Not more than a generation ago, American women were fighting for equal access to athletic programs in schools, something which was secured with the passage of Title IX.
The Equality Act could be poised to change all this.
Today, many American women are fighting against the introduction of transgender athletes into programs reserved for female athletes.
At the center of the controversial inclusion of athletes who were born male competing against women and girls are several everyday college students who never saw themselves getting involved in activism.
The Christian Post recently reported on several women at the center of the fight to preserve biologically female athletics programs who have watched hard-gained opportunities slip away when matched up against male athletes who identify as female.
While the NCAA has aggressively defended the inclusion of biological males in female sports, to the extent of threatening to boycott states that pass legislation protecting women and girls’ sports, critics are concerned the Democrats’ Equality Act, promoted emphatically by President Joe Biden, could federally erase such protections.
Linnea Saltz told CP that she “fell in love” with track in high school and pursued the sport in college. However, in 2019, her coaches at Southern Utah University told her she would be running against an athlete from the University of Montana who had previously competed as a male.
“I immediately read through the NCAA Gender Inclusion Handbook,” she explained. She found that in the handbook, “there wasn’t a lot of regulation, there wasn’t a lot of jurisdiction, there was … a lot of leeway.”
“There was a lot of ambiguity in the sense that it didn’t seem as if there was a real strict protocol in terms of how these kinds of athletes would be able to compete within the NCAA,” Saltz explained.
When she contacted the NCAA itself, she was told in an e-mail that “the rules are as they are and that isn’t going to change.”
“I competed against a biological male, and our relay team lost,” she explained. “During the competition, it was seen that the coach was telling the athlete to slow down during the race as they were winning by a pretty large margin.”
NCAA policy, according to Saltz, allows for athletes who are in transition to take a year off for hormone suppression therapy.
She says that when the athlete has completed this protocol, “they can then come back and compete in the opposite gender category with no … continuous testing, with no marks of certain estrogen or testosterone levels or anything of that nature.”
The NCAA asserts in its handbook that “any strength and endurance advantages a transgender woman arguably may have as a result of her prior testosterone levels dissipate after about one year of estrogen or testosterone-suppression therapy.”
It also reportedly states that, according to medical experts, the “assumption that a transgender woman competing on a women’s team would have a competitive advantage outside the range of performance and competitive advantage or disadvantage that already exists among female athletes is not supported by evidence.”
CP notes that, on the other hand, the British Journal of Sports Medicine found in a study that even a year after a hormone suppression protocol, biologically male athletes still maintain an advantage over their biologically female competitors.
According to their study, born male athletes were also still 12% faster than born female athletes even two years after their hormone treatments.
This has led Saltz to speak out about her story because she wants to protect other female athletes from having “to feel as if they’ve already been beat before they’ve started a race or they’ve been beaten before entering the arena or playing basketball or whatever sport it may be.”
“It doesn’t even have to do just with your sport. It has everything to do with just women fighting … for an equal opportunity and an equal playing field in the NCAA and in the sports world,” she says.
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