FMR. COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: Biden’s proposed changes to Title IX will harm women
Professor Rob Jenkins has seen the benefits of Title IX firsthand as a former collegiate athletic director and basketball coach.
Rob Jenkins is a Higher Education Fellow with Campus Reform and a tenured associate professor of English at Georgia State University - Perimeter College. In a career spanning more than three decades at five different institutions, he has served as a head men’s basketball coach, an athletic director, a department chair, and an academic dean, as well as a faculty member.
The dirty little secret of transgender ideology is that it is inherently misogynistic.
“Transgenderism” is basically the belief that men are better than women at everything, including being women.
Not content with merely declaring “trans-women” (men) “actual women,” trans activists and their allies in government, education, and media regularly insist that “trans-women” make the very best women.
Witness Caitlin (nee’ Bruce) Jenner’s selection by Glamour magazine as their 2015 Woman of the Year. More recently, Assistant Secretary for Health and Human services Rachel Levine, also a dude, was named one of USA Today’s 2022 Women of the Year, while University of Pennsylvania male swimmer Lia Thomas was nominated by his institution for the NCAA’s version of that award.
Thankfully, Thomas didn’t win. But the fact that he was even nominated despite not being a woman highlights the insanity and danger of the “transgender” movement.
That some females also claim to be males may be just as big an issue, metaphysically speaking. Truth is truth and lies always imperil freedom no matter who tells them.
But as a practical matter, “trans-men” (women) pose no real threat to actual men. They’re not endangering men by invading their private spaces, nor are they likely to dominate men’s sports or take roster spots from male athletes.
The same is not true in reverse. The transgender agenda represents a very real threat to women’s health, safety, and equality—one that may soon be codified into federal law via the Biden administration’s proposed changes to Title IX, which since 1972 has protected women’s educational opportunities.
As a former college coach and athletic director, I have seen the benefits of that law firsthand.
According to the U.S. Department of Education website, the administration intends to rewrite Title IX so that it explicitly prohibits discrimination based not just on sex, as it was originally designed to do, but also on “sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics.”
In other words, if the ‘Bidenites’ get their way, Title IX will ensure that men on college campuses can play on women’s sports teams, invade their locker rooms and lavatories, and share their dorm rooms.
Instead of protecting women and guaranteeing them equal access, the law will now place women at risk while denying them opportunities.
Excuse me if I take this personally. Title IX is one federal program I have long supported and with which I have a fair amount of personal experience.
In the early 1990s, I took a job as athletic director at a small college in the rural South. At the time, the institution had only men’s sports. But working with the administration and community, I was able to rectify that situation within a few years, creating an equal number of women’s programs.
I embraced the task with enthusiasm not only because it was the law, but also because I believe deeply that girls and women have just as much right as boys and men to participate in athletics.
If that conviction was strengthened at the time by the fact that I had a sports-minded daughter, it has now been reinforced five-fold. Today I am the proud grandfather of five little girls, all of whom show early signs of athletic ability.
My family is one of the reasons why I’m grateful for Title IX, which has enabled three generations of young women to enjoy a wide variety of sports, compete at a high level, and potentially earn college scholarships.
Unfortunately, the gains generated by Title IX are now being sacrificed on the altar of transgenderism, as evidenced by the administration’s substantive rewrite of the law.
Allowing men to compete on women’s teams will decrease the number of roster spots for women, providing them fewer opportunities to compete and excel. It may also put females in physical danger.
That is already happening all over the country—indeed, throughout the world.
Besides the much-publicized Lia Thomas situation, we’ve also seen stories of males dominating female track and field events, weightlifting contests, rugby matches, even an MMA bout. That means women who trained hard for years to compete and win against other women were denied their spot on the stand—or even in the contest itself. Some ended up in the hospital.
Transgender activists argue that men who identify as women actually are women. But they’re not. In sports, biology matters.
Others insist that males have no inherent physical advantage over females. I’m sorry, but anyone who believes that is either seriously delusional or has never played sports (or both).
Women can indeed be excellent athletes, within their own sphere. But they cannot consistently compete against men—nor should they have to.
Unfortunately, although sports tend to generate headlines, the damage will not be confined to athletics. The proposed changes to Title IX will affect every aspect of campus life.
Take, for example, scholarships designed to recruit more women into STEM fields. Whatever you think of such programs—I would prefer scholarships based on merit rather than sex—they are doomed to fail if we cannot answer the simple question posed most famously by The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh: What is a woman?
Otherwise, according to the revised Title IX guidelines, any man on campus can qualify for one of those scholarships simply by claiming to be a woman.
That it hasn’t happened yet (that I’m aware of) is no guarantee it won’t. Indeed, that outcome is inevitable since nothing in the proposed revisions prevents it. And it will probably then keep happening, just as we’ve seen with men competing in women’s sports.
At that point, women on college campuses will no longer have anything they can call their own—no program, no team, no bathroom, no scholarship. Men—despite making up a minority of college students—will be fully in control, able to shunt women aside whenever it’s convenient.
That’s the very definition of “misogynistic.”
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Editorials and op-eds reflect the opinion of the authors and not necessarily that of Campus Reform or the Leadership Institute.