(Daily Caller News Foundation) – A gender studies professor defended her decision to give a student a failing grade on an assignment because she used the term “biological women,” claiming the phrase perpetuates “systemic harm.”
Olivia Krolczyk, a student at the University of Cincinnati, made a viral video discussing how her unnamed professor had awarded her a zero on an assignment in which she had argued that biological men, or transgender women, have an unfair advantage over biological women when they compete on the same sports team, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. University of Cincinnati Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies professor Melanie Rose Nipper admitted to the outlet that she awarded Krolczyk a zero for her use of “biological women,” stating that the right to free speech and debate ends when “you are, intentionally or unintentionally, participating in a systemic harm of some kind.”
“This is unacceptable based on the community, the marginalized individuals that are at stake, and also the foundations of the course,” Nipper said.
Nipper referenced transphobia and white supremacy as examples of “systemic harm,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Similar incidents have taken place in Nipper’s class before when students used “outdated terminology” in a project, the professor told the Cincinnati Enquirer. Nipper said she has never failed a student in the course for using “outdated terminology” but does award “a zero for an assignment.”
“I will happily regrade,” Nipper told the outlet. “You are not going to have any late penalties.”
Throughout the nation, red state lawmakers are pushing for legislation to separate sports on the basis of biological sex after Lia Thomas, a biological man, competed in the Ivy League championship and the women’s 500-yard freestyle in February 2022. Thomas previously competed on the University of Pennsylvania men’s swim team before transitioning genders.
“Not all students feel seen in academia,” Nipper told the outlet. “And that’s really the effort of WGSS (Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies) classes, to have your students feel seen, the marginalized ones in particular, and feel respected.”
Nipper and Krolczyk did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.