Sean Swope commentary: Rejecting a misguided celebration of International Women's Day at college


As a community, we stand at a critical juncture where the very essence of womanhood is being undermined and distorted under the guise of inclusivity.

Recently, our local community college announced plans to celebrate International Women's Day by inviting a trans woman (born a biological man) to speak — an action that not only defies the principles of this pivotal day but also diminishes the struggles and achievements of biological women throughout history.

As a husband married to a successful, relentless, kind, compassionate and strong woman and a father of three incredible girls, International Women's Day holds profound significance to me and in the global fight for gender equality, serving as a beacon of hope and empowerment for women worldwide. This day symbolizes the relentless pursuit of rights and recognition for women, encompassing vital issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights and combating violence and abuse against women.

The decision to invite a biological man to headline, honor and celebrate is not only misguided but deeply disrespectful to the essence of International Women's Day. By extending the invitation to a biological male, the college administration has effectively diluted the significance of this day, sending a message that the struggles and triumphs of biological women are interchangeable with those of individuals who identify as women.

Let us be clear: The inclusion of a biological man as a representative of womanhood on International Women's Day is an insult to the resilience and sacrifices of biological women. It is a slap in the face to the countless women who have fought tirelessly for their rights, often in the face of systemic oppression and discrimination. Celebrating International Women's Day with a biological man undermines the very foundation of this movement and erases the distinct experiences and challenges faced by biological women.

Our educational institutions, including our community college, should be a fortress of knowledge and integrity, fostering critical thinking and upholding the values of equality and justice. Yet, the decision to invite this person demonstrates a troubling trend of succumbing to radical ideologies at the expense of rational discourse and respect for biological realities.

While we must acknowledge and support individuals who experience gender dysphoria, we cannot allow this to overshadow the fundamental principles of womanhood and the struggles faced by biological women. Gender identity is a complex issue, but it should not be conflated with biological sex or used to diminish the importance of recognizing and uplifting the achievements of women.

We must stand firm in our commitment to women's rights and refuse to compromise on the principles that underpin International Women's Day. Our educational institutions have a responsibility to uphold these values and resist external pressures that seek to distort and undermine the essence of womanhood.

I recognize that the views expressed may be contentious, but they are rooted in a steadfast commitment to protecting and preserving women's rights. Silence in the face of injustice is not an option; we must speak out against the misguided celebration of International Women's Day at our community college and demand better.

Together, as a community, let us reaffirm our dedication to women's rights and advocate for a celebration of International Women's Day that genuinely honors the struggles and achievements of biological women. Let us stand united in rejecting the distortion of this day and continue striving to make our community a place where all women are valued, respected and empowered to thrive.


Sean Swope is a Republican Lewis County commissioner representing the Centralia area. He can be reached by email at To submit a letter to the editor of 500 words or less, email