Amanda Jones* comes from a long line of working women. Her grandmother was an accountant. “She couldn’t cook a box of macaroni the day she passed away, but she could slam through a tax audit,” Jones, who’s from southwest Montana, said. Her dad was a contractor who taught her construction.

“So I’m an insurance adjuster,” she said. “I travel the country climbing roofs all day. And when I go to the conferences, I’m in a sea of all men. But they respect me because I do a great job, and I’m on the roof right next to them.”

Amanda’s raising her two daughters, ages 16 and 11, the same way—to believe that they can do anything they put their mind to.

Both of her girls play golf, a sport dominated by men. They play partly because they love the sport, but also because they hope to go to college on a scholarship one day. But in January, an executive order issued by newly-elected President Joe Biden threatened that dream. His order, which applies the Supreme Court’s employment law decision to athletics, will require programs to let any male-bodied athlete play on women’s teams and to compete against female athletes. Inevitably, it will take roster spots and scholarships away from women and girls, and impede the ability of female athletes to win competitions and awards.

Amanda is concerned about what this means for her daughters.

“For golf, they give women a closer tee box because the best woman golfer cannot compete against amateur men,” she explained. “Looking at golf stats, the longest hitting women still cannot drive the ball as far as men in tournament play. The long-drive woman hit 413 yards while the men are at 516 yards. Some holes are 100 yards from tee box to hole. So that amount of deviation is huge.”

“So it’s not a level playing field to have the girls playing against biological males, regardless of how they feel or what they’ve done to their bodies.”

Like a vast majority of Americans, Amanda believes the sex of the team that athletes play on should be determined by whether that athlete has a Y chromosome.

“That’s what gives you the bigger lungs, the bigger heart for the stamina, the muscle fibers—all the things that make you a better athlete,” she said.

Prior to Biden’s executive order that allows biological boys to claim spots on girls’ teams, Montana was well on its way to protecting girls’ and women’s sports. If passed into law, House Bill 112, also referred to as the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” would have established that when it comes to public and college athletics in the state of Montana, “sex” shall be determined on the basis of biological sex at birth, not gender identity. Several other states are also considering similar legislation.

The law is still working its way through the state legislature, but Biden’s executive order, which was rammed through, absent any public debate, threatens to undermine its effect.

Amanda views the attack on girls’ sports as hypocritical.

“The big push of what the politicians say on the COVID-19 restrictions is, you got to go with the science, you got to go with the science,” she said. “Well, then why don’t we have to go with the science on this issue?”

While she’s fearful for her daughter’s future, Amanda isn’t sitting back and doing nothing. When the COVID-19 virus threatened to close Montana schools, Amanda ran for her school board so she could vote against any shutdowns. Proudly, she said the schools have been open for in-person learning five days a week with minimal closures for quarantine mainly due to athletic teams’ outside contacts or staff shortage from contact tracing.

Coming from a long line of strong women, she also signed up to sit on the Title IX committee where, in her role, she could be a vote to protect girls’ and women’s sports. (That is, if the Biden administration lets her.)

“I’m glad that I took that position with all of this coming up,” she said. “The way they’re doing things is frightening to me, truly, for the future of our kids.”

*Independent Women’s Forum changed Amanda Jones’ name and likeness to protect her and her children’s identity.

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