Feminist TA suggests men are not women and UCSB students are NOT happy

Students and faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara are attacking a lesbian Feminist Studies Teacher’s Assistant (TA) for voicing the claim that“No [man] will ever be a [woman].”

Laura Tanner, a TA in the feminist studies department at UCSB, is being accused of engaging in “transphobia” while teaching her class and on social media, as initially reported by Feminist Current.

“Woman = adult human female. Surgeries/hormones ≠ change sex or gender. No [man] can ever be a [woman],” Tanner tweeted in early June, using the sex symbols for “man” and “woman.”

“UCSB STUDENTS, there is a feminist instructor on our campus named Laura Tanner who has repeatedly demonstrated hatred and transphobia both in her classes and aggressively on her social media,” a Twitter user named Casey, who appears to be a UCSB student, tweeted later that same day. “I am working with a professor from the feminist department to gather students about the disgusting lies she is spreading.”

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Tanner previously received criticism for a tweet responding to the news of a transgender activist who was indicted for stealing thousands of dollars from the Portland Women’s march.

“Well I’m sure he only did it because he is so oppressed,” the UCSB TA tweeted. “I bet he bought himself a gold lamé pocketbook and some red lipstick so he could be a real girl.”

Multiple students organized an on-site protest on June 13, creating signs that displayed Tanner’s tweets and calling her a “terf,” an acronym which means “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.” The student who tweeted about it claimed that professors and TAs also attended the protest.

One student tweeted directly at Ms. Tanner, calling her a “dumb b*tch” and saying “f*ck u [sic] and ur [sic] transphobia.”

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The same student later suggested that she was banned from Twitter for 12 hours because she declared that “terfs” should die for “being dumb b*tches.”

”If y’all see Laura Tanner on campus make sure it’s ON SIGHT!” tweeted another user. “Throw a slushie or some sh*t at that stank white pussy ass b*tch.”

letter purportedly from UCSB alumni, UC grad students, and allies calls for the UCSB administration to take action.

“Material that denies the existence and lived experiences of trans people, especially trans women, is not only factually inaccurate but harmful to trans students,” it reads. “These issues are not merely an academic debate; when the academy legitimates transphobia, it lends credence to an ideological position that systematically disenfranchises and kills trans people.”

Students also circulated a letter from UCSB graduates supporting “Trans, Non-Binary and Sex Working Students.”

“We demand that specific steps be taken to ensure that those espousing openly racist, anti-sex work and transphobic beliefs do not continue to teach or TA for the department,” that letter says.

One student posted a response from the UCSB Feminist Studies department chair, Laury Oaks. 

In the response, Oaks called Tanner’s comments “distressing” and assured the student that she was “working with others on campus very hard” to address the situation.

Oaks then told the student that they could report Tanner to the UCSB Ethics Committee, providing the link to the group, as well as the contact information for the university’s Title IX coordinator.

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The same student received a reply from the Title IX Director, Arianna Alvarez, who assured him that her office was “actively engaging in a response.”

The Title IX office and Feminist Studies department chair did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JohnPHasson