While ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), the largest American civil rights association, is conducting a campaign to argue that excluding male sex offenders from women's prisons is discriminatory and unconstitutionalon 19 May, a group of Republican representatives in the US Congress, Americans, first signatory Debbie Lesko, presented a resolution to introduce a Women's Bill of Rights, in order to legally define what a 'woman' isrecognise that women and girls deserve same-sex spaces and codify a standard of control so that the law can recognise sex when necessary.
The resolution was extended in cooperation with Independent Women's Voice (IWV), WoLF (Women Liberation Front) who had formulated their own Charter of Women's Rights on 31 March 2022.
WoLF welcomed the introduction of the Charter: "A historic resolution that will advance and protect women's rights in the United States. For too long, women have been told that there is no word to describe ourselves and our experiences. We have seen the definition of 'woman' distorted to promote offensive and harmful sexist stereotypes. This resolution is a clear signal that our voices can no longer be silenced in this way. WoLF proudly co-authored the model Women's Bill of Rights that inspired this resolution and we are grateful for the courageous leadership shown by Representative Lesko and Sen Hyde-Smith. The simple, common-sense provisions of this resolution will contribute to ensure that the government does not endorse the fiction of gender reassignment and that spaces and resources for women remain as such'.
Although there is nothing in the Women's Bill of Rights that a Democratic legislator on the side of women could find objectionable, the congressional resolution so far received only the support of the Republicans.
WoLF encourages going beyond rigid partisanship and believes that the Women's Bill of Rights is an excellent opportunity for both parties to come together to strengthen gender-based rights in US laws and policies. Indeed, the issue of abortion remains intact to divide feminism from conservatives: is expected any day now. US Supreme Court ruling which -according to the drafts circulated- would make termination of pregnancy illegal.
The resolution states:
considering that males and females possess biological differences unique and immutable that manifest themselves before birth and increase as they grow older and go through puberty;
Whereas biological differences between the sexes mean that only females can get pregnant, give birth and breastfeed children;
Whereas biological differences between the sexes mean that males are, on average, larger in sizeand possess greater body strength than females;
Whereas biological differences between the sexes may expose females to more harm than males due to specific forms of violence, including sexual assault;
considering that women have achieved significant and inspiring results in education, athletics and work;
considering that recent Erroneous court rulings on the definition of 'sex' have put the spaces and resources dedicated to women at risk, requiring clarification of certain terms:
The House of Representatives reaffirms that:
for the purposes of federal law, the 'sex' of a person means his or her biological sex (male or female) at birth;
for the purposes of the Federal Sex Act, the terms 'woman' and 'girl' refer to human females and the terms 'man' and 'boy' refer to human males;
for the purposes of federal law, the term 'mother' indicates a female parent and 'father' is defined as a male parent;
there are important reasons to distinguish between the sexes with regard to theathletics, prisons, domestic violence shelters, toilets and other areas, particularly where biology, security and privacy are involved.
(here the full text of the Resolution).
Introducing it at a press conference, first petitioner Debbie Lesko said: "I am proud to present the Women's Bill of Rights to affirm the importance of recognising women and their unique and distinctive characteristics and contributions to our nation. While the left continues to erase womenwe must fight for women and their place in our society. Whether it is keeping the word 'mother' in the law written or to ensure that domestic violence shelters for women should not accept biologic meni, we must defend women'.
Representative Jim Banks added: "The modern Democratic Party has put the left's woke agenda before women's rights. These days, the Democrats are refuse even to admit that women exist or recognise them as unique beings with unique abilities. While radical liberals stop progress and eliminate protections that generations of women have fought for, Republicans must fight back and recognise basic biological truths. As a father of three daughters, I am proud to co-chair this resolution reaffirming the legal protections afforded to them under federal law."
And again, Representative Mary Miller: "I will never be afraid to speak up for our daughters who need adults in leadership positions who are not afraid of being criticised by the radical left. The answer to the question 'what is a woman' has been clear throughout the history of our civilisation, and has not changed since Genesis. The radical left has launched an attack on biology because it wants to put itself above God and wants to brainwash our daughters with its wokeism. That is why today we are presenting the Women's Bill of Rights to legally define what it means to be a woman. I am doing this on behalf of my five daughters and all women. This common sense document will help codify our common understanding and what we all know about the words 'female', 'woman' and 'sex". I am proud to support him.
And Representative Diana Harshbarger: "For me, being a woman means having the great honour of being a mother, grandmother, businesswoman and now a member of Congress. I am proud of this resolution on the Women's Bill of Rights because it sends a clear message that Congress must protect our future generations of women leaders from being deprived of measures to support their success, protect their security and secure the opportunities they have won'.
