Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer, who has influenced millions of young women with her story of overcoming the loss of her arm from a shark attack, has spoken up.
This week she announced on Instagram she will no longer compete in World Surf League events due to its new policy approving biological males to compete alongside female athletes. Bethany is speaking up for the majority, using her voice with love and honor on behalf of many dedicated female athletes. “I think it’s really hard to imagine what the future of women’s surfing will be like in 15 to 20 years down the road if we move forward allowing this major change,” she said.
Bethany makes a great point: if we say nothing at a time like this, what will the world be like for girls in the future? We all know that biological men competing against biological women–no matter the sport–is unfair. Men are more muscular than women, and a women’s upper body strength is about half a man’s. So when the World Surf League claims “lower testosterone levels” make a male equal to a female in a sporting competition, Bethany wisely asks, “Is a hormone level an honest and accurate depiction that someone indeed is a male or female? Is it as simple as this?”
It begs the question, why would a man want to be in women’s bathrooms, sports, and private spaces to begin with? If there has to be a compromise, I agree with Bethany: they can have separate competitions–and separate changing areas.
Just recently, a 17-year-old girl in San Diego walked into the women’s locker room at the YMCA to see a naked 66-year-old male. Afraid, she hid in the shower to dress. When this brave girl used her voice to speak, people bashed her, even though this man decided he was a “woman” just a few years ago. The YMCA didn’t support her; and California laws that enforce “inclusion” did not charge him with indecent exposure to a minor, because he claims he has the “right” to be there. Just two years ago, the #metoo movement “empowered women to speak up”—and now the very same people are silencing girls who do speak up.
Proverbs says that “Wisdom shouts in the street; in the public square she raises her voice. Above the noisy crowd, she calls out. At the entrances of the city gates, she has her say” (1:20).
This is a moment where we either stand back and be silent, continuing to allow the noisy crowd to trample the rights of women, or we take a stand.
There is no gray area here:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. (Prov 31:8-9).
This is not a time to be silent. This is a time to insist on what is right, rather than stand by and say nothing. We have to hold the line. We can be fearless and faithful to speak up for those who cannot. This is not a time to sit back and hope someone else is going to do it for us.
For you, using your voice may be having conversations with your kids, getting involved in governing bodies, or speaking publicly.
On the I AM A WOMAN Podcast, we are discussing biblical gender identity. Upcoming episodes will cover the influence of media on girls, mind control tactics, the history of feminism, and a biblical understanding of our role as men and women whose goal is to reflect Christ to a lost and hurting generation.
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Be strong and courageous!
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”