What is a woman? And what does it matter? It is becoming increasingly difficult to talk about women’s rights, or even basic biological reality, in a common language.
While most Americans understand that a "woman" is an adult human female, radical gender ideologues want to redefine womanhood as a subjective state unrelated to biological sex. This redefinition of once-assumed basic facts has serious consequences for equal opportunity, privacy, safety and freedom of expression.
Right now, females are losing athletic, employment and educational opportunities to biological males. Biological males are gaining access to sororities, domestic violence shelters, locker rooms, women’s prisons, and rape crisis centers. And the women and girls who object to these practices are being threatened, coerced and shamed into silence and submission.
Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania and Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines tied for fifth in the 200 freestyle finals at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 18, 2022, in Atlanta. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
People who speak the truth about male and female sex differences are being punished and canceled. And accurate data collection regarding public health, crime, education and the economic status of women is being compromised by the misuse of basic sex-based terminology.
To address these and the myriad of potential future consequences of the redefinition of sex, we are working to advance the Women’s Bill of Rights (WBOR). This legislation can provide legal and linguistic clarity by addressing the meaning of laws that prohibit sex discrimination and helping to preserve single-sex spaces that are important for privacy, safety or equal opportunity.
Importantly, the Women’s Bill of Rights does not create or establish new legal rights for women. It simply preserves women as a legal category and makes it clear that terms like "women" and "men" must accord with biological sex, not gender identity. And it codifies current case law, which forbids unfair discrimination but allows the law to recognize sex when relevant.
The Women’s Bill of Rights has already become state law in Kansas, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Every state should adopt a women’s bill of rights or similar protections, and Congress should pass the Women’s Bill of Rights to clarify these definitions in federal law and ensure that no woman or girl loses out on equal opportunity, privacy or safety in any of the 50 states.
Opponents of the Women’s Bill of Rights have misleadingly labeled the bill "anti-transgender." While this label may make it easier for some people to dismiss the legislation out of hand, it’s not accurate or honest.
The WBOR does nothing to curb the rights of people who identify as transgender, nor does it bar states or the federal government from addressing the question of identification in other ways. It simply makes the law recognize the biological and very real differences between the sexes, and protects the rights women have been enjoying in America for decades.
We strongly believe that every person, regardless of sex, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity should be treated with equal dignity and respect, and should have access to the greatest level of opportunity that our country has to offer. However, any intellectually honest person must grant that eroding the definition of "women" will work against this goal and the hard-won progress that we’ve made when it comes to women’s rights.
Women in the United States today have had the greatest level of freedom, wealth and success of any generation of women in the history of the world. This is in part because America’s laws offer women equal protection (under the 14th Amendment), and prohibit baseless discrimination in employment, education, wages and other areas. Violence against women is illegal, and our government funds programs specifically geared toward combating it.
Some social programs, such as Women, Infants and Children (WIC), recognize the unique challenges and vulnerabilities women face as mothers. And women are explicitly exempt from one legal requirement – selective service registration – precisely because our government has recognized that biological sex differences matter. All of these areas in law, where men and women are categorized separately, are jeopardized without the Women’s Bill of Rights.
The WBOR will help us navigate into a future where all people have the highest degree of freedom. We cannot sacrifice women’s rights or sideline their interests amid social changes that promote greater inclusivity or gender equality, however well-intentioned. We cannot – and need not – push some Americans back to move others forward.
Women cannot be pushed back. We won’t let it happen. Join us in supporting the Women’s Bill of Rights.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://harshbarger.house.gov/media/in-the-news/radicals-are-trying-redefine-woman-its-why-america-needs-womens-bill-rights