Tag Archive for: women’s rights

‘Just a Disaster’: Biden’s Title IX Rule Empowers LGBTQ Movement, Erases Women and Justice

The Biden administration’s revision of a civil rights statute designed to protect women’s rights in education erases women’s protections, rewrites landmark civil rights legislation to advance the LGBT agenda by federal fiat, and waters down legal standards for those falsely accused of sexual harassment.

The Biden administration obliterates the unique rights intended for women and girls by claiming Title IX’s prohibitions of discrimination against females in education apply to men who identify as women — regardless of their outward appearance — as well as those who identify as homosexual. Its “unofficial final rule,” released on April 19, now claims LGBTQIA+ activists may cite protections intended for women to accuse their fellow students of discrimination based on “sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”

The term “gender identity” appears 289 times in the 1,577-page document.

The new rule also requires that these “discrimination” allegations only meet the lowest standard of proof, known as the “preponderance of the evidence.” The rule — announced by Catherine Lhamon, the Education Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights — also establishes “equitable grievance procedures.”

“They have completely demolished protections for women,” Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, told “Washington Watch” guest host Joseph Backholm last week. “It’s just a disaster.” The new proposed rule “impacts speech. It impacts a free and appropriate education.”

In a comment emailed to The Washington Stand, Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Rachel Rouleau called the new rule “a slap in the face to women and girls who have fought long and hard for equal opportunities.” The Biden administration’s “radical redefinition of sex turns back the clock on equal opportunity for women” and “will have devastating consequences on the future of women’s sports, student privacy, and parental rights.”

The Biden administration’s federal fiat — never approved by legislation — rolls back regulations instituted in May 2020 by then-Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos that reestablished legal norms and standards for those accused of sexual harassment.

Obama administration rules — also drawn up by Lhamon, a former ACLU attorney — allowed college sexual harassment investigations to be carried out by a single investigator, who acted as judge and jury. Vague definitions proscribing any “unwelcome conduct,” whether verbal or “nonverbal,” led school districts to punish students for unwelcome staring.

Under the Trump administration’s revised Title IX rules, anyone accused of sexual harassment on campus enjoyed the presumption of innocence, as in any other legal proceeding. The defendant also had the right to know the charges against him or her, examine all the evidence presented in the proceedings, have an adviser cross-examine any witness’s testimony, and appeal the ruling. The administration had to meet the more robust and normative legal standard of “clear and convincing evidence.”

At the time, Lhamon asserted that the Trump administration’s revised guidelines would make it “permissible to rape and sexually harass students with impunity.” No epidemic of unpunished campus rape followed.

The Biden administration’s new Title IX rule eliminates all these elements, which are standard in other consequential accusations.

“The final regulations restore and strengthen vital protections for students,” Biden’s Department of Education contended in a press release Friday.

All parties seem to acknowledge these rules will supercharge the number of sexual harassment cases on campus after it takes effect on August 1. “This rule is designed to encourage reporting,” a Biden administration official told journalists on a call Thursday.

Newly empowered with looser regulations, activist bureaucrats in the federal government, and on college campuses nationwide, “are going to enforce this rule, and they are going to enforce it aggressively,” predicted Kilgannon. “The Education Department laid down their marker and said, ‘Yes, indeed, you will face a penalty for this.’” States that refuse to implement the strategy will “be losing federal funds for your education programs in your state.”

Since more affluent areas, like the D.C. suburbs, rely more on property taxes to fund their schools, the threat of losing federal education dollars falls heaviest on the most vulnerable students living in underprivileged districts. “It is the poorest places who will be most harmed by this, because they rely the most on federal funding,” Kilgannon added.

To avoid running afoul of an activist bureaucracy’s interpretation of the newly broadened rule, education officials may shut down any speech that could turn into litigation, and threaten federal funding.

“This change reverses decades of progress toward equality, open discourse, due process, and parental rights,” observed the Southeastern Legal Foundation. The new rule will cause students to “self-censor rather than risk being reported for harassment” and “significantly undermines the role of parents — who should be the primary caregivers for their children and who are entitled to raise their children to share certain values and beliefs — by requiring conformity to the federal government’s views on biology and so-called gender identity.”

The regulations drew fire from Congress over these specific concerns. “Evidently, the acceptance of biological reality, and the faithful implementation of the law, are just pills too big for the Department to swallow,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee.

The new regulation pulls off a trifecta of administrative harm, as it “attacks the definition of sex, due-process rights, and free-speech rights,” said Inez Feltscher Stepman, a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum.

The regulation also continues the decades-long trend of rewriting legislation through executive action. “Title IX was written in 1972 when ‘sex’ meant male and female, and no amount of interpretive jiujitsu permits a cabinet agency to rewrite the plain language of the law. Efforts to do so have failed repeatedly in Congress for one simple reason: Such an expansion of law is deeply unpopular, with opposition to these changes spanning both political and racial lines,” said Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, in a comment to TWS. Numerous polls have shown a supermajority of Americans oppose the extending of women’s rights to men, regardless of their self-identity.

