I confess I didn’t see this one coming: the Democratic Party has made forcing young women and girls to dress and undress in front of strange naked men a cornerstone of its political platform. Apparently Democrats are not allowed to dissent from this orthodoxy; at least, I haven’t noticed any who have done so.
It is, as I say, a weird hill to die on. Not only is the policy obviously wrong on the merits, it must be hugely unpopular. How do you suppose it polls? 85-15 against the Democrats? 90-10?
On Thursday, former University of Pennsylvania swimmer Paula Scanlan testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government. She described the experience of being forced to disrobe repeatedly in front of a man named Lia Thomas:
My teammates and I were forced to undress in the presence of Lia, a six-feet four-inch tall biological man fully-intact with male genitalia, 18 times per week. Some girls opted to change in bathroom stalls and others used the family bathroom to avoid this. When we tried to voice our concern to the Athletic Department, we were told that Lia swimming and being in our locker room was non-negotiable and we were offered psychological services to attempt to re-educate us to become comfortable with the idea of undressing in front of a male.
This video clip from her testimony, emphasizing her experience as a victim of sexual assault, was seen a great many times on Twitter:
— Samantha Steele Ponder (@samponder) July 28, 2023
Note the sequence here: Paula Scanlan testified before the subcommittee. The clip was created and tweeted by Riley Gaines, who has bravely taken the lead in standing up for women and girls in sports. And this retweet and endorsement is by Samantha Ponder, one of those rare people who are liked and respected by absolutely everyone. Ponder works for ESPN, a left-leaning channel owned by the far-left Disney Company. It will be interesting to see whether the liberals at ESPN try to punish Ponder for deviating from the Democratic Party line.
The Democrats’ position on this issue–forcing young women to be naked in front of naked men in locker rooms, against their will–is so stupid that one wonders what lies behind it. Sometimes it seems that liberals deliberately take crazy positions, simply to show that they can. They want to rub our noses in the fact that–as they see it–they are in the driver’s seat, and we normals are powerless. Maybe that is what is going on here.
As noted above, Riley Gaines, the former University of Kentucky swimmer, a 12-time All-American, has made this issue her own. We could hardly ask for a better spokeswoman. If you have only seen Riley in short online clips, you might want to check out this video of the appearance she did for American Experiment earlier this month. I knew we were onto something big when we had to cut off ticket sales at 438, lest the Fire Marshal intervene. Here is the whole program:
Riley lives in Tennessee. If I lived there too, I would be talking to her about running for Congress. I don’t know whether there are open seats in Tennessee, and I don’t know when exactly Riley will turn 25–she is currently 23. So she may be able to serve in the House as of January 2025. In any event, I hope she will continue in public life rather than follow her originally-planned career path as a dentist.
You also can see a much longer conversation with Paula Scanlan on the Michele Tafoya podcast, here