Today, Reader, I bring you a tale of two young women—one Canadian, one American. Both are as smart as the proverbial whips and, more important, heroically resistant to extraordinary pressure by trans activists to disappear them from public life.
Their common “crime” is insisting on the right of women to be acknowledged as a unique phylum in the human biological kingdom, with lesbians as a unique class therein, i.e. female homosexuals, biological women who love biological women.
It amazes me as I write these words that this is a right that needs defending, but such is the pace of women-erasure in the trans activist movement, that what was a commonplace assumption even five years ago is now being treated as a form of hate speech amongst cultural and political elites (and those in media and institutional life who pander to them).
My Canadian subject is outspoken Vancouver feminist blogger Meghan Murphy. In October, to regain access to her Twitter account, Murphy was forced to delete tweets, such as “Women aren’t men,” and “What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” (An estimated 80% of individuals identifying as transwomen retain male genitalia.)
Murphy is continually bullied by trans activists, who for example attempted to sabotage a talk she was slated to give at the Vancouver Public Library in January. They failed, and her presentation was enthusiastically received by a full house. Rational people respond favourably to her message. Small wonder her adversaries are so desperate to see her disappeared from social media.
Murphy has launched a lawsuit against Twitter, which permanently banned her because she “misgendered” a trans activist male-to-female provocateur, who has identified on social media as both male and female. The transwoman’s outlandish aggression against waxologists who refused to wax “her” genitals gained notoriety and intervention in a resulting Human Rights Tribunal case by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (on whose board I sit), which prompted the mischief-maker to withdraw his complaint.
The lawsuit is an important test of Twitter’s relationship with freedom of speech. As a writer, Murphy told an interviewer, she is dependent on Twitter as a “public square…where conversation happens. I can’t share my work now.” Many critics have pointed out that there is no consistency in Twitter’s standards for what is or is not offensive. The social-media giant’s extraordinary sensitivity to the demands of trans activists is at painful variance with, say, their indifference to, or dilatory response to actual hate speech. Twitter did not, for one instance of many, take any action against Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for his use on Twitter of the word “termites” as applied to Jews.
Murphy’s lawsuit alleges that Twitter “covertly made sweeping changes to its Hateful Conduct Policy sometime in late October 2018, banning, for the first time ‘misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.’ This new policy banned expression of a political belief and perspective held by a majority (54 per cent, according to a 2017 Pew Research poll) of the American public: that whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by the sex they were assigned at birth … (Twitter) retroactively enforced its new policy against the plaintiff in this case, Meghan Murphy.”
Of the swift action taken against her, Murphy stated: “The whole situation destroys women’s rights. I don’t even see how we can uphold women’s rights if there is no cohesive definition for women.” Her concerns include the right of girls and women to their own safe spaces—multi-stall bathrooms, locker rooms, shelters and prisons—and the right to a level playing field in sports. Although I am sure there is much that Murphy and I, a frequent critic of feminism’s negative effects on our culture, would disagree on, we are as Thelma and Louise on the escalating public marginalization of women, especially lesbians, by the trans movement.
So far, here in North America, threats of being dragged before human rights tribunals have not morphed into actual arrest and imprisonment as we have seen happen in England, but close observers of what looks to me like a mass hysteria will not be surprised if that happens here one of these Kafkaesque days.
(Full disclosure: I was banned from Twitter for 24 hours for impulsively using the word “bodysnatched” in a tweet—a provocative and charged word, to be sure. The context was my perception of the trans movement’s active recruitment of gender non-conforming children, particularly effeminate boys, who are likely to evolve as gay, and who are instead gently herded toward a dysphoria-suggestive chute leading to Transland, courtesy of the Gender Unicorn and controversial education programs like SOGI123. I am also on record as deeply concerned about adolescent girls with suspiciously rapid onset gender dysphoria [ROGD], to which troubled lesbian girls are disproportionately susceptible.)
As a rather amusing aside, in its account of her suit, the National Post referred to Murphy as “associated with the right-wing intellectual Dark web movement through the publication Quillette.” Quillette does not consider itself to be right-wing, but rather a non-partisan proponent of freedom of speech, and a resource for readers seeking evidence-based rational discourse on charged issues, such as trans ideology and the hostility of its proponents to dissent, as well as the trans movement’s worrying relationship with homosexuality.
