ACLU of New Hampshire Executive Director Devon Chaffee treated the New Hampshire Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee to a gaslighting clinic at a hearing for SB 480, which would prevent boys from competing on girls’ public school sports teams.
Gaslighting is a way of manipulating people to make them doubt their perceptions, memory, or judgment, to make them feel stupid. As Chico Marx put it, “Who are you going to believe, me, or your own eyes?”
And what do we see with our own eyes? Nationally, we see men smashing records and snatching up prizes in women’s bicycling, weightlifting, and track. Locally, we see mediocre Franklin Pierce University male runner CeCe Telfer leading the NCAA’s Division II women’s division in the 55-meter dash and 55-meter hurdle event, and two undistinguished high school boys transforming themselves into the fastest girls in the region.
Does this look bad for transgenderism? No. In a voice oozing condescension, Chaffee explains it away:
“This is not new. Trans athletes have competed throughout the state for decades,” she said. We just haven’t seen the sort of bogeyman that has been presented here today that seems to be driving this bill. We’ve seen really no issues occur in athletics.”
If anyone’s still in doubt, she assures us that there has been “no categorical dominance by trans athletes,” because there are “many disparate factors varying from sport-to-sport that determine whether or not a particular athlete is going to be successful.” Forget that stuff about men being on the whole bigger, stronger, and faster – it’s all in our heads, a bogeyman, and “this bill is not fixing any real problem.”
But what about Title IX which says “’no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in . . . any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Shouldn’t that protect women from having their spots on varsity teams and on the podium taken by men? No, explained Chaffee; quite the opposite:
“Perhaps what we really should do is look at an updated interpretation of Title IX and the US Constitution.” She noted that judges often interpret Title IX to protect gender identity.
Chaffee, who helped push through legislation to put men in women’s locker rooms in New Hampshire, keeps a straight face while she expresses concern for girls’ privacy. She notes that if someone questioned whether an athlete is a woman: “The first criteria would be to have a pelvic exam, which, I think, can be a traumatic procedure.”
First, sex can be determined with a an unintrusive cheek swab. Physicals are no fun, but they’re already required for school sports. The examination form includes genitalia on a list with the heading, “Check if any abnormal findings.” A girl with a penis might be considered an abnormal finding.
She claims SB 480 “targets and excludes certain students based solely on their gender identity.” No, it discriminates between men and women based on the realities of sex. A gender-confused young man would have the same right to be on a boys’ sports team as any other boy. No one would be excluded.
If they really believe in freedom, is it too much to ask Chaffee and the ACLU-NH to advocate for the rights of women instead of browbeating those who have the courage to stand up? That’s a rhetorical question.
Video Testimony by the ACLU-NH