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The end of women’s colleges

Men have succeeded in breaching the single-sex barrier

In a fascinating article at The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nora Caplan-Bricker examines the current state of American women’s colleges, particularly Mount Holyoke in Massachusetts. As it turns out, most of these colleges have begun admitting “trans women,” i.e. men who believe they are women; the schools also admit students who identify as “non-binary,” a subset of the student body that also presumably contains men.

Thus ends, for all intents and purposes, the unique phenomenon of the American woman’s college. Indeed, there are now only a scant number of women’s institutions in this country that do not extend admissions to men; the majority of them have changed their admissions policies to become co-ed institutions.

We know that one of the worst effects of transgender ideology is in how it destroys lives and shatters families. But to that we might add a slightly subtler yet still depressing phenomenon: It is increasingly invalidating the once-hallowed single-sex environments that redounded mostly to the benefit of women. We are all aware of the burgeoning number of institutions that allow men who “identify” as women to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms, subjecting women to the male gaze at some of their most vulnerable moments; now, even single-sex higher education—once a boon for women looking to both get educated and develop deep and sustaining bonds of sisterhood in a safe and affirming environment—has opened the door to men. Sorry, ladies.

Maybe, one day, when the whole transgender craze passes, these colleges will quietly re-instate their historical policies and recognize that single-sex education should remain just that. That day is probably far in the future, however. To the question that Caplan-Bricker poses—who is a women’s college for?—we can certainly answer: Not just women, not anymore.

MORE: Daughters come home from college with mustaches, breasts removed

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