With more teens “sexting,” should we abandon child pornography laws?

Do minors have a First Amendment right to take and distribute sexually explicit photos of themselves? The answer is no, according to a 6-3 ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court.

A 17-year-old in Spokane was charged with and convicted of “dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct” under state law after he texted a picture of his erect genitalia to a 22-year-old woman. Arguing that the First Amendment guarantees his right to express himself by sending sexually explicit images of himself to others, he appealed to the Washington State Supreme Court after the appeals court affirmed the trial court’s decision.

Astonishingly, the ACLU and supposed children’s rights organizations Columbia Legal Services and TeamChild filed a brief to the court on behalf of the 17-year-old defendant. In their brief, the organizations argued that the court’s ruling would “jeopardize thousands of minors across the state by criminalizing increasingly common and normative adolescent behavior [using phones to distribute sexually explicit pictures of minors].”

To some extent, the ACLU and their friends are right. Children shouldn’t be forced to register as a sex offender simply because they voluntarily took pictures of their genitalia and consensually swapped it with someone from school (most of the time, law enforcement show no interest in pursuing such offenses). There exists a significant difference between an adult distributing pornographic images of minors, a high school boy sending pictures of his naked minor girlfriend to his friends, and a high school student texting lewd photos of him- or herself to someone he or she knows. Our state laws should be updated to reflect the growing phenomenon of sexting, a practice that wasn’t even technologically possible decades ago when these child pornography laws were enacted.

On the other hand, states have the legal authority and moral responsibility to criminalize the distribution of sexually explicit images of minors. It makes no difference that sexting has become “increasingly common and normative adolescent behavior.” That the practice is becoming increasingly prevalent is all the more reason to make clear that such behavior will not be tolerated.

Indeed, the same reasoning used by the ACLU and their friends is often also used by those who promote the distribution of birth control and prophylactics to high school students. “The kids are already having sex,” they say, “so we should ensure that they can have consequence-free safe sex.” But this logic was proven faulty by a study published this summer in The Journal of Health Economics showing that pregnancy rates fell by over 40% after cuts were made to contraceptive-based sexual education programs in England.

Minors who practice sexting are simultaneously engaging in distributing and possessing child pornography. Washington State has rightly criminalized this behavior. Although our laws should be modified to recognize the reality of voluntary consensual sexting among youths, we shouldn’t abandon the prohibition on (and penalties for) child pornography merely because more children are engaging in it. If anything, the sexting epidemic only proves that these laws are needed now more than ever.

Yakima School District Principal Instructs Teachers to Lie to Parents

A Yakima teacher is blowing the whistle on school administrators who he claims instructed him and his coworkers to “engage in active deception towards parents with regard to trans-gendered students.”

In a Facebook post on August 28, Jeremy Wuitschick, a teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School in Yakima, WA, gave details about an interaction with the principal at a staff meeting:

YSD [Yakima School District] PARENTS PLEASE SHARE: Today our principal instructed teachers to engage in ACTIVE DECEPTION TOWARDS PARENTS with regard to trans-gendered students that ask to be called a name of a different gender. I am a teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School.

I confirmed this by repeating this question three times to my principal in front of a group of 50 people.

Me: “Are you instructing teachers to actively deceive parents?”

Principal: “Yes.”

This issue is most troubling to me (not transgenderism but rather being told to lie to parents about what is going on at the school with their child).

One teacher raised the classic objection to dishonesty and lying; what if she accidentally makes a mistake and forgets which “reality” is the correct to articulate to a parent.

It is important to note that my objection is to intentional deception by agents of the state towards parents with regard to their own children, I HAVE NO PROBLEM CALLING ANYONE WHATEVER THEY WISH.

The school grounds its policy in federal FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) legislation, but this is not a legally coherent argument. According to FERPA 34 C.F.R. Part 99.4, “An educational agency or institution shall give full rights under the Act to either parent, unless the agency or institution has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, State statute, or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation, or custody that specifically revokes these rights.” FERPA was carefully worded to prevent school districts like Yakima from turning it into a weapon to be wielded against parents of middle schoolers. That’s not stopping YSD, however.

