Women’s Sports Under Direct Assault

Selina Soule, a track and field champion forced to compete against biological males during her high school career, continues to raise the alarm about the state of female athletics in America. She urges fellow female athletes to rally against what she perceives as the erosion of fairness in women’s sports due to the participation of male-to-female transgender competitors.

Soule’s case presents a broader picture of an ongoing debate rooted in interpreting Title IX. The law, enacted in 1972, aimed to protect women’s sports and ensure an equal playing field for female athletes. Today, however, some argue that its very principles are being threatened.

One point of contention is the participation of transgender athletes in women’s sports. The case of two high school track competitors in California, Athena Ryan and Lorelei Barrett, became notable when they claimed spots in the women’s 1600-meter run at the California State Track and Field Championships, effectively denying those opportunities to biological girls. CIF’s “Gender Identity Participation” rules, which assert the right for students to participate in athletics in a manner consistent with their gender identity, come under scrutiny in this light.

Additionally, the story of Hannah Arensman, a 35-time national cyclocross champion, amplifies this concern. Arensman retired at 25 after losing to a transgender competitor in the women’s championships. This trend is worrisome as we may see the beginning of a wave of biological female athletes choosing to step back from their sports due to perceived inequity.

Recently passed House legislation, “The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act”, has been touted as an attempt to rectify these discrepancies. The bill mandates that Title IX-funded educational institutions should not allow a biologically male person to participate in an athletic program or activity designed for women or girls. The legislation, however, faces an uphill battle as it moves to the Senate, with President Biden already indicating his intent to veto it should it reach his desk.

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL), the bill’s sponsor, noted, “Over the last several years, there has been a perversion in our culture…and the left has completely embraced the lie to erase the lines of gender.”

His sentiment resonates with athletes like NCAA champion swimmer Riley Gaines, who has expressed her support for the bill. Having experienced firsthand the challenge of competing against a male athlete, Gaines expressed gratitude for Steube’s initiative.