“I didn’t have to compete against males. My daughter shouldn’t have to.” – That was the title of my op-ed published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
I had the opportunity to share what competitive swimming meant to me and why we must preserve it – not just for my daughter, but also for every young woman who deserves the same opportunities I enjoyed.
I was a competitive swimmer for 13 years – from elementary school through college. While I may not have made it to the Olympics, I still deeply understand the long hours and hard work it takes to succeed. I spent early mornings, weekends at meets, training, working hard to improve my performance and times. Every second matters when you’re competing.
When I competed against faster girls, I respected their hard work and talent. But now, I can’t imagine how demoralizing it would be to compete against a biological man. Because from the start, men have a significant physical advantage that almost no amount of training can compete with.
Take a story that happened just this week at Canada’s 2023 Western Canadian Championship for powerlifting, where a man who identifies as a woman, set a woman’s deadlifting record and beat out several women to win first place. He lifted over 440lbs more than the woman in second place. And to add insult to injury, he posted a video back in February mocking female powerlifters for being “so bad” at the bench press.
This is one example of many, at almost every level of competition.
Our daughters deserve better and if we don’t start enacting policies to protect them, soon there won’t be any women’s sports left and the progress gained by Title IX will disappear.