Beth Ann Rosica: A feminist victory — men gain rights to the ladies room

I am an old-school feminist who believes in and supports equal political, economic, and social rights for women. Title IX was enacted in 1972 when I was five years old, and it opened a world of opportunities for me.

Today, the Biden administration is redefining what “sex” means and taking away the protections that women worked so hard to earn.

The words of Title IX preclude discrimination “on the basis of sex.” In 1972, no one questioned what sex meant. Biologically, there are two sexes — men and women — and Title IX was implemented to safeguard biological women.

The fact that the current administration is expanding the definition of sex to include “sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, and gender identity” is the antithesis of the intent of the original regulation. 

And let me be clear, lest I am once again labeled homophobic and transphobic (which I am not) I believe that every child and adult has the right to be free from discrimination — which is why the expansion of the definition of sex is problematic. 

Simply stated, Title IX is being hijacked to discriminate against women. Women are born with XX chromosomes. We have distinct body attributes, including the ability to carry a baby and give birth. We endure no end of physical discomfort on a monthly basis, not to mention a barrage of other issues related to pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Title IX was enacted to give us equal rights as men, who are born with XY chromosomes and also have distinct body characteristics. Virtually every human on the planet is either a biological woman or man, acknowledging the very small number of people born with a chromosomal abnormality.

The bottom line is that sex is biological, not a social construct. Gender identity and sexual orientation are preferences or choices, and while they should absolutely be acknowledged and treated respectfully, they are not the same as being a biological woman regardless of what the Biden administration claims.

If you don’t believe this, ask a fourteen-year-old boy when he last had to worry about swimming in the middle of his menstrual cycle.

Title IX as originally enacted gave women and girls equal protection under the law in schools and activities that receive federal funds.

However, that is all about to change on August 1, 2024, based on the US Department of Education’s “reimagined” regulations that were published as draft on April 29, 2024. 

The Department is attempting to spin the changes in a positive way. In a press release, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said, “these final regulations build on the legacy of Title IX by clarifying that all our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights.”

Based on my reading of the new rules, this is a complete mischaracterization as they are the polar opposite of safe, welcoming, and respectful for women and girls. 

While there are too many problems with the regulations to enumerate here, I will review the most egregious. 

As a result of these changes, biological boys who identify as girls must be treated as girls and receive the same protections as girls.

Under the new regulation, if a middle school biological boy — a student who has a penis — decides on a given day that “he” is now a “she,” “she” and her penis must be allowed to use the girls bathroom in any public school or education institution that receives federal funding. This biological boy can change his or her (depending on the day) mind about their gender on a regular basis. Additionally, the school does not need to notify the boy’s parents about these changes.

Furthermore, if other students complain about seeing a penis in the girls’ bathroom, they can be investigated for “sex-based harassment.” Students and teachers may also be subject to investigations for either intentionally or unintentionally referring to someone by the wrong pronoun.

So stop to consider this for a moment. A teenage boy on any given day is allowed to use a girls’ restroom in a public school, and if a girl complains, then she may be subject to disciplinary action.

Basically, the new rules allow men and boys in women and girl’s spaces, trample free speech rights, and take away parental rights. There are also a myriad of issues for colleges and their students regarding investigations into complaints of sexual discrimination.

On August 1, schools and universities across the country are going to have a very difficult time pushing back on these new regulations. States and schools will struggle to override the federal mandate as they will risk losing federal funding.

There are already multiple lawsuits against the Department of Education filed by a number of states and private agencies. The issue may ultimately be decided by the US Supreme Court.

Currently these rules do not apply to collegiate and high school sports, but the Department announced last year that new regulations would be forthcoming.

The revised Title IX regulations irrevocably harm today’s women and girls and invalidate the hard work of women who fought for equal protection under the law. 

Missy Park, the founder and president of Title Nine, a clothing company for women benefited greatly from the original regulation. “I am deeply grateful for all the opportunities that Title IX has afforded me, my generation and all subsequent generations: high school and college sports for girls and women, but more importantly access to professional and advanced degrees. It is the latter that has opened the corridors of power for women. And those corridors have been forever changed by our presence.”

Women, mothers, and girls should be outraged about this complete reversal on women’s rights. All feminists should be speaking out without fear of reprisal or being canceled to save our girls, keep them physically and emotionally safe, and safeguard the opportunities that we had as a result of the original Title IX.

Women have accomplished so much since 1972. Is that all to end in 2024?

Beth Ann Rosica resides in West Chester, has a Ph.D. in Education, and has dedicated her career to advocating on behalf of at-risk children and families. She covers education issues for Broad + Liberty. Contact her at barosica@broadandliberty.com.

5 thoughts on “Beth Ann Rosica: A feminist victory — men gain rights to the ladies room”

  1. This statement is so true: “Virtually every human on the planet is either a biological woman or man, acknowledging the very small number of people born with a chromosomal abnormality.”

  2. This is just one more step down the road of despotism. Control society’s morals and you control its actions. The actions one sees from the current “woke” politicians are not meant to protect the rights of any particular group but rather to take them away so that such rights can be granted or withheld as the policy agendas dictate. It is clear that the messing with Title IX is an attack on women, their dignity and their morality and. in some cases, their safety. Why parents are not rioting in the street over what is being done to their daughters is a puzzle to me. The more events unfold, the more it looks as if the dystopian view of 1950’s SiFi novels are true. Just rent a video of Fahrenheit 451 and see for yourself.

  3. Ms. Rosica claims she is not homophobic or transphobic, yet she is, by engaging in tropes that are. She refers to Transgeder boys as penises; “if other students complain about seeing a penis in the girls’ bathroom,” Ms. Rosica does not refer to transgender girls as vagina’s, let alone mention them, just “penises”.

    Ms. Rosica claims that boys will change genders on a day to day basis like turning a light on and off; “if a middle school biological boy — a student who has a penis — decides on a given day that “he” is now a “she,” “she” and her penis must be allowed to use the girls bathroom in any public school or education institution that receives federal funding.” This is not something that someone who is transgender does.

    Ms. Rosica states; “Additionally, the school does not need to notify the boy’s parents about these changes.” Schools do not notify parents if their underage children are having sex and until they do so they don’t need to inform parents about gender identity or sexual orientation.

  4. Yawn. More predictable culture war hysterics from the far right. Apparently they’re more worried about non-existent assaults by trans people than they are about actual sexual assaults that juries have found their presidential candidate liable for in a court of law. Of course, whenever this trans panic stuff is brought up, the right *never* mentions any of the actual studies into whether these policies lead to the stuff they’re scaring us about (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13178-018-0335-z) Go ahead, attack the source instead of the content. I’m used to ad hominem attacks being the fallback of the radical right. That was clearly their only response to this other study with similar results: (https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/no-link-between-trans-inclusive-policies-bathroom-safety-study-finds-n911106) – “As for the Williams Institute study, Yvette Ollada, a consultant for Keep MA Safe, called it ‘totally biased.'” Seriously. They’re not even trying to point out flaws with studies anymore. All they do is screech “iT’s BiAsEd” and then end the conversation. At this point it’s probably “biased” to say that 2+2=4.

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