“It is grotesque that the White House has chosen to capitulate to extremists in his party, sacrificing the First Amendment” in the process, Neily told TWS.

Women’s rights activists promise not to take the loss of their distinct place in the law lying down. “This is going to be the subject of lawsuits,” Kilgannon told Backholm, citing direct knowledge of multiple civil rights attorneys and organizations. Neiley told TWS explicitly, “This betrayal of students will not soon be forgotten by American parents, and we look forward to suing the administration over this policy soon.” Likewise, Rouleau told TWS that the “Alliance Defending Freedom plans to take action to defend female athletes, as well as school districts, teachers, and students who will be gravely harmed by this unlawful government overreach.”

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Led by Riley Gaines, 16 Women File Groundbreaking Suit against the NCAA

The NCAA has ignored Congressits own committee membersstate legislators, parents, and female athletes, but it can’t ignore this. In what is being called “a day of reckoning” for President Charlie Baker, the country’s biggest collegiate sports association is being taken to court over a radical transgender policy that has physically hurt, traumatized, and robbed young athletes of opportunities across America. “This is the time to speak up for all the women in the future,” swimmer Reka Gyorgy insisted. “It’s been two years, and nothing [has] happened. When will we change things if it’s not now?”

Those two years Gyorgy mentions are personal. It was 2022 when she lost her All-American title to Lia Thomas, something she’d worked for five years to achieve. Because Thomas decided to swim as a female, Reka was bumped to 17th — one spot shy of the top-16 cutoff she needed. She thought back on that devastation in an exclusive interview with The Free Press’s Francesca Block. “I was in the best physical [shape] I have ever been,” she explained. “And [this was my] the last chance. I was a senior, I was ready for racing. I was ready [to] give it all.” And yet, “going into the race [where] you know that one spot is going to be taken for sure [by Thomas], that’s a totally different mindset.”

“[W]atching that last heat of the 500 freestyle, it was just so emotional,” Gyorgy remembers. “Looking at the screen after the last heat touched the wall [and] seeing my name at 17th, I was shocked, to be honest. I went through all the feelings. … I was surrounded by my teammates and my coaches, and I started crying. I broke down because I felt right away that I [wouldn’t] have the second chance to swim again. And it just wasn’t fair. It was so unfair.”

While Riley Gaines grabbed most of the headlines after tying with Thomas for the trophy, it was Gyorgy who sent the first public letter of complaint to the NCAA. After the 2022 tournament, “[Reka] was really the first athlete at that national championships to take a stand,” Gaines said. “Had she not done that and had I not seen that, I certainly would not have taken the stand that I did. So I could not be more grateful for Rica. And she certainly inspired and continues to inspire more people than I think even she could possibly realize.”

Now the two women are linking arms, along with college athletes across swimming, volleyball, track, and diving, who’ve all been victims of the NCAA’s indifference toward Title IX and the devastation their rules have done to fair play. The lawsuit, which was organized by the Independent Council on Women’s Sports, is considered the first of its kind — and, if you ask most Americans, long overdue. Among other things, it demands the association “revoke all awards given to trans athletes in women’s competition and ‘reassign’ them to their female contenders. It also asks for ‘damages for pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, suffering and anxiety…” The Free Press explains.

Some of the most horrifying stories of Thomas’s involvement in girls’ swimming have come at the expense of girls’ privacy — another reason the women felt compelled to sue. As Gaines has shared before, most of the competitors at the NCAA Championships in Georgia had zero warning that a naked Thomas would be in the women’s locker room. “The first time we found out that this would be the case was when we were actually undressing next to this six-foot-four man who was also simultaneously undressing, fully exposing himself and his male genitalia,” Gaines said. “We were not given any prior acknowledgement. We were not given a way to make other arrangements for ourselves. This was something as women, as female athletes, that we felt uncomfortable with.”

One elite swimmer and fellow plaintiff, Kylee Alons, a 31-time All-American, was so embarrassed that she changed in a utility room after she encountered Thomas. “I was literally racing U.S. and Olympic gold medalists, and I was changing in a storage closet at this elite-level meet,” she told Block.

“… I can’t even put into words the feelings,” Gaines shared. “I mean, of course it’s awkward, it’s embarrassing, it’s uncomfortable, but really the feelings of betrayal and utter violation. And honestly, the locker room aspect of this whole thing was traumatizing. And it wasn’t even necessarily traumatizing because of what we were forced to see or how we as women were forcibly exploited without our consent. It was traumatic for me to know just how easy it was for those people who created and enforce these policies [to] totally dismiss our rights to privacy without even a second thought, without even bare minimum forewarning us.”

One thing people might not realize, Block explained after reading the lawsuit, is that a competitive swimming race suit “is much different.” “It’s really tight. It could take 15 to 20 minutes, sometimes 30, 40 minutes to put on.” So these young women aren’t talking about a few minutes of discomfort. “And let’s be honest here,” Gaines admitted, “a swimming locker room [is] not a place of modesty. I think we can all agree a locker room is not a comfortable place in general. But growing up a swimmer, I think, at least for speaking for myself, you grow to feel comfortable being vulnerable in that environment. But that vulnerability was entirely stripped from us. When you have your back turned, you’re undressing, and all of a sudden you hear a man’s voice in that changing space. … It was innate for every girl in that locker room to cover themselves, whether that was with their hands or their towels or their clothes — and to get out of that locker room as quickly as they could.”

