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University professor defends failing a student for using term 'biological women' because it's 'outdated terminology' that causes 'systemic harm'
Images courtesy oliviakrolczyk/Twitter/TikTok

University professor defends failing a student for using term 'biological women' because it's 'outdated terminology' that causes 'systemic harm'

The university professor who gave a student a zero on her assignment for using the term "biological women" has defended her decision and said that it is important to correct students who use "outdated terminology."

Recently, a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati posted a video in which she claimed she received a zero on her project proposal in a Women’s Gender Studies in Pop Culture course. The student planned on arguing that transgender athletes who compete in women's sports were taking opportunities from "biological women."

However, Olivia Krolczyk, 20, said that she was failed for using the “exclusionary” term despite the teacher admitting that she submitted a “solid proposal."

"Olivia, this is a solid proposal. However, the terms 'biological women' are exclusionary and are not allowed in this course as they reinforce heteronormativity," the professor's remarks read.

The faculty member who wrote that comment appears to be Melanie Rose Nipper, a professor in the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies department at the University of Cincinnati.

In an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Nipper said that while she agrees classrooms should be a place for debates and discussions, the right to free speech does not supersede concerns over alleged "systemic harm."

The discussion ends when "you are, intentionally or unintentionally, participating in a systemic harm of some kind," Nipper said. She also reportedly cited transphobia and white supremacy as examples.

The teacher expressed that it is her job to correct students when they use "an outdated terminology," but says they will only receive "a zero for an assignment," she clarified. "Not a zero for the course."

@oliviakrolczyk Emailed her and was told using the term is transphobic 😐 be for real
♬ original sound - oliveourviews

The use of outdated terminology is "unacceptable based on the community, the marginalized individuals that are at stake, and also the foundations of the course," Nipper explained.

Nipper also confirmed Krolczyk's chronology of the events, but said she cried when she watched student's video and the publicity that followed.

"It's a lot, right?" Nipper said. "It's a lot to handle."

The professor said the student asked to focus on a different topic, however, and the teacher offered to extend the student's deadline. Before long, the professor was informed that a freedom of speech claim was made against her by Krolczyk, meaning she was accused of violating the university's free speech policy.

When asked about the claim by the Cincinnati Enquirer, the vice president of equity, inclusion, and community impact at the University of Cincinnati said, "We don't comment on active investigations, but thank you for your inquiry."

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