I am woman, hear me roar 

In numbers too big to ignore 

And I know too much to go back an’ pretend 

Lyrics to Helen Reddy’s 1972 hit “I Am Woman.” 

I know too much to go back and pretend.  

I refuse to be part of the collective insanity that pretends not to know how to define the word “woman” and pretends that the NCAA women’s swimming championships were fair. Lia Thomas, a biological man, competed against women. Thomas won the NCAA championship precisely because he’s a man who is taller and stronger than any female competitor.  

Highlighting the deterioration of our collective IQ was the remarkable exchange between U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Joe Biden’s black female nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.  

Responding to Blackburn’s question — “What is a woman?” — Jackson claimed she couldn’t define the word because she’s not a biologist. It may seem like a simple Q and A worthy of all the memes generated to mock it. At a time when the country is debating whether biological males who identify as women should be allowed to compete against biological females, it’s a very serious question.  

I don’t have a biology degree, but I can define “woman.” A woman is an adult female human. Genetically, a woman has two X chromosomes. I’m a woman.  

A man is an adult male human with one X and one Y chromosome. Regardless of how Lia Thomas identifies, what he calls himself, or what others call him, he is a man. We’re supposed to celebrate Thomas beating a bunch of women as if he shattered some sort of glass ceiling. It’s ridiculous. Worse, it’s dangerous because we’ve just turned women’s athletics into a man’s world for any guy who can’t compete against his X-Y equals.  

Blackburn’s question was part of a larger exchange regarding the 1996 landmark case about the Virginia Military Institute’s male-only admission policy. Read Washington Examiner Chief Political Correspondent Byron York’s column for more on the ramifications of the inability to differentiate between a man and woman.  

Jackson’s response is an example of the progressive left’s disingenuous and dangerous word play to keep America divided and the left in power. Even leftist feminist favorite Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg acknowledged biological differences in the VMI case: “Physical differences between men and women, however, are enduring: ‘The two sexes are not fungible.’” But that was over 25 years ago.  

Girl power is so yesterday. Based on how so-called feminists have treated conservative women over the last decade, we’ve always known that their support for women’s rights was just a convenient conduit for leftists to seize power. Something that could be tossed aside like a cheap, out-of-season handbag when no longer needed. That time is now. Look how quickly they abandoned Afghani women, who can no longer go out without a chaperone nor go to secondary school or suburban moms in the U.S. who show concern over what their kids are learning in school.  

They gaslight women by claiming the United States is the oppressor because the new power structure is transgender. Lia Thomas is a high-profile example of how it works. An average collegiate male athlete (ranked 462 in swimming) decides he’s going to be a woman, now competes against female athletes, wins commandingly, rockets to number one in the sport, and proudly stands on the podium as if all of it is fine and natural. Our elite institutions – academia, the media, the NCAA, and government – champion the charade. If the rest of us don’t, then we’re proof that the U.S. is oppressive, intolerant, transphobic, evil, or whatever word du jour.  

 In the early 1970s, my goal in life was to be a batboy for the St. Louis Cardinals. I met the requirements, except for one; I wasn’t a boy. I sent in my application anyway. The front office sent me a polite response thanking me for my interest, but ultimately reminded me of my gender. (I wish I had kept the letter!) I didn’t pretend to be a boy, and no one said about needing a biologist to verify.  

I’m sure I wasn’t the only little girl with that dream. Eventually, the Cardinals changed their policy and began accepting girls. By that time, I’d moved on. Rather than be angry that my dream didn’t come true, I choose to believe I played a small part in the change that made the dream come true for a young girl who came along behind me. Call it “wisdom born of pain.”  

I didn’t get to play baseball or be a bat boy, but as a young girl, I excelled at softball and played through high school and collegiate intramurals. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity, nor the fond memories, had boys played with me or against me. I wasn’t that good.  

I’m not a fan of Title IX nor identity politics for that matter but even less a fan of the dishonest and disingenuous discourse surrounding athletes like Lia Thomas. I don’t care if I pay a price for not going along with the charade. Hear me roar: Lia Thomas is a biological man who shouldn’t be competing against females. Absent an immediate infusion of truth and wisdom, women are on the verge of losing much of what we’ve gained.  

Confession – I did take advanced biology in high school and college, and I’m old enough to have enjoyed Reddy’s signature tune when it was at the top of the charts.

This piece first appeared in the April / May print edition of Carolina Journal. 

Amy Cooke is the chief executive officer of the John Locke Foundation and publisher of Carolina Journal.