Reka reminded people that this was a position the NCAA forced them into. “As Riley said, we didn’t get a heads up. … And it might seem silly for some people, but we had 18- to 22-year-old girls in the locker room — and some of them may not have seen a naked male before. And [it’s] just not right.”

At the end of the day, the women say, they’re all victims of the radical agenda of the Biden administration, the NCAA, and International Olympic Committee (IOC), whose main goal seems to be “actively and openly discriminating against women on the basis of our sex, which is everything that Title IX was passed to prevent from happening.”

And in a stunning admission by Baker to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the NCAA pursued this extreme trans policy without ever studying the “physical, psychological, or emotional harm” of the trans policy on female athletes. “That’s a bombshell,” Concerned Women for America’s Doreen Denny insisted after discovering it — buried — on page 18 of the president’s written response. That alone should be “grounds for the NCAA to cease and desist” from its policy immediately.

And it’s not as if the NCAA hadn’t been pressed to study the issue. Members of its own committees, including Bill Bock, who were experts on the science, urged the association to act. Bock’s years with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency led him to believe that allowing men to compete against women was essentially “massive, authorized cheating.” And yet, as he explained after resigning in protest, “There was no real mechanism for me to bring that issue to anybody within my committee and force a decision on it or something like that. … The board of directors of the NCAA is the ultimate decision maker. And they were the ones that ultimately made the decision to continue to allow Thomas to compete.”

When people asked about protecting a level playing field, the NCAA “tried to avoid the question,” Bock said. “Mostly, they [tried] to talk about something else … [like] inclusiveness and the need to be open to whatever somebody feels about themselves. … And then they say, ‘This could cause people to self-harm if we don’t allow them to do this.’ And so, we should make sport unfair because people will self-harm.”

But the biological realities are real, most international sports bodies have conceded as they snap back to stricter, girls-only rules. “Women are not just a testosterone threshold,” Gaines argued. “That is not the qualification to being a woman. Even if Thomas had zero nanomoles per liter of testosterone in his body, there are still advantages that males possess over women that make this unfair. The bottom line is, even if this wasn’t a physical sport, it’s a woman’s category, and by allowing men into women’s category, you are, again, objectively discriminating against women on the basis of our sex.”

To the haters who say she’s just anti-trans, Gaines fires back, “My stance is not anti-anything. My stance is pro-reality. It is pro-fairness. It is pro-common sense. It is pro-woman. And if being pro-woman is deemed anti-trans, then it must mean that being pro-trans is deemed anti-woman. And what do we call someone who’s anti-woman? We call them a misogynist.”

At the end of the day, she argued, “Reka and myself and the other athletes who are signed onto this lawsuit, we are standing for something. We are standing for women again. We are standing for women’s sports. We are standing for reality. We are not standing against anything. There’s certainly a place for people who identify as trans to compete in sports. Of course there is. And I encourage everyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation or race … to play sports, but play in a category that is fair and that is safe. Thomas competing against us was neither of those things.”

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED VIDEO: Female University Athletes File Lawsuit Against NCAA Over Transgender Policy

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘It’s “Me Too” Unless You Are a Jew’: Why Won’t Women’s Groups Condemn Hamas’s Rapes?

Why won’t so-called “women’s groups” condemn Hamas terrorists for raping Israeli women on October 7? This is what a growing number of people are asking, including Former Miss World and Miss Israel 1998, Linor Abargil, who gave a very moving and emotional speech before the United Nations on December 4.

Abargil appeared on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday. She said, “It’s ‘Me Too’ unless you are a Jew.” She observed, “It’s not about political, it’s not about ‘Free Palestine, it’s not about which side you’re on on the map: to use rape as an act of war is unbearable. I mean, what happened to humanity?” She then became very emotional and had to take a moment to compose herself before she shared:

“One of my friends… told me a story about this young woman — that he saw a video of her — she was raped by three Hamas people, one after another raped her. . .Screaming they beat her, spit at her, they then butchered her, and one of them took her cell phone and just send everything to her mother. Her scream just haunts my friend every night he’s tried to sleep. And her screaming should be out there for all the world to shout out for this girl that is not here to shout herself. But instead, all of the organizations are just silent. …I mean, I’m telling you, I’m just speechless.”

In the second hour of Thursday’s program, Dana Perino interviewed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) who also called out the women’s groups that are usually her political allies. They include Emily’s List, Democratic Women’s Caucus, Women’s March, I Stand With Her, and American Association of University Women.

Gillibrand said, “When I saw the list at the U.N., I couldn’t believe it. I was so aghast, I was so furious. I don’t understand how we cannot have solidarity amongst all women in the United States and globally — that using rape as a weapon of war is unacceptable. It has to be condemned. The fact that the U.N. has not called Hamas a terrorist organization and condemn[ed] the horrific violence on October 7 is unacceptable. And they’re not even enforcing international law.”

