A mother of one of the female swimmers in the Ivy League has spoken out in regards to University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, a biological male, being allowed to compete against females.
The mother, whose daughter has competed against Thomas, also blasted higher-ups, saying that the girls were told not to speak up about the issue. Adding that it’s unfair that a “full-grown male” is being allowed to diminish female competitors' hard-earned records.
“Holy cow, we’re going to talk about a male swimmer — a full-grown male — attempting to take down female icon records, and taking a spot on an Ivy team from one of the Penn swimmers, who have rightfully deserved it,” she told Independent Women’s Forum.
“And we’re talking about, this person’s gonna swim on every relay going forward at championship meets, is going to take the position of a woman on a travel team, is going to take a space in every finals.”
The mother went on to say how the girls were “frightened” to speak up, and told to keep quiet.
“And they’re frightened,” the mother said, “They’re frightened of losing friends. They’re frightened of being kicked off their teams. They’re frightened of being told by their universities that they’re transphobic and hateful.”
Independent Women’s Forum uploaded the video, identifying the woman as “Margaret,” captioning the video: “Margaret’s* daughter is a swimmer in the Ivy League who’s been forced to compete all season against XY athlete Will ‘Lia’ Thomas. Thomas — who competed for three years on the University of Pennsylvania Men’s Swim Team — has dominated women’s collegiate swimming competitions this season and broken numerous female legacy records.”
“The NCAA, USA Swimming, the Ivy League, and University of Pennsylvania have all turned their backs on female athletes,” the group said. “When biological males are allowed to swim on women’s teams, female athletes lose. They lose opportunities to win and to compete. And… they lose self-confidence. Dividing athletes by biological sex gives women the chance to compete and win.”
The mother went on to add that she doesn’t want her daughter to face repercussions based on her desire to speak out for women’s rights. “She deserves to have a college experience unmarred by this issue, and she deserves to have the time and ability to process what’s going on in her own way.”
“I feel terrible for the girls,” the mother said, “It’s really hard to see a young woman who’s worked since she was five or seven years old, and maybe doesn't have the talent and the strength of an Olympian, but has sacrificed their spring breaks, Christmas vacations, their entire summers, their 5 a.m. mornings to become the best that they can be, has qualified to swim in college on a national level team and then is told, ‘Sorry you don't make the team, you cant participate on the relay’ because a man’s decided they deserve that place more, so you must step aside.”
She continued, adding that society must be able to “recognize what is a woman,” and that “we're headed down a path here where our biological differences from men are going to be swept under a rug.”
“At the end of the day, I hope that the IOC, the NCAA, and governing bodies of sport all recognize that women are women. We can't shrug off our sex. Men are men, they can't shrug off their sex, and women's sports is protected for females,” she concluded.