Conservatives are joining forces with fair-minded liberals who respect rule of law and the science of biology, chromosomes and sex. We’re fighting to save women’s sports by defending landmark Title IX legislation passed 50 years ago today.

We know the protections offered by Title IX — signed into law by former Republican President Richard Nixon — protect biological women from biological men who are invoking transgender status and entering our fields of competition. But female bodies are immutably different from male bodies in everything from lung capacity and muscle mass to bone structureoxygen and blood flow.

Because of biological male advantages, these competitors are displacing girls and women from scholarships, prizes, and other leadership opportunities.

Last week, in a segment about today’s “Our Bodies, Our Sports,” rally, activist Steve Bannon discussed why defending Title IX is important for conservatives.

“Now, you never would think a bunch of conservatives or MAGA would be celebrating Title IX, but it’s one of the most important things that was ever done to set up women’s sports,” Bannon said last week on his podcast program. “And it generated a whole generation of these young women that are just leaders.”

Athletes speaking at today’s rally include NCAA Swimmer Riley Gaines Barker, USA Women’s Masters Track Athlete Cynthia Monteleone, Olympian Inga Thompson and Skateboarder Taylor Silverman. We’ll also hear from U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, an original sponsor of the Protect Women’s Sports Act.

“I’ll be joining incredible female athletes and standing with them to protect the legacy of Title IX and their right to compete on a level playing field,” U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard told me. “We must protect the legacy of Title IX, which leveled the playing field for female athletes and created life-changing opportunities for countless women based on the need for fairness and a recognition that male and female athletes are biologically different.”

Bannon said thanks to Title IX, his daughter, Maureen, was able to play Division 1 volleyball at West Point. Maureen Bannon is one of our featured speakers at today’s rally.

“It’s a ticket out,” Steve Bannon said. “That is a way for women to get ahead, and particularly working class and lower class. They have the kids that are dedicated and the families are putting all their time and money into it, and then they have to compete against boys and men. It’s absurd. It’s just absurd. It’s absurd. It’s got to stop.”

Concerned Women For America (CWA) produced an excellent video giving the important history of Title IX.

Title IX was about far more than just sports — it codified non-discrimination in education for women in any educational venue or program receiving federal funding, according to CWA. Before that, women were often excluded from or only had limited access to such programs.

Elite colleges and universities set quotas for the admission of women or prohibited them from attending altogether. Once admitted to schools, women had less access to scholarships, were excluded from “male” programs such as medicine, and faced more restrictive rules — such as early curfews — than their male peers.

CWA notes: “In 1972, there were just over 300,000 women and girls playing in college and high school sports in the United States, about one in 27. Fewer than 30,000 played sports at the college level representing only 15% of all student athletes.

Female athletes received only 2% of college athletic budgets, while athletic scholarships for women were virtually nonexistent. And in 2020, there were over 222,000 college women competing in the NCAA, making up 44% of the college student athletes at the high school level. Under 300,000 girls participated in high school sports in the early 70s. Today, some 3.5 million girls participate in high school sports. Girls now make up almost 43% of high school athletes.”

Carrie Sheffield is a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Voice.