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Lia Thomas’ former teammate says ‘trans rights’ have been prioritized over ‘concerns of women’

Roughly a month after testifying before a House Judiciary subcommittee about former teammate Lia Thomas, Paula Scanlan is calling out the hypocrisy she sees from Thomas’ supporters.

In July, Scanlan said the #MeToo movement “empowered female victims to speak up” about their experiences of sexual harassment and abuse.

In a piece she wrote for The Telegraph Wednesday, she called the movement “absorbed.”

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Lia Thomas in the 500

Lia Thomas looks on from behind the blocks for the women’s 500-yard freestyle during the 2022 NCAA Division I women’s swimming and diving championships at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology March 17, 2022, in Atlanta. (Mike Comer/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

“One might wonder what happened to the #MeToo movement — a movement that seemed ideally positioned to advocate for the safeguarding of women’s safety from physical and sexual violence — during these recent gender debates,” she wrote. “The obvious answer is that #MeToo was absorbed, as so sadly has been the case with many other women’s organizations in the U.S., into the Democratic Party. 

“They have prioritized the advancement of ‘trans rights’ over the concerns of women, in the mistaken belief that this is somehow more compassionate and progressive. It’s not too late for #MeToo-aligned organizations to change course and stand with women: we deserve safety, privacy, and equal opportunity in all areas of life, just like everybody else.”

Scanlan noted she’s had to “relive [her] trauma of [her] sexual assault by undressing in front of … Thomas,” but sexual assault by transgender women has seemed to be neglected by the “women’s organizations” she mentioned.

Paula Scanlan testifies

Paula Scanlan, a former University of Pennsylvania swimmer, testifies during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution and Limited Government hearing on gender surgery for children. (Jasper Colt/USA Today)

“It was not long ago that Americans across the political spectrum, including many left-leaning women involved in the #MeToo movement, recognized that male bodies pose an inherent risk to women’s safety,” Scanlan wrote. “While we should all balk at broad-stroke mischaracterizations of trans-identifying people as all being potentially violent, we should keep in mind that the inherent biological characteristics and functions of male bodies pose a risk.”

EX-OLYMPIC CYCLIST ON WHY TRANSGENDER COMPETITOR WASN’T PUNISHED FOR APPARENT SHOVE OF ANOTHER RIDER

As a member of Penn’s women’s swimming team, Scanlan suggested that university officials disregarded the concerns of the members on the team and told them Thomas’ being a member of the team was “non-negotiable.” 

“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. Our feelings didn’t matter,” she said in court last month.

Lia Thomas at swimming competition

Pennsylvania’s Lia Thomas waits for a preliminary heat in the women’s NCAA 500-meter freestyle swimming championship March 17, 2022, at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

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Scanlan competed on Penn’s swim team from 2018-2019 and from 2021-2022. During her final season, ​​Thomas became the first transgender athlete to win a Division I championship in any sport, winning the 500-yard freestyle in 2022.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

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