‘This Is an Emergency,’ Feminist Says About Future of Women’s Sports

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On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed a divisive executive order that could ultimately lead to the end of women’s sports as we know them. 

The “Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation” says, “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”

The order gives biological males who identify as women a pathway to compete in female sports and enter women’s-only spaces, such as bathrooms. 

Natasha Chart, the executive director of Women’s Liberation Front, joins “Problematic Women” to explain the implications of Biden’s executive action and why we now face an emergency in the battle to protect women’s athletic opportunities from men. 

Also on today’s show, we tell you everything you need to know about the 48th annual March for Life. Plus, we share a sneak peak of a new Heritage Foundation video that highlights all the strong conservative women serving in positions of power across America right now. And as always, we’ll be crowning our Problematic Woman of the Week!

Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript.

Lauren Evans: Welcome back. We are excited to welcome Natasha Chart, the executive director of the Women’s Liberation Front, also referred to as WoLF. Natasha, welcome back to the show.

Natasha Chart: Hi there, thanks for having me back.

Evans: So, you were last with us … October of 2019. The world is very different now, but one thing is the same, and it’s good to have you back. Can you begin [by] sharing a little bit about your organization and your mission?

Chart: Sure. Women’s Liberation Front is a radical feminist organization, and we are dedicated to supporting the basic rights of all women and girls, and we formed largely in order to fight against the legal eraser of women in policy and statute.

One of our first actions was to oppose the Obama administration’s “Dear Colleague” letter that would have imposed a gender identity standard on all federally funded Title IX institutions.

Virginia Allen: You all have really dove in headfirst into these issues. You’re tackling a lot of these bills and laws that come up that do remove sort of these women’s-only spaces from society.

So let’s talk about [President Joe]Biden’s executive order that he just signed. It’s called Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.

I want to point out that this order, it sounds really nice. I mean, the first sentence begins, “Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love.” Great, OK. We can all get behind that. The second sentence—

Chart: It’s a great statement.

Allen: Yeah, right. It sounds nice. But for me, the second sentence is where the bells start going off because that reads, “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to restrooms, the locker room, or school sports.” So that’s a little troublesome.

Natasha, can you go ahead and just kind of break down what exactly is actually being said in this executive order?

Chart: Right. And as you say, that first statement sounds great. We want everybody to be treated with respect and dignity.

And then when you get onto this second sentence, of course we want all young people to be able to use appropriate facilities at school. We want young people with aptitude to be able to develop their athletic talents.

The problem is that the way that gender identity is interpreted in these laws—and the Biden executive order makes that very clear with their invocation of the Bostock decision.

They ruled essentially that they recognized that Aimee Stephens—it’s now called the Bostock decision because of one of the other plaintiffs, but Aimee Stephens was a trans-identified male who wanted to show up at work at the funeral home where he worked at.

He wanted to identify as a woman, and that meant that he wanted to follow the women’s policies for dress code and facilities access. And his employer was not comfortable with that and fired him, and he sued.

The Supreme Court decided that this was discrimination because Stephens was male, but wanted to identify as a female, and so he should have been treated like other female employees.

So they weren’t saying that it was wrong not to let him dress like a woman because it was wrong to have different dress codes for men and women.

But on the basis of some undefined transgender status was the term that they used, Stephens had the right to say that everybody else, even though they knew he was male, even though the Supreme Court and all the court documents, every filing at every level of what became that Supreme Court case recognized that Stephens was male, but said that he had the right to be treated like a woman on his say so.

So if you claim this special transgender status, if you say you have a gender identity, what they’re saying is that you then have the right, not to the rights and spaces for other people of your own sex, but for the right of the sex that you claim you are, even though everybody knows that you aren’t.

Allen: So then how does this new order from Biden, this executive order, kind of keeping that Supreme Court case in mind, how does this order kind of take that ruling and now push it into things like women’s sports, girls’ locker rooms? What’s the implication specifically for schools and young people?

Chart: Right. Well, there aren’t any schools that we’ve ever heard of that tell children, “Well, because you say that you have a gender identity, you can’t use the bathroom at school. You can’t play sports at school.” No one, as far as we know, is being told that.

