July 06, 2021

This week on To The Contrary with Bonnie Erbe, our panelists discuss Bill Cosby’s release from prison and the future of the #MeToo movement, as well as transgender athletes and the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. We have links to the full interviews with our experts, Joanna Harper and Donna Lopiano on transgender athletes.

On the panel this week joining host Bonnie Erbe is former Maryland US Representative Donna Edwards, Independent Women’s Voices’ Senior Policy Analyst Patrice Onwuka, Professor Lara Brown of George Washington University, and Washington Examiner  Commentary Writer Tiana Lowe. 

Bill Cosby Conviction Overturned

Bill Cosby is free he was released from prison after his sexual assault conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court the ruling was based on a technicality and decried as blatantly unfair by women's rights advocates. 

  • Donna Edwards: “His conviction was overturned on a technicality. And I think it's really important to be clear about that. There is nothing that overturns the evidence that Bill Cosby engaged in the most egregious behavior, assault, drugging women, and that doesn't go away.” 
  • Patrice Onwuka: “In the end, the accused have rights. And I think, you know, whether or not you believe the allegations, what was done to Bill Cosby from the prosecutor’s standpoint was not right.
  • Lara Brown: “I think we are going to see more and more women who are more comfortable asserting the wrongs and transgressions that have been done against them in public and in courts of law.”
  • Tiana Lowe: “The issue that I see here is everyone's outrage is directed at the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court, when really it should be at first caster, the district attorney who basically bought into every negative stereotype about women who accused a man of sexual assault.”
  • Bonnie Erbé: “But this technicality, it was time limited. The agreement not to prosecute was time limited.”

Trans Women in Sports

This summer, the first transgender athlete, Laurel Hubbard,  is expected to participate in the Olympics. Transgender athlete and scientist Joanna Harper, and member of the Women’s Sports Policy Working Group Donna Lopiano, shed light on the common misconceptions and controversies involving transgender athletes and their inclusion in sports. Click here watch the full interviews with Joanna Harper and Donna Lopiano.

  • Donna Edwards: “I think people should be able to compete as who they are. And I don't think and I know that we've talked about this issue before. And I guess I just don't think that it rises to such a level that were endangering women sports or we're endangering men sports, by having people compete as who they are.”
  • Joanna Harper: “There are many, in fact, most sports, where you're not even going to notice a difference between the performance levels of trans women in men's sports and women's sports. But weightlifting is one where, you know, there's a quote unquote, advantage, but we allow advantages in sport.
  • Patrice Onwuka: “I think people understand the argument of fairness, it's not so much a matter of denying someone the right to live their life as they choose. It's a matter of denying someone the right to compete fairly in a sport that's carved out for them.”
  • Donna Lopiano: “We've got to listen to science, the latest research on military tell us that we probably have to have transgender girls, for instance, stay on hormones for a longer period of time than was originally for that military research is saying it's probably more like two years.”
  • Tiana Lowe: “Is it fair for biological women to have certain scholarship opportunities taken away from them, by people that if they weren't identifying as trans, if they were just taking substances, for other reasons would be viewed as cheating?”
  • Lara Brown: “I think, you know, what we have to do is understand that all of sports involves biological differences to begin with, you know, some of the most extraordinary athletes just happened to also have biological advantages.”


Be sure to tune in this week for more discussion! Click here to check your local listings.