WoLF continues its fight for girls’ privacy and safety in Boyertown
WoLF is continuing to fight vigorously against the ongoing attack on women and girls in their intimate spaces, including bathrooms and communal showers. Below is an excerpt from our press release announcing our support for students, in a lawsuit that challenges the sexist and harmful “gender identity” policies adopted by the Boyertown Area School District in Pennsylvania. This case is a critical legal battle that may reach the U.S. Supreme Court, which has the authority to set binding legal precedent that will affect the rights of women and girls across the country.
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Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) has filed an amicus brief in the case of Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, in an effort to restore and protect privacy and safety in public school bathrooms.
The case involves a group of students who sued the Boyertown Area School District, alleging that the district failed to provide sex-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms where students can be naked or partially clothed without worrying about the presence of students or teachers of the opposite sex. The students lost at the District Court level and appealed. On June 18, 2018, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld that ruling. During the course of the litigation, one of the plaintiff students wrote a moving explanation of the need to maintain sex-segregated spaces. She and her co-plaintiffs have requested that their case be reviewed en banc, a procedure that would allow the ruling to be re-heard by all of the judges that serve on the Third Circuit Court. WoLF supports this request and argues that the ruling tramples on the privacy and safety rights of all those in public schools, but especially women and girls.
“Schools have a duty to ensure that girls have a safe learning environment, where their bodily integrity and privacy is protected against involuntary cross-sex nudity,” said Kara Dansky, a WoLF Board member and the group’s legal representative. “Girls are far more likely to be targeted with sexual harassment, voyeurism, assault, or rape. Boys are also entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy in their bathrooms and locker rooms. While some students may claim to identify subjectively with the opposite sex, the Court in Boyertown provides no legally-valid reason to abolish privacy and safety protections that are based on sex.”
The case zeroes in on an issue that is gaining increasing national and international attention. In the United Kingdom, for example, Parliament is considering changes to the U.K.’s Gender Recognition Act, which would allow anyone to change their sex designation on their birth certificate solely on the basis of self-identification. Similar sweeping changes are making their way across the United States.
WoLF’s brief highlights Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, a law that was enacted in 1972 to remedy centuries of discrimination against women and girls in the educational arena, and permits schools to provide sex-segregated spaces like bathrooms and locker rooms.
“It is not possible for a human being to change, or ‘identify out of’ his or her sex,” said Lierre Keith, one of the founders of the Women’s Liberation Front. “A male person cannot become female. Male people who wish to enter the intimate spaces that are reserved for female people are invading women’s spaces, which violates the human rights of women and girls.”