This is the latest manifestation of a disturbing trend of state powers encroaching on the ability of parents to act as parents to their children. In 2010, a 15-year-old student at Ballard High School was given birth control by the school nurse without notification of the parents. The birth control failed, and the girl became pregnant. School officials then told the girl that they would cover all expenses including a taxi ride to and from the abortion clinic provided she withheld all information about what had occurred from her parents.

A few weeks ago, a California kindergarten teacher read books to her students explaining that perceptions of one’s body need not conform to the reality of their body. Afterwards, the class hosted a “gender reveal” for a gender dysmorphic boy who was attempting to look more like a girl. “My daughter came home crying and shaking so afraid she could turn into a boy,” one parent said at a public meeting following the incident, according to The Federalist. The parents of the students were not made aware that this would take place.

At Nova Classical Academy in Minnesota, lawsuits over sex-related issues have forced the school to keep all sex-education curriculum and sex-related policies hidden from parents and not allow parents to opt out of any classes or assignments regarding sexual morality. Joy Pullman at The Federalist wrote extensively on the situation:

“This month’s settlement after 16 months of litigation requires the school to make all uniforms available to both sexes, pay LGBT organizations to ‘train staff’ in politically correct behavior every three years, and ‘not adopt any gender policy that allows parents to opt out of requirements in the gender inclusion policy because of objections based on religion or conscience.’ This lawyer and Federalist contributor, after reviewing the settlement, said it appears to ban the school from even notifying parents of its sex policies.”

The sexual revolutionaries have no shame. They indoctrinate kindergartners with objectively false and harmful ideas about human nature. They push sexual activity on children as soon as young girls are old enough to take carcinogenic hormonal birth control. They put kids on a trajectory of sexual immorality and then grease the skids towards abortion. They do all of this, and you might never even know.

If it weren’t for the few brave enough to publicly reject leftist sexual orthodoxy and exclusion of parents from kids’ lives, we wouldn’t know of any of this. Legal theorists on the side of secular, anti-family “progressives” believe that the state grants you the right to be a parent and thus also has the authority to take away your parental rights. This particularly insidious understanding of the sacrosanct parent-child relationship is trickling down to the district level. It is up to parents to make sure public school officials don’t get away with it.


James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.


Spokane Public Schools Consider Using Planned Parenthood Sex-Ed Curriculum

Spokane Public Schools district board members were scheduled to vote on a proposal last month that would implement a sexual education curriculum developed by Planned Parenthood. Although the vote was postponed following significant community backlash, the curriculum may still be adopted when the school board meets again this fall.

The “Get Real” curriculum emphasizes sexuality from a perspective of gender fluidity. It also represents a significant conflict of interest.

“The organization who makes this material stands to benefit when young people are sexually active and when they need abortions,” John Repsold, a member of HGDCAC, told The Spokesman-Review.

Despite the district’s decision to delay the vote, it remains likely that Planned Parenthood’s curriculum will be used to educate the youth of Spokane come September. Repsold expects only three of the committee’s 15 members will vote against the new program.

One member of the Human Growth and Development Citizens Advisory Committee (HGDCAC), which provides guidance to Spokane Public Schools on issues of sexuality, is Rachel Todd, an education director at Planned Parenthood.

Spokane children aren’t the only targets of Planned Parenthood educational programs. The nation’s largest abortion corporation is also one of the most prominent distributors of sexual education materials. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood intends to begin establishing clinics inside public schools, starting with Reading, PA.

Planned Parenthood has used its access to children and teens to sexualize them in ways that can only be described as child abuse. Its sexual education materials encourage masturbation, pornography use, sexual experimentation,  promiscuous sex, and alternative sexual lifestyles (see video below).

In 2014, Live Action published undercover footage showing Planned Parenthood employees teaching 15-year-old girls how to engage in violent and otherwise perverted forms of sexual activity. The lessons included bondage sex, torture sex, nipple clamps, horse whips, flogging, choking during sex, urinating and being urinated on during sex, defecating and being defecated on during sex, double penetration, pornography consumption, how to hide porn use from parents, pretending her boyfriend is a dog or a horse, being “punished” by her boyfriend, toddler fetishes and numerous other dangerous and dehumanizing sexual perversions.

