Title IX Hearing Highlights Concerns for Girls' Sports

In a highly contentious hearing on Tuesday, lawmakers and witnesses raised concerns about the Biden administration’s proposed changes to Title IX, specifically on its impact on girls and women in sports. The proposed changes would redefine “sex” to include “gender identity,” effectively rendering policies that protect female athletic competitions as discriminatory and in violation of the law. This has raised alarm among those who argue that without separation by sex, women and girls will be at a disadvantage and may even suffer physical harm.

The hearing got off to a fiery start as former NCAA swimmer and advocate Riley Gaines sparred with Democratic Representative Summer Lee (PA), who preemptively accused witnesses of being “transphobic” and spreading “hateful misinformation.” Gaines quickly fired back, stating that if her testimony was deemed transphobic, then Lee’s opening remarks could also be labeled as misogynistic. The exchange resulted in a failed attempt by Lee to have Gaines’ words taken down.

Among the witnesses at the hearing was Sarah Parshall Perry from The Heritage Foundation, who argued that allowing biological males to compete against females is a matter of common sense and also reflects the views of the American people. Perry noted that nearly two dozen states have already passed legislation to protect girls and women’s sports, and if the Biden rule were to go through, it could face significant challenges in federal court.

However, supporters of the proposed changes argued that protecting women’s sports is a form of bigotry and discrimination. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) went as far as equating support for sex-separated sports to support for racism. Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, also claimed that rules protecting women’s sports hurt people of color the most.

The issue of privacy for women and girls in locker rooms was also brought up, with Graves suggesting that curtains or doors could be installed as a solution. However, Gaines, a former collegiate swimmer, noted that these options are not feasible in swimming locker rooms and that the burden should not be placed on women and girls.

The popular DailyWire+ comedy “Lady Ballers” was also mentioned during the hearing. Gaines expressed her approval of the film, which satirizes radical gender ideology in women’s sports, stating that it felt like a documentary of what she and other girls across the country continue to go through.

In conclusion, the hearing highlighted the concerns surrounding the Biden administration’s proposed changes to Title IX and how it could potentially harm girls and women in sports. Witnesses emphasized the physical differences between males and females, the loss of opportunities and scholarships for girls, and the invasion of privacy in locker rooms. With the issue deeply dividing the country, it remains to be seen how the Biden administration will address and potentially amend its proposed changes to Title IX.

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