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Fatima Goss Graves, president of the National Women’s Law CenterX screenshot

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — The head of a national organization that purports to speak for women cited in congressional testimony this week “learn[ing] to lose gracefully” as among the virtues of athletic competitions in which male and female athletes are forced to compete together.

On Tuesday, Fatima Goss Graves, president of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), appeared before a hearing on “transgender” competitors in female sports programs held by the House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on Health Care & Financial Services. NWLC’s stated mission is “working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls.”

“Success in school sports depends on a whole range of factors,” Graves told lawmakers. “Trans students [sic] participate in sports for the same reasons as [other] kids. Because it’s fun, because it creates belonging, community, because it teaches so much about persistence, leadership and discipline, and last, they learn to lose gracefully, hopefully, and often, win with dignity, hopefully […] I want every kid to have that chance.”

READ: ‘Transgender’ male cyclists steal first and second place in Illinois women’s championships

In her testimony, Graves downplayed males’ inherent advantages over actual females as a mere “pretext for animus” that is ultimately irrelevant because “body diversity is an inherent part of sports” and most differences that can affect performance “are not subject to scrutiny” as a condition for participation. She also claimed that practices to verify that athletes who claim to be “female” really are female “inherently cause harm because of their invasive and traumatizing nature.”

“We at NWLC know unequivocally that trans women and girls [sic], and intersex women and girls, are women and girls who deserve the full benefits and opportunities intended by Title IX,” Graves declared. “We say this in unison with dozens of coalition groups committed to gender justice.”

READ: Colorado public school forced fifth-grade girl to sleep next to gender-confused male on class trip

Allowing gender-confused individuals in opposite-sex sports is promoted by the left as a matter of “inclusivity,” but critics note that indulging “transgender” athletes undermines the original rational basis for having sex-specific athletics in the first place, thereby depriving female athletes of recognition and professional or academic opportunities. 

There have been numerous high-profile examples in recent years of men winning women’s competitions, and research affirms that physiology gives males distinct athletic advantages that cannot be fully negated, including by hormone suppression.

In a 2019 paper published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, New Zealand researchers found that “healthy young men [do] not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced to (below International Olympic Committee guidelines) for 20 weeks,” and “indirect effects of testosterone” on factors such as bone structure, lung volume, and heart size “will not be altered by hormone therapy;” therefore, “the advantage to transwomen [men] afforded by the [International Olympic Committee] guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.”

In the United States, the various aspects of the issue have been highlighted by University of Pennsylvania swimmer William “Lia” Thomas, who reportedly retains male genitalia and is still attracted to women yet “identifies” as female and lesbian. Thomas quickly started dominating women’s swimming after switching from the men’s team and caused his female teammates unrest due to sharing lockers with them. However, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) reportedly pressured swimmers and their parents against speaking out.