The student was awarded a zero on her project for employing the term “biological women”, a phrase deemed non-inclusive by her educator.
In an era shrouded with shifting sociopolitical landscapes and heightened sensitivities, a video recently making the rounds on social media has sparked intense debate. The video features an unidentified female college student claiming to have received a zero grade on her project proposal simply because she utilized the term “biological women,” shedding light on a growing unease around the use of certain terms in academic contexts.
In the vibrant kaleidoscope of our shifting sociopolitical milieu, another event has surfaced, igniting debate and challenging the boundaries of acceptable language. The tale features a young Italian-American Catholic student, known as “oliveourviews” on TikTok and Twitter, who emerged as the protagonist of this peculiar narrative. Renowned for her wholesome content and conservative views, she is also a female athlete staunchly against competing against biological men in women’s sports. Her recent TikTok video recounting a grievance in academia has registered nearly 200,000 views.
The academic incident centered around the term “biological women,” which she used in her project proposal and which resulted in her receiving a zero grade. “I got a zero on my project proposal in class because I used the term biological women, which is apparently not allowed anymore,” she laments in her viral video.
Emailed her and was told using the term is transphobic 😐 be for real♬ original sound – oliveourviews
Adding to the absurdity of the situation, her project, she articulates, delves into the matter of transgender individuals participating in women’s sports. This essentially presents her with a paradox: “How am I supposed to do my final project if I can’t use the word ‘biological women,’ but that’s what my project is about?” she queries, laying bare her disconcerting predicament.
Her professor, she claims, even praised the quality of her project proposal, yet the grade remained a zero, given the supposedly “exclusionary” term used. Undeterred, “oliveourviews” sought to challenge the score, but her professor simply dismissed her as transphobic.
To clarify her stance, she later released a statement, elucidating her project’s intentions. She said it was designed to “show how females were given support and opportunities to compete fairly in sports, increasingly from the late 1800s up until the early 2000s. Starting around the early 2000s these fair opportunities began to lessen along with the lack of support surrounding the idea of fair competition for female athletes.”
In her view, the controversy stems from her proposal’s final paragraph: “I intend to show how Title IX, which protects the equality of women in sports, is actively being violated in today’s world. Although a very controversial take, I will demonstrate the lack of support that is being shown for biological women who wish to compete fairly among other biological women while acknowledging the science behind the male figure having biological advantages regardless of hormone therapy, etc.”
The episode manifests the unnerving side of the current societal hypersensitivity, reflecting a fervent political correctness that borders on the frenetic. Universities, once bastions of open discourse and intellectual freedom, seem to be metamorphosing into theatres of the absurd where specific words become untouchable, certain discussions taboo.
The exclusion of the term “biological women,” it could be argued, serves to undermine the very essence of the feminist movement, setting it back by decades, if not a century. After all, it is crucial to acknowledge that removing the ability for women to describe themselves as a group amounts to a form of oppression in its own right. As the famous quote states, “Removing the ability for women to describe themselves as a group is the ultimate male oppression.”
The continued quest for inclusivity and sensitivity should not be at the expense of reasoned discourse or intellectual honesty. Universities should be spaces for spirited debates and disagreements, fostering critical thinking rather than repressing it. We must balance the scales of discussion without making the pendulum swing so far in the name of progress that we regress into an age of enforced silence and implicit censorship.