“The dark implications of the Equality Act undermine the positive narrative surrounding this legislation.”
With the Senate vote on the Equality Act approaching, it is important to evaluate the consequences of this proposed legislation. The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to redefine “sex” by incorporating sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics against which discriminating would be illegal. Though at first glance an amendment that broadens protections against discrimination may appear appealing, the dark implications of the Equality Act undermine the positive narrative surrounding this legislation. The Equality Act would subvert the equilibrium of gender equality that generations of women have struggled to construct by welcoming biological men, or transgender “women,” into the realm of womanhood at the whim of their self-determination.
Is This Really About Equality?
In the United States, the advent of true gender equality in public spaces has only recently been considered realized. The Equality Act would allow biological males access to participation in established female spaces. Separate provisions for the genders even into the 21st century have served not to designate the inequality of one gender, but rather to protect the well-being of both genders and ensure their confident participation in public spheres. With the removal of these protections comes the silent return of an unshakeable patriarchal society – the male domination of every opportunity previously reserved for women.
The Equality Act would counteract the intentions of Title IX to provide equal opportunities for the genders on athletic teams. Transgender “female” students would be legally permitted to participate on women’s sports teams, breaking the records of biological female athletes by upstaging their accomplishments due to physical advantages. The impact of this legislation would move beyond school sports to include giving transgender students the ability to receive scholarships and awards originally designated for biological females. The advent of this inequality would demoralize biological female students and remove all incentives from their participation in athletics. After all, if the potential to be the best is removed, many students will not waste their time competing at all. Biological males will once again dominate athletics.
Though the “Me Too” movement has received massive media coverage, the prospect of increased rates of sexual assault against women due to allowing males to share female spaces has received zero mainstream media coverage. The potential for biological males to inhabit such intimate spaces as the bathrooms, locker rooms, prisons, shelters, and doctor’s offices of women logically increases the likelihood of sexual assault. Biologically male students that identify as girls would be permitted to share shower areas and locker rooms at school with biologically female students, as well as share sleeping accommodations on school field trips. Given the tendency of many sexual assault victims to stay silent about their suffering, it is logical to assume that girls who experience assault from transgender “females” will be even less likely to report their abuse for fear of being labelled “transphobic.”
The Meaning of Femininity
Finally, the passage of the Equality Act would culminate in the complete redefinition of womanhood in all areas of healthcare, effectively eradicating the natural definitions of what it means to be female. The shifted terminology and increased gender neutrality of such distinctly feminine provinces as pregnancy and motherhood have included the replacement of “breast milk” with “chest milk” and “mothers” with “birthing people” in pregnancy care centers. This appropriation and erasure of the female experience negates the sanctity of femininity that binds women together. Young women wrestling with gender confusion induced by the pressures of the modern world would even be able to receive surgeries to remove their biologically female features without a legitimate medical reason. The number of young girls seeking to distance themselves from femininity by creating a new “non-binary” identity has rapidly multiplied as a result of the changing definition of womanhood.
Women in the United States have only within the past few decades approached a semblance of legal and social equality with men. The passage of the Equality Act would reapply a patriarchal nature to modern society and remove all protections meant for the success of biological females. In order to support the inherent value of women and to preserve their place in American life, the Senate must vote no on the Equality Act.
Joy Zavalick is a junior at Grove City College double majoring in political science and Spanish with a minor in philosophy. On campus, Joy works as a TA for Dr. Michael Coulter in the Political Science Department. Joy also serves as chaplain of International Justice Mission on campus and is a member of the Theta Alpha Pi sorority.
During the summer of 2020, Joy interned with the Republican Committee of Lancaster County in her hometown of Lancaster, PA, where she had the opportunity to learn about grassroots activism working on local, state, and national Republican campaigns. Joy works with the Susan B. Anthony List as a canvasser advocating for the pro-life cause. She also serves with Concerned Women for America of PA as an issue specialist researching the topic of sexual exploitation. Joy is passionate about the defense of traditional values and is interested in pursuing a career in lobbying, political campaigns, or law.