SEN. TAYLOR: Seemingly strong arguments from Dems on protecting women’s sports bill have a ‘weak, false foundation’

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Remarks from Sen. Jeff Taylor on the Protect Women’s Sports bill:

I want to thank the Governor for supporting this bill and Senate leadership for bringing it to the floor for open debate and voting.

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Like a house, an argument is only as good as its foundation.  We have heard, in opposition to the bill, appeals to emotion, calls for justice, and references to playing politics.  But underneath these seemingly strong arguments is a weak and false foundation.  The foundational argument against the bill is that “trans girls are girls” and “trans women are women.”  However, this argument is not true.  Trans girls are boys, not girls.  Trans women are men, not women.

No matter how many times we hear, “2 + 2 = 5,” 2 + 2 does not equal 5 and will never equal 5.  This is a reference to George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four.  The thought of the main character, Winston Smith, is described early in the story:

“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.  It was their final, most essential command.  His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him . . . Truisms are true, hold on to that!  The solid world exists, its laws do not change.  Stones are hard, water is wet . . . He wrote, ‘Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four.’” <p. 69 – part One, chapter 7>

Toward the end of the book, a party leader, O’Brien, is speaking to Winston.  He says, “You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. . . . But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external.  Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.” <p. 205 – part Three, chapter 2>  When O’Brien holds up four fingers, he insists that Winston ignore his own eyes and say that he’s holding up five . . . because the party says so. <pp. 206-08 – part Three, chapter 2>

This bill is not about hatred or discrimination.  It is about keeping ourselves in alignment with reality.  It is about protecting the integrity of female sports in the state of Iowa.  It simply says, in regard to a non-coed team context, girls should be competing against other girls in K-12 athletics and women should be competing against other women in college athletics.  A decade or two ago, I’m willing to bet that every person in this chamber would have voted for such a bill.  It would not have been controversial.  It would have been common sense.  So what’s changed?  “T” for transgender was grafted onto the LGB gay rights movement and it gradually gained traction.  Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner in 2015.  Gender identity disorder was politicized and the resulting cause was eventually embraced by one of the two major political parties.  The corporate media and big business in general climbed on the bandwagon, as has the educational establishment.

There are many contradictions when it comes to wokeness.  Body shaming is harmful yet being born into the wrong body is a concept we’re encouraged to believe.  Cultural appropriation is wrong yet gender appropriation is good.  The most principled and consistent feminists oppose the transgender movement for good reason.  It represents a systematic erasure of women—the language used to describe them, the unique experiences only they can have, and the rights for which they have fought so hard through the years in the face of sexism and discrimination.  Some of the most eloquent critics of transgender ideology are lesbian women.  They are derided as TERFs: trans-exclusionary radical feminists.  < e.g., The Abolition of Sex: How the “Transgender” Agenda Harms Women and Girls by Kara Dansky >

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, is not a TERF but she understands what is it stake.  Rowling writes, “ . . . ‘Woman’ is not a costume.  ‘Woman’ is not an idea in a man’s head.  ‘Woman’ is not a pink brain, a liking for Jimmy Choos or any of the other sexist ideas now somehow touted as progressive.  Moreover, the ‘inclusive’ language that calls female people ‘menstruators’ and ‘people with vulvas’ strikes many women as dehumanising and demeaning.”

The words sex and gender have always been synonyms when referring to male and female.  As sexually explicit images and language became more widespread in American culture, during the late 20th century, gender became a more common word in reference to someone’s sex.

The very word gender comes from the Latin for beginning or birth.  It’s there from the start.  No one is born with a gender identity that differs from his or her body.  The English word gender comes from the same Latin word that also gives us the English words genital and gene.  Our genitals are the most obvious sign of whether we are male or female.  Gender is not “assigned” at birth.  It is observed, recognized, and acknowledged by medical staff and the baby’s parents.  It is obvious in 99.9% of babies.  Even if the appearance of our genitals are changed through gender reassignment surgery, there are all kinds of secondary sex characteristics that reveal whether we are male or female.  Moreover, our gender is “baked into” our DNA.  Our gender is revealed in our genes.  Every cell in our body identifies us as either male or female.  This can never be changed.  It’s basic biology.  So, the way we think, the name we use, the clothing we wear, the sound of our voice, and the look of our body may all change but we remain what we were at conception and birth: either male or female.  It’s unchangeable.  That’s truth.  That’s reality.

But politicized medical science now says that none of that matters.  It’s how a person feels inside that counts.  So, just like in Orwell’s book, the language of our culture has been changed to reflect the party line.  What used to be “sex change operation” became “gender reassignment surgery” and is now “gender confirmation surgery.”

We have been told that this bill violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which provides for sex equality in education.  There is no violation.  Here is what Title IX says: “No person in the United States shall, based on sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

There’s nothing about transgenderism in the law.  The word “gender” is not even used.  Title IX lists exceptions for things like fraternities and sororities, YMCA and YWCA, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Boys State and Girls State . . . groups that are based on dichotomous biological sex of male or female.  We know what the intent and meaning of Title IX is, despite the Biden Administration’s reinterpretation to include gender identity.  This is a clear case of erasing the rights of girls and women for the sake of trendy politics.  It’s a sad irony that Title IX is now being weaponized against the very people it was created to protect.

Part of the transgender confusion we see today comes from overly narrow and rigid gender stereotypes in our society.  Ironically, these stereotypes are often embraced and perpetuated by conservative Christians who denounce transgenderism.  Just as ironically, supporters of transgender ideology are inadvertently promoting regressive Victorian Era stereotypes of what it means to be a boy and a girl.  Are you a boy who doesn’t enjoy football, who is sensitive, who enjoys cooking, who appreciates beauty and art?  Well, you’re probably not a boy at all.  You’re a girl.  Are you a girl who doesn’t enjoy dresses, who is strong, who enjoys sports, who isn’t afraid to speak her mind?  Well, you’re probably not a girl at all.  You’re a boy.  If you don’t fit comfortably into one of the traditional camps of cultural stereotypes—created not by God or nature, but by man-made society—you will be encouraged to identify yourself as “transgender.”  It’s reductionistic and backward.  Every thoughtful and fair-minded person ought to reject such a simple-minded approach.

In closing, I want to state very clearly that kids and young adults who identify as transgender are worthy of respect, understanding, justice, and protection.  We know that they are valuable members of our communities, of our schools, and of our families.

They have the right to be protected against bullying.  Bullying is an age-old problem but it’s wrong in every way, and school administrators and conscientious classmates should do all they can to prevent it.  It makes it even worse when young people who are alienated from their own bodies and frustrated with culturally-constructed gender norms are bullied.  Perhaps even more than the average student, they need empathy and support—in a loving and truthful way.

At the same time, there are many other kids and young adults—girls and women—who are equally valuable.  They, too, have rights and deserve protection.  These rights and this protection include an honest application of Title IX, the integrity of female sports, and fairness during competition.

For these reasons, I support HF 2416 and I urge my colleagues to vote for the bill.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Author: Jacob Hall

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