It is unsurprising that Planned Parenthood teaches kids these things. Their business model depends on widespread sexual immorality in order to increase demand for their sex-related products. Planned Parenthood acquires lifelong customers when they expose children to these behaviors at a young age.

Yet the Spokane public school district is still considering bringing Planned Parenthood’s sexual education curriculum into the classroom.

Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar abortion corporation that seeks to warp our children’s views of sex.  They simply cannot be allowed access to students.


It is incumbent upon us all to do something. Please contact the following Spokane Public School administrators to voice your displeasure with their decision (as always, please be respectful in your communication):

Deanna Brower (Board President): DeanaBrower@spokaneschools.org

Susan Chapin (Board Vice President): SusanChapin@spokaneschools.org

Jerrall Haynes (Board co-legislative Liaison): JerrallHaynes@spokaneschools.org

Paul Schneider (Board Co-Legislative Liaison): PaulSchneider@spokaneschools.org

Michael Wiser (Board Member): MikeWiser@spokaneschools.org

Shelley Redinger (District Superintendent): ShelleyR@spokaneschools.org

Temira Hatch (HGDCAC Chair): temira@northtowninsurance.com

Hershell Zelman (HGDCAC Immediate Past Chair): (509)-747-2234

Sasha Carey (HGDCAC Member): Sashadaniel@hotmail.com

Ian Sullivan (HGDCAC Member): Ian@OdysseyYouth.org

John Andes (Chase Middle School Principal): JohnAnd@spokaneschools.org

Robert Reavis (Garry Middle School Principal): RobertR@spokaneschools.org

Kim Halcro (Glover Middle School Principal): KimHal@spokaneschools.org

Jeremy Ochse (Sacajawea Middle School Principal): JeremyO@spokaneschools.org

Carole Meyer (Salk Middle School Principal): CaroleM@spokaneschools.org

John Swett (Shaw Middle School Principal): JonS@spokaneschools.org

Ken Schutz (Ferris High School Principal): KenS@spokaneschools.org

Marybeth Smith (Lewis & Clark High School Principal): marybethsm@spokaneschools.org

Steve Fisk (North Central High School): SteveF@spokaneschools.org

Lisa Mattson (On Track Academy Principal): LisaMat@spokaneschools.org

Lori Wyborney (Rogers High School Principal): LoriWy@spokaneschools.org

Julie Lee (Shadle Park High School Principal): JulieL@spokaneschools.org

Cindy McMahon (The Community School Principal): CindyMc@spokaneschools.org


James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.


 

The Collateral Damage of the War on Reality

As two more recent stories indicate, the war on gender has nothing to do with bathrooms.

In the first story, a Canadian parent wants their child’s birth certificate to be the first to identify a baby as neither male or female. The parent, who identifies as neither male or female, had this to say about the baby.

“I’m recognizing them as a baby and trying to give them all the love and support to be the most whole person that they can be outside of the restrictions that come with the boy box and the girl box.”

While all of this started as a call for compassion for the tiny percentage of the population who feel like they are the “other” gender,  it has quickly led to rejecting the idea that there is anything that can be known from one’s anatomy.

But asking children to reach conclusions about things they know nothing about is self-evidently silly.

When a child asks “What am I?”, it doesn’t help if all the adults look back at them and ask, “I don’t know, what are you?”

The adults are supposed to know things the kids don’t.

Still, it could be worse.

While some parents are choosing not to impose a gender, other parents don’t have the same patience.

In this story, three, queer parents of a three-year-old that they dubbed “queerspawn” have determined that their child is transgender.  The author of this story describes himself as transgender and asexual.  He says this about the child.

He was assigned female at birth, but his non-conforming behavior was clear and consistent from day one. It started with his hair. He hated wearing it long, and he hated it when we did anything with it. No ponytails, no braids — nothing. He also refused to wear dresses and skirts.

The child probably can’t be trusted to sleep through the night without wetting the bed, but we’re supposed to believe she has a grasp on gender norms as expressed through hair length and clothing and the awareness to understand both their significance, how to reject them, and the consequences of doing so.

While sure their child is transgender, they now wonder whether she will be queer as well.