Finally, Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith stated: "The radical left demeans women's rights every time they ignore the biological differences between males and females. This resolution reaffirms these unique differences and seeks to protect women's rights, whether in athletics, prisons or battered women's shelters."
The Women's Bill of Rights is supported by many groups and associations, including: Independent Women's Voice, Independent Women's Law Center, Concerned Women for America LAC, Heritage Action for America, American Principles Project, Women's Liberation Front, Family Policy Alliance, Eagle Forum, Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) and Women's Declaration International USA (which Feminist Post refers to). Our text In Radice-For the inviolability of the female body, endorsed by WoLF among others, is perfectly in line with what is expressed in the resolution.
Here are their statements, after the WoLF one.
"Today, the interests of women and girls are being belittled by those who seek to eradicate sex-related sports, facilities and opportunities. I am grateful that Representatives Lesko, Banks, Harshbarger and Miller stand up for women and common sense". Carrie Lukas, Independent Vice President of Women's Voice
"We cannot fight gender discrimination if we do not agree on what it means to be a woman. And we cannot collect accurate data on women's public health, medicine, education, crime and economic status if we redefine sex to mean 'gender identity'. At the Independent Women's Law Centre, we know what a woman is. Fortunately, so do Representatives Lesko, Banks, Harshbarger and Miller. Jennifer C. Braceras, Director of the Independent Women's Law Centre
"It is shocking that women today are being told that our status is irrelevant and that being a woman has no relation to being a woman. Our protections are being destroyed by radical policies that confuse biological facts with gendered feelings and by activist judges who cannot define a Woman. Concerned Women for America LAC and Heritage Action for America applaud the resolution on the Women's Bill of Rights, which will recognise and protect the dignity of women and our unique status under the law'. Penny Young Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America LAC
"The woke left has made it its mission to roll back decades of progress made in the name of women's rights. Their refusal to recognise the biological differences between men and women is unreasonable and in many cases dangerous. If left unchecked, the Left's assault on what it means to be a woman will continue to be a detriment to all biological women and will see opportunities and resources redirected to individuals who should never have received them. Fortunately, Congresswomen Lesko, Miller and Harsbarger, along with RSC President Jim Banks, are leading the effort to reaffirm what it means to be a woman and the dangers of the left's current trajectory". - Jessica Anderson, Executive Director of Heritage Action.
"Americans will not remain silent against an ideology that erases women. To clear up any confusion over the definition of women, this bicameral effort simply reaffirms the truth: women are distinct from men and deserve equal protection under the law. We urge every member of Congress to protect women's civil rights and pass the Women's Bill of Rights resolution now.". - Autumn Leva, Senior Vice President of Family Policy Alliance.
"The Left has revived efforts to erase women today with the indelible ink of the Women's Bill of Rights. When it comes to sex and gender, it is time to trust science. Women are women and men are men. We must recognise our physiological differences while celebrating our shared humanity. This resolution protects women in prisons and bathrooms, ensures that the spirit of Title IX is upheld in college sports, and restore common sense on how we refer to pregnant and breastfeeding women". Kris Ullman, President Eagle Forum.
"Americans are currently facing an onslaught from the woke left to demean being a woman. Whether it is to attack women's sport, to reducing women to 'birthing persons', putting women at risk in prisons and toilets, or appointing a Supreme Court judge who cannot define what a woman is, conservatives must fight back. We at the Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC) would like to thank the Republican Study Committee, Representative Lesko and Senator Hyde-Smith for attempting to restore sanity by bringing forward the Women's Bill of Rights resolution. Matt Schlapp, President Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC).
"Men and women are different. This is both a self-evident truth and a scientific fact recognised by the vast majority of Americans. However, for some here in Washington (mostly on the left), being male or female is just a label that can be changed at will. These radicals cannot define what a 'woman' is, even though they claim to defend women's rights. It would be comical, if the consequences were not so serious. In response to this dangerous ideology, it is imperative to legally clarify what should be obvious to any sane person: that 'man' and 'woman' are biologically based realities, not mere social constructs. Only by doing so will we ensure that everyone's rights are fully respected and upheld. APP is grateful to Rep. Lesko, Sen. Hyde-Smith and all the Republican members who support this resolution, and we urge the GOP to make this effort a priority, both now and, most importantly, should they regain a majority in Congress next year. Terry Schilling, President, American Principles Project.
"The US delegation of Women's Declaration International (a non-partisan global organisation advocating for sex-based rights for women worldwide) is proud to support the Women's Bill of Rights, which will enshrine in law many of the principles outlined in the Global Declaration on Women Sex-based Rights, for which we are working to advance US law". Kara Dansky, President WDI USA.