A pending human rights violation | WORLD
Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

A pending human rights violation

A UN official cries foul as the Biden administration prepares to erode women’s sports and privacy

Taylor Silverman speaks at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on April 20, 2023. Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite

A pending human rights violation
You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining. You've read all of your free articles.

Full access isn’t far.

We can’t release more of our sound journalism without a subscription, but we can make it easy for you to come aboard.

Get started for as low as $3.99 per month.

Current WORLD subscribers can log in to access content. Just go to "SIGN IN" at the top right.


Already a member? Sign in.

The late Catholic philosopher Michael Novak once recalled an exchange he had with a Russian artist shortly after the fall of communism. The artist said, “The next time you want to try an experiment like socialism, try it out on animals first—men it hurts too much.” Something very similar now must be said to the cultural powers trying to impose the latest intellectual fad, gender ideology, on the American public: “Try it out on animals first—women it hurts too much.”

As we enter 2024, the battle lines are being drawn on this destructive ideology. In states that have already caved to its lies, female sports have become a minefield. Girls who join the high school soccer team may now find themselves sharing the field, the locker room, and the bathroom with a boy. Laudably, 24 states have rejected this ideology and are standing up for women—most recently, Ohio. Yet the Biden administration now stands poised to take this fight national. It has promised changes to Title IX that would essentially force schools across the country to let males compete in female sports, with disastrous consequences.

Title IX, adopted in 1972, was designed to clear obstacles women and girls had long faced in education. It brought women a host of much-needed protections, including reducing sex discrimination in college applications. And it created a sea change in sports by bringing equal athletic opportunities for women. The numbers speak for themselves. In 1972, male high school athletes outnumbered girls 12 to 1. That ratio is now roughly 4 males to 3 females.

This progress is now seriously threatened by the administration’s pending changes. Just ask Connecticut athletes Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith, and Ashley Nicoletti how it felt to be forced to compete against two male athletes who won 15 women’s track championship titles—titles that were once held by nine different girls. They’ll tell you: Unfair. Demoralizing. Heartbreaking.

Or talk to NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, skateboarder Taylor Silverman, runner Cynthia Monteleone, and former and present college athletes in Idaho. In West Virginia, a middle-school male athlete competing on a girls’ track team this past spring displaced more than 100 female athletes more than 280 times and denied two girls spots in the conference championship.

If it weren’t for the very real injustice countless women and girls have experienced, it’d be hard to believe that we’re having to legally defend the once basic and accepted truth that men have an undeniable physical advantage over women in sports.

Rejecting this truth and allowing the administration to redefine what a woman is would not only hurt female athletes; it would also put the United States in violation of its own international human rights commitments.

The Biden administration’s plan to reinterpret Title IX would set us back decades in achieving equality for women.

This is precisely the concern now being raised by a top United Nations human rights official. In a recent official communication to the U.S. government, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, Reem Alsalem, called out the administration’s proposed Title IX rule changes as a potential human rights violation. These changes, she said, “would contravene the United States’ international human rights obligations and commitments concerning the prevention of all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls on the basis of sex.” This could result in the “loss of athletic and scholarship opportunities … the loss of privacy, an increased risk of physical injury, heightened exposure to sexual harassment and voyeurism, as well as a more frequent and accumulated psychological distress.”

Indeed, the Biden administration’s plan to reinterpret Title IX would set us back decades in achieving equality for women. It would also open the door for more women and girls to be placed in vulnerable situations where they’re forced to share private spaces with men.

In Alaska, for instance, attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom had to file a federal lawsuit against the city of Anchorage for trying to force a faith-based women’s shelter to admit males and let them sleep alongside women who have suffered physical and sexual abuse.

In Colorado, a school district assigned an 11-year-old girl to share a room—and she was supposed to share a bed—with a male student who identifies as female on an overnight school trip without the girl’s parents’ knowledge or consent.

These cases are popping up all across the nation as gender-identity advocates demand total compliance. And they have now captured the Biden administration, which is seeking to impose their ideology on unwilling states.

Gender ideology is a fast-moving contagion eating away at our culture. It advances in the name of “equality,” yet it harms the rights of women wherever it takes root. By speaking truthfully to the Biden administration, the UN Special Rapporteur has placed this issue in the global spotlight. No society can flourish when it ignores common sense and biological reality. God created us male and female—equal but different. We reject this truth to our own peril.

Kristen Waggoner

Kristen Waggoner is CEO, president, and general counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom.


Read the Latest from WORLD Opinions

Joe Rigney | Pro-lifers have reason, morality, and Scripture on our side, but 50 years of Roe hardened America

Anne Kennedy | The Episcopal Church shows its true priorities with a confused and disordered Pride shield

Miles Smith | So much is at stake in the upcoming French elections

Katelyn Walls Shelton | A step-by-step approach to banning abortion will save as many lives as possible


Please wait while we load the latest comments...