Trans women have a natural advantage, so what?
"We believe that there are only two human genders, males and females are naturally different, and society, culture and law should reflect an acceptance of and comfort with those differences. Trans women in sports implies that gender is a choice, and that those with XY chromosomes are anything but boys and men. We think this is an unhealthy trend..."
It seems to me there is a sleight of hand in this that misstates the conservative position. If you want the honest conservative argument, then replace the word "gender" with "sex." From the conservative point of view, sports, bathrooms, etc. are not segregated by gender, they are and should be segregated by sex. From the conservative point of view, the words "boys," "men," "male," "girls," "women," "female" are all words that denote sex, not gender. So the "honest" conservative argument would be more like:
"We believe that there are only two human sexes, males and females are naturally different, and society, culture and law should reflect an acceptance of and comfort with those differences. Trans women in sports implies that sex is a choice, and that those with XY chromosomes are anything but boys and men. We think this is an unhealthy trend, and want to draw a bright line saying that sex is determined by biology, not choice or subjective “gender identity.” We have given up on the previous generation of conservatives’ fight against Title IX, knowing we have lost, but will now rely on Title IX as a feminist landmark we can use to justify the battle against the notion that sex is a choice, or that gender, not sex, is or should be the relevant category."
Rephrased as such, I think that most conservatives would agree with that statement.
There is a view you seem to have discounted: if you are going to implement a subsidy program, you want it to fulfill the cause it was implemented to achieve. Welfare benefits were to get children out of poverty, not subsidize raising more children in poverty. If one is trying to create amateur sporting opportunities for women, regardless of a future market for professional work as athletes for women (there is clearly future work in athletics for women) then one should try to make that function.
I don’t think the conservative position is really that different from the non-conservative one — both desire “fairness” to the extent that biology allows such a thing. They just draw a different line about biological disqualification.
"Maybe society should have protected me from competition against Dwayne Wade"
But society has long provided some "protection". Long before today's argument there were leagues. The best teams played in a league against the best teams, the next league was not as good.
Since the active promotion of women's sport took off (and this had more to do with the removal or archaic assumptions about women's roles) it became natural to incorporate leagues specifically for women.
More recently we have introduced leagues for disabled people - para-Olympics.
When I was at school decades ago, each whole year did sports at the same time slot and there were enough pupils to have 6 all male football teams. Do you think the teachers randomly mixed the boys - of course not - the best 22 boys played each other, the next 22 played each other.
So clearly society has long had ways of making sure that in sport we have ways of making compete against similarly skilled people.
Are there any terms dealing with unfairness in this clear division of talents - yes - we have the term "ringer" to describe an extra talented person brought into an amateur team. Male to female transgender are the equivalent of a ringer. We can see the unfairness.
I'm a transmasculine person who has been on testosterone for a few years.
I think you're seriously underestimating the role of hormones here. Partially this is because I *constantly* see cis people underestimating the role of hormones in determining "the differences between men and women". To give one fairly reasonable example, I wouldn't laugh at a cis person for thinking that how people have sex is mostly determined by anatomy and hormones play a minor role. And yet, they would be wrong! Not to go into too much detail, but they're generally way off the mark. Cis people also often assume they can always tell when someone's trans, and, uh, no, you probably can't clock someone who's been on hormones for more than a few years.
You make the claim, "testosterone is not the only difference between the sexes, there are a million of them, including males being taller and stronger," which leaves me scratching my head as to whether you really believe that muscle strength isn't something that's determined by sex hormones. You know what happens if you take a biologically male person and negate all the effects of testosterone on their body? That's called Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, and the people who have it have bodies that are as feminine or more feminine than the average (non-intersex, cis) woman.
Hormone replacement therapy can't change your height or the size of your bones if you've already been through a cross-gender puberty. And, well, that's about it. By far the most important characteristic for sports is muscle development, which is dependent on testosterone. A trans women who's on anti-androgens, or has had her testicles removed, may very well have less testosterone in her system, and therefore be at a biological *disadvantage*, compared to cis women.
I personally think that trans women and girls should be allowed to compete in "non-competitive" contexts (like JV sports) whenever they want, and in "competitive" contexts if they're on hormone replacement therapy. I know some schools have a one-year policy (a trans girl can play on the girls' team if she's been on HRT for a year) and that sounds reasonable to me. I also think trans people who are taking testosterone should not be able to compete against girls/women (or else you get cases like Mack Beggs crushing his female competitors when he just wanted to wrestle against his fellow boys). But it's hard for me to take anyone seriously on this issue if they're not coming from a place of acknowledging that hormones make up the vast majority of the difference between men's and women's sports ability.
Yeah I think this is a solid article, because it does cut through the public positions to get to the real positions.
If you think, as I do, that the the decoupling of sex and gender is something that will have horrible effects long term for our society, you pick up whatever rock is convenient. If that means making alliances with radical feminists, so be it. But this is a losing strategy long term.
