Smith College is opening up their applicant pool, and it has nothing to do with test scores or grade point averages. Smith, a women's college located in Northampton, Massachusetts, and the largest of the all-female Seven Sisters schools, is opening its doors to all women - even those who were not biologically born female. The new policy states that Smith College will welcome anyone who identifies as a woman (assuming they meet the school's other requirements for acceptance, of course) and it's an important step in acceptance of all genders.
I did not attend a women's college, but I see the value in them - though I wish I didn't. Unfortunately, the world is filled with sexism, and often that carries over into the university system. Having a place for women where their opinions and work are valued right off the bat can be extremely important for not only an individual woman's education, but for society as a whole. It's the goal of women's colleges to build confidence in women as leaders and creators, and while women's colleges aren't the only schools to do that, the specific importance of it is appealing. That's why it's important for women's colleges to accept all women in whatever form they come in - we need all women to see their value.
The world is not easy for transgender people, and transgender women face not only the challenges of that but of being a woman as well. By not allowing trans women into an all-women's school, the college is essentially saying that these women are not "real" women - and that they don't deserve the same treatment as those who do identify with their birth sex. I am thrilled that Smith saw the error in their original judgement about gender and rectified this situation - every woman deserves the chance to join a community that builds women up.