…of the Index. It highlights the quirkiness and humor displayed by many of the professors here at K. However, I was disturbed by one of the quotes from last week’s issue, which reads “I’ll just pass this around and you can figure out who the man-woman is…” I was disturbed that the Index published such a comment intending it to be humorous. Referring to someone as a “man-woman,” or any variation thereof is derogatory and hurtful to anyone who does not conform to gender norms, especially those who are transgender (who are usually the targets of such language).
Comments such as these are not funny, they are a reminder to transgender students that they cannot expect fair or even decent treatment from the K College community. They teach us that it is not okay, even worthy of scorn, for someone to challenge and cross gender and/or sex boundaries, and that anyone who does so will not be treated with respect. I realize that these quotes are taken out of context, and that the professor who said it did so without any intention of harm, but publishing it for the school to see simply perpetuates these ideas.
The fact that it was published seemingly without question or challenge is further proof of the deeply entrenched ignorance of transgender issues and experiences here at K. My hope in writing this letter is that the Index will not treat oppressive language as humorous in the future, and that the entire K campus becomes more aware of these issues that affect more students than many of us realize.