Target: Jolyne Caruso-FitzGerald, Chair of Barnard College’s Board of Trustees
Goal: Finally start admitting transgender women into the women-only university.
After more than a century of discrimination, transgender women could finally be admitted into the women-only Barnard College if the school’s Board of Trustees votes to do so during an upcoming meeting. This would be a huge milestone for the school and is long overdue. Demand that the Board finally recognize transgender women as the women they are.
Since the university’s founding in 1889, Barnard College has been a women’s-only university. Unfortunately—and not necessarily surprisingly—its definition of womanhood was very traditional and excluded women who weren’t cisgender. That policy has been condemned as of late for its obvious exclusionary and discriminatory effects against transgender women and other women who are not cisgender.
That recent criticism has prompted years’ worth of debate on the issue of transgender inclusion at the school. It has culminated, finally, in a final vote the Board of Trustees is planning to hold soon on whether or not to finally extend admission rights to transgender and gender nonconforming women.
The fact that transgender women are women and deserve to be allowed to study at women’s colleges is inarguable, and Barnard College owes it to them to extend that option. Sign the petition below to demand that the Board of Trustees vote in favor of finally admitting transgender women into Barnard College during their upcoming meeting.
Dear Chair Caruso-FitzGerald,
I am writing you today about the upcoming vote you and the rest of Barnard College’s trustees will hold on whether or not to admit transgender women into your school. This is a desperately important issue and one that you and your colleagues should approve without hesitation.
Genitals do not determine what a person is. A person with a penis can be a woman or a man or nonbinary, a person with a vagina and a uterus can be a man or a woman or nonbinary, and an intersex person can be a woman or a man or nonbinary. The idea that genitals determine gender is outdated and needs to be done away with in our society for once and for all.
Your college’s decision to extend admission to transgender women would contribute to that much-needed societal shift. Like the recent changes in policies made by the women-only colleges of Bryn Mawr, Simmons College, Mount Holyoke College, and Mills College, your decision to accept women who are not cisgender would send a clear message to America and the world that women are women, no matter what gender they were coercively assigned at birth.
This is a necessary change on part of your college’s policies and it should not be shied away from. I demand that you and your other trustees vote in favor of a transgender women-inclusive admittance policy at your upcoming meeting.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Billy Hathorn