Op-Ed: Female Athletes Are Being Victimized to Pander to the Personal Fantasies of a Few


Women athletes are in danger of losing their rights to the desires of men who feel they are women.

The anti-science effort to erase the physical differences between men and women is regressive and dangerous. Women are being victimized in the name of an AstroTurf diversity that discriminates against all who do not conform to the personal fantasies of a few.

The effort has consequences that go well beyond women’s athletics. In April, a male Rikers inmate claiming to be a woman was sentenced to seven years for raping a female prisoner in the women’s section of the jail. Concerned Women for America, the organization I represent — a Christian, conservative organization — is supporting a lawsuit by the liberal feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front to fight for women’s rights on this front.

We are also witnessing the pernicious promotion of transgender ideology in public schools, which ignores the sad, practical reality of the harmful long-term effects of life-altering surgical procedures on all young people, but on young women in particular.

But legally speaking, the women’s sports aspect of this battle, which has the backing of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, should be preventing the injustices we are witnessing.

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Title IX prohibits sex discrimination by any recipients of federal funding in education. It provides that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Any school allowing males to take opportunities away from women in female programs is in violation of federal law.

As Title IX turns 50 this month, it is time for all involved in school athletics to stand up for women’s rights. Certainly, student athletes should speak up. A few have done so. More have done so anonymously, fearing retaliation. Perhaps you know someone in that situation. Maybe you are such a student.

Anyone in that situation should know that the law protects you from retaliation over a complaint of sex discrimination under Title IX. The Supreme Court has clarified that “Title IX’s private right of action encompasses claims of retaliation against an individual because he has complained about sex discrimination.” This is an essential protection of which all student athletes should be aware.

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If you have experienced retaliation for complaining or fear such action, you should seek counsel. Contact CWA if you know not where to turn. Some of the comments athletes have made publicly are very concerning and suggest these violations have taken place and are ongoing.

Those fighting for women athletes in Congress (and a valiant discharge petition just filed in the House for HR 426, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, shows us some members are fighting — 106 as of this writing) should look into requiring schools to provide training to ensure athletes know their full rights under Title IX.

As the Supreme Court has made clear, “retaliation is, by definition, an intentional act. It is a form of ‘discrimination’ because the complainant is subjected to differential treatment. Moreover, it is discrimination ‘on the basis of sex’ because it is an intentional response to the nature of the complaint: an allegation of sex discrimination.”

This is independent of whatever reinterpretation the Biden administration and the Department of Education seek — as we all know, they are entirely on board with this assault on women athletes.

Title IX is clear, and the statute is all that matters. The Supreme Court again: “We do not rely on regulations extending Title IX’s protection. … We do not rely on the Department of Education’s regulation at all, because the statute itself contains the necessary prohibition.”

But the burden should not fall on the athletes alone. Coaches, teachers, administrators and others involved in these programs should speak out. They are often better positioned to fight for female athletes’ rights. The Supreme Court has acknowledged this, too: “Teachers and coaches … are often in the best position to vindicate the rights of their students because they are better able to identify discrimination and bring it to the attention of administrators. Indeed, sometimes adult employees are ‘the only effective adversar[ies]’ of discrimination in schools.”

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Title IX protects these parties, too; they should speak without fear of retaliation. “If recipients were permitted to retaliate freely, individuals who witness discrimination would be loath to report it, and all manner of Title IX violations might go unremedied as a result.”

We need all involved who care about justice and fairness to speak out to protect women’s rights. The law is on your side. Science, common sense and reason are all on your side. Courage is what is needed, for we do acknowledge the bad faith of the other side — the courage to withstand the small but vocal cultural mob seeking to intimidate you.

Courageous women have stared down these mobs before, and they will do so again. Will you stand with them?

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Mario Diaz is general counsel for Concerned Women for America, the largest public policy organization for women in the nation.