College student says she failed assignment for using the phrase 'biological woman'

Olivia Krolczyk, a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati, says she received a zero on an assignment for using the term 'biological women,' which her professor said was 'transphobic.'

'[T]he terms ‘biological women’ are exclusionary and are not allowed in this course as they further reinforce heteronormativity,' the professor allegedly explained.

Olivia Krolczyk, a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati, says she received a zero on an assignment for using the term “biological women,” which her professor said was “transphobic.” 

Krolczyk’s alleged experience with her professor first went viral in a TikTok video in late May.

“I got a 0% on my assignment today because I used the term ‘biological women,’ which is apparently not allowed anymore,” she said.

The project, part of a class centered on feminist issues, was about transwomen (i.e., biological men) competing in women’s sports. Krolczyk’s project idea was to show how this was unfair, given men’s physical advantages over women. 

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According to Krolczyk, the instructor responded by saying that the project proposal was “solid,” but that “the terms ‘biological women’ are exclusionary and are not allowed in this course as they further reinforce heteronormativity.”

Krolczyk says she first wanted to see if the university would do anything about the situation before reaching out to the press. She says contacted the school’s Gender Equality Office, which said it would have another professor grade her assignment. 

But after two weeks, she said that nothing has happened, causing her to think “the issue is not being taken seriously,” The New York Post reports.

In an interview with The Post, Krolczyk spoke about the importance of free speech in education, explaining why she’s making the story public. “If we as a student body take action instead of conforming to the professor’s ideology, we can hopefully start changing our universities back to a place where stating simple biology isn’t punished and conflicting opinions are encouraged,” she said.

Krolczyk has not released the name of the professor for fear of backlash.

In the May 22 TikTok video, Krolczyk said she knew “this was the most biased grade ever because my project is about transgenders competing in biological women’s sports.”

“How am I supposed to do my final project if I can’t use the word ‘biological women’ but that’s what my project is about?” she asked.

Krolczyk has said that in an email exchange, the professor accused her of “implementing TERF ideology.” TERF is an acronym that stands for “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminism.” 

Krolczyk said the professor explained that TERFs are “women who fight for women’s rights but exclude trans because they think women’s rights are being affected by trans people.”

“Which is literally true,” Krolczyk said, commenting. 

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In another May 22 video, Krolczyk explained that the professor gave her the chance to edit the project “to focus on women’s rights, not females.”

“I know what she’s trying to say,” Krolczyk explained, “but it doesn’t work because for my project, if I change the wording, it would be, pretty much, ‘women’s rights and opportunities are being affected because women are competing in women’s sports.’” 

“That doesn’t make sense,” she concluded.

In her interview with The New York Post, Krolczyk said that since she publicized her experience, many students have told her they have had the same thing happen to them.

“I can confidently say within my university and many across the country, dissenting opinions are frowned upon, and the views of the professors are affecting their abilities to teach,” she said.

Campus Reform contacted Krolczyk and the university for comment but did not receive responses in time for publication.