The University of Cincinnati professor who ignited controversy for awarding a zero grade to a student who used the term “biological women” doubled down on her action.
Olivia Krolczyk, 20, received the failing grade for a project proposal in a course titled Women’s Gender Studies in Pop Culture. She intended to write that transgender athletes who are allowed to participate in female sports take opportunities away from “biological women.”
Students were assigned to write on a topic concerning feminism.
Professor Melanie Rose Nipper took offense to the term, saying it was important to correct students who employ “outdated terminology.” Despite describing the submission as a “solid proposal,” Nipper gave a zero.
In her remarks on the work, the educator said “the terms ‘biological women’ are exclusionary and are not allowed in this course as they reinforce heteronormativity.”
Interviewed by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Nipper claimed that classrooms should be a space for open discussions and debates. However, she drew the line at free speech that causes “systemic harm.”
This professor failed a student for not using woke pronouns, she should be fired!https://t.co/svVfCctRMO
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) June 12, 2023
Krolczyk said her project covered a wide variety of areas surrounding women’s athletics. She discussed the first female Olympian and introduced Riley Gaines, the former NCAA swimmer who is championing women’s rights through Title IX.
The student, a chemistry major, said she concluded her project by noting how rights that have been fought for by generations of female athletes are being challenged. In particular, by allowing men to compete in women’s sports.
Krolczyk initially refused to identify the professor over concerns that she might be harassed for giving the grade. She said when she posted the video of her score and the comments online, she had no idea it would expand from her relatively few followers.
The TikTok has now been viewed over 2.5 million times.
The student contacted the school’s Gender Equality office. She was told that it would have a different professor review and grade her submission, though it’s been two weeks and her grade has not changed.
Krolczyk said she previously drew the ire of the professor in class when she disagreed with the position that all White men have “privilege.” She called the generalization “not fair.”
Since her TikTok went viral, the Ohio native said she has been contacted by hundreds of students across the nation who have encountered similar oppression in the classroom.