Riley Gaines called a legislator a “misogynist” at a House Committee Hearing Wednesday, after the woman accused Gaines of “transphobic bigotry.”
Gaines courageously pushed back, and she was absolutely right to do so, as we’ll explain.
The hearing, “The Importance of Protecting Female Athletics and Title IX,” targeted the Department of Education’s proposed redefinition of “sex” in Title IX, the landmark 1972 act banning discrimination on the basis of sex in education.
When Title IX was passed, of course, “sex” meant being male or female.
But the DOE wants to erase those very real categories, suggesting “sex” must now include: “sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” Federal funds would be withheld from schools that don’t adopt transgender policies.
Representative Summer Lee, who supports “transgender females” – men who live as women – participating in women’s sports, began her opening statement by saying:
It is disappointing to me that although the title of this hearing implies a much-needed discussion, we’re likely going to be forced to listen to transphobic bigotry.
If my testimony makes me transphobic, then I believe your opening statement makes you a misogynist.
The incident led to an interruption of the proceedings when the representative asked for the words to be “taken down” (stricken from the hearing record) because Gaines was “engaging in personalities” (maligning the personal motives or integrity of a Member of Congress).
The point of order was withdrawn, so Gaines’ remarks remain in the hearing record.
Gaines testified as a 12-time All American swimmer for the University of Kentucky and an ambassador for Independent Women’s Voice. She was joined by Kim Russell, representing Independent Women’s Forum, and Sarah Parshall Perry, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.
Each spoke eloquently about the harms – to themselves and to other girls and women –of allowing men to compete against women. They talked about the positive impact of Title IX for girls and women, gave examples of female athletes injured by more powerful male athletes, and discussed studies that demonstrate physical and athletic differences between males and females.
Fatima Goss Graves testified in favor of the DOE proposed change, claiming that transgender women and girls “are women and girls” and that preserving women’s sports was “anti-trans.”
Oh, except for old media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC and CBS, where the Daily Citizen could find nothing about this important Title IX hearing.
Here are three reasons Gaines was right to push back against being called “transphobic” and why transgender ideology is misogynistic.
1. The left has been hurling slurs and epithets like “racist,” “homophobe,” “bigot,” “intolerant” and “transphobe” for years – decades even. These sloganeering, ad hominem attacks must be called out and stood up to.
“Transphobia” – if it were a real thing – would literally mean an irrational, debilitating fear of “transgender” individuals. The term was invented sometime in the early 1990s – and wasn’t created to describe a real psychological “phobia” or anxiety disorder of any sort.
It was invented to smear individuals who believe transgender ideology is false and extremely harmful.
We who oppose transgender ideology don’t have an irrational fear of people who believe they are the opposite sex. We have compassion and grace for them. Many of us love individuals caught in this lie and pray for them to be set free.
Name-calling shuts down real dialogue. It’s a strategy used by bullies who have no valid, rational argument. For too long, conservatives and Christians – under the guise of being “nice” – have not challenged these attacks.
Gaines laid out reasonable arguments for supporting Title IX’s original purpose and the value of sex-segregated sports. Then, without losing her cool, she stood up to the legislator. In doing so, she defused the term “transphobic” and pointed out the representative’s name-calling.
2. Transgenderism really is misogynistic.
Transgender activists and their allies claim, “Trans women are women.” But saying a man can become a woman erases any real distinction between the sexes, making both “male and female” essentially meaningless. This false belief erases the reality of womanhood.
Gender ideology says drugs, hormones and surgery can turn a man into a woman. But every cell of a “transgender female’s” body is still marked by male XY chromosomes: It will never function like a real woman’s body.
Transgender activists and their allies think men – drugged and surgically modified to look like women – should be able to invade women’s schools, sports, restrooms and locker rooms, robbing them of prizes, privacy and safety; female camaraderie and companionship; and pride in their accomplishments and God-given femininity.
Gaines explained that she and other women athletes were forced “to share a locker room and change in front of this 6’4”, fully intact, naked male. … we were not forewarned. We were not asked for our consent. And we did not give our consent to this exposure and exploitation.”
Women have their legitimate complaints ignored, swept under the rug. Worse, they get called names when they object.
All this shows deep contempt and hatred for women. In other words, misogyny.
3. Transgenderism is based on lies. Gaines and the other women who testified went above and beyond name-calling to speak the truth.
Gender ideology is based on the lie that men can turn into women. It promotes many falsehoods, including: A person’s “gender” is somehow distinct from their physical sex; there are a multitude of “genders”; males who “transition” have no advantage over female athletes; and it’s safe to allow transgender-identified men into women’s sports.
Gaines presented real evidence as she testified:
Studies consistently show male bodies have about a 10% athletic advantage over female bodies. This gap is evident in almost every sport and at every level of competition.
She gave examples of sports injuries suffered by female athletes from men playing on a woman’s team:
In September of last year, North Carolina high school volleyball player Payton McNabb suffered serious injury after a trans-identified male player spiked a ball at her head, estimated to be at approximately 76 miles per hour. Payton experienced trauma to her head and neck and long-term concussion symptoms.
Finally, she stated:
Let me be perfectly clear: a school that knowingly allows a male athlete to take a spot on a women’s team, or allows a male athlete to take the field in a woman’s game, is denying a female student an athletic opportunity. That is sex discrimination, and it violates Title IX – regardless of what new regulations might say.
It is not kind or loving to stay silent while children and teens are taught false ideology and mutilated with drugs, hormones and surgeries. Christians can’t stay silent while men who identify as female are allowed into girls and women’s showers, restrooms and locker rooms. We should all protest when women are physically harmed by more powerful male athletes.
Kudos to Riley Gaines for calmly and unflinchingly speaking out with courage and truth.
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Image from Getty.