It is called right-wing only because so much of left-wing ideology is theory- rather than evidence-based, and because it is only the left that argues for speech suppression on the grounds of dissenting opinion. A recently posted Quillette piece—evidence-based, of course—demonstrates that Twitter does in fact exhibit a pronounced bias in favour of progressives and their views.
The case of Baltimore-based Julia Beck illuminates what can happen in civic life to a principled lesbian who refuses to be linguistically steamrollered by trans activists. Like Meghan Murphy, Julia holds to scientific truths being plowed under by the gender-fluidity juggernaut. Beck sees the “queering” of the LGBTQ movement as having produced a kind of lifestyle buffet mashup, in which everything—gay, bi-sexual, trans, drag—is on offer, and all of it completely untethered to DNA.
I had never heard of 26-year old Julia Beck until I caught her short interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News Feb 11. Impressed by her intelligence and dignity, I turned to the article she wrote referenced in the interview, “How I became the most hated lesbian in Baltimore.”
Beck’s troubles began after university, she writes, when she was “ostracized from more social circles than my rapist (in a telephone interview, Beck confirmed that she is a rape survivor).” She raised hackles when she asked, “Why is a man named ‘Woman of the Year’?” (referring to Glamour Magazine’s award to Caitlin Jenner).
She lost a good friend because she refused to call herself “cisgender” (as I do. I don’t announce myself as “hearing” or “average-heighted” either.) It was a great relief, she wrote, to meet other women asking the same questions at potluck dinners, including, “Why are all the lesbians transitioning?”
In early 2018, Baltimore’s mayor, Catherine Pugh, started an LGBTQ Commission, meant to be as “inclusive” as possible. At the launch reception, transwoman Ava Pipitone, president of Baltimore’s Transgender Alliance (BTA), echoed Pugh’s sentiment. Many subjects were discussed, but, according to Beck, the word “lesbian” was never uttered.
A month later, Baltimore celebrated Pride, which was lavishly funded by corporations keen to establish their progressive credentials. Trans flags dominated the event. There were workshops for “queer” fun, “like vogueing and anal sex.” There was nothing specific to lesbians. On the contrary, the vibe was, Beck noted, “lesbian-exclusionary.”
Beck marched in the parade with friends, holding signs protesting lesbian erasure: “Lesbian NOT Queer,” “Violence Against Lesbians is an epidemic,” “Dykes Don’t Like Dick” and so forth. Beck and her friends stuck close to the mayor’s entourage, so were not harmed. Some people cheered them.
Others shouted, “Go home TERFs! (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists, considered a slur).” Beck was doxed and some friends received threats on social media. Other protesting lesbians with similar signs at the San Francisco Dyke March were assaulted.
Beck stuck with the Commission, attending events and even getting elected as Co-Chair of the Law and Policy Committee. At one meeting Pipitone challenged her, demanding Beck name his sex. She said, “You’re male.” As they sparred, Beck mentioned Karen White, the notorious British transwoman who, though committed to life imprisonment as a “predatory and controlling” male rapist, upon announcing “her” new identity—yet still legally male—was assigned to a Women’s prison, where “she” sexually assaulted two more women.
Pipitone and some other gay men on the committee found Beck’s opinion that White and all biological males should be barred from women’s single-sex spaces meant to guarantee their privacy and security offensive, even “criminal.” Pipitone expressed concern with Beck’s committee leadership, claiming lesbianism and transgenderism were “incongruent political forces.”
He then accused Beck of crashing “our parades.” Having already admitted that lesbianism and transgenderism cannot co-exist in political harmony, he was affirming that Pride is now a vehicle for the Trans movement. It would seem that LGBT is the victim of a coup—and not a bloodless one either.
An emergency meeting was called. Beck was supported by a few feminists, but she knew the fix was in. One gay man said that “modern science debunked sex.” Another committee member, a transman, referring to her own vulva, said it was “masculine, and it’s a male and it’s a man.” Beck’s co-chair, Akil Patterson, a gay man, asked her, “[C]ould you in a responsible manner not publicly bring your internal language to a table of diversity?” He really meant, of course, could you not bring your diversity – your insistence on facts—to a table of a uniformly-approved internal language of fact-hostile feelings.
