How Transgenders Are Affecting Women’s Sports
It’s the end of an era. Lindsey Vonn, the greatest American female skier in history, has announced her retirement. She will be missed, all the more so, because within a matter of years her sport may not exist anymore.
In fact, women’s sports in general may be on the verge of extinction. The move to allow transgender athletes, born biologically male, to compete as women will likely ensure that.
We have already seen the beginnings of this move. Most famously, the domination of Connecticut high school track and field competitions by two transgender athletes has focused national attention on this trend. The two students, both born male, finished first and second, respectively, in the 55-meter dash this year, crushing the competition. One of them set a new girls indoor record and also won the 300-meter. The year before, the same two students finished first and second in the 100-meter state outdoor championships.
Connecticut allows students to compete in sports as the gender they identify with; there are no further requirements. Therein lies the rub. Fast fading into the rearview mirror are the days when there were strict requirements, often including sex reassignment surgery, for the admission of a biologically male athlete into women’s competitions. Now, based on the mad, pseudoscience of fluidity in gender, the only question is “Do you feel like a woman?”
The impact of this movement, already massive, will be crushing. All daydreams aside, there are massive and well-established differences between men and women in athletic performance. The gaps in performance, again, all fantasies aside, are not closing. Men have dramatically higher levels of testosterone. It makes them bigger, stronger and faster. They build more muscle mass. They have larger hearts and greater lung capacity.
We call this biology.
At the 1988 Olympics, Florence Griffith-Joyner set a women’s world record of 10.49 seconds in the 100-meter dash. The record stands to this day. It is so far beyond the time of other female runners that there have been questions posed as to whether she was using some kind of performance enhancing drug when she ran.
That epic, history-making run would never have even been noticed if the time was set by a male athlete. In fact, with that kind of time, Florence Griffith-Joyner would never have even come close to making the finals of the event. There were that year fifteen men in the United States who had the same time as a personal best. Those fifteen men ranked 217th fastest amongst men that year. Worldwide, Griffith-Joyner’s time would have earned her 768th place against male competitors
This is not an aberration. This is the norm. In 2017 Olympic, World, and U.S. Champion Tori Bowie’s 100 meters lifetime best of 10.78 was beaten 15,000 times by men and boys. The exact same thing is true of Olympic, World, and U.S. Champion Allyson Felix’s 400 meters lifetime best of 49.26. In that one year, 2017, it was beaten over 15,000 times by both men and boys. Neither one of these women would have even been competing at the Olympics had they been forced to perform head to head with biologically male competitors.
The move to admit transgender athletes into women’s athletics based purely on “personal feelings” is already negatively impacting females and not just in Connecticut. In Australia, weightlifter Gavin Hubbard AKA Laurel Hubbard just won the Australian International weightlifting contest, out lifting the competition by forty-five pounds. Hubbard is biologically a man.
Recently, Fallon Fox, born male, defeated a woman, Tamikka Brents in three minutes in a mixed martial arts bout. Brents was left with a broken orbital bone and needed seven staples to close the gash in her head.
Hannah Mouncey, a 6-foot, 2-inch, 220-pound Australia handball player is dominating play in international women’s handball competitions. Before deciding he was female, Mouncey played on the Australian national men’s team.
In Brazil, a transgender athlete, Tiffany Abreu, is dominating women’s volleyball and making noises about playing in the Olympics. Abreu, born male, played for years in Europe on a succession of male teams and achieved an impressive level of mediocrity before deciding to make the move into women’s athletics. Four games into playing professionally as a woman, Abreu set a new female record for most points scored.
Almost fifty years ago, President Richard Nixon signed the law that has come to be known simply as Title IX. The rule required any educational program or activity that receives federal funding cannot discriminate on the basis of sex. It revolutionized women’s athletics. Since almost every college in America takes federal money, schools were required to attempt to demonstrate parity between men’s and women’s sports programs. The numbers of female teams exploded. Women and girls who would never have had a chance to play a sport got that opportunity and all the benefits that came with it.
In the 1972 Olympics, which took place the same year Title IX went into effect, only 84 of the 400 American athletes who competed were women. A grand total of 23 medals were won by American women. Forty years later women outnumbered men on the U.S. Olympic team and won more medals than the men. In 2016, the U.S. sent the largest contingent of female athletes in history to the games in Rio. Had the American women in Rio competed as a separate country, on their own, they would have tied for third amongst all nations in medals won.
Those days are numbered. The Olympic committee has already begun to water down the requirements for biologically male athletes to compete as women. A world of Tiffany Abreu’s – mediocre male athletes who will never be noticed competing against their peers, has noticed the trend and recognized the opportunity. Why toil away in obscurity as a volleyball player on a mediocre, semi-pro men’s team, when you can become an instant legend playing against women?
We will all play a price for the lunacy and shortsightedness of this move. No one, however, will pay a greater price than the women and girls of the world who, having just had a brief glimpse of what equal opportunity looks like, will now once again be consigned to the sidelines. Remember Lindsey Vonn well. She may be the last female alpine champion we will ever see.