Thursday, February 21, 2019

Page 1 Roundup (02/21)


Matthew said...

One major question I have for the people arguing against trans women competing is it feels a lot like the anti-trans bathroom argument, even if it's not from a place of "ick, I hate you" in that the end result is if you're a trans woman, you're out of luck — right? You can't compete unless there is a trans league created (which would be impossible, not enough members in any one area). If you're a trans man — I haven't heard anyone complaining about that yet. I don't think Martina Navratilova is the be-all, end-all authority on the science, though, no matter how well-intentioned her old friends and fans want her to be, and am not sure why she decided to make this the hill she dies on (as opposed to just offering her opinion, she wrote a high-profile essay).

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

Not really sure I see the bathroom comparison. Wanting to ensure fairness in sports (whether competing for medals and Grand Slam tennis tournaments or in high-school athletes) is something that’s always been done even before the trans issue was raised.

And for better or worse there are some things you can’t do when you’re trans: People generally have a “right” to bear children, but trans women can’t give birth to children and trans men can’t father them. (Same-sex couples similarly cannot procreate together.) It sucks but it’s just the way it is. Dr. Renee Richards, who has firsthand experience as a trans woman dating back to 1975, suggests for transgender people competitive sports might be another.

As for your point about Martina’s science credentials — she’s far more up on the topic than most people weighing in. But if it’s doctors you prefer to hear from, just yesterday trans activist and journalist Dawn Ennis wrote a “bombshell” report that promised to stick to the research, and here’s what she came up with: “So many arguments, so little consensus." (How’s that for science?)

The trans man is obviously a different situation. (There’s no inherent or perceived advantage.) But just yesterday I did in fact bring up the Texas case where a trans boy who is injecting testosterone was wrestling — and completely dominating — girls(!) in his state. I don’t fault him — he actually wanted to compete against other boys. But as I wrote, if the University Interscholastic League thinks this is fair — do you? he's injecting testosterone! — why should anyone have faith in other governing boards' decisions?

As for your “hill to die on” comment, it feels a bit gratuitous. Unlike you or me, Martina has devoted her life to sports. Why wouldn’t she want to weigh in on something that concerns her? As I’ve said before, transgender athletes up until recently have been barely a blip on the radar. But now that positive societal changes have begun, it’s likely there will be more trans athletes moving forward. I see nothing wrong with Martina forward-looking stance, even if I don’t necessarily agree with some of what she says.