Global Roundup : Fordham University Getting 1st Woman President in 200 Years, Transgender Woman Cleared to Swim at NCAA Championship, Sondheim's A Little Night Music Gets a Queer Twist
Curated by FG Intern Sayge Urban
Tania Tetlow will be the new president of Fordham University.Credit...Carly Zavala for The New York Times
Fordham University, one of the most prominent Jesuit universities in the United States, has just elected Tania Tetlow as their new president. It is the first time in the school’s nearly 200 year history that it will be led by a laywoman instead of a Catholic priest.
Current president Rev. Joseph M. McShane has occupied the position for the last 19 years. Tetlow’s election makes Fordham the 21st Jesuit college or university to be led by a layperson, and the 6th to be led by a woman.
Until she assumes her new role, Tetlow is president at Loyola University New Orleans, a school in Louisiana, where she was the first woman and layperson to lead.
Tetlow has strong ties to the Jesuit teachings. Her uncle, Rev. Joseph Tetlow, is a well known Jesuit writer and educator. Tetlow’s father spent 17 years as a Jesuit priest before leaving to start a family. Her parents met as graduate students at Fordham University.
Fordham is the reason that I exist…They (her parents) taught me that faith and reason are intertwined. They instilled in me an abiding curiosity to find God in all things. They sang me to sleep with a Gregorian chant and taught me the absolute joy of learning. - Tania Tetlow
Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas speaks to her coach after winning the 500 meter freestyle during a meet with Harvard on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at... (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds, File)
University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas will be allowed to compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association championships, after the N.C.A.A. announced it won’t adopt USA Swimming’s new policy on transgender athletes until next season.
The NCAA changed its policy on transgender athletes last month, taking a sport-by-sport approach on the matter and allowing each sport's governing body to make its own rules.
Last week, USA Swimming announced stringent policies that seemed targeted toward Thomas, with the policies halving the permissible limit for testosterone for trangender women – 5 nanomoles per liter for 36 months.
Since 2011, the N.C.A.A has required transgender women to be on hormone therapy for 12 months before being allowed to compete, but would not require testing until the last month. Most sports, however, require women to be below a prescribed level for 12 months and a handful for as long as 24 months. Recently, experts have been questioning the relationship between testosterone and performance.
Joanna Harper, another transgender athlete visiting from Loughborough University in England, who is usually in favour of testosterone testing ‘said the 36-month requirement was extraordinary’ and has led to the questioning if the change was targeted at Thomas.
With the results of the review, Thomas is expected to compete in the Ivy League championship in Boston this week, and is the favorite to win the 200m and 500m freestyle races. Thomas has posted the best marks in the nation for these two styles. In 2019, Thomas finished second in three men’s events as a sophomore before she transitioned.
Trans athletes like CeCé Telfer, June Eastwood and Schuyler Bailar have all played at the N.C.A.A. level. But anti-trans sentiment has been taking root across the country. Recent legislation has banned trans youth from accessing affirming healthcare in Arkansas and attempted to keep trans girls out of sports.
Bailar, now a 25-year-old author and educator, was the first trans man to compete on a D1 men’s team when he swam for Harvard — and 60 Minutes covered his first season. He has known Thomas since before she came out, he said, and because of transmisogyny, he expected she would have it worse than he did.
Lia has worked her whole life to be where she is…I think we forget that she is a whole human with all of her own life experiences and trials and tribulations, and she should be allowed to play just like anybody else. - Schuyler Bailar
From left: Amanda Kruger and Ty Deran photographed by Bryan Carpender via The Advocate
A new production of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music casts the classic show with mostly female-presenting actors, including trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming performers.
A Little Night Music is a tale of love, lust, and jealousy set in 1901 Sweden, and revolves around the life of actress Desirée Armfeldt and her lovers, both past and present: Lawyer Fredrick Egerman and Count Carl- Magnus Malcom. The twist, both men are married, and agree to spend a weekend with their wives at Desirée’s mothers estate.
The original production of A Little Night Music was a huge success on Broadway in 1973-1974, running for 601 performances and winning 6 Tony awards.
Ryan O’Connor, who is queer and gender-nonconforming, is a Los Angeles stage veteran who is directing the production.
A Little Night Music is considered one of Stephen Sondheim's biggest triumphs and, like the majority of Sondheim's material, was written with little to no queer representation despite [his] being one of the most prolific queer artists the world has ever known. - Ryan O’Connor
The cast of this new production is heavily gender nonconforming and LGBTQ+.
“This production of this classic musical examines the themes of romance, lust, manipulation, class, and gender by utilizing a cast of predominantly female-presenting actors, giving the show an often alluded to but now outward lesbian subtext, and also a cast of gender- nonconforming /trans/ non binary artist who finally get to take up the theatrical space they deserve. - Ryan O’Connor
Amanda Kruger, a nonbinary performer, appears as Heinrick, Fredrik’s son from a previous marriage.
As a nonbinary queer actor, so often I am iced out of experiences that I fully understand and am drawn to because the written gender of a character doesn’t correlate with how I am perceived based on my voice or body…It has been liberating and affirming to finally have the opportunity to access a character I so fully feel akin to and have gender swept aside. - Amanda Kruger
Ty Deran, a transgender and nonbinary actor plays Fredrik’s young wife, Anne.
Theatre has always been a place where stories of ‘otherness’ are brought to life. Theatre is — in its essence — an art form that thrives in nonconformity. I hope that the queer trans and noxnbinary representation in A Little Night Music will prove to the industry that we can and should cast folks based on the quality of their spirit, not just their physical qualifiers. - Ty Deran
Sayge Urban (she/her) is a student at the University of Ottawa currently studying Psychology. She has a passion for writing and speaking out on issues she cares about and strongly believes in the power of words and the weight they hold. She is keen to use her voice and platform to bring awareness to the troubles and triumphs women face and is determined to use her voice to highlight those who cannot and do not have the resources to speak up.
Sayge is a firm believer in the unity of women across the world and the power they hold collectively and wants to use her time at FEMINIST GIANT to learn about the issues most pressing to women as well as they ways she can best be of help.