She went on to say, “I think women’s rights groups in the United States should care deeply about women around the globe and should not turn a blind eye. They should not keep their head in the sand. They have a moral responsibility to have moral clarity…”

Perino asked Gillibrand if she watched the video of the October 7 massacre that the Israeli government provided for Congress to watch. She responded, “I did. It’s unspeakable. The horrific acts that were committed in the most heinous and evil ways you can imagine: beheadings, dismemberments, mass rapes, shooting of babies and children. It’s something that should never, ever happen. And it has to be called out not only by the U.N. but by the world community. … They did not show us the victims of rape, and they did not show us the videos of rapes happening because they thought it was too horrific for Congress to see, but we should see it. And these films and these photographs should be made public because the world has to condemn this…”

Abargil’s and Gillibrand’s emotional pleas stand in stark contrast to the cold words of Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, December 3. When CNN host, Dana Bash, asked her why women’s groups are “downright silent” about Hamas raping and mutilating Jewish women on October 7, Jayapal shockingly downplayed Hamas’s evil acts, continually trying to compare those acts to Israel’s justifiable right to defend itself.

Bash said, “With respect, I was just trying to talk about the women, and you turned it back to Israel. I’m asking you about Hamas…”

Jayapal interrupted, “I already answered your question, Dana, I said it’s horrific. I think that rape is horrific — sexual assault is horrific. I think it’s horrific. I think that it happens in war situations. Terrorist organizations like Hamas obviously are using these as tools. However, I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians…”

Bash pointed out, “And it’s horrible, but you don’t see Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women.” To which Jayapal responded, “Well, Dana, I don’t want this to be the hierarchy of oppressions…”

Although U.N. Women finally condemned Hamas on December 1 (almost two months after the October 7 attack), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still pleading with groups such as the United Nation’s own World Health Organization and women’s groups around the world to be vocal advocates for the many Israeli women and girls that were raped on October 7 (and for the hostages that likely continue to be abused). He said, “I heard heartbreaking stories of abuse. I heard, as you have heard, about sexual abuse and unprecedented cases of cruel rape.”

He then asked, “Did you remain silent because it was Jewish women? … I say to the women’s rights organizations, to the human rights organizations, you’ve heard of the rape of Israeli women, horrible atrocities, sexual mutilation? Where the hell are you? I expect all civilized leaders, governments, nations to speak up against this atrocity.”

Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Education Studies, Meg Kilgannon, is not surprised by women’s groups’ lack of attention to this horrific issue. She told The Washington Stand, “National women’s groups have been part and parcel of the Democratic Party for years. For women who pay attention, we know that these groups will never represent our values or the real interests of women. The example of excusing depraved behaviors of terrorists is just another of many ways the leaders of women’s groups serve the interest of progressive and authoritarian men.”

FRC’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity, Mary Szoch, agreed and added, “The terroristic actions of Hamas are pure evil and should be denounced by everyone — especially those claiming to speak for women. Failure to speak out against members of Hamas raping Jewish women is inexcusable.”

AUTHOR

Kathy Athearn

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

SUZANNE DOWNING: Women’s Rights Orgs Wave Off Atrocities Committed Against Jewish Women And Girls

In an era marked by women’s rights militancy, a deafening silence looms over the savage atrocities experienced by Jewish women and girls at the hands of Hamas terrorists.

The United Nations commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Saturday, while a blatant contradiction stared the world right in the face: The systemic rape and murder of Israeli women and children by Hamas terrorists, in what appears to have been a preplanned part of the terror campaign launched by Hamas on Oct. 7.

The systematic dehumanization of Jewish women and children challenges the selective activism that plagues the global women’s rights network. The failure to even acknowledge these war crimes contrasts with the movement’s relentlessly shrill stance on other women’s issues. Whatever happened to “Believe All Women”?

Do the women’s organizations not believe the account of a survivor, who hid during the Oct. 7 raid on Israel, but could see from her hiding place a girl who had been captured and was being passed from Palestinian to Palestinian terrorist, who took turns defiling her?

“As I am hiding, I see in the corner of my eye that [a terrorist] is raping her,” the witness recounted to Times of Israel. “They bent her over and I realized they were raping her and simply passing her on to the next [terrorist],” the woman recounted. Her story is not isolated.

Such accounts should catalyze immediate outrage and action, from the White House to the United Nations, yet there remains a baffling silence, a betrayal of the very principles that women’s rights movements say they believe.

On Oct. 13, even though the torture of Jewish women had already been documented, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres equated Hamas’s brutalities with Israel’s self-defense.

Guterres said of the situation in Gaza that Hamas had killed more than 1,200 people and injured thousands, but, on the other hand, Israel had killed 1,800 people in response and injured thousands. He went on to say that Israel was being unreasonable to call on Palestinians in Gaza City to move to the south of the territory within 24 hours.

“Moving more than one million people across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water, or accommodation, when the entire territory is under siege, is extremely dangerous – and in some cases, simply not possible,” he said. Again, the UN shows little concern shown for the war crimes being committed by Hamas against women and children.