These stories of weaponized indignation have a surreal quality to them. How many medal-snatching male athletes on podiums will it take before female athletes reclaim their rightful competitive estate? (If transwomen claims that their male biology did not give them an advantage were valid, would we not also see transmen athletes in speed or strength-based sports on podiums?) How many rapists—evil but not necessarily stupid, and happy to take up their open invitation to penetrate Women’s prisons—will it take before the trans Furies come to their senses?
In our conversation, Beck told me that she sees the fussily feminine presentation of many transwomen as a gendered expression of “blackface,” which she explicitly calls “womanface.” Women do not—or should not—need elaborate makeup and high heels to prove they are women, says Beck. When men perpetuate a stereotype to demonstrate their womanhood that Beck associates with oppression, she feels existentially mocked and de-valued in the same way that black people do when white people appropriate their colour.
The word “womanface” shocked me at first, considering its provocative leverage of a word associated with racism and the horror of slavery. Is it a reasonable analogy? Upon consideration, I think the analogy is justifiable when one considers the stakes for all women inherent in the anti-scientific dogmas against which Beck and Murphy are dissenting. These dogmas are penetrating and transforming the institutions tasked with upholding justice, individual freedoms and public safety.
As the transformation progresses, it becomes clear that, apart from vulnerable children, women are the principal victims in a zero sum cultural game: the pace and reach of trans rights is directly proportionate to the pace and reach of the erasure of women as a distinct sex with immutable characteristics.
If a lesbian cannot say on Twitter that a transwoman is a male identifying as a woman, or find herself welcome at Pride or treated as an equal on an official civic committee, then no woman or her daughters will be safe from identity erasure of some kind in her lifetime—somehow, somewhere, some day—by the same tyrants who hate Murphy and Beck for the heterodoxy they represent.
Whether women are feminists or not, straight or lesbian, mono or bi, conservative or progressive, evangelical Christian or secular: If you do not want to see our sex culturally eradicated; or even if you disagree with Murphy and Beck, but believe in their right to speak their minds without fear of systemically-endorsed punishment, stand with these courageous women, and join your voice to theirs in solidarity.
A jury of eleven has ruled against a father who was attempting to prevent his seven-year-old son from being administered puberty blockers by the boy’s mother and doctor.
Jeffrey Younger will also potentially have to refer to his son James as “Luna” in order to affirm the boy’s gender identity. The father has referred to the treatment of his son as “sexual abuse” by the mother, Anne Georgulas. Court documents show that James prefers to wear boy’s clothes while with him and to be referred to as a boy.
”I want you to imagine having electronic communication with your son on FaceTime, and imagine that your ex-wife has dressed him as a drag queen to talk to you,” said Younger.
“Now imagine how you would feel seeing what I believe is actual sexual abuse—I believe this is not just emotional abuse but is the very, most fundamental form of sexual abuse, tampering with the sexual identity of a vulnerable boy.”
James’ mother is seeking to have Jeffrey’s parental rights removed “for not affirming James as transgender” according to The Federalist and she is also seeking to have him pay the bills for therapy and hormone treatment.
While James is not currently being administered the drugs, he could face the potential of chemical castration if undergoing hormone treatment after the age of eleven.
“Every. Single. Day. You have to see your son sexually abused, and you have to maintain your calm. because the courts are not going to be fair to you. And the only way you can survive this and get your son through this alive is to calmly allow your son to be tortured right before your eyes and outlast the opposition. That’s what it’s like,” said Younger.
I was outraged yesterday to discover that Vancouver City Councilors Sarah Kirby-Yung, Pete Fry, and Christine Boyle, at the drone-like beckoning of trans-ideologue and BC NDP Vice President Morgane Oger, presented a resolution to deprive the Vancouver Rape Relief (VRR) women’s shelter of funding unless it began allowing male-bodied individuals access to its intimate services.
As a result of Kirby-Yung, Fry, and Boyle’s resolution, along with Oger’s campaigning, 2019 will be the final year VRR qualifies for its city funding until it agrees to change its female-only policy. The VRR is Canada’s oldest rape crisis shelter and had been providing 24-hour services for women who were the victims of male violence. They also provided specialized education on violence against Indigenous women and women of colour, which is something I can specifically appreciate.
The assault on VRR is a but a single, extreme example of a women’s only space being eliminated to satisfy angry, radicalized biological males who demand female acquiescence for identity validation.