I don’t wish him any more marginalization and oppression than he’ll already face as a trans person. But I can’t help but think that if he’s queer, there’ll be yet another community he can join, another supportive place for him to vent about that oppression. There are other queer people who will listen and sympathize with him beyond his family. He will need those people when he gets older and flies away from us.

Some parents hope their kids have an adventure, a healthy family, a place that makes them happy, and life-long love.

Other parents label their three-year-old transgender, hope she is attracted to men, which they say would make her gay because they think she’s a boy, and then hope she finds a community to vent about oppression.

Sadly, in 2017, this qualifies as parenting.

I have no doubt these parents want the best for their child.

But it’s hard to know what is good for your child when your view of the world has replaced the concepts of “good” and “bad” with “preferred” or “not preferred.”

We can all understand the appeal of a world is which nothing is inherently wrong, and the only possible consequences of our behavior were environmental which would allow us to manage the fallout by simply fixing the environment.

If, however, that world doesn’t actually exist, if our pursuit of our preferences continues to collide with the natural laws of the universe, the only actual outcome of our pursuits will be pain.

As is usually the case when adults make mistakes, kids will end up as collateral damage in our war on reality.

 

 

The Politically Correct Defense of Gender Identity is Concealing Much Worse

We’re told over and over that it’s purely hypothetical to suppose that any man would ever use gender identity activism or laws to sanction unethical or criminal behavior. As if we were speculating about angels dancing on pinheads.

This is false. We’re having it proved again, this very month.

National Geographic’s gender issue is a case in point. Featured in one of its photo spreads are Alok Vaid-Menon and Cherno Biko.

Vaid-Menon wrote an essay describing little girls as “kinky,” in seeming allusion to the idea that child sexual abuse could be consensual or desired, and you can read it here.

Cherno Biko’s essay appearing to confess to the rape of a trans man, a female living as a man, for the purpose of impregnation is the reason why I first started writing here at FPIW, and you can find links to both versions of that essay here.

Then there’s the women’s march. Except that it’s neither just for women, nor even just about us.

What started as a simple idea has been taken over by a strain of sex industry activism merged with transgender ideology, and summed up flawlessly by the fact that Janet Mock has insisted that the platform include so-called “sex workers’ rights.”

The march platform was in fact changed to call for the liberation of the prostituted from exploitation, and Mock demanded that it be changed back to reflect the political interests of the sex industry. A group representing the interests of sex industry survivors has been banned from the march following this incident.

While I empathize with Mock’s experiences as a young person trafficked in the sex trade, I find it objectionable that, as an adult, Mock has used their media platform to compare child sex trafficking to liberation from slavery. What decent parent would want such a life for their child, any child? What responsible media outlet would allow any other adult victim of child sexual abuse the opportunity to represent such abuse as positive? It’s unfortunate that Mock was groomed by exploitative adults at a young age. It’s also a serious problem that Mock has chosen to be a spokesperson for other abusive adults.

I have no doubt that very few people truly share or endorse the politics of these individuals, particularly their apologies for, or praise of, sexual exploitation. But I wonder, what will it take for those truly concerned with social justice and feminism to take a good look at what they’re endorsing by having these individuals act as movement leaders?

*Silence is the pseudonym of a radical, progressive feminist.

“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”

WA School District Spends Remaining Budget on Pro-LGBT Safe Space Training

A month ago, FPIW reported on the Snohomish School District‘s payment of over $14,000 to a group that advocates transgenderism in children.

Now, according to documents obtained through a public records request, FPIW has learned that North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS) spent money last year on “safe space training,” provided by the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

The money was frantically spent at year-end to avoid losing budget resources for the next year.

Funds were also used to purchase GLSEN student resource kits that were placed in school nurse offices.

The GLSEN safe space training contains questionable content for high schools. The kits encourage teachers to become LGBT allies (the student resource kits presumably include the same information):

  • Teachers are told to integrate pro-LGBT material into their classrooms by adding “positive representations of LGBT people, history and events” and “LGBT literature” in the curriculum.
  • Teachers are instructed not to assume a student’s gender and to use gender inclusive language (i.e., “partner” instead of “boyfriend/girlfriend” and the pronoun “they” instead of “he/she”).
  • Teachers are encouraged to “validate [their students’] gender identity and expression.”
  • Schools are urged to adopt gender-neutral locker rooms and bathrooms, “Valentine’s Day celebrations inclusive of LGBT and non-coupled students,” and “proms, homecoming and athletic events that allow for gender-neutral alternatives to ‘King’ and ‘Queen.’”