What they’re saying is, “You say that you have a gender identity as a girl, but you’re a boy. You have to use the boys’ facilities. If you want to play, you have to play on the boys’ team.”

What this order does is it says they have to be allowed to choose based on gender identity. That’s how the Bostock reasoning is going to be applied to this. That’s how other observers like at the [American Civil Liberties Union], basically everybody, expects it to be applied.

And they call it a ban, but it’s just not a ban. None of these boys who identify as girls were ever banned from competing with other boys. None of these girls who identify as boys were banned from competing with the other girls. They were not forbidden. They had to follow the same rules as everybody else.

Now they’re saying, “Well, … where sex matters in terms of facilities access, or sports access, you get to pick the sex that everybody else treats you as, and that everybody else has to call you and acknowledge.”

Evans: So on top of my role hosting the podcast, I’m also a video producer here at The Daily Signal, and one of the most popular documentaries we’ve ever put together … was done by a former colleague and friend, Kelsey Bolar, and it’s on Selina Soule’s story.

She’s a track athlete from Connecticut who was very successful, but then boys who identified as women came into her sport and knocked her down a couple of places. And that’s huge for her when it comes to finding college scholarships. I mean, is this just one case, or is this more widespread throughout the country?

Chart: Well, this hasn’t been going on for very long, so the number of people taking advantage of it is somewhat low at present. But I think these two boys claiming to be girls in Connecticut high school athletics took a collective, I think it was 15 trophies, 15 podium spots from girls in various competitions.

Because if you look at the overall statistics, and you don’t need to have any kind of fancy math knowledge for it, there are hundreds of men and boys every year, every year, who easily out-compete the women’s all-time track stars. The performance difference is that vast.

They don’t have to be world-class male athletes to out-compete women in something like track, especially, or to be able to … was it one of the Australian rugby players? I think they were talking about how he folded a woman like a deck chair. …

The World Rugby association has ruled just on the basis of safety that it cannot allow trans-identified male athletes to compete with women, because it’s too much of a risk to the women’s safety, even just in terms of neck injuries.

Just on that basis alone, they’re saying, “Having fairly evaluated the evidence, we can’t get past this concern for athletes’ safety.”

One girl with a permanent neck injury, is that enough? One girl who loses a college scholarship? I mean, how many?

The question when you talk about how many is like, how many girls have to get hurt, have to lose out, have to be alarmed that they’re having to, say, change for swim team and there’s boys in their locker room, and they can’t do anything about it?

How many girls and women have to suffer before someone cares? I mean, put a number on that. It sounds like a horrible exercise, and it is.

Allen: Yeah, that’s a sobering question, because I think that is the question, Natasha, is at what point are government leaders going to wake up and realize, “Oh, wait a second, logic was thrown out the window. Let’s get that back in here”?

Chart: Well, I mean, all of the staffers, I’m willing to bet, have probably not talked to anyone for about four or five years who was not afraid of having a Twitter mob riled up against them online for questioning any aspect of this.

The whole left side of politics in the U.S., such as it is, … they’re in an information bubble on this. You cannot talk about it. You will be called the absolute worst names, the most extreme things. You’ll be blacklisted.

Allen: So, Natasha, how far-reaching is this executive order? I mean, now can any student at any high school across the country say, “Hey, I’m transgender, and now I want to compete on the women’s sports teams”? Or, “Now I want to shower in the women’s locker room?” I mean, do all schools have to abide by this now?

Chart: Well, if someone wants to have a fight with the [Justice Department], I guess they can say whatever they want.

But the executive order was written very cleverly in that it only directly impacts the federal workforce, who, of course, can’t really complain about their boss all that much, but then it directs all the agencies to apply this reasoning to all of their policies and all of their decisions.

And so there’s dozens of federal agencies. They’re going to have to do a policy review on all of this, and it’s possible that they could even come back and say, “Oh, our policies are fine. We don’t have to do anything.” But realistically, what’s almost certain to happen is that they’re going to go through and make policies like this, where gender identity can override sex, a condition of federal funding.

