‘Disturbed’ UW Grad Student Angry Over FPIW Video


Last month, I interviewed some students at the University of Washington discussing identity in the context of the recent debate over bathrooms.  It was published in video form as College Kids Say the Darndest Things.  The response to this video has been diverse, as you would expect it to be.

Today, however, I received maybe my favorite response of all from someone named Katie W., who claims to be a graduate student at the University of Washington.

Here it is.

To Whom is [sic] May Concern,

I am a graduate student at the University of Washington. I recently viewed a video in which the director of your ‘institute’ interviewed students on my school’s campus and was extremely disturbed. I came to this website to read his bio and was further concerned by the work that he and this group are attempting to accomplish.

Perhaps you should take another view of your own video, 5’9 white guy, in an attempt to hear what these young people are trying to say about identity, their opinions are much more developed and thought out an than your fixed idea of how people are allowed to be.

I’m unsure if you have taken any kind of history class, or learned about how Western civilization has been developed, but white dudes like yourself have been attempting to control and fix identities for a pretty long time. And this video is a clear example of the anxiety they begin to feel when human beings push the borders of their attempted control.

I would encourage you to do some anti-oppression race and gender training, maybe led by someone who in not a straight white man. There are other people in the world that have allowed themselves to think outside your boundaries. Even though that gives you extreme fear, anxiety, discomfort, they still get to be alive, and surprise: their lives and being are still valuable.

The questions you pose in these videos deserve thought, attention, and reflexivity. The way you present the issue of identity is a reductionist attempt at control.


Katie W.

The thing Katie and I agree on is that we were both “extremely disturbed” by what we witnessed, but for different reasons.

It appears that merely questioning the wisdom of logic that allows anyone to be whatever they want whenever they want is simply a “reductionist attempt to control.”

Apparently, this is what we learn in grad school.

8 replies
  1. Janelle Johnson
    Janelle Johnson says:

    I suggest that many of you take a look at yourself, and check your privilege as primarily white, cis (which means straight by the way), males. The questions in this interview were posed in a way that perpetuates your close minded view of what ‘normal’ is and should be. Someone identifying as anything but what they appear to be are what they are biologically quite literally does not affect you in any way, and does absolutely no harm.

    As for the “RAPE” comment… all public bathrooms are already open, hence the term public, with no supervision near them already. I’ve never been somewhere where they ask me if I’m male or female when I’m just trying to urinate. If you want to talk about rape and rape culture, then we should talk about how sex is viewed in our society. This isn’t an identity issue, this is a sex issue. Trans-gendered people are some of the most oppressed and marginalized people I have ever come to know and work with within a community, and in many, many cases (and yes, this is factual and you can google it) they are rape and sexual violence survivors themselves. If they want to pee and poop in a bathroom where they feel safe, allow them to without making their fight and struggle even harder than it already is.

  2. Melody
    Melody says:

    She should take a class on “Anti-Oppression” against RAPE SURVIVORS who do feel SAFE with NAKED MEN in WOMEN’S SHOWERS & RESTROOMS.

    Apparently, she does not know what rape is like as well as who someone is in REALITY. Not their “fantasies”.

    Could someone please help her “learn” REALITY? By the way, I identify as a giraffe, and I expect to be called Ms. Giraffe, and I will sue for discrimination and “hate” against me and other giraffes if you don’t agree.

    All of this ‘gender identify’ insanity is turning American into TRASH.

  3. Clark Kent
    Clark Kent says:

    The young lady is an educated idiot. I will have to give her kudos for the ‘anti-oppression race and gender training’ comment for the funniest blather so far in 2016. How do people like her get so screwed up?

    • Clark Kent
      Clark Kent says:

      Jack: You obviously are the expert in dumb. Please don’t keep up the pathetic comments. By the way, grow up.


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