by Rep. Mark Green
Months after we celebrated the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, one of President Biden’s first actions marks a drastic setback for women across this country. The President’s Executive Order instructs the Department of Education to allow transgender women – biological men who identify as women – to compete in women’s sports. Federally funded institutions are now being forced to allow biological men access to women’s sports and scholarships meant for women in sports. This move erodes the foundations of Title IX, is unfair to women, and is a massive overreach by the Federal government.
Congress passed Title IX in 1972 to help break the glass ceiling for women, but President Biden’s Executive Order reinstates that very glass ceiling. Title IX was predicated on the fact that the biological makeup of males and females differ dramatically. That’s the reason Congress passed this important legislation – to grant women fair access to federal funding for sports and academics. Prior to Title IX, only 1 in 27 women played varsity sports, but today nearly half of girls participate in varsity sports. Before Title IX only 32,000 women competed in college sports, now 150,000 women do. Prior to Title IX athletic scholarships were virtually non-existent, now there are nearly 10,000 athletic scholarships for women.
Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports erodes protections for women and is fundamentally unfair. The science is clear – men have about ten times the level of testosterone as women. Even after taking testosterone-suppressing hormones, a man’s bone and muscle structure remains intact. According to a new study, transgender athletes maintain a competitive edge even after a year of hormone therapy. According to that study, even after two years of taking estrogen, transgender women were still 12 percent faster than biological women.
These differences cannot be overstated when it comes to sports. Is it fair for young women relying on sports scholarships to be forced to compete against biological males? High school athletes from Connecticut have been fighting against a policy that allows biological males who identify as female to compete against them in track. In this case, two biological males have broken state records in women’s track and won several state titles. These young women’s lawsuit claims that allowing biological males to compete against them in track is a violation of Title IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and denies them equal opportunity at their own sporting events.
This isn’t an isolated incident. In Alaska, a transgender girl took home all-state honors after competing in the girls’ track and field championship. President Biden’s new Executive Order will make these types of unfair advantages ubiquitous across the country.
Safety is another major consideration. Take for instance the case of Boyd Burton, a 31-year-old mixed martial arts fighter and former Navy veteran who began competing as a female. One famous 2014 fight with Boyd Burton left biological female Tamikka Brents with a fractured skull, a concussion, and a smashed eye socket. She was then criticized for claiming that the fight, which only lasted three minutes, was unfair.
World Rugby, the governing body that organizes the Rugby World Cup, banned transgender women from playing with biological women after studies showed significant safety concerns. The truth is, the Biden Administration is prioritizing the considerations of a small minority of men over those of women – and is ignoring science to do it.
As one of these young athletes put it after competing with a transgender girl for the first time, “I knew then and there that some girls would be missing out on great opportunities to succeed and that women could be completely eradicated from their own sports.”
Lastly, this new Executive Order is a complete and utter overreach by the Federal government and the Department of Education. Under our Constitution, States must be allowed to create its own laws, but the Federal government should not mandate it. It’s time for both our State and our Congress to reclaim its powers under the Constitution from the Presidency.
Tennessee will stand against Federal government overreach. We do not need the Department of Education to tell us how to run our schools and colleges. We don’t need Washington bureaucrats looking over our shoulder. Any state that wishes to maintain even the slightest control of their institutions will agree: it’s high time we abolish the Department of Education and return control of education to the states.
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Rep. Mark Green is a physician and combat veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. He served on the mission to capture Saddam Hussein, and he interviewed Saddam Hussein for six hours on the night of his capture.
Photo “Caster Semenya” by Yann Caradec CC2.0. and “Rep Mark Green” is by Rep. Mark Green.