Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI) slammed critics of her bill to protect women and girls in female sports, saying that some of those who were attacking it were doing so because they don’t like Title IX, which recognizes the “biological distinction between men and women.”
The Daily Wire reported late last week:
Gabbard introduced the bipartisan bill, dubbed the “Protect Women’s Sports Act,” with Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) on Thursday. The bill seeks to protect “the sex-based intention of Title IX protections by reaffirming the biological sex-based distinctions between men and women in athletics.” The bill would prevent organizations which allow biological males to compete against females from receiving federal funding.
Gabbard responded to criticism of her bill in a series of tweets late last week and responded again in a video that she released on Sunday.
“My ‘Protect Women’s Sports Act’ simply protects the rights & interests of girls & women who participate in sports so they can compete on a level playing field. Denying biological differences between men & women undermines the reason why Title IX was created in the first place,” Gabbard wrote on Twitter. “My ‘Protect Women’s Sports Act’ is based on science. It safeguards equality & ensures a level playing field for girls & women competing in sports. It upholds Title IX’s original intent which was based on the general biological distinction between men & women athletes based on sex.”
“Title IX was created out of a recognition of a biological distinction between men & women, & the need to make sure women & girls have equal opportunities to compete on a level playing field in sports,” Gabbard added. “My bill upholds the original intent of Title IX, & strengthens it. That’s all.”
On Sunday, Gabbard released an eight and a half minute video on her Twitter account where she went into greater detail about why it’s important to protect women’s sports and limit participation to only biological females.
“Now, it’s a fact, biological males hold a physical advantage over biological females when it comes to sports,” Gabbard said. “This is specifically why Title IX’s sex-based segregation in sport was created. So, I introduced science-based legislation called the ‘Protect Women’s Sports Act’ that clarifies, upholds, and strengthens the original intent of Title IX. It ensures a level playing field for girls and women competing in sports.”
“Now, let’s be honest, there are some people who oppose my bill, the ‘Protect Women’s Sports Act,’ [inaudible] Title IX, because they don’t like Title IX in the first place, and they don’t like Title IX because it is based on that recognition of the biological distinction between men and women,” she added. “But it is a scientifically established fact that there is such a thing as a man and a woman. It’s also common sense. So, it is the height of hypocrisy for those who claim to be advocates for women’s rights to deny that there is even such a thing as a woman, biologically speaking, to deny the very biological distinction that makes women women, and not men.”
Title IX is a historic law that positively changed everything for women & girls. This video explains how, and why I introduced the Protect Women’s Sports Act – to clarify, uphold & strengthen the original intent of Title IX, ensuring a level playing field for girls & women. pic.twitter.com/B0647yCGmW
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) December 13, 2020
Full transcript of Gabbard’s remarks:
Hey everybody, I hope that you’re all doing well on this beautiful Sunday. I just want to take a moment to talk to you about Title IX and some recent legislation that I introduced. You may know Title IX is a historic provision created in 1972 that was based the recognition of a biological distinction between men and women, and to make sure that women and girls have equal opportunities, especially as it relates to competitive sports. That was specifically created as a carveout to existing anti-discrimination laws that not only allowed, but actually required educational institutions who received federal money to provide separate programs and opportunities for females based on biological sex, recognizing this is the only way for girls and women to achieve equality in competitive sports.
Now in today’s world, decades later, this is something that we may take for granted, but its enactment in 1972 led to a massive generational shift that positively impacted countless girls and women. If you look back to the days before Title IX, there was really no such thing as competitive female sports — maybe intramural leagues, but that was about it. Female athletes didn’t get any funding from their schools for things like travel if they wanted to compete, and had to sell cookies or wash cars to raise money for their bus tickets. They could only use the basketball court if the boys weren’t using it.
