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03/17/2008

The Ivy-becomes-Ivan League

by Jeremy Hooper

Bel(2)-3Most of us have heard of the dreaded "Freshman 15", which leads an entering college student to increase their waistline upon entering their university's hallowed halls. But what happens when rather than weight, that incoming freshman instead takes on a new gender identity? Such is the topic of a New York Times Magazine piece that ran over the weekend:

When Girls Will Be Boys [NY Times Mag]

But whether it's eating so many Cheetos that they expand their girth or having the freedom to finally live the gender that's been present in their mind since birth, the important thing, parents, is that you accept your children's new developments. Making jokes or angry protestations about their newfound body mass (be it in the hip or the groin region) is not going to be good for anyone.

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Your thoughts

I read this article yesterday. It's very, VERY similar to the one the Boston Globe Magazine did on ... transmen at all-women's colleges. Really, the only difference: NYT focused on Barard, while the Globe focused on the women's schools in Mass.

First thing I thought after reading the NYT article was, "I can't wait to see Brian Camenker's reaction!" :-)

I understand why transfolk make Camenker and his ilk (yes, Amy, you're an ilk) uncomfortable (shattering world-view, deeply-held beliefs thrown to the wind, inability to see beyond sex organs, etc), but I cannot fathom why he's on his current crusade. It's like he ran out of "GLB" windmills and needed to start tilting at the "T" ones to make keeping the lance worthwhile.

[For the record, I'm disappointed in Rey's decision (the subject of most of the article) to go to an all-women's college after having decided months or years earlier to transition as soon as he reached 18. That strikes me as very poorly thought out and while there might be more to it than was in the article, it seemed very selfish. I would think a now-coed, formerly all-women's college would have been a much more welcoming choice. But, I'm not an 18yo transman so my perspective is, shall we say, different, and his might be too in hindsight.]

Posted by: tjc | Mar 17, 2008 11:08:56 AM

I have an issue with the fact that there ARE women-only colleges in light of the fact that VMI and other male-only colleges were forced to integrate.

Why is it OK to have single gender colleges for women but not men?

Posted by: Zeke | Mar 17, 2008 5:02:25 PM

Zeke, the reason VMI and the Citadel were forced to integrate is because they are state-funded.

Wabash College, Morehouse College, and the 2-3 others left in the US are all private schools.

Barnard, Simmons, Smith, Wellesley, and many others are also all private schools.

Posted by: tjc | Mar 17, 2008 7:23:41 PM

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