And female acquiescence seems to be the only thing that trans-ideologues require to “be” or “feel” female. Vaginas do not make a woman, nor do having uteruses, the ability to bare children, give birth, or experience the systemic, life-long discrimination and oppression that has historically only come with having those things. No, those don’t “make” a woman at all. The only things that “make” a woman, and are fundamental to the mental wellbeing of radical trans-activists, is access to bathrooms, gynecologists, and—now—rape shelters.
Prisons are another place where women have disturbingly been deprived of their ability to be free of the male body. It is no surprise or myth that many women in the correctional system are survivors of domestic abuse and/or sexual violence. In other words, the victims of men. But trans-women have demanded access to these spaces—penises, sex assault convictions and all – in some odd form of “woe is me” that much resembles the narcissistic self-victimization that one could expect from abusers. Oh, and lest we forget patting men on the back on, what else, but International Women’s Day.
The misogyny of these trans-activists should be inherent in their delusion that they can become women, totally. Totally, as such, to the point of there being a movement of trans-women with male bodies demanding recognition as lesbians. In fact, 60% of trans-women identify as “lesbians,” and actual lesbians who, understandably, are not attracted to their male bodies have been decried as the “penis police” and as “transphobes.” In any other circumstance, a male body demanding a female body provide it with sexual recognition would be rightfully considered abuse.
If it is not clear now, then it should be apparent be in their manipulation of language. Othering females so as to differentiate and separate them from their own sex—cis women, how I hate that term – as though we were anything but authentically, simply, women. The lovely Barbara Kay precisely defined this as the “dilution of women.”
If, still, an argument is needed to convince you of the incredible hatred of women these radical trans activists harbor, then you only need to look to their invention of a slur to define and defile women who advocate for women—TERF (Trans-exclusionary radical feminist). As though feminism had some sort of obligation to include men, and do anything more than advocate for women as women, trans activists have taken a page straight from the ghosts of misogyny’s past in creating a bite-sized version of “feminazi.”
Women who seek the uncompromising liberation and safety of women from the influence and ire of men are trash who deserve to be doxed, de-platformed, and put in their place. Where is that ‘place’? That which the penis has decided, of course! The non-penis. The external vagina. The front hole—That disgusting, dehumanizing term that could have only been thought up in a distinctly male brain. Apologize, acquiesce, and give access to those services which were created to help women escape those very female penises in the first place.
I’ll never forget my first reading of that Germaine Greer classic, the Female Eunuch, and how one sentence penetrated me so deeply; “Women have very little idea of how much men hate them.” Greer, a women’s rights icon, was one of the many casualties of trans activism, and was thoroughly de-platformed in 2017-18 after 47 fucking years of feminist activism for her comments on trans women. Those comments? That trans women were not women. They could never be or understand what it was like to be.
Understanding femaleness is important. The impact of “trans women are women” is far reaching and isn’t limited to giving male bodies access to women’s spaces. ‘Trans women are women’ inherently denotes that the idea that women suffer a distinct, unique form of oppression at the hands of men – an oppression which shaped and defined them, is gone. How can women experience a distinct, targeted form of sexual, gender-based violence if women, effectively, do not exist? If they are social constructs, transient thoughts in the mind of whoever decides they’d like to be one?
Acknowledging this type of incomparable oppression would mean acknowledging a distinct experience, which would mean acknowledging the need for distinct spaces and distinct rights—which is what women have had up until now. It would mean an inimitable identity, one that could not be appropriated through hormones, wigs, and lacy underthings.
Trans activists would literally rather deny the concept of a unique female oppression than admit the existence of un-appropriable femaleness.
And if that doesn’t convince you of how much these people hate women, I don’t know what will.
The founder of the Miss Marijuana beauty pageant has made it clear. It does not matter if you are pre-op or post-op, you aren’t allowed in his grow-op, leaving some outraged and crying sexism.
Howard R. Baer’s competition will be restricted to natural born women only. Since making the announcement, he has come out and explained why his stance is neither sexist or transphobic.
Many of the articles I had seen online were quick to lampoon Mr. Baer for his comments that the majority of transgender people “have not had the operation” and that “most of the men still look like men.” But my curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to call him myself, as to hear it from the horse’s mouth rather than receive potential misinformation.
I had seen original reports that the pageant was limited to the United States, which left me confused. As we all know, Canada has just recently legalized Marijuana in October of 2018, leaving a clear untapped market for the competition.