Additionally, in an email to a state education official sent in June 2015, an NTPS district official lamented that they weren’t able to purchase and assemble Planned Parenthood “birth control kits” for health teachers before the deadline.

The NTPS official stated that the birth control kits would be purchased from Planned Parenthood in 2016. It’s unclear whether the District ended up buying the kits this year. We’ve reached out to the District for comment.

The American Family Association has identified GLSEN as promoting “anti-Christian bigotry” and intolerance toward Christianity. With this in mind, it’s troubling that NTPS seems to have a close relationship with GLSEN.

We agree with GLSEN that students struggling with same-sex feelings or gender dysphoria deserve to feel safe at school. Of course all students deserve respect.  However, public schools shouldn’t teach young children that these behaviors are healthy and normal – and that’s exactly what GLSEN student resource kits do.

Moreover, many North Thurston parents who hold traditional values contrary to those presented in GLSEN safe space training and student resource kits would be shocked to find out what their children are being taught.

The GLSEN safe space training and student resource kits were purchased with NTPS grant money from Exemplary Sexual Health Education (ESHE), an initiative that is partly funded through grants from the Center for Disease Control and administered by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Fourteen school districts in Washington State are part of the ESHE initiative.

Trump Taps Rep. Tom Price, Pro-Life Doctor, for HHS Secretary

President-elect Donald Trump has selected pro-life champion Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to run the Department of Health and Human Services.

Price, a physician, is a known opponent of Obamacare, signaling the incoming administration’s intention of following through with its campaign promise to “repeal and replace.”

“Some Republicans have attacked the Affordable Care Act without proposing an alternative,” reported the New York Times. “Mr. Price, by contrast, has introduced bills offering a detailed, comprehensive replacement plan in every Congress since 2009, when Democrats started work on the legislation.”

Price’s piece of legislation, the Empowering Patients First Act, would repeal and replace Obamacare and create tax credits for the purchase of individual and family health insurance policies.  If passed, it would also create new incentives for people to contribute to health savings accounts, offer grants to states to subsidize insurance for “high-risk populations,” and promote competition by allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines.  His legislation also provides explicit protections for religious freedom and rights of conscience related to the practice of abortion and the dispensing of abortion-inducing drugs.

As an added bonus, Price has consistently — 100% of the time — voted to Defund Planned Parenthood.  He is an outspoken critic of abortion, calling it a “barbaric” practice.

Planned Parenthood and pro-choice advocacy group NARAL seems concerned by the selection as well:

Price has been strong on all of FPIW’s issues in Congress, stating after the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage that it was “not only a sad day for marriage, but a further judicial destruction of our entire system of checks and balances.”

Price must be confirmed by the incoming U.S. Senate next year before taking over the Department.  And of course, if confirmed, he would no longer be a member of Congress, meaning that his legislation would have to be picked up by another member of Congress. But with conservative majorities in the House and Senate, and a clear priority for the incoming Trump Administration to repeal and replace Obamacare, we don’t expect finding legislative sponsors to be an issue.

We’ll keep you updated through the confirmation process.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Just Like Roe, Marriage Isn’t Settled

In his first interview since winning the presidential election, President-elect Donald J. Trump assured the American people that he won’t advocate reversing the Supreme Court’s decision last year requiring states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Speaking with CBS News correspondent Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes, Donald Trump indicated that his administration will abandon efforts to overturn the controversial Obergefell decision. The news media has interpreted Trump’s support for same-sex marriage as a sign that the conservative movement has surrendered on the contentious issue.

“I’ve been a supporter [of the LGBT group],” Trump said in the interview this past Sunday. “[Marriage equality] is already settled. It’s law… These cases [regarding same-sex marriage] have gone to the Supreme Court, they’ve been settled, and I’m fine with that.”

In Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the Supreme Court interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment as requiring states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Court’s decision to force states to give equal treatment to same-sex marriages “has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in his dissent. “Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be…. Five lawyers have closed the debate [about same-sex marriage] and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law.”

While President-elect Trump may be willing to accept the unconstitutional edict from the Supreme Court, Republicans and conservative Christians shouldn’t abandon efforts to restore traditional marriage.

Conservatives know that laws encouraging traditional nuclear families – consisting of a father, a mother, and their children – strengthen communities.

Furthermore, numerous sociological studies indicate that children raised within intact traditional families are healthier and happier. These children are also more likely to become successful, well-adjusted adults.

Our laws should reflect this social and biological reality. Just as our laws affirm that adultery and polygamy corrode the natural order and weaken families, so too should our laws reflect the truth that normalizing homosexual relationships isn’t conducive to maintaining a healthy society.

When trying to determine which approach should be used to oppose same-sex marriage, conservatives should be careful to avoid the pitfalls that derailed the movement against no-fault divorce. As states began adopting no-fault divorce laws during the 1970s and 1980s, many on the religious right articulately defended the sanctity of covenantal marriage, warning about the harm to children and communities caused by broken families.

Over time, however, the movement abandoned its role as prophet, conceding the issue of no-fault divorce to those who contended for the legal ability to divorce their spouse for any number of personal reasons. As religious conservatives began backing away from the issue, more states passed no-fault divorce laws, contributing to the near 50% divorce rate among married couples today.

Instead, conservatives concerned about the sanctity of marriage should mimic the tactics of the pro-life movement. Despite the monumental legal loss of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade (1973), people of faith have remained steadfastly opposed to the abortion on demand. Pastors, priests, and layman alike have lovingly explained how the inherent dignity of human life, created in the image of the Creator, disallows the notion that a mother has the right to choose to end her pregnancy. Likewise, researchers have published scientific studies detailing the capability of unborn babies to feel pain.

By mobilizing churches and congregations to advocate pro-life policies despite early legal losses, the pro-life movement has made significant gains over the last couple decades. In the wake of Obergefell, Christians should follow the model of political activism and social persuasion that has been so effectively utilized by the pro-life movement.

So here’s the bottom line, conservatives: Don’t give up on the sanctity of marriage just because the Republican in the White House refuses to get involved in the fight. We must continue agitating for a political order that better reflects natural law and the reality of the human experience, even when it’s not politically expedient. Sociologists, psychologists, other researchers should continue publishing empirical studies detailing how same-sex marriage adversely affects couples, children, and communities.

Marriage isn’t a lost cause. Although it may seem like society – including some prominent Republicans – is accepting the falsehood that same-sex marriage is a normal and healthy family arrangement, we must remain faithful to the truth, recognized for thousands of years, that marriage between one man and one woman forms the basis for resilient communities and healthy families.

Just like Roe v. Wade isn’t settled, marriage isn’t settled, either.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Shoving Men Into Women’s Spaces Isn’t Progress

The day my dad enrolled me in an after school teenage boys’ basketball training program, I cried.

At age 13, I was already 5’11’’ and weighed 125 pounds — an awkward conglomeration of gangly knees, elbows, and a singular dark eyebrow that crept across my forehead like a gluttonous caterpillar. If I was going to be this tall, you might as well put a ball in my hands and see what happens, right?

Everything about the scenario was painful.

In retrospect, my dad had the right idea. He knew that practicing with boys would improve my game, and it did. I made the varsity squad as a sophomore, set a couple school records for shot blocking, and eventually earned a significant scholarship at a small college. I was a pretty good basketball player.

For a girl.

There, I said it. The feminist in me recoils at reading those words, but the truth teller in me can’t help but admit the biological reality that presents, in exaggerated fullness, during high school: there’s an undeniable physical difference between the sexes that cannot be overcome by sheer willpower or wishing.

On my own team, I never lost a set of lines, I finished first in most of the conditioning drills, and worked my tail off to be on the starting squad. But at after school training? Even the C-Team boys were lapping me on the track, beating me down the court, and lifting more than double my maximum efforts in the weight room.

I was overpowered. I felt “less than.”