So all over the country, men are allowed to identify into staying at women’s shelters, what are supposed to be single-sex homeless shelters or domestic violence shelters, or other kinds of crisis services for women. … I mean, these places aren’t rolling in the dough. Often it’s communal living spaces, shared restroom facilities, rooms that have racks of bunks in them.

The Obama administration got that in place—not with a law, they didn’t need a law. They just had to say that federal funding was conditional on adopting a gender identity inclusion policy, which meant you have to take someone’s word about their gender identity.

And there’s no objective standard for this. It’s purely a claim of self-identification. You have to take someone at their word, or you can be liable for a civil rights action.

So any school district who wants to go against this standard applied to student facilities use or student athletic participation is going to have to think about whether they want to spend the next several years fighting with the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office.

And that’s an expensive proposition that, honestly, most school districts, most people—who wants to fight with the DOJ? Nobody wants that. So it does a lot without explicitly saying, “You must do X, Y, Z.”

Evans: So, this was a Day One policy for now-President Joe Biden. I mean, what is the damage that this could do if it’s not rescinded over the next four years?

Chart: Most of the brunt of it is going to be borne by women, and it’s exactly the same kind of harassment and loss of opportunity that women have generally faced with very little pushback. So I don’t know. …

Like I referenced, there was a specific young woman who had to change for swim team several times a day in the gym, and there was a trans-identified male student who fought the school board and got them to have a gender identity inclusion policy.

The ACLU helped, of course, and he was very excited that he was going to be validated in his gender identity. And this girl is talking on the news in tears, talking about how often she has to change, and she doesn’t want to change in front of a boy.

So that’s already happened. So we can assume that that is going to happen at a whole bunch of schools all across the country, who knows how many.

And we’re never going to know the scope of it because under these policies, if that girl complains, it’s not reported as a problem for her. She is reported as the problem. She is violating somebody else’s civil rights to use their lawful facilities.

So we are not ever going to know, I think, how many young girls, young women are going to be upset by these policies, are going to feel like they can’t change without a boy watching them, are going to feel like they can’t change without having to watch a boy get undressed.

What’s the cost of that? What’s the scope of it? Again, it’s exactly the kinds of things that women have always had to put up with that get treated like it’s nothing.

Allen: How did we get here? It feels like we arrived here pretty quickly. I mean, I think back to just five years ago, and you didn’t really have many people talking about the transgender movement or gender identity, but it also doesn’t seem random. We’ve gotten here quickly, but also it seems like it’s been rather one thing after another that has moved quickly.

Can you just explain a little bit about how we have arrived to this place, and what has led now our leaders in all sorts of positions of government to go to this extreme so quickly?

Chart: Well, a few years ago, I can’t say exactly when, but around the time when I was working in a progressive nonprofit world, so before 2015, this cause became very popular with donors on the left. And they started making compliance with gender identity ideology a condition of grant funding, and there started to be a lot of money for it.

So it really got its hooks into all of that grassroots activist, grasstops change-maker policy apparatus. Not explicitly the political party per se, but all of the nonprofits and think tanks, all of the little groups that sort of support an ideology or a set of ideas.

And there was very effective use of social media as these groups coalesced their influence, and as people started treating this as a standard within progressive organizing circles of, “You have to agree with us, or you’re a bad person.” And that just gradually became—no one really stood up against it, because all the people who’d quietly made a stand about it got fired, like me.

So it just, like any other idea, can take hold when you don’t hear it, when you don’t hear it opposed, when you don’t hear it critically examined, when you understand that your job may be at stake.

On some level, you understand there’s serious economic consequences for opposing it. You don’t really want to. You don’t really want to look.

Is this really my business? Is this really what I came into politics for? It’s easy to tell yourself that this does not affect you and you’re just going to go along, and so a lot of people haven’t even looked into the issue. They just see that it is like this fraught emotional train wreck that starts Twitter mobs and costs people their jobs.

So I think they just, by and large, either they really support it or tend to not to look too closely, but it’s just become a toxic mess in our current social media dynamics.

And of course, the social media companies are reinforcing this, because you can lose your Twitter account. You can get your Facebook account suspended. If you’re a journalist, if you’re someone who works with public opinion, significantly losing your Twitter account is a huge blow.

