Silly me. I thought that with the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, we had settled the question of whether girls deserve a chance to compete and win as high school and college athletes. Feminists fought like warriors to pass the act against gender discrimination, which among other things ensured that girls had equal access to sports.
Before the passage of the act, only 1 in 27 high school girls played varsity sports. Now that number is more like 1 in 2.5.
And why did we need separate, but fully funded and supported athletic teams for young women? Why didn’t the act simply require that all athletic teams at institutions receiving federal funding become co-ed teams?
Because before our culture abandoned facts and reason in its full gallop toward progressivism, we all knew and acknowledged that men and women are biologically different. Men have higher levels of testosterone. They carry more muscle mass per pound of body weight. They have a naturally higher endurance threshold. On average, a male can run faster and jump higher than his female counterpart.
It’s just science.
There’s an approximate 10-12% performance gap between elite women athletes and elite men. In 2017, Olympic, World, and U.S. Champion Tori Bowie clocked a lifetime best of 10.78 for 100 meters. In the same year, her time was beaten 15,000 times by men and boys.
Fifteen thousand times. And that’s at the elite level. Observation leads us to believe that gap grows wider when dealing with athletes at lower levels of competition, where natural baseline strength and speed—absent full time, professional training and nutrition—is more of a factor.
It is impossible to introduce biological males to women’s sports and preserve even the appearance of fair play. Once a biological male steps onto the track or the court, the whole thing becomes a joke. Strike a match to Title IX, for all the good it does female athletes at that point.
That’s why I hope the Alabama legislature passes the “Gender is Real Legislative Act,” known as the GIRL Act. It would prohibit athletes in K-12 competition in our state from competing in sports for a gender other than their biological gender unless the competition in question is co-ed.
I’ve written before about the fast-forward approach activists are taking to normalize transgenderism. The LGBTQ+ lobby is running ahead of health care research and good governance on how to address the growing prevalence of gender dysphoria in children and young adults.
I grieve for people of any age who suffer the psychological burden of feeling out of place in their own bodies. I can only imagine the pain of attempting to reconcile those feelings and overcome the anxiety and depression that struggle would likely induce. But we fail these individuals—particularly children—when we insist that the remedy to their problem is to fully indulge the psychological aberration with which they struggle.
We fail everyone else when we force them to give up their rights in service to this farce.
But back to the pending legislation in Alabama: whether or not one has a moral objection to gender fluidity or transgenderism, none of us can escape what destroying the gender definitions our sports culture is built upon will cost women athletes. Activists are asking them to sacrifice their right to fair competition on the altar of desired cultural change.
Are female athletes going to be allowed to dope? I don’t know any parents who want their daughter on the juice in 10th grade so she has a chance to win state, but doping is the only way she’ll have a fair shot with a biological male in the hunt.
Where are you, feminists? The girls are depending on you.
Dana Hall McCain, a widely published writer on faith, culture, and politics, is Resident Fellow of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and educational organization based in Birmingham; learn more at alabamapolicy.org.