From the Times:
ATLANTA — Lia Thomas, the transgender woman whose record-threatening times on the University of Pennsylvania’s swim team made her a star of college athletics and a symbol of the debate over sports and gender identity, won an N.C.A.A. championship in the 500-yard freestyle on Thursday.
Thomas, a fifth-year senior who arrived for the swimming championships in Atlanta as the top seed in the 500 and 200 freestyle races, completed the race in 4 minutes, 33.24 seconds, more than a second ahead of the runner-up.
I would like to know who is fooled by this. My suspicion is that almost nobody is fooled by this, but that almost everybody is scared to admit that in public.
However “Lia Thomas” might self-identify, he has the body of a man. This matters, because he is competing in a women’s sports league, and because there are profound biological differences between men and women in that sport, as in almost every other. The Times reports that Thomas “that left opponents far behind and put some collegiate records under new pressure.” Well, yeah. This is because Thomas is a man, and because Thomas’s “opponents” — two of whom were Olympians — are not.
The Times adds that:
As some insist that no amount of testosterone suppression can undo the physiological changes linked to male puberty, like taller height and larger hands and feet, others dispute that transgender women have a built-in advantage and have argued that inclusion should outweigh competition.
Again: Who is fooled by this “others dispute that . . .” stuff? It’s nonsense, and we all know it. As for the idea that “inclusion should outweigh competition”? That is an obvious transparent post-rationalization. By definition, N.C.A.A. swimming is a “competitive” sport, and the only reason that anyone involved would think of suggesting otherwise is to justify including a man in the participants’ ranks.
At Swimming World magazine, John Lohn neatly sums up the farce:
A little more than three months after the possibility first arose, Lia Thomas captured a title while representing the University of Pennsylvania at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Most times, a national championship should be celebrated, the athlete commended for her hard work, dedication, and discipline.
Not this time.
No, this title-winning effort in the 500-yard freestyle should be met with nothing less than a head shake, an eye roll or a shrug of the shoulders. Why? Because Lia Thomas’ victory is an insult to the biological women who raced against her. Against those who fought for Title IX and equal opportunities for female athletes. Against science, and the unmistakable physiological differences between the male and female sexes.
Content created by Charles C. W. Cooke
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