UN-Women’s statement of Oct. 20 also ignored the atrocities, and instead focused on Gaza women’s suffering as they became the new heads of households, their husbands having been killed in the fighting on behalf of Hamas.

Meanwhile, a Hamas video recording showed its terrorists torturing a pregnant woman at a kibbutz, and removing and killing her unborn child, according to Michal Herzog, the First Lady of the State of Israel.

The United Nations’ and UN-Women’s tepid response, or lack thereof, further underscores this disparity. While the suffering of women and children in Gaza rightly receives attention, the atrocities committed against Israeli women and girls are seemingly sidelined.

Selective outrage undermines the credibility of these organizations and their commitment to universal women’s rights.

Herzog made an appeal, explaining that women and girls have been so violently raped that their pelvic bones were broken.

Those of us unlucky enough to have seen video evidence broadcast by the terrorists themselves witnessed the body of a naked woman paraded through Gaza, and another, still alive, in bloodied pants held captive at gunpoint being pulled into a jeep by her hair. This evidence, along with the explicit recorded confessions of captured terrorists, makes abundantly clear that mass rape was a premeditated part of Hamas’s plan,” Herzog wrote.

Israeli Police Superintendent Dudi Katz said officers have documented more than 1,000 statements and more than 60,000 video clips related to the attacks that include accounts from people who reported seeing women raped. Although investigators did not have firsthand testimony, it is still not clear whether any rape victims survived.

This is not just an Israeli issue; it’s a global human rights crisis. If the rape of Israeli women and girls at the hands of Hamas terrorists is not a wake-up for women’s rights advocates, then they have willfully abandoned their mission, and lost all credibility.

AUTHOR

SUZANNE DOWNING

Suzanne Downing is the founder and editor of Must Read Alaska.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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4 More Companies Go ‘Full Bud Light,’ Daring Consumers to Boycott

While major banks downgrade Anheuser-Busch’s stock and Bud Light becomes a corporate punch line, a quartet of CEOs seem all too happy to join them. As the beer company implodes under the weight of a national boycott, their cautionary tale seems lost on four companies, who’ve decided to follow transgender advocacy straight to financial insolvency. Who are the brands foolish enough to ride Bud Light’s tattered coattails?

1. Target

One of the first companies to stick out their necks for the LGBT agenda, Target was woke before woke was a word. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the chain who introduced a controversial line of “Love Is Love” shirts way back in 2012 was ready to board the transgender train. Back then, retail analyst Britt Beemer warned that the Target strategy isn’t “very smart,” especially in conservative states, where it does the biggest business. “Anytime a retailer gets away from doing what they should be doing by being involved in a social cause, [they lose].”

Target got a taste of that last year, when the mega-retailer — who helped launch the war on gender six years ago with its mixed-gender bathrooms and fitting rooms — decided to fill its racks with merchandise to help young people reject the biological sex God gave them. From chest binders that strap down breasts to compression underwear to hide bulges for boys, Target is taking direct aim at America’s children.

Now, the soulless company is inviting new outrage with a trans line of clothes and books. With colorful messages like “Trans people will always exist!” “Queer! Queer! Queer! Queer!” “Cure transphobia, not trans people,” and “Ask me about my pronouns,” Target is putting itself in the bullseye. There are baby bodysuits, rompers, mugs, and a collection of books that would put most moms on the warpath. “My Sister Daisy,” which is about a boy learning to how to treat his younger brother’s “gender [transition] with compassion,” is recommended for 5 to 7-year-olds, while “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish” clocks in even younger (4-8).

The activist group Gays Against Groomers didn’t hold back their fury. “We hope there are enough parents out there that understand how wrong this is and show them that this garbage will not sell,” they urged their hundreds of thousands of followers. “The only thing these people understand is money. Target deserves the Bud Light treatment. We will work to put the pressure on them.”

2. Levi Strauss

Last fall, Jennifer Sey, a longtime Levi’s executive, wrote a blockbuster book about the radical undercurrent at America’s oldest jeans company called, “Levi’s Unbuttoned: The Woke Mob Took My Job But Gave Me My Voice.” Sey’s candid, behind-the-scenes tell-all made quite a splash, especially her frank assessment of upper management’s radical politics.

“Today’s executives reared these kids with an ‘I’m not your Dad, I’m your friend’ parenting philosophy, and they chase their children’s approval,” she writes. “They want to impress their woke kids with their own progressive bona fides.”

Their latest idea? A gender-neutral clothing line. CEO Chip Bergh announced the idea this month, dismissing any fears about “a Bud Light-type backlash” against the 170-year-old company. Unisex clothing, he argued, is the wave of the future in a supposedly trans-accepting society.

“We are building out slowly,” he explained to Axios. “It started with a small collection of gender-neutral or gender-fluid line, and there’s definitely consumer appetite for that,” Bergh claimed. “And we are here for that.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Levi’s has rolled the dice on sexual politics. Its first foray into the trans market was 2017 with a collection called Line 8. Since then, they’ve only leaned harder into the fad, posting a guide to unisex shopping in 2019. (Like every other company on this list, their extremism also extends to abortion politics.)

