This is where transgender issues get interesting, in the same way a horrific car crash is interesting. America has always had a schizophrenic approach to sports and academics. We could care less about the hurt feelings of kids that will never play on the varsity football team or the varsity basketball team. Girls can’t play on those teams (with a very few, very specific, exceptions)? Who cares? Equity, diversity, tolerance, all of the feel good qualities about which progressives pretend to care so much are swept away, because we’re talking about something really important: sports.
Progressivess are all about diversity, but there will never be a female NFL quarterback or lineman. Biological reality, which determines who wins and who makes money, overrides all considerations of equality and gender. It doesn’t matter what a given girl or woman identifies as, what matters is whether they have the strength, size and experience necessary to justify their salary in professional football, to sell merchandise and pack the stadiums.
In academics, we’re not so realistic. In many school districts, gifted and talented classes–AKA Advanced Placement–are under attack because some students not in such classes thereby feel badly. It’s interesting that gender really doesn’t enter into these calculations. Gender or no gender, or nebulous states of being don’t matter: all are welcome–if they’re smart enough. And that’s the issue: we don’t like to admit some people are smarter and more talented than others, but we’re more than happy to enjoy the benefits of those smart and talented people, the devices and products they produce. We know damned well some people are smarter than others; we just don’t like to admit it. Because this isn’t sports, we’re all too often willing to allow the hurt feelings of a few to deny the academic stimulation smart and talented kids need and deserve, which never makes it right.
Unfortunately gender, more specifically gender dysphoria, is now taking precedence over every other consideration in sports, and even over women’s issues. Progs that have loudly claimed to vigorously oppose the Republican “war on women,” are now bayonetting wounded women on the cultural, athletic battlefield, as The Blaze.com reports:
Transgender sprinter Andraya Yearwood, a freshman who was born a male, won the girls 100-meter and 200-meter dashes at the Connecticut high school Class M state championships — victories that didn’t come without some controversy.
Hmmm. One would think that someone “born a male” is, and always will be, a male, but obviously, that’s outmoded, prejudicial, non-woke thinking.
It feels really good. I’m really happy to win both titles,’ Yearwood of Cromwell High School told the Day after winning at the May 30 meet. ‘I kind of expected it. I’ve always gotten first, so I expected it to some extent. … I’m really proud of it.
I’m sure Yearwood expected it. He’s a male competing against girls. He can expect to win. He has every unfair advantage possible, short of tying the shoelaces of the girls together.
Kate Hall — who last year won the girls 100-meter dash Class M state title as a sophomore — came in second to Yearwood at this year’s 100-meter race and was tearful in the aftermath, the Hartford Courant reported.
‘It’s frustrating,’ Hall of Stonington High School told the Courant. ‘But that’s just the way it is now.’
After finishing third in the 200 — and watching Yearwood cross the finish line first in that race as well — Hall told the Courant, ‘I can’t really say what I want to say, but there’s not much I can do about it. You can’t blame anyone. Her times were slowing during the season. If I ran my best race, I could have won. I didn’t. I hadn’t felt good the last three days, but there are no excuses. From what I know she is really nice and that’s all that matters. She’s not rude and obnoxious.’
‘Kate was emotional,’ Stonington coach Ben Bowne told the Courant. “She works really hard. She’s a very competitive athlete. She hates losing to anybody. I’ve just told her all year run your best. If this girl has better times than you, she’s going to help you as a runner. That’s what we focused on.
Obviously, Kate Hall is a gracious and decent young woman. She knows that no “all that matters,” but she’s polite and isn’t going to embarrass her coach and teammates. She should never have been put in this situation. Her coach may not have drunk the Kool Aid, but he clearly knows enough to say the politically correct things. Unfortunately, this is not going to make Hall a better runner, because Yearwood is male and always will be male. He has the size, muscle density, strength and testosterone necessary to ensure he will always outrun Hall. If she decides she’s male and wants to run against boys, she won’t so much as qualify for the state meet. But this is, of course, Connecticut:
The CIAC [ Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference] defers to the determination of the student and his or her local school regarding gender identification. According to the CIAC handbook, it is fundamentally unjust and contrary to applicable state and federal law to preclude a student from participation on a gender specific sports team that is consistent with the public gender identity of that student.
It’s unjust to require boys to compete against boys and girls against girls? It’s against Federal Law? Wasn’t it Title IX that required equal athletic opportunity for girl’s athletics? If there is now no barrier to equal participation, if boys can decide they can win if they feel like girls, do we need Title IX any longer? A reporter for The Courant, Jeff Jacobs observed:
Participation is paramount in high school sports,’ Jacobs wrote. ‘Participation with dignity is the aspiration. But the question of what constitutes fairness in the world of sports remains to be settled. [skip]
For me, somebody who has observed sports and written about all kinds of athletes for four decades, the integrity of the state competition for these two races Tuesday was compromised.
Rahsaan Yearwood [Andraya’s father], who played college football, told the Courant ‘there are guys who were 350 pounds. It wasn’t fair that as a 225-pound linebacker, they came to block me, but that’s the nature of the beast.”
