Transgender Athletes: Progress for Women’s Sports or their Demise?
Its been a common theme since their disastrous 2016 showing that those on the left have been turning on themselves in attempts to identify and correct whatever it was that made them lose what they saw as a seemingly assured presidency to the likes of Donald Trump.
Much of the left ‘eating its own’ as it were can be written off as petty scapegoating for electoral failures or veiled politics – a la claiming those Dems who won’t vote for Warren are sexist, etc. – but there is, in fact, one realm of policy debate garnering national as well as international attention where two of the more popular, and zealous, sects of leftism appear to be at a critical crossroad; transgender athletes.
Feminism vs. Transgenderism?
The debate over the place of transgender athletes regarding traditionally gender-binary sports seems to be further incensed with each passing week as transgender athletes – more specifically those who were born male but now identify as female – have begun increasingly dominating a broad spectrum of ‘women’s’ sporting events from US high school circuits to the international pros.
This phenomenon, of athletes born male (in some cases identifying as such until their 30s) but identifying as female and consequentially thrashing the competition in sports from track to cycling, wrestling to tennis, has resulted in a proverbial butting of heads between transgender advocates and a vocal sect of traditional feminist leaders as the latter cry foul. These critics include some powerhouse female athletes traditionally considered ‘pro-LGBT’ as NationalReview reports,
“Martina Navratilova, nine-time Wimbledon singles champion and longtime LGBT advocate, caused controversy last week when she wrote for the Sunday Times of London that it’s “insane” and “cheating” to permit biological males who declare themselves to be trans women to compete against women in women’s sports. She wrote:
A man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies.
Navratilova added that, as a lesbian, she is sensitive to feelings of sexual minorities and has no issue with addressing a transgender woman according to preference. Nevertheless, she draws a “critical distinction” between transsexualism and transgenderism. Indeed, she herself had a transsexual coach and friend — Renee Richards — and Richards now shares Navratilova’s concerns about transgenderism as it relates to women’s sports.”
Navratilova, of course, came under instant fire from LGBT advocacy groups and leaders for her comments; a now commonplace
“Within days of the article’s publication, Athlete Ally, a New York-based LGBT-rights organization, expelled Navratilova on the grounds that her “recent comments on trans athletes are transphobic, based on a false understanding of science and data, and perpetuate dangerous myths.”
This epitomizes what has become the classic cycle of ‘victim-countervictim’ between feminist and transgender advocacy voices as they attempt to whittle down where ‘the line’ should be.
A biological male identifying as a female shows up and dominates a women’s sport. Naturally, this upsets some women – even progressive ones like Navratilova – who see this as a veiled male coup of a female institution; one designed deliberately to offer females access akin to male sports.
But of course, the criticism of such stemming – again – from voices that include strong traditionally progressive advocates is met with an almost kneejerk abasement from the LGBTQ alliance, now deeply entrenched as a substantial segment in leftist political discussion. And according to that bloc, if women speak out about their competition becoming another division of (biological) male athletics they’re being intolerant plain and simple.
The issue of transgender athletes overtaking biological females in sports doesn’t only manifest at the professional level either. The prevalence of men-turned-women competing and dominating the women-stayed-women competition is becoming a thorny issue even at the American high school level for all parties involved. The Washington Times reports,
“Andraya Yearwood hears the comments, usually from adults and usually not to her face.
She shouldn’t be running, they say, not against girls.
Yearwood, a 17-year-old junior at Cromwell High School, is one of two transgender high school sprinters in Connecticut, transitioning to female.
She recently finished second in the 55-meter dash at the state open indoor track championships. The winner, Terry Miller of Bloomfield High, is also transgender and set a girls state indoor record of 6.95 seconds. Yearwood finished in 7.01 seconds and the third-place competitor, who is not transgender, finished in 7.23 seconds.
Miller and Yearwood also topped the 100-meter state championships last year, and Miller won the 300 this season.
Critics say their gender identity amounts to an unfair advantage, expressing a familiar argument in a complex debate for transgender athletes as they break barriers across sports around the world from high school to the pros.
Connecticut is one of 17 states that allow transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions, according to Transathlete.com, which tracks state policies in high school sports across the country. Seven states have restrictions that make it difficult for transgender athletes to compete while in school, like requiring athletes to compete under the gender on their birth certificate or allowing them to participate only after going through sex-reassignment procedures or hormone therapies.
The other states either have no policy or handle the issue on a case-by-case basis.”
Do Men Just Make Better Women?
Its glaringly apparent that the natural conclusion of a situation in which A. Trans athletes are allowed relative carte blanche to engage in women’s sports and B. The threshold for being accepted as a woman is pretty much simply identifying as such is the eventual exclusion of biological women from their own institutions.
What’s more, advocates for greater trans inclusion seems to know it – even celebrating it as progress. The chief sportswriter of the U.K.’s Independent writes,
“Let’s say the floodgates do open. Let’s say transgender athletes pour into women’s sport, and let’s say . . . they dominate everything they touch. They sweep up Grand Slam tennis titles and cycling world championships. They monopolise the Olympics. They fill our football and cricket and netball teams. Why would that be bad? Really? Imagine the power of a trans child or teenager seeing a trans athlete on the top step of the Olympic podium. In a way, it would be inspiring.”
Perhaps… of course that’s ignoring the ~power~ of all the ‘traditionally’ female teenagers watching biological males dominate people like them in ‘their own’ institutions. Thus, returning to the century’s old emphasis on physical size and prowess to determine societal value. Talk about empowerment…
But of course, one could easily emulate such a utopian progressive scenario by simply watching the men’s games now and assuming the athletes choose to identify as women.
And don’t forget; should you dare to reject Lebron James’ claims of maidenhood you’d be a massive bigot.