Is it really — holy shit, in two weeks I’m flying to London. CRAP. I still need a suitcase and a shuttle ticket to Madrid. I still don’t know if I’m coming back! My kingdom for some certainty. Or some photography bookings.
Anyway, let’s jump into this week’s Monday thing.What I Posted
So if there’s Star Trek AU’s where Kirk is Elle, can we have Legally Blonde AU’s where Elle Woods runs the Enterprise? Because that’s the one I goddamn want to see.
”You beat the Kobayashi Maru test?”
"What, like it’s hard?”
Smith College Campus — Northampton, MA
Thursday, April 24 — any hour in the morning and/or late afternoon
Anyone can participate!
Please email us at email@example.com saying you’d like to be involved for specific details about what we’ll be doing, as well as times and locations. Everyone who participates must email me first and sign up officially. All participants in the action will be required to do one of two things 1) attend a meeting beforehand where we will decide as a group how to conduct ourselves during this 2) be informed about what was said at this meeting by email or in person at a different time. We need to be very organized to make sure we do not violate college policy about protests.
Feel free to give our email to anyone who is interested (without reveal specific details about the action).
Any questions, comments, or concerns can be directed to our email.
Note: The Trans Women At Smith protest action that will take place on April 24 is not being organized by Q&A.
What is the current policy?
“To be considered for admission to Smith, we require that the application and supporting materials presented to the Office of Admission (transcript, letters of recommendation, etc.) consistently reflect the candidate’s status as a woman. Material submitted to other offices (financial aid, disability services, etc.) will not be used for this purpose.” — Smith College VP of Enrollment
So can trans women be admitted to Smith?
Yes, but the question is which trans women. Smith’s policy means in most cases only trans women who have been over 18 years old for a significant amount of time (so this excludes the majority of traditional-aged prospective students), have very supportive families and schools, are of considerable financial means, have access to lots of free time, and (in many states but not all) want surgery. Thus, most trans women will be unable to meet these requirements. This is an exclusion policy in all but name. Although Smith has been receptive to our negotiations in the past, and has altered some of their policy (so that Disability and Financial Aid Office docs do not count towards gender), Smith has refused to negotiate with us further to change these requirements.
To be more specific, all applicants must have all female gender markers on their Common Application, high school transcript, high school letters of recommendation, and midyear academic report.
Depending on what state you live in, this might requires getting legal gender markers changed on your birth certificate, being required to have (and pay for) surgery, going to lots and lots of therapy and doctors appointments, getting a court order, and more. These actions are so time consuming and expensive that they are not feasible for most trans women. Not to mention that if you live in states like Idaho, Ohio and Tennessee you can’t apply to Smith because you can’t change your legal, birth certificate sex for the Common App. In states like Washington, individual schools are totally free to *not* allow a gender marker change on transcripts.
What is Q&A’s policy reform goal?
Q&A’s ultimate goal regarding policy reform is that all trans women can apply to Smith College regardless of legal status. In addition, trans women should not have to jump through any extra hoops beyond what is absolutely necessary.
What is Smith Q&A’s solution?
“Should there be inconsistent/non-female gender markers or ambiguity about how an applicant identifies her gender, Smith admissions may request supplemental documentation from the applicant to confirm that the applicant has a female gender identity. Documentation may include letters of support or explanation from medical or mental health providers, school administrators, teachers, guidance counselor, social workers, advisors, clergy, family, employer, etc. The documentation is for the purpose of ensuring that the applicant is not asserting that she has a female gender identity for any improper purpose. Any documentation confirming that the applicant asserts a female gender identity in most areas of her life shall be acceptable as confirmation that the student is female and eligible for consideration for admission to Smith College” (Updated Demands, Smith Q&A, full text here).
Although this is an imperfect solution in that many young trans women might not have people who could write these letters for them, it is one that we feel the administration will be most likely to feel comfortable with and it would open up access for many women.
Policies about transcript changing:
1. I renewed my ID, and it only took about half an hour! (Plus another half hour of walking to the police station, give or take ten minutes.) I missed my appointment on Thursday last week and when I went to book another one on Monday, the next available date was last Thursday. I was really worried they’d mail the thing to me and it would take 15-20 days and I wouldn’t have it in time to fly to…