On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal‘s Abigail Shrier — author of the book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters — exposed how S. 393, “The Equality Act,” would endanger women and girls. Shrier said most of the transgender Americans she’s interviewed have told her they “do not want to obliterate women’s rights and protective spaces,” but activists push just such a policy in their name.
Testifying before the Senate judiciary committee, Shrier began her remarks by celebrating the fact that “gay and transgender Americans are living today with less fear and stigma than at any point in American history,” which, she said, “makes me very happy.” She said she would support The Equality Act if it only extended employment and public housing rights to gay and transgender Americans, but the bill goes much further.
She argued that “no one who wrote [The Equality Act] appears to have thoughtfully considered what it would mean for women and girls.”
Shrier posed incisive questions that highlighted the Equality Act’s many threats to women and girls.
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“Members of the Committee, if your daughter or granddaughter was the top high school tennis player in her state, and then five biological boys suddenly decided, at the age of 17, to identify as female—should she drop overnight to number 6? Should she lose her college scholarship to a male-bodied athlete who might never have qualified for the boys’ team? Does that strike any member of this Committee as fair or just?” she asked.
“If a woman in your state commits a crime, should she be put in a correctional facility with biological males, some of whom are sex offenders? Some of whom may have only begun identifying as female weeks earlier? ALL of whom could easily overpower her?” she continued.
“If a preschool has a policy that only female teachers may accompany little girls to the bathroom, and your daughter’s male teacher suddenly identifies as female, ought that teacher have a legal entitlement to accompany her? Does that strike anyone in this room as sensible or safe?” Shrier asked.
“Should a female abuse survivor at a domestic violence shelter be forced to sleep and undress next to a biological male?” the author continued.
“The plain truth is that it is not sensible, not safe, and certainly not just, to end these hard-won protections for women and girls in the name of equality,” Shrier argued. She claimed lawmakers seem less concerned about the women and girls who will fall through the cracks and more “concerned about the progressive groups that will call you a ‘transphobe’ or a ‘homophobe’ if you don’t do exactly as they say and abandon women and girls.”
Shrier argued that enshrining “gender identity” as a protected category would make it legally impossible to distinguish between a woman and a biological male who claims a female identity for however long and for whatever reason. She also noted that “gender identity” can be ephemeral. “Even prominent gender therapists attest that people can be on a ‘gender journey’ and identify as one thing one day and another the next.”
“Should we undermine women’s sports and protective spaces to allow gender-fluid males a gender journey?” Shrier asked.
Shrier also noted that after the Washington Correctional Center for Women began housing prisoners according to gender identity, six biological men transferred to the women’s prison, and one of them allegedly raped a female inmate. “If you pass this bill, you can expect hundreds more victims like this one—and that has nothing to do with transgender people and everything to do with opportunistic self-identification by violent male felons,” she warned.
The author explained that she has interviewed many Americans who identify as transgender, “and I can honestly say that, excepting political activists, most do not want to obliterate women’s rights and protective spaces. Most would never think of stealing women’s scholarships, by forcing young women into demoralizing contests with male bodies. But Gender Ideology, which is at the heart of this bill, is misogyny in progressive clothing.”
“Gender Ideology tells women and girls they are not entitled to their fear or their sense of unfairness as their protective spaces are eliminated. They must never object that sports is—and has always been—a matter of biology, not identity. They mustn’t assert that we keep women’s protective spaces for biological women to ensure their physical safety, regardless of how they identify. Because it isn’t our identities that are at risk—it’s our bodily integrity,” Shrier said.
The author warned that if the Senate passes the Equality Act, it won’t be “a civil rights victory.”
“In the name of inclusivity, you’ll have made American life far less safe, less fair, and less inclusive for women and girls,” she concluded.
Watch her important testimony below.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.