Apr. 07, 2021

By Martina White
170th District

For decades women fought for the passage of Title IX, which made tremendous strides in leveling the playing field to give women the opportunity to play sports and receive funding to support women’s athletics.

But President Joe Biden’s recent executive order to mandate schools allow biological men to compete against biological girls puts female athletes at a physical disadvantage and risks their safety.

Science and common sense tell us that males are generally bigger, faster and stronger than females. They have larger hearts and lungs, denser bones, stronger muscles and generate more force in athletics. These are all advantages that cannot be undone.

Imagine the loss a young girl would experience if she missed a roster spot on her high school soccer team to a biological male. She loses more than an opportunity to compete on a level playing field. She loses potential friendships and life lessons that come from being part of a team.

Worse, imagine a talented high school freshman who makes her varsity softball team as a catcher. With the president’s executive order, she could find herself standing at home plate ready to tag a runner who is a much bigger and faster biological male. A collision like this in softball does happen and the injuries the young girl suffers could be life-changing.

These are just a few of the reasons why we must ensure only biological females are competing in the female category. Having separate teams for men and women is the time-tested way to ensure women have the opportunity to showcase their talents and be champions.

That is why I, along with four of my colleagues, introduced the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which would ensure all female athletes have a level playing field to compete and win.

Under the law we are proposing, a student who is deprived of an athletic opportunity or who suffers direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation of this act by a college or public school would be able to bring a cause of action for injunctive relief, psychological and physical damage, and the costs involved in filing the lawsuit against the college or high school.

Even prominent members of the LGBTQ community like Martina Navratilova have advocated for this position as a matter of fairness. Yet, Gov. Tom Wolf stated he would veto the legislation.

I’m very disappointed President Biden and Gov. Wolf have chosen not to protect women and have dismissed women’s legitimate concerns after nearly 50 years of progress made on the field.

But we will push forward and stand up for young girls, so they have the opportunities that women fought for and were promised to them by Congress under Title IX.

Representative Martina White
170th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster