In the 1990s, rapper Sagat had a song called “Funk Dat” in which he rapped about the things that bugged him (and probably those listening) the most.
So, question: Why is it every time the issue of transgendered athletes comes up, everyone always acts like if it’s not fair to the cisgendered athletes. Like everyone knew who Lia Thomas was before all this controversy began? C’mon, man, funk dat.
Fairness has never a factor in competitive sports. The baseball season is about to begin. As the late George Carlin once said during a famous bit that baseball fields are diffferent dimensions. A homerun at Wrigley Field or Yankee Stadium may not happen at Wrigley Field. In football, a player can run out of bounds and the clock stops. In soccer of futbol, if someone kicks the ball out of bounds, the clock still runs.
But let’s look at the athletes themselves. With baseball or softball, certain pitchers don’t pitch to certain batters, so they’ll walk him in hopes of striking the next batter out or suspecting he’ll pop the ball up for a foul, which will be caught and he’s out. How is this fair? Batting left hand is better than batting right handed with certain batters. Every athlete is different in every sport. We live in a society that forever has promoted the stereotype that black people are better at basketball and boxing. That’s not always the case just everyone who is tall knows how to play basketball well.
The issue surrounding Lia Thomas, a swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania, is that she was born a male and transitioned over to a female. To compete she had only one requirement – to her body’s hormone level, to show that she didn’t take any enhancements over the other swimmers. That’s it. Yes, she’s 6-foot-1, but Michael Phelps is 6-foot-4 and his body’s biology is different from other swimmers. But no one says anything about Phelps.
But this isn’t about fairness for other cisgendered woman athletes. Many of them don’t even get much attention unless there is a controversy. We live in a society that says the bar is set low so women get special treatment. But what does this say about the women who compete anyway? They’re not good enough to begin with so we give them easier goals?
I’ve watched several young female athletes compete better than their male counterparts. In 2009, I covered a high school girls basketball game that went into four over-times. At the same time, I’ve watched girls on the softball team have to change in a locker room that looked like a serial killer or a pervert lurked nearby. At one basketball tournament, the fucking door to the girls locker room if opened just halfway gave a direct vantage point to anyone in the main corridor leading from the lobby into the stadium. Imagine the embarrassment these young women must’ve felt.
Let’s not kid ourselves here. It’s not about fairness. We still associated women’s softball only with lesbians or bisexual women. It’s about prejudice. The same way it wasn’t about segregated water fountains during the Jim Crow era.
It takes a lot for people to begin the transition. There has to be a diagnosis of dysphoria. Many people have to see at least three or four doctors and psychologists. And it takes years. So, this argument that some King Richard style father out there is going to take his boys who are good but not great at a sport and force them at an early age to transition, so that by the time they are in their middle school/high school age range, they can perform better at sports over the cisgendered female athletes and then get college scholarships is ludicrous on so many levels.
Let’s look at the obvious, no one cares about girls basketball or girls soccer as they do the boys version. The girls are always played first with some parents not able to get off work to make it because the game starts at 5 p.m. Also, not many schools are passing out full scholarships for softball or golf the way they do for football, basketball and baseball. Women’s basketball doesn’t even get the same attention as men’s basketball at the college level. So, where’s the fairness?
And even still during the transition, their bodies change anyway. So, just because they may have been good at a sport as a male, it doesn’t mean they will as a woman. Our bodies are constantly changing regardless of what sex we are. And many athletes such as wrestlers or gymnasts have to adhere to strict diets it’s a danger to their bodies regardless.
And some of the language in these transphobic bills act like they’re going to protect the women in these sports. Yet, if you’ve ever been to a woman’s volleyball game, the players are wearing shorts so short, some spectators don’t care about the final score. Maybe the issue is we’ve oversexualized young women in sports it’s much they don’t want a transgendered woman in a swimsuit.
But, like I said, it’s not really about the fairness. It’s a way to be critical of transgendered people. And politicians are just doing it because it’s an election year and they want to make the Democrats look bad during the elections. If they can prove they are tough and strict to conservative Christian values, they will get votes.
Lastly, they are one to talk about fairness. They don’t care about their constituents. They just care about their voters and lobbyists who line their pockets. If they can get the majority of voters, that’s all they care about. They have no policies to enforce, just the ones that will insure their re-elections. And like all the people screaming in the bleachers, they’re not happy anymore unless their side wins.
So it’s no surprise Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is not acknowledging Thomas. He, like so many people now, are supporting the one who came in second as the “true winner.”
What do you think? Please comment.