I raised this concern to Mr. Baer who decided to clear the air on this. “It’s the United States and Canada, I think we have about 400-500 girls from Canada already signed up.”
I asked if he thought he was getting more interest from Canada with it’s small population compared to the U.S., to which he chuckled and asked “I don’t know? What’s the population of Canada?”
I let him know that Canada is similar in size to California in population, with each near the 38 million mark.
“We’ve got well over 5000 girls signed up already. I’m just gonna guess that we’ve got somewhere between 300-500 from Canada. It’s pretty substantial. The truth is, initially, we didn’t have Canada on there, but then one of our major sponsors is from Canada, so we put it on there and it’s been really good.”
The parameters as to what Miss Marijuana entails was a bit of a mystery to me. Mainly, I wondered, does the future Miss Marijuana need to have an extensive knowledge about weed? And does she even need to smoke weed herself?
“At this point almost everyone knows about marijuana. Our thing is that we don’t want to force young girls to smoke marijuana, that’s for damn sure. Our main thing is that they’re pro-marijuana, not against it. You can’t be campaigning against marijuana.
Marijuana friendly is mainly the thing. Some people vape, some people chew gummies, some people use CBD.They aren’t smoking it, and to us they don’t have to be.”
Another question I had was concerning the prizes. On the website, the winner receives $25,000 and “a vehicle. In the example photo, a Jeep Rubicon is shown, but underneath the photo there’s a clear footnote that states, “vehicle shown for example only.”
I wondered to myself, is this not the vehicle that will be won? Although it is true that a vehicle will be won, Baer informed me that there has not been consensus yet as to what the car will be, but he’s leaning towards the Jeep.
And of course, I had to ask Mr. Baer about his comments on “natural born women” being the only contestants allowed in the Miss Marijuana pageant.
Again, i was a bit confused, and so I asked Mr. Baer the question we were all wondering: What if they’re really passable?
“The problem with it is, you’ve got a lot of them who have not had the operation, and we’ve got a lot of young girls, as young as 18, girls going to the pageant, I spoke with a lot of them and the general perception is that they feel uncomfortable walking in there with someone that has what you or I have. Right?”
Mr. Baer says he’s acting from a place of understanding. “I totally get that. I wouldn’t want her in there if that were the case. I don’t want people uncomfortable. It’s not the mainstream by any means. I’m not against it. I run two websites that are LGBT friendly, it’s not a prejudice or anything like that. Will we change it five years from now? Maybe! I don’t know.”
On top of that, Mr. Baer is quick to point out that his rules are more lenient than the rules surrounding other competitions. He says that Mrs. Universe is really the only competition that allows trans people in their competition.
“The fact is that, when you look at the comparisons, to Miss USA, or any of them, they won’t allow someone that’s married, that has kids, that’s pregnant, that’s had an abortion. They have to be 100% naturally born, that’s the way they are. We don’t have any of those rules here. You have to be single, because it’s miss marijuana. If you have kids, fine.If you were once married? Fine, if you had an abortion, fine. We’re the easiest going ones out there. And we’re getting slaughtered for it.”
For more information on the Miss Marijuana pageant, you can find all the information needed here. What do you think of the pageant? Let us know in the comments below.
Months ago, I tweeted that sports would be “where the rubber hits the road” on deference to trans ideology, because affirmation in sport of biological males who identify as women cannot co-exist in harmony with a level playing field for women. That burning smell? Rubber is hitting the road—hard. The latest incident in women’s medal erasure comes from Connecticut, where two transwomen sprinters took gold and silver at a girls’ track championship.
Sport is one area where the community will resist “social justice” initiatives if they conflict with sport’s bedrock principles of a level playing field and zero tolerance for cheating. Up until about five minutes ago in the long history of sport, that meant women competed against women and men competed against men in all sports where advantage lies in size, power and/or speed.
When a biologically male runner or cyclist who ranks as middle of the pack in men’s races becomes the gold medallist in a Women’s race, he cheats the silver and bronze women athletes beside him on the podium, and especially the woman who came in fourth. But he also cheats people who came out to see a clean race. Joe and Jane Public know unfairness and reality denial when they see it, and it sucks all the joy out of the word “competition” for them.
“Inclusion” has become an obsession in our culture. But normally there are logical limits to inclusivity that nobody objects to. Only citizens can vote. Only people with a certain level of health and fitness can join the Armed Forces. But sport associations that used to accept limitations and categories based in principles of reason and fairness are now prepared to sacrifice both on the altar of trans reverence.
