Former Sexual Assault Victim Urges Congress to Keep Women's Spaces Safe

Tierin-Rose Mandelburg | July 28, 2023
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During Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee Hearing titled, “The Dangers and Due Process of Violations of ‘Gender-Affirming Care’ for Children,” Paula Scanlan, a former swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania, explained how dangerous and unfair it is for men to compete in women's sports.

Scanlan was a teammate of transgender athlete William (Lia) Thomas, the same transgender athlete who stole Riley Gaines' spot in the NCAA championship meet. During her initial testimony and throughout questions from various representatives, Scanlan stood firm in her stance that biological men should not be allowed in women's locker rooms and should not compete in the same races as female athletes. 

Presently, Scanlan works for the Independent Women’s Forum and eloquently dropped a bomb on Congress during her opening testimony Thursday. She brought up Lia Thomas,  who she rightly called a “biological male,” and how his personal swim times in every freestyle event were faster than the women's world records. 

When Thomas was identifying as a man, he barely made it into the NCAA’s list of top 500 swimmers. But, as a woman, Thomas led the country in multiple events and even won a NCAA championship title for the 500-yard freestyle. 


As you and I both know, the situation with Thomas should have never happened. He had, and will always have, a physical advantage over every single biological girl that he’s put up against. Treating him as a woman should have never happened and is blatantly unfair. Similarly, Thomas entering spaces where women are changing and showering should have also never happened.

Scanlan talked about that in her testimony, too. 

My teammates and I were forced to undress in the presence of Lia, a 6’4” tall biological male, fully in tact 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 concerns to the athletic department, we were told that Lia’s swimming and being in the locker room was a non-negotiable and we were offered psychological services to attempt to re-educate us to become comfortable with the idea of dressing in front of a male.

Scanlan continued in her testimony indicating how she and her teammates felt that they were treated as the problem, not the victims. 

During the hearing, Representative Wesley Hunt (R-Texas) agreed with that statement.

Related: Dem Congressman Suggests ‘Some Kind of Barrier or Different Area’ To Shield Biological Women In Trans-Inclusive Locker Rooms

“I can assure you that my four year old and my two year old daughters will not change in front of biological men. This is ridiculous,” he said, adding, “If you think that we are all equal and the same biologically, you’ve literally lost your mind!”


Scanlan also correctly asserted that “y chromosomes cannot be changed by any surgical procedure or systemic therapy,” and that men with y chromosomes will always be different and have a distinct physical advantage over women with x chromosomes.

“This biological fact lends itself to athletic advantages that cannot be mitigated by lowering testosterone levels,” she said. 

Scanlan also said she wrote an op-ed about her experience for her school paper, only for her piece to be retracted a few hours after its publishing.

“This is representative of a greater issue: the destruction of free speech. Today, any discussion maintaining the sanctity of women’s spaces is labeled transphobic, bigoted and hateful,” Scanlan stated. 

She isn’t wrong. Almost all of the left leaning representatives who were present at the hearing labeled people who don’t affirm trans delusions as “bullies.” They also insisted that trans people are a “minority” group that need to be protected, affirmed and prioritized. What kind of twisted world do we live in that honors delusion and anti-science rhetoric over fact?

“What’s bigoted and hateful is the discrimination against women and the efforts to erase women and our equal opportunities, dignity and safe spaces,” Scanlan said, later adding, “I ask the members of this committee, please consider this issue outside the lens of political affiliations and understand the true impact of ignoring the realities of womanhood. Future generations depend on us.”

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