphoria and 1 in 100,000 female births”
          you’re confusing gender dysphoria with hermaphoditism or intersex. this is when the child exhibits male/female sexual organs. Gender dysphoria is a mental condition and does not manifest itself until later in life

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