by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Should males who identify as female be permitted to compete in women’s sports? The Biden administration says yes — but not always.
On April 6, the Department of Education released its much-anticipated draft rule on transgenderism in sports. The new rule would prevent educational facilities in receipt of federal funds from applying “one size fits all policies that categorically ban transgender students from participating in athletics consistent with their gender identity across all sports, age groups, and levels of competition.” Still, the department explains, “sex-related criteria that limit participation of some transgender students may be permitted, in some cases, when they enable the school to achieve an important educational objective,” such as “fairness in competition” or “preventing sports-related injury.”
As was predictable, the concession that sex-related characteristics may at least sometimes be relevant infuriated transgender radicals. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the rule “indefensible and embarrassing.” Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, demanded a clarification “to ensure that all transgender students should be presumed eligible to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity.”
By talking out of both sides of its mouth, the department undermines the logic of transgenderism. If sex-related criteria are relevant in some cases, why not others? Surely permitting any male to compete against females undermines not only the “important” but indeed the foundational educational objective of Title IX — equal opportunity in education, including sports, for women and girls.
The problem with male inclusion in female athletics is not reserved to the most egregious cases. For every male allowed to qualify in the women’s category, a female is unfairly disqualified. … For every male included in a females’ scholarship program, a deserving female athlete is excluded. Then there is the issue of locker rooms, where female privacy is compromised by the presence of a male.
It is frankly insulting to suggest that male mediocrity is equivalent to female athletic excellence.