We are culturally on course to have two kinds of sports. But they aren’t what you think they are. Unfortunately, one of our current sports categories is disappearing right before our eyes.
For almost everyone alive today, our lives have been rich from embracing our current distinction. No, I am not talking about professional and amateur or local vs. national. I am talking about the real difference that has separated the athletes from each other more so than any other factor.
You know what it is. It is gender.
Gender is the ultimate separator. Kicking, running, hitting, jumping, sprinting, throwing, resisting, skating, cycling, swimming, etc., all show the difference. Look at the results at the elite level in all these sports, and it isn’t apples to apples. Men are better at athletic events, as we currently define them.
Although the temptation is to call this claim out as sexist or even racist, it isn’t. It is truth, validated by innumerable sets of data. No professional female runner has ever run a 4-minute mile, and every year a lot of high school boys achieve this feat. A boys under-15 soccer team from Texas beat the US Women’s national soccer team 5-2. Look it up. It isn’t sexist to look at these results and draw these conclusions.
Yet, the temptation to run from the truth of this distinction requires some calling out. For example, let’s return to a moment when some overpaid idiots on ESPN called Serena Williams the greatest tennis player of all time. They based it on the number of grand slam titles (73) she had earned and matches she had won. However, they only looked at her results against other women.
For her part, she was asked about this title during an interview, and she quickly corrected the interviewer. She said that she would never play Andy Roddick, the male #1 in the world at her peak time, because she knew she would have no chance to beat him.
She wasn’t showing hatred towards feminism or admitting weakness. She was acknowledging a difference that we all know to be both common and true.
Keep in mind this point: this biological difference is a good thing, not some sort of liability. Competition within each of the sexes is celebrated. It has taken time for parity to exist between the sports offerings, and certainly, Title 9 helped with this. I am in the vast majority who love a good women’s soccer game as much as a men’s soccer game.
There remain more similarities than differences, too! As a coach, I love coaching women as much as I do men, as both sexes can push their thresholds and become better by following a disciplined training plan, getting good nutrition, and good recovery between workouts. What allows a man to get better is nearly the same thing (setting menstruation arguments aside for the purposes of conversation) for both sexes. For those moments when the difference matters, I turn to Stacy Sims and her research findings to help me navigate what to do.
Right before our eyes, though, we are watching this distinction erode. A new type of distinction is on the rise, hurting people immeasurably.
Make peace with this next sentence. Transgender sports shall replace women’s sports.
This isn’t fact’ it is my opinion. It is only a social trend supported by legislation making it difficult to keep men who have transitioned to women out of elite women’s competitions. I watched a woman on the Penn swim team give a private interview. She stated the athletes and support staff of U Penn athletics were unallowed to question Lia Thomas’ mass medal-stealing performances for fear of being removed from their position on the team and getting labeled as transphobic. This restriction came from the highest levels of Penn, an Ivy League school where freedom of speech is supposed to be paramount.
What happened, you ask? A woman used to have a definition. It was an adult human female. Now, that isn’t a complete or acceptable definition, as it excludes people who think they are women.
I just watched a series of ~20 interviews that Matt Walsh did, asking people to attempt to answer the question, “what is a woman?” The overwhelming inability to have an agreed-upon answer was enlightening. Pediatricians who focus on gender realignment could not offer a succinct answer, nor could professors of women’s and gender studies. People at a women’s march/protest also could offer no usable definition other than to say, “anyone who thinks they are a woman is a woman.” One person even said, “it is anybody’s right to be a woman if they want to be.” What? Can I be black now, too, if I want to be?
Nearly all the respondents tried to use the word “woman” to answer the question, “what is a woman?” making their claims circular and, by definition, unusable and worthless.
Although the argument exists that many transgender athletes are no “threat” to biological women, the number of instances where well-trained female athletes are getting their butts kicked by untrained transgender people is commonplace. During one interview, I listened to an elite track star who used to beat her female competitors by fractions of a second. Now, she lost track races by 20 meters to multiple transgender people. The podium finishers for her were all the transgender people, first, then the fastest females next. She was heartbroken and resentful that society wasn’t doing its share to protect women.
I predict the women’s marathon record will be shattered by a transgender person who has done a fraction of the work that an elite female competitor, just as it already has been broken in powerlifting. I can’t imagine how these biological women must feel after investing thousands of hours in their craft only to see it usurped from them by someone who skipped the “hard work and perspiration” step of athletic pursuit.
Despite the vast claims that we have progressed as a culture to embrace our changes as diversity for the better, this instance proves this claim is delusional. We haven’t. Biological gender is not obsolete. It is not a magic puppet that you swap out as you like.
Yet, legislation will impede our ability to challenge this trend, and young girls will continue to get hurt. Above all, insurance is comfortable paying $70K for each gender reassignment surgery and a lifetime commitment to hormone replacement therapy. The power of big money in this industry will not be stopped anytime soon.
I don’t know what a transgender world cup will look like, but I suspect I will see one before I go to the grave. And we will lose the women’s world cup in the process.