Women Deserve Equal Opportunities on the Playing Fieldadmin
(dramatic music) – When Congress passednTitle IX nearly 50 years ago to give women and girlsnequal opportunities in education in sports, it did so with the understanding that men and women are,nyou know, different. Yet as our culture continues down the road of denying biological differencesnbetween men and women, even the basic expectationnof fairness in sports is crumbling around us. My name is Madison Kenyon, and I run track and cross countrynat Idaho State University. Ever since I was very young,nI’ve loved to compete. I spent countless hours innthe gym and on the track, fine tuning my skills, giving it my best to turnnin my top performance every time the starting gun is fired. Like so many other womennwho compete against me, running isn’t just something I do. It’s a platform for opportunity that helps define who I am. In so many ways, my success on the track and the opportunities thatnsuccess has afforded me fulfills the primary goal behind Title IX. That legislation has openednthe door for countless women to develop character andnkey leadership skills, earn college scholarships,nand launch their own careers. It has provided a way fornwomen to be successful and to make their mark on the world. In fact, surveys show that more than 90% of female executives played sports. Pushing through mentalnand physical barriers, running just one more lap when I feel like Incan’t take another step, is a great way to preparenfor a lifetime of success, no matter what I endnup doing with my life. Having successes and failures teaches life lessons ofndedication and perseverance. But in the fall of 2019,nI encountered a challenge that no amount of training could overcome. I learned that a male athletenwould be allowed to compete in the women’s crossncountry and track events for my conference. With an open mind, I competed in my first racenagainst this biological male. I got left in the dust, along with hundreds of other females. From there on, I competed four more timesnagainst this athlete. Each time, I found myself displaced, frustrated, and deflated. Separate teams in sportsnprovides males and females each with opportunities fornfair competition and victory. It ensures that ifnwomen like me work hard, that hard work pays off, andnwe have a shot at winning. To protect a fair playing fieldnfor female athletes like me, Idaho passed the Fairnessnin Women’s Sports Act in March of 2020. The law simply reliesnon what science tells us about the differencesnbetween men and women. It’s there to keep femalenathletes from paying the price of ignoring biological reality. The ink had barely dried before the ACLU rushed to file a lawsuit, asking a judge to strike the law down. If the ACLU has its way, males who identify as females will be allowed to competenin women’s sports in Idaho. This means that biological males, who have physical advantages over similarly gifted and trained females, will take the place of females, pushing us our own podium. I know how frustrating it isnto lose to a male athlete, and to watch them displace a young woman, because I have experienced it. No other woman or girl shouldnhave to go through that. Female athletes deserve a voice. That’s why my teammate,nMary Kate Marshall and I, with the help of AlliancenDefending Freedom intervened to defend Idaho’s law and thenwomen and girls it protects. Female athletes shouldnhave the same opportunity as male athletes to enjoy fair competition and experience the thrill of victory. But allowing males toncompete in women’s sports ignores biologicalnreality, and by doing so, it disadvantages women and destroys our athletic opportunities, ruining the integrity of women’s sports. That’s unfair, and it’snantithetical to Title IX’s goal, which is to guarantee equal opportunities for women and girls in education, including on the playing field. This isn’t happening just in Idaho. In Connecticut, a policy by thenstate’s athletic association has cost female track athletes 15 women’s state championship titles, and over 85 chances to advance to highernlevels of competition. Again, this is biggernthan denied opportunities to compete on a fair playing field. Women and girls are beingndenied chances to make teams, earn scholarships, gain an education, and pave a path to a future job. If the Biden administrationndoes what it’s promising to do, this discriminatory policyncould be imposed nationwide. This isn’t equality,nand it isn’t progress. But thankfully, it’s not thenend of the story, either. Find out more about ourncase and what you can do at www.adflegal.org/standforfreedom.