As Dumb as it is Dangerous: Why Dismantling Title IX is an All-Out Assault on Women

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As Dumb as it is Dangerous: Why Dismantling Title IX is an All-Out Assault on Women


By: Governor Kristi Noem

April 26, 2024


With the stroke of a single pen, President Joe Biden has given mediocre men the right to steal opportunities from exceptional women.


The landmark federal civil rights law known as Title IX is an over 50-year-old law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or education program that receives federal funding. That is, until Joe Biden dismantled Title IX as we know it.


President Biden is orchestrating an all-out assault on women.


Biden’s new provisions will make gender identity equivalent to sex. This is as dumb as it is dangerous. It allows biological men to claim discrimination if they are prohibited from participating in female-only programming, including sports.  The new rules would, in part, allow men to take athletic scholarships from women and give men full access to women’s locker rooms. What’s worse, if these new rules are broken – likely, if they are even questioned – you can be accused of harassment. Promoting female-only education activities would get you a grievance for violating biological men’s civil rights – but what about the rights of women that Congress promised to protect 50 years ago? 


Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats can’t even define what a woman actually is – it’s no wonder they don’t care at all about protections or fairness for females. Biden is legislating from the Oval Office by turning Title IX’s “on the basis of sex” into “on the basis of gender identity.”


This rule blatantly ignores states’ rights to enforce their own laws. Here in South Dakota, we’ve taken decisive action in furtherance of our right to protect girls’ and women’s sports. We had a bad bill come to my desk in 2021 that sounded good, but, in reality, would have nothing to protect girls’ sports. So I returned it to the South Dakota Legislature. We would not have been able to enforce it, and it would have been crushed when it was inevitably brought up in court. Had that bill been enacted, we would have found ourselves in the same situation Utah is in right now – with a bill mired in a legal fight resulting in no actual protections for female athletes. 


When the legislators refused to fix the bill and let it die, I immediately issued an Executive Order to protect girls’ sports while I spent the next year working with legislators and stakeholders to craft a bill that would actually ensure fairness for South Dakota’s women in sports. And in 2022, I was proud to sign the toughest bill in the nation to protect girls’ sports. I’ve been glad to see other states take similar action, and I hope more will continue to follow our lead. 


But we didn’t stop there. More than five months ago, I led eight of my fellow Republican governors in urging the NCAA to rewrite its Transgender Student Athlete Policy. The current policy allows for the national governing bodies of each sport to determine their own rules regarding transgender student-athlete participation. That means the NCAA can hide behind the policy and avoid its responsibility to ensure fairness of collegiate sports. 


Thankfully, more than  3,000 female athletes and coaches have joined us to urge the NCAA to take responsibility and protect women’s sports. Now it’s up to the NCAA to do the right thing. The NCAA Board of Governors should take the concerns of real female athletes seriously, ignore men who think putting on a skirt actually makes you a woman, and rewrite their unjust policy to guarantee an environment where female college athletes can thrive.


I am proud that so many female athletes and state leaders are standing up for what we know is true: ONLY women should play women’s sports.