A college professor is facing backlash for allegedly assigning her female students more reading than her male students, a claim made by a TikToker in a now-viral video.
Chelsea Vaughan, a freshman at Rowan College at Burlington County in New Jersey, shared the video on Monday with their 15,000 followers and raked in 2.3 million views.
The video is captioned “when your professor assigns boys and girls a different article but the girls article is almost 50 pages longer” and shows two different readings. One is titled “Why Men Can’t Have It All,” which has 29 pages, while the other reading “Why Women Can’t Have It All” is 77 pages.
The reading was part of a writing class and assigned for a debate on sexism, Vaughan told the Daily Dot on Thursday.
“The guys would read a guys’ article, and the girls would read the girls’ one while answering questions on it as homework,” Vaughan said of the assignment.
It wasn’t until Monday morning when Vaughan realized how heavy their reading was. Out of curiosity, they decided to check out the reading the men in the class were assigned.
The word count for the women’s article was nearly 12,000 words, but the men were assigned about half as much. Vaughan decided to post their grievance online, and it went viral.
In the comments, some suggested the professor might swap the readings between teams, which gave Vaughan some hope.
“I went into class on Wednesday morning with that mindset, but she explicitly said that she wouldn’t be making us read both articles, which literally gave the women in the class work for absolutely no reason,” they said.
“[This] was also unfair since we had to answer separate questions, and one of the questions for the girls’ article was about the guys’ article,” Vaughan continued. The men were likewise asked questions from the women’s reading.
According to a copy of the syllabus provided to the Daily Dot, the syllabus did not specify the readings would be separate for men and women in the class.
“I find it comical that the professor does this and then still doesn’t see [or] teach about the point of having the girls in the class do more than the guys,” Vaughan said.
This irony was also not lost on TikTok commenters.
“She assigned articles that talk [about] the struggles each gender faces [with] the women’s one 3 times longer [and] she STILL doesn’t see the irony,” wrote one user.
“Women can have it all if ‘it all’ = 50 extra pages,” another commented.
There was another issue that came up given that the readings were divided across two genders: It left out nonbinary students.
“Me, an NB [nonbinary], ‘hey what article do I get,'” one user commented.
“Me being agender: looks like I don’t have to do the assignment,” wrote another.
Vaughan said the professor often spends time during the class talking about how “they” as a pronoun is “grammatically incorrect,” an argument often by transphobic people to dismiss the existence and experience of gender non-conforming people.
“Nobody is out to non-binary to this professor, so she didn’t say anything about what anyone else could do as an option,” Vaughan told the Daily Dot.
They said when they reached out to the dean of the school, they got an immediate response, and the dean met with them soon afterward.
The dean reportedly said the allegations of transphobia and sexism were “severe enough” to be considered a Title IX violation, and the school would promptly take action.
The Daily Dot reached out to the dean of the school.
Update 10:53pm CT, Nov. 23: In a statement to the Daily Dot, Rowan College at Burlington County said that the school is “is committed to diversity and promoting the equitable treatment of all students, employees and the broader community. Any complaint will be fully investigated.”
Representatives for the school did not respond to further questions.
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