Gender Studies and Sociology, including Sport Sociology, are currently marinated in theories of gender fluidity and social construction. The PhDs in these specialties are then hired as “gender identity experts” by sport associations in order to help formulate policies on “inclusion.” They invite LGBT advocacy groups as consultants as well. Nobody involved in these working groups even pretends to bring objectivity to their task. Back in the day, they were activists for women’s interests. Now they are activists for trans interests. But in sport, inclusion for trans cannot help but result in exclusion for women.
These advocacy groups will go to extraordinary lengths to make their point. We saw that last week when 62-year old, 18-time Grand Slam tennis singles champion Martina Navratilova, one of the greatest athletes of all time—and an icon for leadership in gay acceptance—was unceremoniously thrown under the juggernaut of trans activism.
Navratilova’s “crime” was to publish an op ed in London’s Sunday Times decrying the penetration by transwomen of women’s sports, asserting that it was “cheating and unfair” for biological males to compete against women.
Martina, for all her celebrity and stature, is spitting into the zeitgeist. She is part of Sport’s unwoke binary past. Athlete Ally, a U.S. non-profit LGBT-supportive organization, for whom Martina was an ambassador, stripped her of her title and turfed her from their editorial board. They accused Martina of transphobia, alleging her comments were “based on a false understanding of science and data.” (The irony of the charge is pretty rich, coming from an organization whose assumptions can only be sustained by a rigorous rejection of “science and data.”)
Athlete Ally is one of a constellation of LGBT advocacy groups that “are helping sport organizations in Canada become more inclusive.” This quotation is taken from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport’s most recent policy paper, “Creating Inclusive environments for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport.” Designed as a policy guidance tool for sport organizations, it was developed by the ‘Trans Inclusion in Sport Expert Working Group,’ which I will hereafter refer to as the EWG. If you want to get a flavour of the kind of anti-science Kool-Aid our sports brain trust is drinking, read this document.
It begins factually enough. The paper notes that the vast majority of sport participation in Canada is focused on recreation and development. At this level, trans inclusion is not a big deal, because it’s all about fun and skill building. It is only for the “very small minority” of Canadian athletes who continue into high performance that competitive advantage becomes an issue. Enter the EWG. And here we leave facts behind and enter La La Land.
Sex, the EWG says, “is usually assigned at birth.” No. Sex is established during gestation according to chromosomal development. Sex is observed at birth, not assigned. Gender, the EWG says, “is not inherently connected to one’s physical anatomy.” No. Sex and gender are connected for 99% of humanity, and therefore “inherent” by normal metrics.
The definition of the word “trans,” for sports purposes, according to the EWG, “includes but is not limited to people who identify as transgender, transsexual, cross dressers (adjective) or gender non-conforming (gender diverse or genderqueer).” This is quite a puzzling mashup. Cross-dressing males do not believe they “are” female. Neither do non-conforming males and females who have no wish to transition.
But the document does not address this important inconsistency, nor the alarming imprecision of “not limited to.” From what they state in this definition, EWG is okay with cross-sex competing by biological males who do not believe they are females and females who do not believe they are male, but whose appearance or fetishes are atypical for their sex. We’re off to a very confusing start. Things don’t improve.
Indeed, to be trans can mean almost anything an individual wants it to mean (“not limited to…”), according to this document: “It is important for sports organizations to understand that each individual is different. There is no single transition process and each person will make different choices,” including, significantly, “whether they undertake hormonal or surgical transitions.”
And “[a]n individuals’ personal choice to not use hormones does not make them any less trans nor do these choices change their right to be recognized as the gender with which they identify—man, woman, both or other.” In short, the definition of trans, to be accepted by official governing sports bodies, is left entirely to an individual’s “sense” of gender identity, completely untethered from biology.
For contrast (for now): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) requires female trans athletes to take hormones for a year before competition (they used to require two years). The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) asks for one year of hormone therapy on the grounds that androgen deprivation and cross sex hormones reduce muscle mass.
