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Emailing my state senators about GA "Save Women's Sports Bill" (SB 435)
While I remain unconvinced that writing our representatives has any effect, whatsoever, I am not convinced it does not matter; therefore, I shall continue to do it. Below I share my email to the Georgia state senators who voted via party-line vote (Democrats against) GA SB 435, which represents an (imperfect) attempt to maintain the sex separation of sports. As noted in an earlier post (I think), I have written my own state legislator twice previously on these issues, and I have yet to receive a response (even a pro forma acknowledgment of receipt). Alas, here it goes. If you find something useful to share with your representatives in GA or elsewhere, feel free to use.
To: [see Senator list at the end]
RE: your opposition to SB 435
I am a resident of Georgia (in Atlanta) and an associate professor at Georgia State University in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. I write in my capacity as a state citizen. I am writing you all re: your opposition to SB 435 “Save Women’s Sports”. Each of you voted against the bill, and, as a democrat, member of the “LGBT+ community,” and supporter of female sports, I want to encourage you to consider that this bill, although imperfect, along with the impetus behind it are important for maintaining the integrity of female sports.
Unfortunately, we live in a time where complex social issues are viewed as blue or yellow to the neglect of the considerable green and complexity. Recognizing the reality of biological sex and the fact that sex does matter in some contexts, such as sport, has now been wrongly cast as a ‘bigoted’, ‘transphobic’, ‘conservative’, ‘religious right’ position by those unwilling or unable to recognize the considerable complexity of these issues.
One can, and I do, support non-discrimination protections for transgender people on the basis of their non-conformity to gender stereotypes. Indeed, I do not conform to gender stereotypes; many of us do not. However, it is not ‘discrimination’ against transgender people to maintain female sports, which exist by definition to exclude males given maleness advantages in sport that have absolutely nothing to do with gender or gender identity.
The science is quite clear that there are two, and only two sexes, and that male advantages in sport exist regardless of gender identity.
By allowing males into sport on the basis of gender, we are placing females at an enormous disadvantage—in many cases an unbridgeable one. We are sending the message that including some males who suffer (and let’s be honest here—so many people suffer) in female competitions to make them feel accepted is more important than fairness in competition (or females’ feelings). Many women and girls have and continue to suffer—with eating disorders, mental health issues, sexual abuse, poverty, etc., and some find new meaning and purpose in sport and the potential to excel and change their lives in such competitions. How can we justify prioritizing the feelings of suffering males over many, many, many more females?
I’m most frustrated with the fact that we could be strategizing about ways to include transgirls and transwomen in sports competitions without undermining fairness in women’s sports. This could include the expansion of co-ed sports in schools and the creation of more open versus female category sports. Instead, per usual, females are being asked to move aside, ‘be nice’, and give up their female sports category for some males. Such males, of course, deserve our sympathy and respect, but gender, I repeat, is irrelevant to female sports, which are sex separated.
Obviously, the statute uses the term “gender” due to existing rules that define gender as sex. That is regrettable and should be addressed. However, given that the bill clearly defines gender as sex, the bill is about the sex separation of sport.
While this bill has passed the Senate, I expect you will have to deal with it again. I urge you to consider that protecting female sports is a progressive, feminist act that is necessary to ensure fairness, and that we can (and should) protect transgender people without undermining female provisions, including sport.
Senator Tonya Anderson: email@example.com
Senator Michelle Au: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Gloria Butler: email@example.com
Senator Gail Davenport: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Sonya Halpern: email@example.com
Senator Ed Harbinson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Sally Harrell: email@example.com
Senator Lester Jackson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Kim Jackson: email@example.com
Senator Donzella James: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Emanuel Jones: email@example.com
Senator Harold Jones II: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Jennifer Jordan: email@example.com
Senator David Lucas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Nikki Merritt: email@example.com
Senator Nan Orrock: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Elena Parent: email@example.com
Senator Sheikh Rahman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Michael ‘Doc’ Rhett: email@example.com
Senator Valencia Seay: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Freddie Sims: email@example.com
Senator Horacena Tate: firstname.lastname@example.org