Image: Transgender athletes Terry Miller, second from left, and Andraya Yearwood, far left, won a combined 15 girls state championship races from 2017 to 2020. AP Photo.
On January 25, the Manchester Board of School Committee voted to enact a sweeping gender policy in Manchester schools. The policy calls on schools to “reduce or eliminate the practice of segregating students by gender,” and—where this is not accomplished—to include students “in the group that corresponds to their gender identity.” A reconsideration vote is scheduled to occur on Monday, February 8.
The policy is a complete wish-list of progressive positions, integrating biological males and females not only in restrooms and locker rooms, but also in women’s sports. It states specifically that both intramural and interscholastic sports will now be separated based on gender identity rather than biological sex. You can read the policy for yourself here.
As Cornerstone has discussed in the past, there is overwhelming evidence that integrating biological males into women’s sports causes female athletes to be systematically defeated by the overwhelming advantages of male anatomy. The physical differences between men and women are so stark that Allyson Felix—the fastest female sprinter in the entire world—is a slower sprinter than hundreds of high school boys in the United States alone. In some athletic competitions, women’s competitions are won by male athletes who are not strong or skilled enough even to qualify for equivalent male competitions.
The Manchester Board’s vote is a reminder that cultural progressives would have no qualms about stripping athletic opportunities from every biologically female athlete in the United States. Ultimately, these policies are not aimed at ensuring that transgender students are accommodated, but at forcibly eliminating the very concepts of male and female. To academics, educators, and politicians influenced by Marxism, all differences between people are degrading, and masculinity and femininity must be decomposed into a kind of uniform fluid.
Some proponents of the new policy appear to have misled school board members and parents by claiming that the policy was necessary to comply with New Hampshire state law. Under a 2019 state law, public services are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of gender identity. But the law does not specify that separating biological males and females in athletics or other limited contexts constitutes prohibited discrimination.
Cornerstone opposed the 2019 law, warning that it would lead to consequences of this kind. This appeal to the law is a reminder that culturally progressive policies which sound like reasonable accommodations—or even appear to be merely symbolic—are inevitably and rapidly weaponized and used to impose progressive cultural orthodoxy on others. Once control of the debate has been solidified, cultural progressives invariably drop all pretense of accommodating anyone. Just last week, Twitter exploited the transgender debate as part of the tech industry’s increasingly brazen silencing of its opponents. The best time to challenge these policies is early and before debate is silenced. On this issue, that time is now, when a majority of Americans openly favor biologically separate women’s sports. If conservatives instead choose continued passivity in the vain hope of avoiding conflict, the cultural window will only continue to constrict around them.
Before the reconsideration vote on Monday, February 8, Manchester parents should contact their ward’s Board member and strongly urge them to vote against the policy. Manchester residents can find out what ward they are in through the Manchester city website.
For those not in Manchester, this policy should be a warning of what is to come. As recently as the 1990s, even many secular and progressive Americans could not have conceived of the state of today’s cultural debate. It is likely that Americans will soon be involved in policy debates which we are now equally incapable of imagining.
Note: If the Manchester School District website is inaccessible, an archived list of Board members by ward can be found here.