It was a lot like watching the Canadian Election debates in 2019. Andrew Scheer, the Tory leader, spent a lot of time saying that Justin Trudeau was a fake feminist, a racist, patronizing towards the indigenous people of Canada, etc. I was watching this with some Canadian friends who are conservative and they all were laughing at how phony the whole thing was. The reason Scheer did this was because the English language debates questions are set by people with obvious left wing perspectives, and they sought to see the differences between the Liberals, NDP, Greens, and Bloc Quebecois, all parties of the left. Scheer, as the only right of center part represented, had to participate in a debate that obviously did not want him there. So he picked up the rocks available and threw them, despite the fact that everybody knew he and his voters did not care about those issues or if Justin Trudeau was a phony progressive or a real one.
The problem I think for conservatives like myself is finding a way to draw the lines of the debate so that we can argue these issues in the open on our own terms. To get there, you really need to take an axe to a lot of the discrimination laws that Christopher Caldwell pointed out in his book last year. To do that, you need a political leader with the sheer lack of shame (or ability to be shamed) of Trump, but far more political discipline. And that needs to leak down through the entire movement.
Or...you've missed the point entirely.
How about this...
It has nothing to do with sports. Sports is only the cultural vehicle to pressure society into accepting an obvious mental illness as something that isn't a mental illness.
It's like having a pagent for anorexics and rewarding the person who weighs the least.
Or a competition among the Body Integrity Identity Disorder sufferers to see how many limbs they can remove.
The big flaw I've seen with arguments like your anti-conservative one here, as I see it, is that you are treating a lot of things as a lump that allow for granularity. So imagine Bob, a person who never wanted women's sports:
1. Bob was told that women's sports were incredibly important for reasons of fairness - if boys had a baseball team, girls had to have one whether there was much demand for it or not; large amounts of money had to be spent on this.
2. Bob fought this tooth and nail, but he lost; the reason he lost, he was told, was that it was only fair - women needed opportunities. They needed the chance to compete relatively fairly, to win, to lose; for only boys to have this was unfair. He was told that denying them this was denying them something they fundamentally needed.
3. Bob lost that political battle. If he cared about the money to fund it, it didn't matter - it was getting spent. If he cared about keeping women out of sports, that ship had also sailed - they were in them now, no matter what.
4. Bob is now getting told that it doesn't matter that women have a fair shake or that they can compete among themselves on a relatively fair playing field. He's told that it doesn't matter if women have a chance to win; it doesn't matter if they have teams on which they can compete with a chance for victory.
Bob can be a total dick for 1-3 and still have a valid complaint about 4.
Where this gets really dicey in terms of what you are arguing for is that *Bob has already paid the costs for women's sports*. If they make him uncomfortable, then he's uncomfortable; if he didn't like the tax implications, those are already set in stone. There's nothing he can do about them. When you come to Bob and say "we are fundamentally changing that thing you've already paid the costs for", he has skin in the game - he was forced to have it there.
If you and I were housemates, and you demanded I help you fund a garden, I might not want that. Let's say you then take advantage of some obscure local law to force me to do it - you successfully argue to a judge that I *must* have a garden, that I have to pay for it out of my pocket and tolerate fertilizer smells or whatever. Let's say you then win - I now have a garden I never wanted.
Now let's say a few weeks pass and you declare that you are ripping out the garden and replacing it with a bunch of dead squirrels impaled on pikes, so that you might watch them decay (you are real into Lovecraftian horror lately in this scenario). Your argument above says that I can't have a problem with this; after all, didn't I oppose the garden in the first place? Isn't it now hypocritical to say I care what happens with the garden?
I don't want to dismiss what you are arguing whole-cloth, because there definitely *are* some people who are hypocritical in this way. But saying something that boils down to "Well, if you ever opposed something happening at a societal level and then lost, you lose your ability to have an opinion on anything related to that ever again" is probably a step too far.
Feminists determined to prove that women could do anything that men could do hired the Government to force schools to provide them with safe spaces. You go girl!
> If you’re a conservative which means you don’t believe it’s the role of government...
I can't believe how much some people can miss the point so badly. Conservatives do care about conserving worthy institutions and long lasting values. Women's sport is such an institution they seem to care about where biological realities, fairness and meaningful achievement play a role as long lasting values.
The whole point of preserving this institution is to give our daughters, sisters, wifes and mothers the chance to engage in competitive fairness to meaningful achieve something for their own.
This article is so tone-deaf to the point of rationalizing a cartoonish libertarian depiction of conservatism. By the way, opposing authoritarian socialism is not the same as opposing any kind of government intervention. Ridiculous strawmen.
"The real reason for women’s sports seems to be rooted in feminism...". Well, except that women's sports existed long before feminism.
There is no such thing as a “trans woman”
Nice effortpoast but dissident conservatives fantasy "i would do this instead" isnt the shot, this is about a countermajoritarian new economy and power, how do you say no to this? Bottom line, integrate male and female sports, players will just reorganize by gender 1st/2nd leagues.