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House Subcommittee Hearing on Protecting Female Athletes and Title IX

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On Tuesday, December 5, Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) collegiate arm, Young Women for America (YWA), had the privilege of attending a hearing by the U.S. House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services on Protecting Female Athletics and Title IX. As you know, YWA is at the forefront of the fight for women’s dignity in sports and the public square. Many YWA leaders have testified before state legislatures, shared their stories of losing athletic opportunities to men who identify as women and having to share bathroom facilities with men, rallied outside the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships as a male won a national title, and petitioned the NCAA to keep girls’ sports for girls only.

The witnesses included Riley Gaines, twelve-time All-American swimmer and Independent Women’s Forum Ambassador; Sarah Parshall Perry, Senior Legal Fellow for the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation; Kim Russell, former lacrosse coach at Oberlin College and Independent Women’s Forum Ambassador; and Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of National Women’s Law Center. If you watch any of the testimony in the news, you would have seen our YWA leaders proudly standing behind Gaines and the other witnesses, with our “girls just want to have fairness in sports” shirts, sending a clear message to committee members.

Following the hearings, we had the opportunity to converse with congressional staff, many of whom showed their appreciation for our efforts and invited take pictures.

Presided by Chairwoman Lisa McClain (R-Michigan), the hearing highlighted the importance of protecting women in women’s sports under Title IX, and the dangers of the Biden Administration’s proposed rewrite of the law to include men who identify as women in women’s athletics. The rewrite erases the original intent of Title IX and instead hands women’s athletic opportunities over to men who identify as women..

Though the purpose of the hearing was clear, the topic was ignored by Democratic Members of Congress who repeatedly insulted the witnesses with accusations of transphobia and bigotry. Liberal members rarely touched the subject of Title IX and, in so doing, openly endorsed men taking over women’s spots in women’s sports.

Witnesses praised the fact that over the last five decades, the number of women’s opportunities in sports has skyrocketed under Title IX. The two athletes on the panel, Riley Gaines and Kim Russell, are direct beneficiaries of Title IX’s provisions by filling roles the law specifically reserved for women. Mrs. Perry stated that girls participation in high school athletics is now 1000% higher than 50 years ago, 56% of college students are now women, and 94% of female executives played scholastic sports, all thanks to Title IX.

Democrat leaders repeatedly accused those who want to keep women’s sports for women only of “transphobia.” However, it was often repeated at the hearing that no one is being excluded from athletics. All students can compete according to their sex. This is the only way to truly give a fair opportunity to all in sex specific competitions. As Gaines said, “There’s a place for everyone to play sports in this country. But unsafe, unfair, and discriminatory practices towards women must stop.”

Liberal members would say repeatedly that one should not have to prove they are “girl enough” to compete in women’s sports. They are correct; one only needs to prove that they are, in fact, a girl, which biological men have never and will never be able to do.

Perry addressed this notion in her testimony: “If a few months of hormone suppression and a self-declaration of womanhood are enough to allow a biological male to compete as a woman, what, after all, was the women’s liberation movement for? The principles of fundamental fairness and equal opportunity embodied in Title IX’s longstanding application must prevail over arguments for the inclusion of males as females.”

YWA was proud to be present at this important hearing that fully displayed who will fight against women and who will fight for them.