Integrity Score 902
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The so-called “Save Women’s Sports Act” by 24 Senators, attempts to ban trans girls and femme athletes from school sports in South Carolina, through a violent and patriarchal imposition of the gender binary that reduces all athletes to their bodies.
Along with normalizing the tendency to treat trans folks as disposable by dismissing their right to live and play, the fear-mongering about needing to ‘save women’s sports’ comes without any evidence to back it.
“There is no direct or consistent research suggesting transgender female individuals (or male individuals) have an athletic advantage at any stage of their transition,” according to a Sports Medicine journal reviewing 8 research studies and 31 sport policies.
Following the theme of 75 pieces of copycat anti-trans legislation, South Carolina's bill institutionalizes transmisogyny and anti-Black racism by disguising itself as a ‘savior’ of womanhood, while practising the exact opposite – it creates a violent cisgender gaze that would police all athletes through gender essentialist notions that have been used against athletes like Caster Semenya.
The bill attempts to give cisgender students the power to demand ‘compensation’ for playing with their transgender peers, and to get “relief” for “damages” from a school that calls out transphobia and attempts to create a safe space for trans athletes.
It would also let cisgender students sue schools that allows trans athletes to participate; gives schools the power to sue if their team competes with a team that has trans athletes; and safeguards anti-trans policies by not allowing government entities to challenge the ban.
These anti-trans bills are against science: they carry on the institutional erasure of intersex people through their unscientific and baseless claims about dividing young athletes in line with a ‘sex binary’ that has never existed.
The harm created by this bills extends far beyond sports – 85 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth said in a poll, that their mental health was negatively impacted by legislative attacks on their identities.
SC SB 531 was found favorable with amendment in the Senate Committee report on 29th March, 2022.