As Sey warned, the tentacles of radicalism run deep at Levi’s — thanks in part to the younger generation of workers there, who she calls “ideological terrorists” who are “policing their peers and elders relentlessly.” Company leaders, she insists, “are unwilling to stand up to them.” “Most CEOs lack the moral courage to hold their ground,” Sey wrote. “Because they know, deep down, that they aren’t do-gooders, and they don’t want that curtain lifted.”

3. Starbucks

Anyone who’s ordered a cup from the iconic green mermaid has been fueling more than their caffeine fix — they’ve been financing the movement to trans our sons and daughters. After a divisive pronoun campaign in 2019 called #WhatsYourName, the mega-retailer one-upped America’s other woke CEOs last year by offering to ship employees’ children out of state to change their sex.

A statement from the company’s Sara Kelly announced that Starbucks is committed to the most outrageous forms of corporate activism — including paid travel for transgender surgery. “Regardless of where you live or what you believe, partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare will now be offered reimbursement for eligible travel expenses when accessing abortion or gender-affirming procedures when those services are not available within 100 miles of a partner’s home.”

Now, a year later, Starbucks, whose philanthropic partners include an advocate for child sex-changes, is taking its campaign to mutilate children to the world.

On May 9, Starbucks India ignited a global firestorm after releasing an ad openly celebrating gender reassignment surgery. In the commercial, which has more than a million views, a mom and dad meet with their son, who now identifies as a girl, at the coffee shop. They all listen as the barista calls out a drink for “Arpita,” their son’s new name — meant to be a sign that his parents, who placed the order, accept his new female identity. “For me, you are still my kid,” the father says. “Only a letter has been added to your name,” he said, reaching out for his son’s hand.

Underneath, the Indian caption reads, “Your name defines who you are — whether it’s Arpit or Arpita. At Starbucks, we love and accept you for who you are. Because being yourself means everything to us. #ItStartsWithYourName.”

An Australian-based pundit, who’s watched Bud Light’s fall from grace, couldn’t believe Starbucks would be crazy enough to jump on the burning bandwagon. They’re going “full Bud Light,” he warned. “If saturating the market with a mediocre U.S. coffee brand wasn’t bad enough,” Rukshan Fernando tweeted, “now they are bringing their woke corporate culture to the Sub-Continent.”

Others pointed out the coffee company’s hypocrisy, since “Starbucks in Saudi [Arabia], UAE, and Qatar have been around much longer than India. Yet you will never see them place such ads there.” Then there was Indian celebrity Nuance Bro, who urged locals to walk away. “Alright India here’s your chance to resist properly. … Do not let this programming gain a foothold.”

But it’s not as if Starbucks’ agenda is a surprise. The liberal business has never truly cared about kids — not after spending thousands of dollars helping Planned Parenthood abort them — or working to deprive them of a married mom and dad. Still, if the wave of opposition to the trans agenda on both sides is any indication, something’s brewing at Starbucks — and that’s trouble.

4. Sports Illustrated

Men who pick up a copy of the 2023 swimsuit edition hoping to see actual women at the beach are in for quite a surprise with this year’s edition. Instead of a biological female on the cover, the woke magazine opted for Kim Petras, a busty man who underwent gender-transition surgery at age 16.

“I was so excited when I got the call to be in Sports Illustrated,” Petras, a German-born singer, told SI. “It’s very iconic, and a lot of very iconic people have done it before, so [it was a] big dream come true for me.” Asked about the pushback he might get, 30-year-old Petras replied, “It’s definitely a scary time to be transgender in America, but there’s also so much more representation than there’s ever been, and there’s so many things on the bright side.”

Back in 2006, the singer was considered “the world’s youngest transsexual” after he appeared on a television show describing his transition, which started with hormones at just 12 years old.

For Sports Illustrated, who’s no stranger to controversy, this isn’t the first time the magazine has pushed the envelope with a trans model. Leyna Bloom landed the cover job in 2021. Readers were irate — but the criticism obviously fell on deaf ears. “There is no theme [to this year’s issue],” Editor-in-Chief MJ Day explained this time around, “rather, there is a vision, a sentiment, a hope that women can live in a world where they feel no limitations, internally or externally.” These women share “certain common traits,” she insisted. “They’re constantly evolving.”

Evolving is one way to put it, critics lashed out. Is no space that’s historically been reserved for women — no traditions, jobs, sports, or products — sacred anymore? “The 2023 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover model is a biological man with fake boobs,” Wisconsin activist Scarlett Johnson posted. “I really hope men are #Done with Sports Illustrated.” Over at Rebel News, Ezra Levant joked, “I guess the Bud Light ad wizards had to land somewhere.”

Meanwhile, consumers can’t help but wonder: who in their right mind would follow Bud Light down this fatal road? A single can with the wrong partner sent Anheuser-Busch into a nationwide tailspin — with no relief in sight. As other brands watch that five-alarm fire destroy the brand’s reputation, others are reaching for the same hot stove.