After winning two gold medals in the 1964 Olympics, [a] swimmer named Donna De Varona, she could not obtain a college swimming scholarship because for women at that time, there was no such thing. So, Title IX changed everything, and Donna went on to become the first president of the Women’s Sports Foundation where she’s talked about the fact that since 1972, since Title IX, because of increased funding an institutional opportunities, there’s been a 545% increase in the percentage of women playing college sports and a 990% increase in the percentage of women playing high school sports. Before Title IX, 1 in 27 girls played sports, and today, that number is 2 in 5. Title IX made it so that schools could not discriminate between boys and girls, men and women, in both academics and sports, and it created life-changing opportunities for girls and women that never existed before, blazing the trail for those who we see today are competing at the highest levels.
It’s important to point out that the impact of this also has reaches that go far beyond competitive sports. The statistics show that over 80% of female managers of Fortune 500 companies have a sports background. They show that girls who participate in team sports, they are less likely to drop out of school, less likely to smoke or drink or become a teen mom, and are more likely to be healthier, more empowered, more confident, as a result of the opportunities afforded by Title IX. So, it’s value, Title IX’s value cannot and should not be minimized.
Now, unfortunately, some states are now misinterpreting Title IX, creating uncertainty, hardship, and lost opportunities for girls and women. It is being undermined by changing rules that allow biological males who identify as women to compete against biological women in sports. There’s an example in Connecticut a few years back, a 15-year-old transgender male-bodied girl beat the biological female competition in 2017 at their state track and field championship, and finished first in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. Now, the biological female competitors in Connecticut were very frustrated because this male-bodied competitor had a biological and physiological advantage in a sport based on physical strength and speed.
Now, it’s a fact, biological males hold a physical advantage over biological females when it comes to sports. This is specifically why Title IX’s sex-based segregation in sport was created. So, I introduced science-based legislation called the ‘Protect Women’s Sports Act’ that clarifies, upholds, and strengthens the original intent of Title IX. It ensures a level playing field for girls and women competing in sports. As I said before, Title IX intentionally created an exception to nondiscrimination laws out of that recognition of a biological difference between men and women. Now, Title IX does not reference or deal with transgender individuals. It protects all biological females from having to compete against biological males.
Now, let’s be honest, there are some people who oppose my bill, the ‘Protect Women’s Sports Act’ [inaudible] Title IX, because they don’t like Title IX in the first place, and they don’t like Title IX because it is based on that recognition of the biological distinction between men and women. But it is a scientifically established fact that there is such a thing as a man and a woman. It’s also common sense. So, it is the height of hypocrisy for those who claim to be advocates for women’s rights to deny that there is even such a thing as a woman, biologically speaking, to deny the very biological distinction that makes women women, and not men.
Now, you may be one of the millions of women like my mom, who, despite being extremely athletic in high school, she never had that opportunity to play sports. She never had the opportunity to gain those benefits of teamwork and leadership skills and scholarships and all of things that came with Title IX. You may be one of the millions of women who grew up after Title IX, playing competitive sports, taking advantage of those opportunities that you never would have had if not for Title IX, and now able to live lives that are healthier, richer, happier because of those opportunities. Or, you may be a parent of young girls, like my friends Congressman Markwayne and Christie Mullin whose three young daughters, Laura, Ivy, and Lynette, they love wrestling. They’re all competitive wrestlers. They’re 10 and 12 years old. They want to make sure that their daughters can continue to pursue the sport that they love on a level playing field. Or, you may be one of those young girls today, like Yazmin, a high school student who wrote me yesterday sharing how she trains hard to play basketball and compete in track and field, but is concerned that if she is put up against a biological male who has that physiological advantage, there’s no amount of talent or hard work on her part that’ll make a difference. So, I want to ask you to join me in standing up to fight for girls like Yazmin, to make sure that they can continue to reap the benefits of Title IX that have empowered so many women and girls who’ve come before.
Join me in urging Congress to pass my ‘Protect Women’s Sports Act,’ to make sure that every little girl growing up today, and for generations to come, continues to enjoy the benefits of Title IX that have positively impacted the lives of women and girls for the last 50 years. Aloha.
Author: Ryan Saavedra