Trans women aren’t the ones cis women need protection from
Do you remember back in 2015 and then again 2017 how our children were in peril? How they, especially the girls, needed to be “protected” from predators? And how, apparently, the best way to do that was to ban transgender women from public restrooms?
Never mind that this wasn’t actually a problem then, any more than it is now. This was so “important” that it merited a special session of the Texas Legislature. Thank goodness more than 3,000 Texas businesses rallied to sanity’s defense and discouraged passage of this damaging — yet potentially hilarious — piece of legislation from passing.
It’s been four years since the last mention of this, and what’s happened? Nothing. Trans people still use the bathroom without assaulting anyone, and kids are still in peril — mostly from their parents. There was an Amber Alert sent out on Wednesday, March 3, about a 10-year-old girl in Carrollton who was thought to have been taken by her father.
Her mother was found dead earlier that morning.
So yes, kids are still in peril, just not from trans people. But the legislature has moved on.
(In case anyone cares, the little girl was found safe, and her dad was taken into custody.)
But now, right-wing nuts have something else that urgently needs “protecting” at the expense of trans women: “women’s sports.”
None of these idiots gave two shits about women’s sports until now. OK, I agree there are some things that are urgently needed to protect female athletes; I mean, surely they are talking about U.S.A. women’s gymnastics coach John Geddert, who took his own life after being charged with felony sexual assault and human trafficking of young female athletes — right?
No, not a peep from the right wing about the power coaches have over these girls.
Perhaps they are concerned with protecting women from injuries? There has long been a concern about concussions, ACL injuries and exercise safety during pregnancy. But nope. No concern there.
How about continued sex discrimination and social injustice. No, not that either.
What about pay equity? Ask the U.S.A. Women’s Soccer team — you know, the U.S.A. soccer team that wins World Cup titles? The one where women are often paid half or less of what their male counterparts earn, even when the men don’t win championships? No?
Well what, then, is this big threat to women’s athletics?
Yep. The same demonized, marginalized group of people who have done nothing to deserve the vitriol aimed at them are evidently causing such a problem in women’s sports that it must be dealt with. Again.
According to a notoriously unreliable source — former President Trump — records are being smashed by trans athletes. Only no, they aren’t.
Check the medal stands at the Olympics. How many trans women? Actually, zero. Ever.
In 2003 the International Olympic Committee arrived at the Stockholm Consensus which laid down the guidelines for participation in Olympic sports. And here’s the tote board for trans Olympians:
• Athens in 2004: Total medals (any color) — Zero.
• Torino, Italy 2006: We didn’t fare much better at ski jumping than we did at pentathlon — Zero
• Beijing in 2008: Zero
• Vancouver 2010: Zero (Seeing a trend here?)
• London 2012: Zero
• Sochi 2014: Zero
In 2015, the IOC updated the guidelines to permit trans men to compete in the male category, without restriction. For trans women, they must be identifying as female, and this declaration may not change, for sporting purposes, for four years. A trans woman’s testosterone level must be below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months (mine is at 3 nmol/L for reference) and must remain so throughout the period of desired eligibility.
So, how’d we do after those changes?
• Rio: 2016: Zero
• Pyeong Chang 2018: Zero
We’ve seen eight Olympic Games where trans athletes were eligible to compete, and trans athletes have won zero medals. Ever.
Deep down inside, I think there isn’t as much worry about us competing as there is us about us “winning.”
But you knew that this bullshit has nothing to do with actually “protecting women’s sports,” right?
It actually has everything to do with once again violating the rights of trans people or, worse, legislating us out of existence.
The Minnesota Legislature is considering a bill that would make it a crime for a trans female to even try out for a girls team. There haven’t been problems in Minnesota that I’m aware of, but there is a Christian law firm called the ADF — Alliance Defending Freedom — which is also known as a hate group by the SPLC. ADF is drafting these ridiculous bills and emailing them to right-wing legislators in hope they will get passed, or even just discussed, because even that discussion can be damaging to the trans community. And those bills have absolutely zero to do with defending anyone’s freedom.
More than 20 different states have had taken this boiler plate sent to them, and they have run with it. The party of “small government” is worried about what is in the pants of every female athlete? That’s just creepy.
The final word goes to Layshia Clarendon (with the WNBA New York Liberty), who recently had top surgery: “These people want to keep women in their place, and then use us as swords to cut people who pose no threat to the advancement of our sport. It’s up to us — cis women — to see that they don’t.”
Leslie McMurray is transgender education and advocacy associate at Resource Center in Dallas. She is also a regular columnist for Dallas Voice. Read more of her blogs at lesliemichelle44.wordpress.com.