You Can’t Say That!

We live in a time when it is more accepted to say things that previously were considered vulgar, rude or inappropriate but it is less acceptable to express certain political views. This is increasingly the case with the “Woke” / politically correct agenda that far too often advocates banning views that they disagree with because…well, because they disagree with them. The most recent example is where the world of politics and sports intersects.

University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has been breaking records and winning events at each meet by wide margins. You see, Thomas competed on Penn’s men’s swim team for three years but is now competing on the women’s team and as the obvious science would tell us, someone who has gone through male puberty has an advantage competing against women.

But we are not supposed to say that. That is taboo in certain circles and it must be ignored in the name of ‘transgender rights’, even if doing so damages women’s rights. Most members of Penn’s women’s swim team have reportedly been upset all season for having to compete against someone who has an obvious advantage but parents quoted in the media say that the young women have been afraid to speak out.

The University, the Ivy League and the NCAA have been asked to look again at the rules for competition.  But that was not to be, and both the University and the Ivy League have come our squarely on confirming the current rules and squarely on the side of Thomas. The issue has drawn increasing publicity as the frustrations grow among competitors at each meet, and as prominent figures such as former tennis star Martina Navratilova (a prominent LGBTQ activist who won 59 major titles) and several former women Olympic swimmers have spoken out against former men competing as women.

Despite the obvious conclusion that results which show, in this case and others, that these athletes have an unfair advantage and thus actually do damage to women’s sports, there has been a concerted effort to silence any dissent.

At last summer’s Olympic Games, athletes reported that they were told not to talk about the weightlifter from New Zealand who had formerly competed as a man but was competing in the Olympics as a woman. Just this past week, US Masters Track athlete Cynthia Monteleone said she was advised to keep quiet about competing against transgender athletes.  At an international event in Spain in 2018, she said that USA Track officials told her ‘For your own safety you should probably keep your mouth shut’.

Specifically as it relates to Thomas, the Penn swimmer competing as a woman, the University has attempted to downplay any concerns and portray that the issue is a concern for only a small number of people. In a statement last Tuesday, issued in response to a network interview with one of the other members of Penn’s women’s swim team, the University of Pennsylvania said that Thomas had the team’s “full support” and a Penn spokesperson told ESPN that the statement represented “several” Penn swimmers.

Yet, a parent of one of the team members said that view represented only “two or three” other members of the team. That comment by the parent seemed to be validated when on Thursday, just two days after the University made its statement, Olympic gold medalist Nancy Hogshead-Makar, who is the chief executive of women’s sports advocacy organization Champion Women and a critic of Thomas’ presence in the pool as a women’s competitor, put her name on a letter to the University and the Ivy League asking that Thomas not be allowed to compete. Significant was that Hogshead-Makar said that 16 members of Penn’s women’s swimming team had “signed” the letter but asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal.  The letter said, in part:

“Biologically, Lia (Thomas) holds an unfair advantage over competition in the women’s category, as evidenced by her rankings that have bounced from #462 as a male to #1 as a female. If she were to be eligible to compete against us, she could now break Penn, Ivy, and NCAA Women’s Swimming records; feats she could never have done as a male athlete.”

If we want to “follow the science”, then the results speak for themselves and there really is not much to debate. The Thomas case is only the most recent of a number of examples, and not coincidentally, the examples do not include examples of individuals that have gone through female puberty, then wanted to become a man and then competed athletically at world class levels.

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