The EWG does not deny that transwomen may have an advantage. Shockingly, they don’t care. They say: “the EWG acknowledges the concern that trans women athletes who grew up biologically male and who do not undergo hormonal intervention may be at a competitive advantage when competing in high-performance women’s sport. Nonetheless it is recognized that transfemales are not males who became females. Rather these are people who have always been psychologically female, but whose anatomy and physiology, for reasons as yet unexplained, have manifested as male.” (Emphasis mine.)
“Always”? Many adults who develop gender dysphoria after puberty or later had normal childhoods. Most children who exhibit gender dysphoria in childhood reconcile their gender with their natal sex in adolescence, although a high number of them turn out to be gay. Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD), which exhibits many elements of a social contagion, is an escalating phenomenon that occurs without warning after puberty. A certain number who thought they were transgender desist later. In fact, those who “always” considered themselves the opposite gender from earliest childhood and who never waver in this belief for a lifetime, are a minority in the domain of gender dysphoria.
In any case, this statement is in direct conflict with the EWG’s assertion elsewhere in the guidelines that “these individuals should be able to participate in the gender with which they feel most comfortable and safe, which may not be the same in each sport or consistent in subsequent seasons.” (Emphasis mine.) They are saying that a transwoman may “be” a male in one sport and may “be” female in another from one season to the next. There is no “always” present in such a scenario.
Even if some transwomen athletes have “always been psychologically female,” sport is not about athletes’ psychological state; sport is about athletes’ bodies, and what they do with them. Which begs the paramount question of why individual psychology should trump physiological reality on the playing field at all.
As if the rabbit hole were not already deep enough, the EWG concedes that although “participants in men’s sport, on average, out-perform participants in women’s sports, current science is unable to isolate why this is the case.” (Emphasis mine.)
Can anyone with a working brain read this statement without laughing? Could it be that males outperform females because women are on average about 9% shorter than men? Because peak male bone mass is around 50% more than women’s? Because men are 40-50 muscle% by weight and women are about 30-35% muscle by weight? Because men on average have larger hearts and lung capacity, higher metabolic rates?
Hand grip is a marker for overall strength. The strongest 10% of females can only beat the bottom 10% of men in a hand grip contest. In speed events of all kinds, women are about 90% as fast as men. The fastest women will be beaten by boys on high school track teams.
Women’s ligaments are thinner and softer than men’s. Which is why women in combat training suffer far more injuries than men.
For heaven’s sake, when a women’s national soccer team loses 7-0 to a team of under-15 age boys, we are way beyond “anecdotal” evidence. So you simply can’t say “unable to isolate why” men are in general stronger and faster than women with a straight face. The weasel words here are “current science.” Translation: pseudo-science promulgated in the pseudo-discipline of Gender Studies. According to “current science,” the data and statistics that are considered settled by, you know, science, are ignored and replaced by theories that have no basis in evidence or the scientific method.
The guidelines offer even more unintentional humour, when they insert “A note of caution.” The EWG recognizes “that an unintended consequence of this policy guidance on hormone therapy for high-performance sport may be that a trans individual consider, or be pressured to consider, delaying the use of hormone therapy in order to realize some perceived or real competitive advantage in their sport.” (Ya think?)
Additionally, “sport organizations may want to consider how it might deal with any complaints about ‘gender impostors’ in high-performance sport. It is important to recognize that cheating of this type—presumably men masquerading as women in order to achieve a perceived advantage in women’s sport—is unprecedented and considered highly unlikely.”
There it is again: the admission that biological males have an advantage over biological women. The “presumably” is a coy deflection; it reeks of disingenuity. I reached out for comment on this issue to EWG member, former Olympian runner (1964) and the most influential academic voice in Canadian sport, Professor Bruce Kidd of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education.
Kidd conceded in an email to me that biological males might have an advantage in competition, but “we did not think that any advantages that MF trans might possess…have been shown to be so significant that they merit policy exclusions.” He added, “No one would ever say that sports offer a completely level playing field. As a social scientist, I can point out that personal and national income is the most closely associated with Olympic medals.”
At first I found the first comment baffling. The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), which is quoted in the CCES guidelines that Kidd signed off on, accepts that “male athletes have a competitive advantage over female athletes to the order of 10-12%.” How are these stats not significant in a domain where medals are won on the basis of .01 seconds?
But then I realized he was saying men do have advantage, but the advantage of transitioned male-to-females athletes is no different from the random distribution advantage within a sex category (biological, economic or social), as per his second comment.
