A student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania was kicked out of a religious studies course when he stood up in class to argue that, biologically, there are only two genders.
As reported by Campus Reform, Religious Studies major Lake Ingle was in a class February 28 that included a video lecture by “transgender woman” Paula Stone Williams, a man who used to be a prominent pastor and church planter before deciding that he felt more comfortable as a woman.
Following the video, which featured Williams lecturing on “mansplaining,” “male privilege,” and “systematic sexism,” the professor “opened the floor to WOMEN ONLY,” Ingle explained in a Facebook post, “barring men from speaking until the women in the class have had their chance to speak.”
After 30 seconds or so of silence, during which “not a single woman spoke,” Ingle recalled, “I decided it was permissible for me to enter the conversation, especially because I felt the conversation itself was completely inappropriate in its structure. I objected to the use of the anecdotal accounts of one woman’s experience to begin a discussion in which they were considered reality.”
Ingle recalled telling the class that “the official view of biologists” is that only two biological genders existed for humans, as well as challenging the notion that a significant gender wage gap exists in the American workforce. It wasn't long, related Ingle, before the instructor, Dr. Alison Downie stepped in and “attempted to silence me because I am not a woman.”
While Ingle assumed the disagreement ended with the conclusion of the class, the next day the instructor handed him two documents — an Academic Integrity Referral Form and a Documented Agreement — both of which charged Ingle with “disrespectful objection to the professor’s class discussion structure; refusal to stop talking out of turn; angry outbursts in response to being required to listen to a trans speaker discuss the reality of white male privilege and sexism; disrespectful references to the validity of trans identity and experience; [and making a] disrespectful claim that a low score on any class work would be evidence of professor’s personal prejudice.”
Ingle insisted that while the documents “present a narrative of disrespect, disruption, anger, and intolerance — I can assure you that nothing is further from the truth."
Included in the proposed discipline Ingle would face, according to the “Documented Agreement,” is a mandatory apology that “specifically addresses each of the disrespectful behaviors” and demonstrates Ingle's “ability to take responsibility for inappropriate behavior which has significantly damaged the learning environment this course.”
Additionally, once Ingle is allowed back into class, he would begin his admittance “with an apology to the class for his behavior and then listen in silence as the professor and/or any student who wishes to speak shares how he or she felt during [Ingle's] disrespectful and disruptive outbursts on 2-28.”
Not surprisingly, Ingle has decided against the absurd measures, choosing instead to publicly defend himself and his First Amendment free speech guarantees. According to Campus Reform, Ingle has taken his case to the university's Academic Integrity Board, “which will determine whether he will be allowed to resume attending class regularly, or be forced to graduate late.”
Ingle said that “this is not the first time an instructor and I have had a disagreement over course material or that I have objected to the views being pushed on the class. That being said, the wording in the documents is not only exaggerated, but more than one line is entirely untruthful and is done so purposefully to discredit my views and paint me as intolerant and ignorant.”
He added that “with regards to my conflict with the university and instructor, I am fighting to make my voice heard — not only my voice, but the voices of others that oppose popular university opinion. I am not battling my professor to prove that I am right about gender wage gaps or transgenderism. I am fighting to ensure that students may disagree with their professors and if they do, must speak up.”
Image: Screenshot from Lake Ingle's Facebook page