A religious studies student has been banned from class after he asserted his belief that there are only two genders. Lake Ingle, a senior at Indiana University, said he was silenced and unfairly punished by IUP Professor Alison Downie for questioning her during a Feb. 28 lecture entitled “Christianity 481: Self, Sin, and Salvation.”
The incident occurred after the class had watched a 15-minute clip of a TED talk by ex-pastor Paula Stone Williams who discussed issues of “male privilege.” After viewing the clip, Downie asked for responses from the women in the class. When no-one spoke, Ingle though in his thoughts, challenging the professor on biology and the gender wage gap. He asserted that the official view of many leading biologists is that there are only two genders.
This assertion enraged the lecturer, who immediately chucked him out of class and asked him not to come back. Further to his expulsion, Downie referred Ingle to the public university’s Academic Integrity Board (AIB). It is vital that Ingle completes the class in order to graduate at the end of the semester. “You are barred from attending this class in accordance with the Classroom Disruption policy,” IUP Provost Timothy Moerland told Ingle in a letter written in response to the incident.
Lake explained the incident in more detail to CampusReform.org:
“The floor was opened, and not a single woman spoke. Thirty seconds or so passed and still no woman had spoken. So, I decided it was permissible for me to enter the conversation, especially because I felt the conversation itself was completely inappropriate in its structure,” Ingle told Campus Reform. “I objected to the use of the anecdotal accounts of one woman’s experience to begin a discussion in which they were considered reality. It was during my objection that Dr. Downie attempted to silence me because I am not a woman.”
Subsequent to this bizarre series of events, Ingle believes that his constitutional rights have been violated.
“My professor is violating my First Amendment rights because of the fact that my views and ideology is different from hers,” he told Fox News. “So she took it on herself to silence and embarrass me – bully me – for speaking up in class.”
Downie accused the student of “disrespectful objection,” “refusal to stop talking out of turn,” “angry outbursts in response to being required to listen to a trans speaker discuss the reality of white male privilege and sexism,” and “disrespectful references to the validity of trans identity and experience.”
But Ingle simply sees this whole debacle as an issue of free speech.
“It is my firmest belief that every human being has the freedom and right to identify, dress, and represent oneself as they see fit,” Ingle said. “I think this is all an attempt to silence my views personally because they contradict the ones she pushes in class so evidently.”
He added: “My professor pretty much just tried to shut me up because she was just letting women speak. I brought up the fact that biologists don’t agree that there’s more than two genders and I said the wage gap she’s referring to – 77 cents on the dollar – that even the New York Times debunked that.”
Now, Lake’s graduation will depend on the academic integrity board’s ruling on his case.
The ruling from the Academic Integrity Board hearing will be released March 19th.
In response to the massive attention his case is recieving in the press, Lake posted to Facebook: “Thanks, everyone, for all the love and support. You all are keeping me humble.”