It was almost an afterthought, coming as it did in the final 10 minutes of a 99-minute speech to thousands of supporters at a rally Saturday night in Florence, Arizona.
But sounding very much like a candidate for president in 2024, former President Donald Trump made an offhanded campaign promise of sorts: “We will ban men from participating in women’s sports.”
If common sense and common decency were not so uncommon, such a promise wouldn’t be necessary, because it should be obvious that athletes with XY chromosomes shouldn’t be allowed to compete in high school and collegiate athletics against those with XX genetics.
This is where the real “science denial” is occurring today (not on climate change), contrary to the assertion by the LGBTQ lobby that there’s “no scientific evidence” that transgender “women” (aka biological men) have significant physiological advantages in athletic competition.
But that’s where we are today, with institutions throughout society — in this case, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and high school interscholastic conferences — bending over backward, catering to the minuscule, but disproportionately powerful, transgender lobby.
“Did you see the swimmer that’s breaking records, like by 30 seconds?” Mr. Trump asked his Arizona audience about the transgender woman at the University of Pennsylvania who has been shattering NCAA women’s swimming records since switching to the other end of the gene pool, so to speak, and transferring to the women’s team after three undistinguished years on the men’s squad.
Mr. Trump was referring, of course, to Lia (born Will) Thomas, who at a swim meet in December at the University of Akron in Ohio, set the nation’s women’s best time in the 200-yard freestyle, broke the Ivy League record in the 500-yard freestyle, and won the 1,650-yard freestyle over teammate Anna Kalandadze by a stunning 38 seconds. For context, victory margins in swimming are often measured in tenths-of-a-second.
“How ridiculous is it? And it’s so unfair to women,” Mr. Trump said, repeating for emphasis: “It’s so unfair to women.”
How unfair is it? Here’s how a female Idaho State University runner, Madison Kenyon, described it on Fox News last Feb. 1: “It’s super-frustrating and very unmotivating to lose to a biological male in your sport.”
You could also ask Selina Soule and three other former high school female track athletes in Connecticut who were similarly deprived of their rightful places on the victory podium and perhaps college scholarships by a pair of faux female runners.
“Woke” high school interscholastic athletic conferences and the NCAA have effectively thrown actual female athletes under the bus in favor of a handful of transgender women.
Testosterone suppression and estrogen therapy notwithstanding, these biological men retain obvious physiological advantages over real women, such as greater muscle mass and lung capacity.
Most left-wing feminist groups shamefully either have supported these intersex interlopers or remained uncharacteristically quiet as this battle has raged. But not groups such as Save Women’s Sports or the conservative Independent Women’s Forum. The latter summed it up this way: “Every time a transgender woman secures a spot on an elite women’s team or wins a scholarship reserved for female athletes, a biological female loses an opportunity.”
They refuse to be browbeaten by the LGBTQ bullies and their allies in the mainstream media, whose name-calling has intimidated other opponents into silence. Their charges of “transphobia” are completely bogus: A “phobia” is an irrational fear of something. There’s nothing irrational or fearful in preserving female athletics for real girls and women.
Regrettably, however, the Biden administration and most of the rest of the Democratic Party are in thrall to the LGBTQ left and won’t stand up for the women’s rights won by Title IX. (This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1972 federal law that greatly expanded participation in athletics by girls and women.)
If the NCAA and woke athletic directors at high schools and colleges also won’t stand up for fairness, real female athletes must.
The best way to get female athletics reserved solely for real girls and women might well be for them to refuse to take part in any swim meets, track and field events, or any other sports in which transgender women are allowed to participate. Ms. Thomas’ teammates and opponents alike should boycott the NCAA championships in March.
It’s also up to the states to help “stop the insanity,” as 1990s celebrity fitness trainer Susan Powter used to say, by enacting laws to bar faux females from women’s sports. Ten already have. More need to do so.