Canadian sports “experts” embrace misogynist practices to please trans activists­

Monday February 25th, 2019

Months ago, I tweeted that sports would be “where the rubber hits the road” on deference to trans ideology, because affirmation in sport of biological males who identify as women cannot co-exist in harmony with a level playing field for women. That burning smell? Rubber is hitting the road—hard. The latest incident in women’s medal erasure comes from Connecticut, where two transwomen sprinters took gold and silver at a girls’ track championship.

Sport is one area where the community­ will resist “social justice” initiatives if they conflict with sport’s bedrock principles of a level playing field and zero tolerance for cheating. Up until about five minutes ago in the long history of sport, that meant women competed against women and men competed against men in all sports where advantage lies in size, power and/or speed.

When a biologically male runner or cyclist who ranks as middle of the pack in men’s races becomes the gold medallist in a Women’s race, he cheats the silver and bronze women athletes beside him on the podium, and especially the woman who came in fourth. But he also cheats people who came out to see a clean race. Joe and Jane Public know unfairness and reality denial when they see it, and it sucks all the joy out of the word “competition” for them.

“Inclusion” has become an obsession in our culture. But normally there are logical limits to inclusivity that nobody objects to. Only citizens can vote. Only people with a certain level of health and fitness can join the Armed Forces. But sport associations that used to accept limitations and categories based in principles of reason and fairness are now prepared to sacrifice both on the altar of trans reverence.

Gender Studies and Sociology, including Sport Sociology, are currently marinated in theories of gender fluidity and social construction. The PhDs in these specialties are then hired as “gender identity experts” by sport associations in order to help formulate policies on “inclusion.” They invite LGBT advocacy groups as consultants as well. Nobody involved in these working groups even pretends to bring objectivity to their task. Back in the day, they were activists for women’s interests. Now they are activists for trans interests. But in sport, inclusion for trans cannot help but result in exclusion for women.

These advocacy groups will go to extraordinary lengths to make their point. We saw that last week when 62-year old, 18-time Grand Slam tennis singles champion Martina Navratilova, one of the greatest athletes of all time—and an icon for leadership in gay acceptance—was unceremoniously thrown under the juggernaut of trans activism.

Navratilova’s “crime” was to publish an op ed in London’s  Sunday Times decrying the penetration by transwomen of women’s sports, asserting that it was “cheating and unfair” for biological males to compete against women.

Martina, for all her celebrity and stature, is spitting into the zeitgeist. She is part of Sport’s unwoke binary past. Athlete Ally, a U.S. non-profit LGBT-supportive organization, for whom Martina was an ambassador, stripped her of her title and turfed her from their editorial board. They accused Martina of transphobia, alleging her comments were “based on a false understanding of science and data.” (The irony of the charge is pretty rich, coming from an organization whose assumptions can only be sustained by a rigorous rejection of “science and data.”)

Athlete Ally is one of a constellation of LGBT advocacy groups that “are helping sport organizations in Canada become more inclusive.” This quotation is taken from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport’s most recent policy paper, “Creating Inclusive environments for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport.” Designed as a policy guidance tool for sport organizations, it was developed by the ‘Trans Inclusion in Sport Expert Working Group,’ which I will hereafter refer to as the EWG. If you want to get a flavour of the kind of anti-science Kool-Aid our sports brain trust is drinking, read this document.

It begins factually enough. The paper notes that the vast majority of sport participation in Canada is focused on recreation and development. At this level, trans inclusion is not a big deal, because it’s all about fun and skill building. It is only for the “very small minority” of Canadian athletes who continue into high performance that competitive advantage becomes an issue. Enter the EWG. And here we leave facts behind and enter La La Land.

Sex, the EWG says, “is usually assigned at birth.” No. Sex is established during gestation according to chromosomal development. Sex is observed at birth, not assigned. Gender, the EWG says, “is not inherently connected to one’s physical anatomy.” No. Sex and gender are connected for 99% of humanity, and therefore “inherent” by normal metrics.

The definition of the word “trans,” for sports purposes, according to the EWG, “includes but is not limited to people who identify as transgender, transsexual, cross dressers (adjective) or gender non-conforming (gender diverse or genderqueer).” This is quite a puzzling mashup. Cross-dressing males do not believe they “are” female. Neither do non-conforming males and females who have no wish to transition.