Why? Family Research Council’s Joseph Backholm believes it’s because “progressives are true believers.” “They don’t just say the key to happiness is a world in which truth is personal and everyone gets to be who they want to be. They really believe it,” he told The Washington Stand. “They believe it so strongly they’re even willing to temporarily lose money along the way.”

“There’s actually a lot for Christians to learn here,” he insisted. “Do we believe the truth as much as they believe lies?”

For conservative, freedom-loving alternatives to every leftist coffee, denim, retail, and beer company, download the Public Sq. app and reward the businesses who share your values.

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Bud Light Fiasco Proved Conservatives Already Have The Secret Weapon To Win

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

International Women’s Day Exposed for ‘Communist Roots’

Dedicating a whole month to commemorate a particular demographic is not rare, according to the U.S. calendar. In February, the spotlight is on black history and the significant role black leaders have played in our country’s past. November is National American Indian Heritage Month. Now, as we reach the midpoint of March, America is marking Women’s History Month, which encourages “the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women,” with a special focus on International Women’s Day on March 8.

During these designated months, social media platforms, news stations, radio hosts, podcasters, and others encourage people to participate, but it does prompt an important question: What led to these celebrations and who decides which demographics are recognized?

On Thursday, Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council, joined FRC President Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch” to share her reaction to the White House’s decision to honor a biological man who identifies as a woman with the International Woman of Courage Award.

“So honoring a man to celebrate women … what am I missing?” Perkins asked, referring to honoree Alba Rueda, a biological man. To this, Szoch replied that it wasn’t Perkins who was missing something but the Biden administration who was. She added, “In fact, what they’re missing is the knowledge of what is a woman.”

That point was driven home at a hearing in March of 2022 when Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, stated that she was unable to define a woman. According to Szoch, this seems to be a leftist trend.

“The Biden administration thinks that if you put on a dress or if you wear high heels or if you put on lipstick, that’s what makes someone a woman,” Szoch said. Yet, she argued. there is much more to a woman than that.

“What makes women different from men is written in our very DNA. Written in our very bodies — in our physical makeup — is a space for another that we are actually physically oriented towards,” she stated.,” she stated. “It is within a woman that another exists and her very body nourishes that other person. So that influences the way that women perceive the world, the way that they do everything, the way that we interact and the way that we view things.”

Perkins wasn’t surprised that the International Woman of Courage Award was given to a man, as it is “consistent with the origins of this day.” With the rise of the LGBTQ movement came more tolerance of people who identify as the opposite sex. According to Szoch, labeling a man as “courageous” for identifying as a woman on International Women’s Day can be traced to its “communist roots.”

As Szoch went on to note, Karl Marx, the father of communism, was known to have abused and cheated on his wife, Jenny Marx. She also observed that one of his other known goals along his pursuit of political power was to dismantle the family. In a 2022 article written by Joy Stockbauer now a correspondent for The Washington Stand, she expressed the irony of International Women’s Day being founded on Marxist values. “The only aspect of womanhood that communists celebrate is its ability to be exploited,” she wrote. “Communists have repeatedly used female empowerment as a disguise for human rights violations against women.”

In March of 1857, New York City garment and textile workers went on strike over low wages and long workdays. In 1889, the editor of the German Social Democratic party’s women’s newspaper, Clara Zetkin, began laying “the groundwork to eventually establish International Woman’s Day as a Communist holiday.” The concept began to trickle into European and Asian regions and was established as a Communist holiday by Vladimir Lenin.

This newly-created holiday “was a day about women’s ‘equality,’” Szoch noted. “But of course, equality to them didn’t mean that men and women have equal dignity. It meant that men and women are the same and that we should treat them as if they’re interchangeable.”

As Szoch pointed out, the holiday was founded on the idea that there are no fundamental differences between men and women, discounting the unique roles of wife and mother. “We’ve seen time and time again,” she said, “that communist regimes don’t value women, that in fact women are abused by them, that their dignity is disregarded.”

Although our country has fallen prey to the Marxist origins of International Women’s Day and have started honoring biological men instead, Szoch underscored, many are still bravely standing for the dignity of what a true woman is. Former University of Kentucky swimmer-turned-women’s-sports-activist Riley Gaines would have been a great choice, Szoch insisted.

In the meantime, she said, “What I’ve seen from a lot of women [encountering this radical agenda] is a lot of eye rolls. … [E]very glass ceiling that was shattered, the Biden administration has worked to reinforce with cement.”

AUTHOR

Abigail Olsson

RELATED ARTICLE: Attorney’s Arrest Highlights SPLC’s Ties to Radical Left

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Biden Administration Praises Taliban’s ‘Openness’ to Women’s Rights

What happens when you learn nothing from history.

In 2001, the Taliban blew up the giant Buddha statues. Now they’re charging tourists five bucks each to go see the statues that aren’t there. Considering the Islamic knack for destroying statues, tombs, historic buildings, and anything that isn’t a mosque, tourism can be tough.

Fortunately the Taliban have the opium business to fall back on.

While officially the Taliban deplore drugs, their takeover was partly backed by the country’s drug lords who were eager for an end to America’s war on drugs. Planting season has arrived and everyone is expecting a lot of drug money to start flowing into the Taliban’s terrorist coffers.

