AOC says preventing trans athletes from competing against women is racist against black women

"And then black women and girls are then further subjected to marginalization," AOC said in a House hearing on Title IX changes.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned Fatima Goss Graves during a hearing on Title IX on Tuesday, and claimed that boys should be allowed to compete in girls' scholastic athletics because preventing them from doing so would not only be transphobic, but racist against black women.

AOC believes men should be allowed to compete against women in order to protect women, specifically black women, despite so many women and girls having suffered injuries at the hands of male athletes who say they are trans and compete in women's athletics, and women losing out on awards, prizes, or scholarships as a result of men beating them in those games.

"I want to dive a little bit more deeply into why this issue with targeting trans women in sports is particularly problematic," Ocasio-Cortez said, "not just for trans girls, but for all of us. We're here today because there's a proposal here, and there are several proposals here to further marginalize trans women in sports." She brought up a 2022 provision in a bill that had already been removed in Ohio, where lawmakers struggling to protect women's sports from male incursion, had suggested "genital inspections" to determine if a student claiming to be a female actually was one. That provision did not move forward.

"It's terrible," Goss Graves said. "In some states, any individual could challenge whether someone is a girl enough to play. In some states, it requires actual genital verification, which is shocking."

AOC acted shocked that this measure could have been suggested as a means to protect women, inferring that girls would have been inspected. "So we're seeing here in this guise, under the guise of not only trying to further marginalize trans women and girls, we are talking about opening up all women and girls to genital examinations when they are underage."

Goss Graves agreed that this would be the result of preventing males from competing in women's sports.

"Potentially just because someone can point to someone and say, 'I don't think you're a girl,'" Ocasio-Cortez asked.

"That's correct," Goss Graves said.

"And we're saying this in an environment of a post-Dobbs America, where states are criminalizing access to abortion, and want nothing more than data on women to figure out when who's getting a menstrual cycle who doesn't have one?" AOC opined.

"And we're supposed to believe that this is going to make us better and safer? I think not," she said. Then she blamed men and her colleagues for trying to keep women's opportunities in athletics open, inferring that it was somehow sexist of them to weigh in on the issue at all. Likely, many of her male colleagues have daughters who participate in sports.

"And per usual," AOC continued, "I don't believe we're sitting here on a panel of men that has actually thought about the biology and privacy consequences of all women trans or cis-gender here." She then linked this to her idea that preventing men from competing against women would be somehow more discriminatory against black women.

She asked: "Miss Goss Graves, in addition to that, are there certain groups more likely to face discrimination under these bans and what you were speaking to particularly when it comes to black women and girls?"

"We have seen that there are examples of black women who are even professional athletes whose bodies have been more examined and demonized," Goss Graves said, taking her cue. "We've seen that with my fan favorite Serena Williams, whose body is often talked about. That's sort of challenging them for who they are. If it is codified into law, it  is something that we would expect to see more of." 

Serena Williams has not been subjected to genital examination to ensure that she is woman enough to play women's tennis. Goss Graves use of the phrase "challenging them for who they are" mirrors the praising from the Department of Education's proposed rules on reinterpreting Title IX to protect men's rights to play women's sports.

"The proposed rule would establish that policies violate Title IX when they categorically ban transgender students from participating on sports teams consistent with their gender identity just because of who they are," the DOE's rule change reads.

AOC then linked the whole thing to "racial bias in the medical field," declaring essentially that preventing men from competing against women is transphobic, racist, and sexist. In her view, it's an even bigger issue because determinations on the legality of abortion has been given to the states by the Supreme Court in the Dobbs decision. 

"This also deeply intersects with a secondary issue, which is racial bias in the medical field," AOC said. "When we have vast proportions of populations that have been studied and tested, are not right racially or otherwise identity based representative of the broader US population. And so what gets determined as a norm oftentimes gets pegged to largely white populations that have been studied."

"And then black women and girls are then further subject to marginalization," she said, finally linking alleged transphobia with racism. Goss Graves agreed when asked.

In less than five minutes, Ocasio-Cortez and her led-witness managed to conflate protections for women female student athletes with racism.

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