For 15 years, Julie Colin represented schools in Title IX disputes. Today, as she watches politicians and activists attempt to prioritize “gender identity” over biological sex, Colin says women are being betrayed. Looking back on her career, Colin recalled how hard activists once fought for equality in school athletics — only to be, once again, sidelined by men and boys. 

“It was liberals who started this fight 50 years ago,” Colin says. But the “brave group of women” who once fought for women’s rights have now been hijacked by a vocal, “woke” mob.

Title IX, landmark legislation enacted by Congress as a part of the Education Amendments of 1972, bans sex discrimination in all federally-funded educational programs. Though it’s commonly celebrated for boosting women’s participation in sports, Colin says that Title IX paved the way for women in many more ways. 

For example, in 1985, Colin went to law school in a class mostly composed of men and was one of only a few women who became litigators. As an attorney representing school districts, Colin helped her clients comply with Title IX by crafting policies that required equal practice time and travel opportunities for women’s teams, including a women’s ice hockey team, and helping to increase funding for a girls’ softball team to maintain safe fields and renovate their field house.

Colin explains that Title IX explicitly refers to sex, not gender. Nevertheless, the Biden administration has brazenly proposed new rules that would rewrite the statute to allow athletes to participate on a sports team according to their “gender identity.” The result, she says, is biological males “knocking off the women who were participating.” 

“It feels to me that, after 50 years, we’re taking a huge step backwards,” Colin says.

Many Title IX disputes arise because there still isn’t as much support for girls’ sports as there has been traditionally for boys’ sports, explains Colin. She notes that, in many cases she worked on, it was a matter of very enthusiastic parent groups or booster clubs that would raise funding for the boys to have better facilities or new uniforms, while the girls would still be playing in old uniforms from many years prior.

Yet, in Colin’s experience, many Title IX complaints are only filed if affluent groups can afford to get lawyers involved, which isn’t often the case, especially in inner cities. For instance, Colin currently lives in Baltimore, where she says schools are lucky if there’s even a parent group to support athletic teams.

Many “kids are out there on a boat without a paddle” and, if they want to participate in a sport, which might get them a scholarship to college, they have no one defending them. So, Colin says, more lawyers should get involved to help parent groups stand up for girls and women. In the case of lower-income communities, Colin is calling for lawyers to help out pro-bono:

Right now, “the smallest percentage of people are making the greatest noise,” she says regarding those pushing social change to prioritize gender identity over biological sex. “The groups that are making the greatest noise in favor of the change are really a minuscule percentage compared to what the general population represents, but most people just don’t get involved.”

Colin’s own three children all played high school sports and went on to play intramural sports in college. After completing post-graduate studies and beginning their own professional careers, her kids are still in touch with their former sports coaches.

Colin says that the benefits of sports for women and girls are now at risk, as too many people are afraid to speak up against the rising tide of biological males competing on women’s teams and in women’s events. She also points out that young professionals, who don’t have high school children and may not have been athletes themselves, often do not realize the negative effects of allowing biological males to displace biological females in sports.

“I’m in a very, very liberal city right now,” says Colin, who considers herself to be mostly politically moderate. “Though the majority probably feels the way I do, most of them either don’t take a stand or [take a stand with] the lemmings — they’re all falling off a cliff together.”

Due to her own experience, Colin feels inspired to take a stand to ensure that girls remain protected under Title IX.

“What I’m confused about generally is how left-leaning people with children in school or children who have gone through school and benefited from Title IX entitlements can possibly believe in their hearts that Title IX is based on ‘gender identity’ versus sex,” she says. “It was always based on sex. If you look at the legislative history of it, there was never a discussion with regards to gender identity because we didn’t even know such a thing existed.”