Earlier this month, Connecticut track athlete and Alliance Defending Freedom client Alanna Smith went down in the record books.
She became the first female track athlete since 2011 to win the 100, 200, and 400-meter dash events at the State Open, leading her high school team to victory.
“Danbury wins State Open behind Smith's three wins,” declared one newspaper headline.
“I’m so excited and so proud. It really makes me feel like all my practicing and training has really paid off,” Alanna told the reporter. “It’s just that track is everything to me.”
This victory probably feels monumental to Alanna, given that in past years, she’s watched as male athletes have finished ahead of her, and she’s missed out on placements and accolades that should have been hers. That’s why ADF is representing Alanna and three other female athletes in a lawsuit challenging a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) policy that allows male athletes to compete against girls if they identify as female.
And even though we should be applauding these high school girls for taking a public stand, in many instances, that’s not how they’ve been received.
While male athletes identifying as transgender have received glowing news features, Alanna and other female athletes who are fighting for a level playing field have been branded as poor sports. In expert testimony submitted in a similar case out of Idaho, the author even claims that these female athletes are “ego-oriented.”
But it’s certainly not ego that has driven these female athletes to take a stand: it’s fairness, common sense, and biological truth.
Males are generally bigger, faster, and stronger than females. They have larger hearts and lungs, denser bones, and stronger muscles. No amount of testosterone suppression can undo all those advantages. All of that is scientific fact.
This isn’t about ego. This is about fairness. This is about equal opportunities for women. This is about the truth: Men and women are different, and those differences matter.
Unfortunately, it seems the attacks are coming from all sides. Even from the White House.
Last week, the Biden administration essentially rewrote Title IX, claiming to redefine “sex” to include “gender identity.” Title IX was passed to give women and girls equal opportunities in education and athletics. But this move by the Biden administration threatens to erase that progress.
This new policy essentially says that female athletes do not deserve the same opportunity as male athletes to excel and chase their dreams.
Research has shown that girls who play sports are healthier and happier. They achieve better grades and are more likely to graduate. For some athletes, winning sporting events could mean the difference between them attending college on a scholarship and not attending college at all.
Forcing female athletes to compete against males, to line up at the starting line with them, to exert themselves to the breaking point and continuously come up short is demoralizing.
As the saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” How can we expect female athletes to persevere through those conditions?
We have to face the facts: When we ignore biological reality and dismiss the right of these female athletes for fairness in women’s sports as “ego,” we’re ultimately dismissing their futures.
And not one of us should stand for that.
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