The Taliban response to international complaints has been the familiar drug shakedown.

“If the international community recognizes our government and we receive aid and development assistance, then poppies will definitely disappear,” a Taliban governor told the media.

Former U.S. administrations had offered aid in exchange for suspending the drug business. And while Afghanistan’s only real cash crop didn’t go away, the Jihadist bosses of the opium OPEC were willing to occasionally reduce production in exchange for cash from Uncle Sam.

The Biden administration is directing over a hundred million in aid to Afghanistan, but what the Taliban really want is the $9 billion in money from the former government they had overthrown.

That includes the $1.3 billion in gold sitting in Manhattan vaults near Ground Zero.

The Taliban would like that gold, but so would the families of the victims killed by the Taliban’s Al Qaeda allies on September 11.

The 9/11 families had sued the Taliban and won $7 billion in damages. But back then the Taliban didn’t have money just sitting around in downtown Manhattan.

That’s no longer the case.

Biden’s problem is the familiar one facing the Obama administration over judgements won by terror victims against Iran and the PLO. How do you funnel money to the terrorists without letting their victims get hold of it? The answer is that you pay secret ransoms or send “humanitarian aid”. Withholding money from terror victims to pay terror bosses looks tacky, so just turn the money into ransom for American hostages or medicine for crying local children.

And so despite the fact that the Taliban negotiate with all faiths other than their own in bad faith, the Biden administration is still negotiating with the terrorists who broke every previous deal.

A week after Thanksgiving, some of Biden’s boys from the State Department, USAID, the Treasury Department, and assorted spooks, flew off to talk turkey with the Taliban in Qatar.

The assortment of departments and agencies in the delegation to the terrorists was an interesting one. The State Department’s diplomats love to appease terrorists, USAID is there to dole out “humanitarian aid”, the spooks are there to ask the terrorists for info on the other terrorists, and the Treasury Department is there to discuss economic sanctions.

And how to bypass them.

All it takes is certifying that the Taliban are nice folks now and it’s time to work with them on feeding and clothing the Afghan people, not to mention educating the girls of Afghanistan.

A week after the Taliban banned women from television, Biden’s State Department spokesman Ned Price released a statement praising the Taliban’s “openness to engaging with the international community on full access to education”.

Price further claimed that the Islamic terrorist group which closed most schools to girls had actually “welcomed efforts to verify and monitor progress to enroll women and girls in school at all levels.”

The Taliban, apparently, also “asked for support in the education sector.”

Preferably in the form of cash, heroin, or Black Hawk helicopter parts.

According to the Taliban, 75% of girls are back in school. And if you believe that, you probably work for the State Department.

The Taliban’s newfound feminism is as suspect as that of Andrew Cuomo, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and Joe Biden, but they want money and Joe Biden wants to give it to them.

The levers for extracting that cash are a combination of blackmail and victimhood.

The Taliban will cash in on opium while the people starve. And then ask for money in exchange for shutting down the drug trade and then getting the people something to eat. The remaining Americans and Afghan visa recipients are also hostages who can be traded for more dollars.

That’s another reason why so very few of the visa recipients ever made it to the airport. And why the majority of those who did had no visas and no vetting, but probably did pay off the Taliban.

The Taliban can only make so much money from charging tourists to see the missing Buddhas.

The last year should have been a comprehensive education in why the Taliban can’t be trusted. After agreeing not to conquer Afghanistan, they went ahead and did it anyway. While they were doing that, the Biden administration, which is almost as trustworthy as the Taliban, assured the media, which is almost as trustworthy as the Biden administration, that everything was fine.

Now everything is fine again.

When the Taliban aren’t beheading members of female sports teams, they’re showing a great deal of “openness” to “engaging with the international community” on their feminism.

They’ll even field a fully progressive approved all-female sports team of men in burkas.

The Biden administration promised to leave Afghanistan, but the United States never leaves anywhere. Aside from taking in tens of thousands of Afghans into our country, we’re still on the hook for feeding, clothing, and educating the Afghans in Talibanland, not to mention Pakistan.

Even once the Taliban get their billions and their UN seat, we’ll still be sending them aid.

In December 2000, the State Department boasted that it had sent $113 million in “humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people”. It further bragged that the “United States is the largest single donor of assistance to Afghans, and has a long record of providing such assistance.”

All the while it acknowledged that the Taliban were mischievously harboring Osama bin Laden.

That money stolen from American taxpayers covered “food, housing, health and education programs” for the Afghans. And the State Department shamefully bragged that “of every ten dollars” in aid, “nine dollars is a United States contribution.”

Next year the Taliban contributed four airplanes directed at killing thousands of Americans.

Having learned nothing in twenty years, the Biden administration and its career diplomats expect Americans to continue funding a Taliban welfare state.

This time the Taliban really believe in feminism, they insist. This time they’re really committed to fighting terrorism. And this time they surely won’t host another terrorist attack on America.

As long as we pay them enough.

COLUMN BY

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center specializing in investigative reporting on the Left and Islamic terrorism.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.