Saturday, February 15, 2020

Women's Sports and Transgender Athletes

Ann Althouse weighs in over at her site with an observation that surprised me.
Today, the pressure to be empathetic toward transgenders is so great that I believe women, known for our empathy and our desire to appear compassionate, will let go of competitive sports and return to the inclinations that dominated back in the days when I went to high school. It's a trade-off, a trade-off between the potential for athletic victory and the feeling of being kind and inclusive. The latter is something quite valuable and within the reach of all women. The former is a dream, and it's only a dream for an elite few among women.
I take the point, and think she is correct for the attitude of our generation. I don't have a sense whether that is true for succeeding generations. More boys than girls dream of playing at the highest level, and I think it is true that the dream dies harder with them. But nearly everyone...

Okay, let me rethink this. When I write "nearly everyone" I am talking about New Hampshire, and we only develop world-class athletes in skiing. Unlike what seems to be a prevailing view in many other regions, there is a lot of cultural support here for simply doing as well as you can and then calling it a day. We don't expect you to go to the NFL, or even D1 scholarship football. Or baseball, track, basketball, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, swimming.  We have slightly higher expectations for hockey players, I suppose. A few make it and we consider that nice. But the knowledge seeps in early here that the very top levels are not really available to us - for many reasons, some of which we can say aloud. For now.

It might offend the sense of justice of people in the moment that a student who is not a real girl* wins the 400M, but northern New England is not going to be the hotbed of outrage over this.  We don't care who wins the 400M enough to carry signs in protest.

Thus, I don't know if women's sports will change that much here. Transgender athletes winning the tennis championship will draw an irritated grimace, followed by a shrug. 99% of the girls already knew they weren't winning the championship anyway, but participated for the camaraderie and fun of it. There is some danger that the SJW's in the locker rooms will rat the other girls out, those who complain. We have more than out share here, and they are often the children of SJW's who are worse.

I don't know how this will play out for the rest of you, but this change isn't going to be a big one here.  I do wonder if this is going to be a bigger issue for black female athletes, who may be somewhat more dependent on scholarships for advancement.

* No, really, stop saying silly things here.  This is America and you can call yourself anything you want. I think it's important that we let people say "I'm a real girl" and there are no official repercussions for that. Call yourself whatever you want. But that in no way implies that anyone else has to go along with it.  Other Americans retain the right to say "No you're not." Legal accommodations should be compromises, not absolutes. Which is why DC lawyers should be regarded as dangerous.

This is the retirement video of the greatest player New Hampshire ever sent to the NBA, just for perspective.

Yes, New Hampshire is a small state.  My daughter-in-law went to school with him, my second son played at the Concord Y at the same afternoon halfcourt games (though Ben was always on the other, lesser court), and I recognise every one of those backgrounds.


sykes.1 said...

It is not just women's sports that become impossible when transgenders are allowed to compete. Feminism itself is impossible. TERF's (trans-exclusive radical feminists) are correct.

Transgenders are seriously mentally ill, and require psychiatric care. Of course, we do not have psychiatrists or psychologists, we merely have radical leftist ideologues pretending to be them. We even go so far as to laud parents and doctors who mutilate young children in the name of ideolology.

I read Ann nearly every day. What she wrote is shameful.

The Mad Soprano said...

Transgenderism sounds like an excuse for creeps who want to beat up women.

Grim said...

“What she wrote is shameful.”

It is never shameful to speak the truth. What she said was that she believed women would make this choice, rather than that they ought to make it. I agree with her on the probable outcome.

james said...

Even when the stakes are trivial (the girl's high school wrestling match is not on my radar at all), it offends truth to be told Soviet-style lies about the winner.

Some of the comments on her post suggest that the female competitors may not be quite as obliging as the average woman.

RichardJohnson said...

Small world stories. My aunt and uncle in flyover country lived on the same block as the US Congressman. Small world, small town. Years later, I found in my parents' library several USDA yearbooks which the Congressman had inscribed to my mother: "To my friend..." My aunt and uncle did not have a high opinion of the Congressman- who spent over a decade in office.

There was a guy in my sister's high school class, and also in my gym class one year, whose uncle was a US Senator. A family friend told me that his mother- brother to the Senator- was her Latin teacher in an adjacent town- an intimidating teacher, she told me.

The only small world sports story is that one of the ballplayers in Jim Bouton's Ball Four was a student teacher in one of my high school classes.

Donna B. said...

I had so many comments, most of them incoherent, about Althouse's post... so after a few days I'm just going to post one:

How is this different from cheating, or a scam? For an example, I submit the Great Soap Box Derby scandal of 1973.

Gravity vs chromosomes. Both natural, right?