“Just tell them you’re a girl if they ask you anything and they’ll leave you alone.” This is what my son’s soccer coach told him a couple of years ago when he was told to play on the girl’s soccer team a few times so that they wouldn’t forfeit. (Coaches stop at nothing to get a win.) My son didn’t want to disobey his coach so he went on the field with the girls. He reported to me, “It was so easy Mom. At first, it was fun to be so much better than them, but then it was boring, and felt like we were just being mean. I didn’t like it. And, after a bit, the coach told us not to score, but just set up the score by passing it to a girl for the point.” This is happening to our girls. No wonder so many girls are stopping sports.
Title IX, adopted in 1972, known for disallowing the discrimination of women based on sex in education programs and activities, has historically helped women have access to sports and was a reason for the creation of women-only sports teams and clubs. Over the years, the Worldwide Organization For Women [WOW] has referred many legislators and leaders to Title IX as a standard to follow for the non-discrimination of women in educational settings. So, why now, after 46 years as a women’s and girl’s advocacy organization, would WOW be against Title IX?
Even though Title IX isn’t perfect, in its current state it has been protecting women and girls from harassment and discrimination in educational settings. College campuses have Title IX offices to take complaints to and to help women and girls navigate social and academic situations that target their sex on campuses. However, now, under the Biden administration, Title IX has been attacked, thereby actually attacking women.
In October, the Biden administration and the Department of Education are planning to make the following changes to Title IX.
“The proposed regulation would be in the Title IX regulations at section 106.41(b)(2):
If a recipient adopts or applies sex-related criteria that would limit or deny a student’s eligibility to participate on a male or female team consistent with their gender identity, such criteria must, for each sport, level of competition, and grade or education level: (i) be substantially related to the achievement of an important educational objective, and (ii) minimize harms to students whose opportunity to participate on a male or female team consistent with their gender identity would be limited or denied.” (ed.gov press release)
What is this saying?
This addition says that so long as a person says that they identify as a certain gender they can play on that gender’s school sports teams. This would include full participation involving locker room and restroom access for that specific gender. It says that the only way a student can be denied is if there is a reason related to an “important educational objective” and that students shouldn’t be denied based on gender. “Important educational objective” is a very subjective term that would be hard to prove in court.
These changes eliminate vital protections for women. Gender isn’t the same thing as sex. Previously Title IX protected women and girls because of their biological sex. Now, Title IX would protect people based on their declared gender. If this occurs, women and girls will no longer have safe spaces to engage in sports. Not only will men and boys feel it’s an easy way to poach the girls’ matches and get the win, but women and girls will get hurt and not make the teams they hope to make. Putting the emphasis on gender instead of sex excludes women from sports by forcing them to unfairly compete with biological males. These changes will be bad for the physical, emotional, and social health of women and girls.
The Department of Education [DOE] says that these changes need to be made to clear up “uncertainty” by coaches related to students of other genders playing sports. This is overreach! The states are tackling this issue independently of the DOE and feel good about their local laws. Federal control of education is unconstitutional, therefore mandating policy related to gender should be a state issue. Additionally, creating a Title IX gender mandate attempts to undermine laws that states have already made that disallow biological males in women’s school sports.
The DOE Is Behaving Unethically
The creation of the DOE was unconstitutional, and the DOE has overstepped its bounds multiple times. WOW has historically opposed governmental overreach due to our desire to protect state sovereignty. So, it isn’t new that WOW would oppose the US national government on an educational issue. However, this time WOW feels that an attack on women and girls is not just overreach, but unethical conduct for a government department.
As the president of WOW I take women’s sports seriously. I know that without playing on volleyball, basketball, and softball teams in my youth, I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today. Thanks to the Title IX movement of 1972 I had no limitations to my sporting aspirations. Society empowered so many girls and women just like me as they supported equality in sports.
Now, women and girls are pulling away from sports again due to men and boys choosing to claim they are female and then poaching on the girls just like my son did in those unfair soccer games.
The changes to Title IX must be stopped soon. Put pressure on the DOE by sharing this article and posting your positive stories about Title IX or negative stories about the proposed changes to Title IX on social media.
If Title IX is corrupted with these proposed revisions, we will have no choice but to call for the abolition of the US Department of Education.