In response, I say that as long as biological sex is the primary categorizing principle in sport (for now), the categories need to be either enforced or eliminated. Para sport, for example, is divided into many categories for degrees of disability. But they would certainly not allow an able-bodied person to compete against paraplegics, no matter how deep their “sense” of transableism.
As to economic advantage, Kidd certainly makes a good point, even if it is not relevant to the discussion here. It is indeed troubling that a multitude of talented youngsters are constrained by financial obstacles from opportunities to realize their dreams. But there is an easy solution to that form of inequality: Increase funding to ensure Canada’s talent pool widens and deepens. Biology, however, is an immutable form of inequality. No amount of money, no form of regulation, can change that.
If the EWG really believes that the male advantage is not significant, they should consider abolishing sex categories altogether. But they won’t do that, because even ideologues know that would be the end of women in sport. The fact that nobody, not even those arguing most strenuously for parity between women and transwomen, is complaining about the reverse problem, transmen winning medals in men’s sports, should shame the ideologues into admitting the hard truth this disparity represents. But they won’t do that either.
Their compromise was to inflict a handicap on every woman in sport competing against a transwoman, and hope that the relatively few women athletes affected would have drunk enough social-justice Kool-Aid to accept that transwomen are exempt from the zero tolerance for cheating rubric. (Which by and large they have done—so far.)
And why does the EWG consider it “unprecedented” and “highly unlikely” that cheating of the kind they do recognize as cheating—identifying oneself as trans when one isn’t—would occur? The history of high-performance sport is rife with athletes who have cheated by doping. Offering the legal opportunity to enter the record books by competing against females, with no questions asked and no moral judgment levied against them, is tantamount to allowing any male athlete who is willing to lie about his psychological state the right to dope, is it not?
In fact, the more one thinks about it, the more it looks like “gender imposterism” could end up as a feature, rather than a bug, in the execution of CCES guidelines.
There are some observers of the lunacy that the CCES document exemplifies, such as conservative Selwyn Duke in this American Thinker article, who sees this great injustice to female athletes, as feminists’ own petard upon which they have now been hoisted. Feminists have insisted all these many decades now that social construction, not biology, has been the only obstacle to women achieving parity with men in every field of endeavor. If only women had the same opportunities, they have claimed, they would perform equally well. Duke says there is “poetic justice” in this logical extension of presumed equality.
I agree that radical feminists dug themselves into this hole, but I take no pleasure in their comeuppance. They aren’t the ones training five or six hours a day for years to realize their dream. Radical feminists are the proponents of anti-scientific theories about women and men’s psychological natures. They are way off base in their repudiation of evolutionary biology, true, but most athletes are not ideologues of any kind, let alone gender theorists. They just love sport. They know their bodies intimately and what they are capable of. They are very well aware of the differences between male and female bodies, and they do not observe these differences through the lens of social justice, but of realism.
So most athletes reading this document will know in their hearts that they are reading a catechism, not a policy paper grounded in any reality they recognize. But athletes tend not to rock political boats, as it takes time and effort to beat against the current, a distraction from personal goals. They keep their heads down and focused on their disciplines. Those girls and women athletes need these injustices redressed on their behalf, not smug taunts that they had it coming to them.
We are seeing the trickledown consequences of the EWG’s trans-reverential stance in the wholesale adoption of these guidelines, after a two-year consultation process with the CCES, by U Sports, the governing body of Canadian university sports. They are now in effect at U Sports’ 56 member institutions. All these institutions have, consciously or not, embraced a misogynistic policy in the name of gender inclusivity. On the up side, nobody could possibly call them “transphobic,” a fate worse than death to many cultural elites.
The rubber hitting the road in sports sparked a flame that now threatens to break out into a wildfire. It is clear that many of sport’s ethical gatekeepers have lost sight of their mission. The sport world needs to give its head a shake, break out of its politicized trance, and step back from ill-considered policies like those of the CCES.
Stakeholders in sport should understand that activists of all stripes always demand more than they expect to get. I am sure that delighted trans activists were quite surprised that the amateur sport world, when told to jump, didn’t negotiate limitations that would protect women athletes’ rights, but simply asked, “how high?”
Female athletes need to know that their coaches, managers and associations will stand up to politically correct tyranny. CCES’s political masters must do whatever it takes to protect women athletes from medal erasure, in order to restore honour, presently corroding in plain sight, to Sport’s founding principle, “Play Fair.”