Rahsaan is either not terribly insightful or is purposely ignoring reality. One chooses to participate in football understanding there will always be bigger, stronger, faster players. If he was truly bothered by that, he didn’t have to play. Fairness doesn’t enter into it. But when men compete against women in a sport where size, strength and speed are the determining factors in success, fairness is thrown out the window.
“As her father, I never think about it as competition,’ he told the Courant. ‘This is not about winning and losing races. This is about the health of my teenage daughter. In terms of the fairness aspect, I don’t think about that as a father. I only think about, is my daughter happy, healthy and able to participate in what she wants to do? I don’t care if she wins or loses. I don’t care if she wins and gives the medals back. She got to compete as a girl where she feels she should compete. That’s all that matters to me.
Nonsense. If he didn’t care about winning, why not compete against boys? If it’s only about competing, why was Andraya so delighted to win? Why was He/she expecting it? Simple: competing against boys, he knew he couldn’t win.
A smiling Yearwood noted to the Day: ‘I’m getting attention from places I don’t even know about.
It’s only about competing, not winning, right?
Back in the 1400s, during my high school years, I was among the fastest kids in the state. I knew many of the fastest girls too, and we admired each other because we knew how hard we had to work to get to the state meet. We shared those years of dedication and consistent focus. But even then, we knew–everyone knew–what would happen if boys raced against girls, and to be fair, to justly reward all those years of work, girls raced girls and boys raced boys.
Where are the feminist, progressive champions of girls? Don’t they care about Kate Hall’s feelings? Don’t they care about the feelings, all those years of work, of all those actual girls running in that 100 meter final?
As always, progressives care only in the abstract, only when it is politically expedient to care. They profess to care very much for women, but individual women? Forget that. When a favored victim group falls out of favor, when they’re no longer politically useful, they’re thrown under the athletic bus.
This is not difficult. Two hundred pound boxers do not fight 135-pound boxers. High school basketball teams do not play 3rd grade basketball teams. College girl’s volleyball teams do not play 5thgrade volleyball teams. This isn’t done because it isn’t fair. People, even people of the same gender, do not compete against people much younger, smaller and weaker. Any victory won over such opponents is dishonorable, inherently unfair and unjust. There is no honor in it. It is, in a word, unsportsmanlike.
There are indeed sports, such as some forms of shooting, where women can compete on an equal level with men, where ultimate strength and muscle mass do not necessarily determine the outcome. Mrs. Manor is a great shot and regularly outshoots men. But in the shooting sports, competitions where strength and size provide an advantage are done by gender. I’ve had my sensitive buns kicked by women in Kendo and European fencing, but at the highest levels of those sports, women do not face men because the strength, size and speed advantage of men is simply too great. It’s an unfair advantage, and it’s an advantage that virtually always goes one way: in favor of men.
There’s only one Wonder Woman. Actually, there is no Wonder Woman; she exists only in the comics and movies, though I’m always glad to see Gal Godot.
We are unlikely indeed to see girls identifying as boys win state athletic championships, and no one seems to worry overmuch about their feelings. This is almost exclusively an issue that disadvantages, that actively discriminates against, girls. It will be a rare girl indeed that can win a state athletic championship in any sport against boys, regardless of how she feels about her gender or lack thereof.
One may rail against that all they wish. One may claim there are no differences between men and women, but that’s delusional. Even so, some continue to deny reality. Just ask Heather Heying. Heying, a former professor at Evergreen State College and a lifelong progressive, recently make the mistake of observing that men are generally taller than women. A number of members of the audience of the event at which she was speaking stormed out of the room, damaging the PA system on the way out, apparently to prevent others from hearing such heresy.
Yearwood considers whateverself a girl? Fine. His choice. If he wants to apply makeup and don women’s attire, adopt female mannerisms, fine. It neither, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. But he’s still male;he still has the physical advantages male DNA and hormones bestow. If he wants to be an athlete in sports that are segregated by gender to ensure fair and honest competition, he must compete against boys.
To ensure fair, honest competition, we do not allow performance- enhancing drugs. If fairness is now determined by the feelings of a single participant, how can we justify that prohibition? If an athlete feels it’s his destiny to use performance enhancing drugs, how can we deny him? After all, it’s not about winning; it’s about competition, about participation. What difference do chemicals make?
Yearwod’s gender choice should never be allowed to deny girls the honors for which they have worked so long, and competed so honorably. Their feelings matter too, and if we’re to maintain a rational, truly just society, their feelings must take precedence over those of any boy suffering from gender dysphoria.
Kate Hall won the girl’s championship. By every rational measure, she was the winner, and she deserves the trophies, the medals, the acclaim, perhaps even the scholarships that might result, but because a confused boy decided he wants to be a girl, because incredibly cowardly and equally confused adults are incapable of recognizing actual fairness, Hall will always be remembered–if she’s remembered at all–as the girl beaten by a boy masquerading as a girl, a pawn in an ugly and dishonorable political drama in a progressive state. That doesn’t have to be the way it is.
Where’s the fairness in Connecticut?