For most people, your Facebook account is also how you keep in touch with friends and family, so you don’t want to lose that. You’re not going to see the pictures of the grandkids, your grandparents, or whatever. These are important services to people.

It’s just been this steady pile-on of approval without critical thought, that people think it’s about being nice. People think it’s about, “Oh, here’s this new category of person that we have not treated with dignity previously. We’re going to all try to do better this time. We didn’t do so great on, say, gay rights last time. We’ll do better this time.”

And everybody wants to be the perfect ally, and they really want to be good people. And so what happens is they end up sleepwalking down this path where they really want to be good people until Jazz Jennings is getting sterilized on air as a 17-year-old boy and everybody thinks, “Oh, well, what nice family entertainment that is.”

Biden puts out a rule saying that gender identity policies have to apply to the military now. And on the one hand, there’s Democrats in the Senate insisting that the military do something about sexual assault, really sincerely, I think. And then with the other hand, they are supporting male service [members] being able to identify their way into using the women’s showers. So the conditions have been set in motion for a total lack of critical thought and analysis.

Evans: Wow, yeah. And I mean, we don’t even have time in this interview to even get into the rapid onset gender dysphoria plague that is just going through young women in our society. But, Natasha, I want to talk about solutions. Tomorrow, if you’re president, how can we fix this issue?

Chart: People have to be willing to speak honestly about this and to use accurate language about it. You can’t call men women. You just can’t do it, because that’s the whole battle. When you decide that you are going to promote knowing falsehoods like that, you’re just negotiating the terms of surrender. …

Most people, I think, don’t believe that anything this ridiculous could happen. They’re not really going to let boys compete on the girls sports teams, are they? They’re not really going to sterilize these children just because they have different interests, or they dress a little different from their peers. But yes, they really are.

So people need to, wherever they can, be bolder, speak out more accurately about this, and understand the urgency of the situation, the urgency to act, to organize, to find groups to work with who are organizing against this and to make clear to your senators, to your congressmen, to your local officials—because they’re passing these policies at the local city council level as well as its state government—make clear to your officials that the law has to accurately recognize sex.

We don’t want to run people out of town because they have a belief about gender identity. They can believe what they want and that’s fine, but the law and these very important policies have to reflect material reality.

Allen: Tell us a little bit about the action that the Women’s Liberation Front is taking. … What media coverage are you all getting as you kind of move forward to push back against this agenda?

Chart: Right. Well, you can find our current action, which allows people to write a letter to President Biden in opposition of these executive orders. We have a simple form, made it easy for you. You can find it pinned at the top of our Twitter feed, @WomensLibFront on Twitter, and womensliberationfront.org on the web.

It’ll be easy to find the action and send President Biden the letter, and just let him know that you support women’s sex-based rights.

Evans: Well, Natasha, for the last question, I do want to highlight that you are not a conservative, but you work with groups like The Heritage Foundation, a type of unity that I think is really admirable and not seen very often nowadays. How does this affect your personal life, your organization, and why do you choose and continue to choose to keep these coalitions?

Chart: Well, just opposing the idea of gender identity, I think, already probably cost me like 10 years of career networking and a whole lot of friends, about as many as it was ever going to.

But in our view, this is an emergency. We know parents are losing custody of their children for failing to affirm a gender identity. We know that minors are being sterilized. We know that girls and young women are losing out on athletic and college scholarship opportunities.

We know that women in domestic violence shelters, in homeless shelters, in prisons are being terrorized by men who’ve been allowed to identify as women, and by officials who say, “Hey, it’s out of our hands. He says he’s a woman. He has to bunk with you.”

And we think this is an emergency, and we would hope that everyone in politics would support women’s side in this, and we thank everybody that has for stepping up and doing the right thing.

Allen: Natasha, we want to thank you so much for the work that you all are doing, and we encourage all of our listeners to follow that work at Women’s Liberation Front on Twitter. … @WomensLibFront is their handle. Natasha, thank you again for your time today. We just so appreciate you coming on the show.

Chart: Thank you so much, Virginia and Lauren. Pleasure talking to you again.

The post ‘This Is an Emergency,’ Feminist Says About Future of Women’s Sports appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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