Penn swimmer: Team ‘re-educated’ to psychologically accept man in locker rooms

by WorldTribune Staff, July 28, 2023

A former University of Pennsylvania swimmer said members of the women’s team were told that biological male Lia Thomas’s participation was “non-negotiable” and the women were offered psychological services to “re-educate themselves to become comfortable undressing in front of a man.

Former Penn swimmer Paula Scanlan: ‘We were expected to conform, to move over and shut up.’ / Video Image

Appearing before a House Judiciary subcommittee on Thursday, Paula Scanlan spoke out against the Penn’s decision to allow Thomas to use the women’s locker rooms.

Scanlan said the university ignored the concerns that many of the women on the swim team expressed about Thomas, who was still fully endowed with his male genitalia as he used the women’s locker rooms.

“My teammates and I were forced to undress in the presence of Lia, a 6-foot-4 tall biological male, fully intact with male genitalia 18 times per week,” Scanlon told the subcommittee. “Some girls opted to change in bathroom stalls, and others used the family bathroom to avoid this. When we tried to voice our concerns to the athletic department, we were told that Lia’s swimming and being in our locker room was non-negotiable, and we were offered psychological services to attempt to re-educate us to become comfortable with the idea of undressing in front of a male.”

The feelings of the women on the team did not matter to the university, Scanlan said. Penn was so excited to have Thomas on the women’s team, in fact, that officials even nominated him as the school’s “Woman of the Year” candidate.

“To sum up the university’s response, we the women were the problem, not the victims. We were expected to conform, to move over and shut up,” Scanlan said.

Scanlan also pointed out how Thomas went from a mediocre-at-best male swimmer at UPenn to suddenly being a champion when he claimed to have “transitioned” to a female.

“Once the season began, Thomas was leading the country in multiple events, while only placing in the top 500 in those events on the men’s team. Thomas later became an NCAA champion in the 500-yard freestyle — the first NCAA champion in our women’s team history program. While many of you already know this, what you do not know is the experience of the women on the University of Pennsylvania swim team,” Scanlan said.

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