Biden Is Already Trying To Protect Trans Rights — & He Woke Up All The Twitter TERFs
WILMINGTON, DE - DECEMBER 28: President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks at the Queen Theater on December 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President in a reduced ceremony in Washington DC due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on January 20, 2021. (Photo by Mark Makela / Getty Images)
On the first day of his tenure, Biden signed an executive order promising to uphold federal protection for LGBTQ + Americans. It was an important step, especially since it was one of the first things Biden did as president to get the message across to queer and transgender Americans that they were a priority for his administration. Although Biden signed an anti-discrimination ordinance, many falsely claim that the policy is discriminatory - against cisgender women.
On Thursday, radical trans-exclusion feminists (TERFs), also known as “gender-critical feminists”, launched the hashtag #BidenErasedWomen on Twitter to express their outrage at the president who protects trans people, and especially trans women and girls . The attack on trans women is, of course, the cornerstone of gender-critical feminism (of which J.K. Rowling is the most prominent practitioner).
Biden's Executive Order, entitled “Preventing and Combating Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation,” affirms and commits to enforcing the Supreme Court decision in Bostock v Clayton County, which alleges discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation was found to be unconstitutional.
"Everyone should be treated with respect and dignity and be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or who they love," the order says. "Children should be able to study without having to worry about whether they will be denied access to the toilet, locker room or school sports."
It is this second sentence of this statement that anti-trans trolls have adhered to, claiming that it is dangerous for cisgender women and girls to use the bathroom or play on a sports team that matches your gender. This argument is based on the transphobic and imprecise belief that trans women are, in fact, men who try to infiltrate women’s rooms in order to attack and harass them.
In reality, trans women are far more likely to be hurt and attacked in the bathroom than CIS women. Not only that, limiting the use of the bathroom for transsexuals actually increases the risk of sexual assault. Research has also shown that there is no link between allowing trans people to use bathrooms that match their gender identity and the safety risks for cis people, but harassment in this area persists.
Abigail Shrier, a well-known TERF who wrote Irreversible Damage (read: The cover shows a drawing of a young girl with a hole in the middle and contains chapters titled "The Contagion" and "Carving Up Girlhood"), went off Twitter claiming that this executive order was an attack on cis women. In her tweet, Shrier says that Biden "is one-sidedly eviscerating" women's sport by putting "a new glass ceiling" over girls, claiming that "any educational institution that receives federal funding [now] must include biologically male athletes on women's teams, women's scholarships, etc."
But as Chase Strangio, the ACLU attorney who worked on the Bostock case, pointed out, this is demonstrably wrong. "Trans girls (who are girls) have been on sports teams for years," Strangio tweeted. “Title IX and Bostock are the source of protection, not yesterday's EO. Biden just agrees to enforce the law. "
In addition, when it comes to enabling trans girls to compete on teams of girls, TERFs argue that they have an advantage over cis girls because they were assigned males at birth. This sexist and transmisogynist claim that trans women and girls will dominate girls' sports not only underestimates the skills and athletic talent of girls, but is also not based on reality.
If this argument were true, there would be trans women and girls who dominate women's sports at all levels. The fact that there is no evidence of the bad logic the argument is based on. In Connecticut, the families of three cisgender girls sued the state on the grounds that their daughters could never beat the two trans girls competing in their district; Shortly after this lawsuit was filed, one of the cis girls beat the trans girl she claimed she would never do.
Protecting trans women does not erase or jeopardize the rights and safety of cis women. As the world becomes safer and more accepting of trans women and girls, it will ultimately become safer for all women and girls. By signing the mandate and pledging to maintain existing protection for trans women, Biden is not wiping out cis women. Instead, he pledges to protect all women - trans and cis - during his tenure.
As Biden's EO said, "All persons should be treated equally under the law, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation." Thank you very much, Mr President.
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