Feminists, Conservatives Join Forces to Oppose 'Equality Act'

Feminists, Conservatives Join Forces to Oppose 'Equality Act'
Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign
Feminists, Conservatives Join Forces to Oppose 'Equality Act'
Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign
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In an era of increasing political divisiveness, what threat could possibly unite radical feminists and Christian women conservatives? Clearly this is a historic and momentous occasion when women on the left and right have put aside differences to come together on behalf of all women.  The Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) and Concerned Women for America (CWA) recently joined hands to oppose the misnamed and insidious Equality Act

It’s true that we disagree about many (maybe even most) issues. But there is no doubt that American women are in jeopardy of losing hard-fought-for rights. 

The Equality Act just passed the House Judiciary Committee last week, and it threatens to erase protections for women — protections that benefit women and society as a whole. Legislative and policy “reforms” proposed in this dangerous bill will lead to blatant violations of our safety, privacy, and dignity. 

Under this bill, men and boys will take away women’s small business grants and hard-won spots on sports teams; they will be allowed to live in women’s domestic violence shelters and use our locker rooms. And united as women, we are just not going to stand for it.

If you doubt the seriousness (and absurdity) of this situation, read what has already happened in Washington state, as just one example. In 2012, Colleen Francis was a 45-year old student at The Evergreen State College. Francis who identifies as a woman, but has male genitalia, has used the Evergreen women’s locker room. 

High school students and other minors also use Evergreen’s pool and locker rooms, and Francis was completely naked in the locker room sauna when teenage girls practicing for their high school swim team saw him and reported him to their coach. The female coach confronted Francis and asked him to leave.  

Was Francis discouraged from exposing his adult naked male body to underage girls in a public facility supported by tax dollars? Were the teenage girls congratulated and encouraged to continue exercising good judgement, affirmed in their power to set boundaries about who can inhabit or expose themselves in a female-only locker room? 

No. The result was that everyone had to apologize to Francis — who is “female” on paper but male in the flesh. 

Francis was the victim of harassment, not the girls. The police did not arrest Francis for indecent exposure, nor did the local district attorney bring charges. 

Based on the school’s non-discrimination policy, Francis was simply doing what every other woman using the facilities had the right to do. Officially, there was no crime of indecent exposure, in spite of the fact that there was a naked man in the women’s locker room.  

This insanity being endured by women in Washington state is poised to be federalized in the form of the “Equality” Act. While Christian conservative women speaking against this legislation may not be shocking to anyone, the fact that radical feminists and lesbians are joining voices with them should be a wake-up call. Women have fought for decades for a fair and equal place in society, and we will work together to defend all women threatened by this misplaced idea of political correctness.  

Female athletes are particularly vulnerable.  Take the case of a man who identifies as a woman who won the women’s state U.S. Powerlifting Association Championship in the “non-drug tested category.” He set new women’s state records along the way (what a shocker), and lifted 150 pounds more than Rebecca Richnofsky (another shocker) — beating the “woman who deserved to be champion.” 

Rebecca had to settle for second. And the examples go on and on.  

Martina Navratilova’s tweet (deleted after she was called “transphobic”) could not make the solution clearer: “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.” 

Young women in states around the nation are bullied into silence as young men take their trophies and ruin their chances of college scholarships. Even a respected and powerful voice in the professional sporting world like Navratilova has lost professional affiliations and endured much criticism for her stand for women and girls.

If the Equality Act succeeds in making “gender identity” a protected class under federal law, it will erase the protected category of “sex,” which for decades has been the foundation for securing the rights and opportunities of women and girls in the United States. Under a policy of unrestricted self-identification of “sex,” such as the act proposes, a man can simply say he is a woman, and everyone must act as if this is true. 

Nothing in this bill outlines medical conditions, social processes, or steps that must be taken for an individual to be legally recognized as another sex. In fact, any conditions are seen as discriminatory. For a male who identifies as female, he doesn’t even have to change his name, the way he dresses, or see a doctor or counselor. If the Equality Act passes, he’ll also be able to sue you for violating his civil rights if you persist in seeing him for the man that he is.

Perhaps members of Congress don’t understand that the Equality Act would allow biological men to be free from prosecution for indecent exposure or harassment simply by claiming to be women. Perhaps they ignore the many female athletes who are losing hard-won competitions to transgender men. Or, perhaps, like many of their fellow Americans, they just see “gender identity” as a new way to be nice and haven’t thought deeply about the consequences to women and girls.

Or maybe the simplest and most likely explanation is that those promoting the Equality Act, LGBT Inc. and the members of Congress who support it, don’t think very much about the rights, privacy and safety of women and girls at all.  

Pay attention to the powerful message conveyed by our united purpose in opposing this bill. Simply put: If Americans, activist organizations, and our representatives in government genuinely want to prevent discrimination against women and girls, they cannot erase the legal recognition of sex as biologically male and female. As women, CWA and WoLF stand united to protect ourselves and all women and girls from the injustice of the so-called Equality Act.   

Natasha Chart is board chair of the Women’s Liberation Front and member of the Hands Across the Aisle Coalition.

Penny Nance is president and CEO of Concerned Women for America.

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