Saturday, March 11, 2023

A Kick in the Face!

 Dear Supreme Court,

I am writing to support Lainey Armistead and the ADF in a case appearing before your body.

At no point was I approached to do so, but instead felt compelled to reveal my own miniscule place in the history of women's sports.

I attended high school in a "small city" during the late 1970's, when Pele was becoming a household name for his amazing soccer skills.

At that time, Title IX was in it's infancy, and my fellow female athletes and I were struggling to make a foothold for ourselves in the sports arena.

During 1977, a group of us wanted to play soccer, and managed to convince one of our PE teachers (Marilyn Thomas) to supervise us on a less than standardized playing field.

We were only able to practice when her schedule was free, and our equipment was the standard gym class issue including well-worn soccer balls and multi-purpose nets.

While we practice and learned, we were constantly reminded of our "less than" status by seeing the boy's team practicing on the regulation field nearby, using real soccer nets and equipment purchased just for their team.

Fortunately for us, "Coach" Thomas was able to locate a few nearby schools that had similar "clubs", and we were able to actually have a few scrimmages. 

Even so, we had to provide our own "uniforms" - matching T-shirts and shorts we bought out of our own money.

We had to provide our own transportation - parent taxi and carpool.

The writing was on the wall, and having a father who was a school board attorney for my school district, as well as over 10 surrounding districts, meant that change would come sooner rather than later, despite our rural location.

The following year, there was a bonafide girl's soccer team, with a coach, uniforms, equipment, transportation, and a schedule of practice and competition.

But it was a difficult fight for us to get that far, and that progress many of us fought for is being eroded by leaps and bounds.

Recent laws and rulings allowing biological males to compete in women's sports are a grave disservice to our history and struggle.

If competing in sports is that important to transgender athletes, allow them to compete in their biological sport, or form a league of THEIR own.

The physical and developmental differences between a biological male and biological female mean that it will usually be a struggle for a female to reach the same competitive level as a male.

Even the still present inequities in opportunities, facilities, and resources make it more difficult for females in sports, despite Title IX.

Caitlyn Jenner, who competed as a male world class Olympic athlete, does not support a transgender male competing in female sports, citing the inequity for her own daughters, and that should resonate with your body.

My granddaughter has recently begun playing sports, and the last thing I want for her is to achieve excellence, only to be outranked and lose opportunity to someone who is not truly biologically the same.

This is not about being "anti" anything, but rather about being "pro" common sense and pragmatism.

Please don't yield to the vocal minorities, but instead rule in favor of preserving the gains made in the late 1970's for female athletes.

The athletic future of our daughters, sisters, and females in general depends upon it.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Elizabeth M Scanlon

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