Recently, I attended an event that was not meant to be political, but when you’re in the Washington D.C. area, it takes no longer than 15 minutes in any gathering for the topic to abruptly turn south down the avenue of conversations best not had. This was one such gathering and the topic we landed on was transgender females competing against biological females in high school and college sports.
There is no shortage of stories about transgender females rising to the top of their respective sport or people on both sides of the issue with strong opinions. One such story that was central to the conversation I found myself enmeshed in involved two students at Cromwell high school in Connecticut, who were born male but now identify as female. The two students, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood placed first and second respectively in the 100-meter dash during the state finals. Additionally, Terry and Andraya hold 15 different state championship titles that were once held by nine different girls across the state.
As you can imagine, there were mixed opinions on the fairness of transgender females competing against biological females, not only relevant to this example but across the spectrum of all sports. Some weighed in on the side of inclusivity, others thought inclusivity was secondary to biological females unfairly losing to transgender females still possessing aspects of male physicality. Both points of view seem reasonable to those that hold them, but what do the biological females who regularly lose to transgender females think?
Selina Soule, a biological female from Gastonbury high school, competed against Terry and Ayrla in the state preliminary 55-meter race. In order to advance to the finals, runners in this race could place no lower than 7th place. Selina Soule placed 8th, losing out to Terry and Andraya, who placed 1st and 2nd respectively. Selina and two other girls have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
They allege they’ve been denied their Title IX rights enacted by congress in 1972 to ensure that women receive the same opportunities in education and interscholastic sports that men do. The Obama administration decreed a national directive to public schools in 2016 to interpret the word “sex” in Title IX to include “gender identity.” The position of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) agrees with the Obama administration saying, “transgender girls are girls”, and as such, they can compete against biological females.
A dejected Selina commented, “Just like my fellow competitors, I race to win,” she said. “But that’s virtually impossible now in an unlevel playing field. No matter how hard I try, I’ll never be able to be competitive with someone who’s biologically a male … No amount of practice and determination will ever get me or other girls to a place where we will have a fair chance to win. But the CIAC doesn’t seem to care”.
Whether it’s New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard or Rachel McKinnon winning gold in a UK cycling contest, or numerous other accounts of transgenders exhibiting obvious advantages, one thing seems to be ironically true and trendy – political correctness in the name of inclusiveness is codifying a bizarre form of unwitting misogyny against biological females. The pro-transgender side pretends that creating a level playing field is as simple as requiring transgender women to undergo hormone therapy to block testosterone, and there is a growing number of folks in this group who want to eliminate this requirement. Hormone therapy does reduce physical ability in transgender females, but is it enough? How could it be?
At the time of this posting, 24 states have no medical hormones or surgery required, 18 states have no set requirements and a muddled message, and only 8 states require either reassignment surgery, hormone therapy or that student compete in sports based on their birth certificate. The bottom line is high schools don’t monitor testosterone levels of trans-athletes. Even at the university level, there is no monitoring, instead, the NCCA requires that hormone therapy is administered for 12 months before males identifying as females can compete against biological females. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) allows transgender females to compete with testosterone levels three times higher than biological women. Is that fair?
How can any of it be fair when testosterone management does not eliminate the male advantage of size, height, greater bone density, more lung capacity, larger circulating blood volume, larger heart to pump more oxygen to muscles, longer reach, more muscle fibers and a skeletal design that allows males to pivot with superior speed?
Sadly, it appears there is little advocacy for biological females, even from the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority Foundation, and most other women’s groups. They’ve decided by their actions, that it’s ok for biological women to have opportunity stolen from them by biological males, whether it’s at the high school level, the college campus, or the Olympics. Is the concept of irony lost on these people? How many track and field records held by biological females must we see erased? How many records in women’s weight lifting, cycling, and every other sport will be relegated to mediocre all in the name of political correctness?
Is it fair? Is it unfair? Does anybody care?