WASHINGTON, D.C.Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) today issued the following statement in response to USA TODAY giving its Minnesota “Woman of the Year” award to a transgender lawmaker:

Riley Gaines, 12x NCAA All-American swimmer and Independent Women’s Forum spokeswoman, said: “Was it that difficult for USA TODAY to recognize 1 exceptional woman in the state of Minnesota that they chose a male? When we give a male the recognition and celebration rightfully designated for a female, we send a message to every girl and woman. It’s a message that they should smile and step aside for men and that they don’t matter. Their success, their feelings, their hard work, their unique physical ceilings don’t matter. USA TODAY is trying to show ‘virtue’ by displaying ‘inclusivity’, but this charade is not inclusive. It’s actually exclusive to the very people the award was created to honor.” 

Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center, said: “USA TODAY would have us believe that there is not a single woman in the entire state of Minnesota who is as accomplished and worthy of honor as a trans-identified male. This is a misogynistic slap in the face to every single woman and girl in the North Star State. Thanks, USA TODAY.”

To learn more about IWF’s efforts standing for women’s rights and preserving equal opportunity, visit the Women’s Bill of Rights website HERE. And Independent Women’s Law Center policy brief: Sex is Better Than Gender.

Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.