Why am I telling you all this? I share it because it highlights one of the most prominent challenges so many females experience as they navigate life and especially as they navigate the oh-so-painful world of high school: we walk around with the keen understanding that, in many ways, we are perceived as “less than” our male counterparts. There are certain realms where we know we will have to work twice as hard to exist. There are other realms where we know it’s unlikely we will ever really have a role. Think, for example, of the NBA or the NFL.

Now don’t get me wrong; there are some phenomenal female athletes who can dance circles around men in certain areas. Serena Williams and Diana Nyad come immediately to mind. But as a whole, women innately know that they won’t be respected or validated in certain spheres. Thus, it becomes incredibly important for us to have our own unique qualities and experiences specific to us.

Men and women were created different in function but equal in value. But there’s a power differential in play, and women often end up on the losing side of it. That’s why Title IX came to exist in the first place — to carve out space for women like me to participate and thrive without being bulldozed or eclipsed by men.

But recent history has seen so many of these spaces being erased by pervasive and incredibly foolish gender identity politics that, 99% of the time, only really serve to benefit anatomical males who believe themselves to be female. I was irritated when I read that a 6’6’’ male was given a spot on the women’s basketball team at Mission College in California and that he went on to be named an All-American who led the league in rebounds and helped his team win the championship game. All I could think about was how some poor girl somewhere would not get a chance to play college basketball because someone decided to give her spot to a man.

I rolled my eyes when I read that a transgender man (a biological woman) had given birth to a child, as though this was somehow newsworthy. (Women have been bearing children since the dawn of time. It’s one of the many amazing things we were designed to do.)

And it upset me to hear that President Obama had decreed from on high that women’s homeless shelters (where abused women regularly go to escape men) will now be open to men.

But when I read that a high school in North Carolina had elected a teenage boy as its homecoming queen, I was admittedly surprised by the intensity of the emotional response the news solicited within me.

Gender identity politics are offensive on so many levels. For one thing, the widespread indulging of obvious delusion makes idiots of us all.  In fact, I shudder to think what the history books will say about this modern day retelling of The Emperor’s New Clothes and the seemingly epidemic courage deficit in rightly naming it. But beyond the obvious insult to our intelligence, the trans-agenda is essentially ushering in the erasure of women and obliterating the idea that females have anything unique to contribute to the world.

As previously illustrated, high school can be rough for girls who are struggling to find their place in the greater scheme of things, especially as it relates to the boys around them. In theory, a homecoming queen is supposed to be representative of the best of these girls — a female who navigates life with confidence, kindness, poise, and dignity. Homecoming queen is supposed to be a position to which girls can aspire.

What does it say then, when, of all the girls in the entire high school, none of them are deemed good enough to win the title of homecoming queen? What does it say when the best possible candidate to represent high school girls is actually a high school boy?  Most heartbreaking of all, what does it say about these girls when they choose female erasure for themselves?

The mainstream media covers this story from an angle that celebrates the open-mindedness and compassion of these high school students in their “bold decision” to “affirm and embrace” this boy’s illness. But it’s a shallow celebration, devoid of any wisdom or foresight.

True compassion should never require women to compromise the things that belong to their dignity. True compassion should never require people to compromise reality for fantasy. True compassion should never strip high school girls of one of the very few things that rightly belongs to them in order to give it to a boy.

Tammy Wynette hit the nail on the head when she sang, “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.”

It’s especially hard to be a woman when we are no longer legally allowed to clearly define what that means. And it’s going to be even harder when an entire generation of girls has successfully been trained to believe that their erasure is somehow progress.

The day we allow that to happen, we won’t just FEEL like we are “less than.” It will actually be true.

Not on my watch.

What in the World is Going on at UW?

CNBC Contributor and University of Washington student Benji Backer sat down with Joseph Backholm and Zach Freeman this week for a discussion on the University of Washington and their efforts to ensure that every students gets a button to wear that clearly shows their preferred gender pronoun.  Teachers are also being asked to add their preferred pronoun to their email signatures.

Of course, the University of Washington has not been known in recent days to have the most discerning policies in regards to privacy and safety, nor do its students appear able to take a stand on, well…anything.