Surely, there was a time when some didn't want to be women.
Early in America, they weren't allowed to vote.
But they gained that right, and upward they went.
Then bras were burned and independence espoused.
Later — some might say — they replaced men as the less-maligned sex.
And now…they don't want to be women.
Such is the case for select sojourners, and it's an issue at a women's college in Virginia.
As reported by NPR, a crew of collegiate females is ditching their daughterness.
One student — Kendall Sanders — tells the outlet she's come to a realization:
“My journey has been, ‘Girlhood does not define me.'”
“My womanness, my femininity does not define me.”
But does it define her as a woman — who's at a college for women?
Kendall, who's a senior, has decided she's a “they/them.”
According to NPR, it's very unbiblical of her:
“I was like, I don't think I care about being a girl,” they say. For someone who grew up in the Bible Belt region of Little Rock, Ark., that realization was a pretty big deal.
She's willing to let you decide:
“I really just want to escape the binary in general, to do away with it. … If you perceive me as one gender, that's okay, too.”
If everyone considers Kendall “she/her,” her only way of being “they/them” will be to refer to herself in plural and third person.
“I don't want to spend my life trying to prove that I am one gender.”
Of course, being a woman doesn't mean having to prove she's a woman. And trying not to be a woman means having to prove she isn't one.
It sounds complicated, but she's flying casual:
“I want to wake up, put on some clothes, go out into my day.”
So how's Hollins going to handle female students who aren't women but also aren't men?
The college doesn't let in boys; what's its policy on those who are neither/nor?
As relayed by NPR, the rules are in flux:
Hollins is among the latest schools to revise its policies, explaining that the 2019 change came “in recognition of our changing world and evolving understanding of gender identity.”
Previously, it forced out females who began identifying as men.
Now, however, those attendees are allowed to remain.
[T]he school's new policy still specifically excludes nonbinary applicants.
Per regulation, male applicants who “consistently live and identify as women” will be considered for acceptance.
As for disallowing those who identify as nothing, Kendall called the notion “crazy” — a view, states National Public Radio, “echoed by many…on the southwest Virginia campus.”
That includes sophomore Willow Seymour.
Willow's offended — how else will non-males who are also non-females escape America's masculine mangling?
“Personally, I think it's pretty offensive to exclude nonbinary people. 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 part of that as anyone else.”
If timing had been different, NPR relays, Willow would've fought the power:
Seymour began identifying as genderqueer this semester. If that was who they knew themself to be in high school, Seymour says, they would have had to conceal that on the Hollins application.
“[T]hat's a really messed up thing, having to hide a part of yourself just to go somewhere,” the student government vice president surmises.
Junior Jaiya McMillan agrees:
“I think that's something that should be phased out, because there are so many people here who are going places who are not just women, you know? … [T]here are still professors here who only use she/her pronouns when talking about the student body, which obviously I don't think really fits what Hollins looks like anymore.”
She prefers that Hollins be “a school with everything under the sun…except for [cisgender] men.”
More from NPR:
Em Miller, a nonbinary senior from Amelia, Va., often serves as a sounding board for younger students who want to try out new pronouns or a new name.
“There's kind of this like wading pool area where you kind of just dip your toes in, and you see how you feel about it, and then you go further,” Miller explains, during a conversation outside the Hollins library.
For Em, the school not allowing nonbinary enrolees “has kind of placed…this looming cloud over students at Hollins.”
I'm forecasting clearer skies.
Society is changing at a breakneck pace:
Breastfeeding Academy Bails on 'Breasts' https://t.co/VOpCElORT0
— RedState (@RedState) August 10, 2021
Express Yourself: New Smartphone Emojis May Include a 'Pregnant Man'
— RedState (@RedState) August 15, 2021
'Nonbinary Gender Affirming' Doctors Offer Sexual 'Nullification' Surgery
— RedState (@RedState) May 28, 2021
Back to “identifying as nothing,” for nonbinary individuals, it seems that really isn't the case.
An entire generation may be surprised to learn that, until recently, such description generally fit everyone — people didn't “identify” as anything.
It appears to me that being nonbinary means specifically identifying as something, which just happens to be nothing.
In a way, they've progressed so far that they've become an active version of what for all time before now was passive.
Call it living with enhanced intention.
So goes our new generation.