HANDS ACROSS THE AISLE

Gender Inclusion in Schools: Who Gets Excluded?

The following is a post by Tasha Rose Hodges, a secular feminist who bravely faced a room full of transactivists to testify against the use of a “gender inclusion” policy in the largest school district in Minnesota.  

I presented this testimony before the school board of ISD 11 in Anoka, Minnesota. As I sat and listened to every trans activist speak before me, the themes I chose to touch on in my testimony were discussed over and over again by them. They are all easily called Democrats. Progressives. Liberals. They touched on suicide, they touched on feeling comfortable and safe. Some trans identified males discussed having been assaulted in a male sex segregated space before coming out as trans. They pointed fingers at the opposing side, calling us all religious fanatics, right wing conservatives, conservative Christians, hateful, bigots, uninformed. I had to edit what I wanted to present in order to fit the time allowed, so what you’ll read below is the full length of what I intended to present. I was really eager to get up there once it was my turn. I thanked the board, and opened up describing a bit about who I am… I even managed to get a laugh from the audience after finishing my introductory paragraph. They heard me say that I was a secularist, a feminist, and a Democrat. They thought they had an ally to their demands. They quickly learned that, in fact, I am quite critical of their every motive. I spoke that night to show this board that not all of the political left agrees with transgender ideology. I feel that we have a moral responsibility to speak out because children are not being served. The needs of all children are not being addressed, only those of the select few gender confused children are. That isn’t justice. I want to see justice for all children and not by outright denial of biological facts.

I read something quite brilliant online recently. If something exists outside of human society, it is not a social construct. Gravity is not a social construct. The names we apply to natural phenomena and the methods we use to study them are socially constructed, but even if gravity was called “glarb” it would still exist. Biological sex is not a social construct. Other animals have biological sex as a species characteristic. Biological sex existed in humans prior to the invention of science. Every human being has a biological sex, regardless of whether or not that sex is female, male, or intersex. It is a material reality.

Denial of this reality imposes strife on more than half of the human population if legislation provides that anyone can call themselves anything and use the facilities according to that feeling. Denying biological sex denies the rights that women worked hard for, like the right to have safe and private access to public toilets, locker rooms at the gym, and showers at the pool.  These are rights that allow women to enter the public square. Recognizing biological sex allows us to create protections for women who have been abused, who have been raped, and who are homeless and seeking shelter. It goes even further by encouraging the success of women through small business loans, college scholarships, etc. Denial that one half of the population has an entirely different biological makeup is asinine. To ask a school board or any governing body to deny this basis of humanity is woefully dangerous.

My Testimony:
“Good evening Chair Heidemann, Superintendent Law, and board members. My name is Tasha-Rose Hodges and I am a mother of six children in Minnesota public schools. I have a Masters in Education and spent a number of years working on education advocacy in my district, as well as for children across the state. I am here tonight to bring the perspective of a secularist, a feminist and a woman who has championed for the underdog and marginalized people from a young age, as Democrats are prone to do.
There is not a person here who would deny that all children deserve safety, privacy, comfort, and to live free of violence everywhere they go, especially where they spend most of their waking hours. The problem that exists with gender inclusion policies, such as those being demanded here now, is that they allow people of one biological sex to use facilities, including bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers, of the opposite biological sex. The safety, comfort, and privacy of ALL students is not considered. The only safety, comfort and privacy of concern is for trans-identified students.
The American Psychiatric Association, The National Center for Transgender Equality, GLAAD, and many other LGB and Trans advocacy and lobbying groups all have a definition of transgender that does not require a diagnosis of dysphoria or even a presentation that aligns with what is stereotypical of the opposite biological sex. What this means is exactly what we do see happening: people, namely men with motives of physical and/or sexual violence, using loopholes to gain access to women’s private spaces. Websites like, “They Say This Never Happens,” have been chronicling exactly these types of violations by trans-identified men and by gender conforming men alike. In fact, a number of studies have shown the rate of violent crime is the same among trans-identified males and gender conforming males alike.
Male violence is not being confronted in trans advocacy, instead, critics of gender ideology, mostly women, and feminist allies are being blamed for violence against trans people and for trans suicidality. Why are we not striving to make facilities for biological males a safer place for boys and men who do not conform to gender stereotypes? Why also are we not advocating for better mental health access for those with suicidal ideation? Instead, it is being demanded by dogmatic groups who advocate unverifiable personal gnosis and ideology as fact, that the class of people who are most impacted by male violence submit and allow biological males into their spaces. That is not justice or equity for girls and women or for trans identified people.

The “separate but equal” phrase has been parsed out in previous testimony before this board. This is egregiously appropriative of the historic struggles of people of colour. We can verify that there is no difference between a black or brown body and a white body. We can also verify that there is a difference between male and female bodies, regardless of gender identity.
In order to compel you into repudiation, you will, and have been pressured with emotive language and falsely cited statistics, and told that understanding observable biological reality is bigotry. I urge this board and community to not fall for it and to seek out information from both positions. You will find gender ideology to be the climate change denial of the left. I also encourage you to continue keeping girls and women safe and considering their comfort on the issue while also making reasonable accommodations for any student who is not feeling comfortable in sex segregated spaces. Thank you for your time.”

Watch Tasha Rose’s testimony here at the 1:20:00 mark.

Listen to part of Tasha Rose’s testimony on the latest Women’s Liberation Radio podcast here at the 10:30 minute mark.