17 votes

The massive Republican push to ban trans athletes, explained

6 comments

  1. spit-evil-olive-tips
    (edited )
    Link
    Far too rare: reporting on transgender issues by an author who is themselves transgender.

    Far too rare: reporting on transgender issues by an author who is themselves transgender.

    Transgender advocates say that using a handful of examples of trans girls succeeding at sports to push widespread and exclusionary legislation is a solution in search of a problem. An Associated Press investigation into these athletic bans found that most lawmakers supporting such bills cannot name a single trans athlete competing in their state. A New York Times report indicated that out of about 200,000 women taking part in NCAA women’s sports at a given time, about 50 are transgender.

    16 votes
  2. [2]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    I'm guessing this is another wave of laws they expect to be challenged to the Supreme Court in hopes their bigotry will be upheld and therefore deemed constitutional (on top of the already...

    I'm guessing this is another wave of laws they expect to be challenged to the Supreme Court in hopes their bigotry will be upheld and therefore deemed constitutional (on top of the already mentioned attempts at this being a new "bathroom bill" and way to say transwomen are legally men). It's disgusting, as is typical of the origins.

    11 votes
    1. bkimmel
      Link Parent
      The ones "driving the strategy" for the GOP could not give less of a shit about what bathroom a trans woman uses or what sports team she plays on. Same thing as abortion: You think they actually...
      • Exemplary

      The ones "driving the strategy" for the GOP could not give less of a shit about what bathroom a trans woman uses or what sports team she plays on. Same thing as abortion: You think they actually give a magical shit about unborn children? Like really? Despite the fact that everything else they advocate for is about dehumanizing basically everyone? Of course they don't. If you even thought about it for a minute you'd realize how bizarre that would be. If they gave even a morsel if a shit, they've had 40 years to do something about it and all they ever do is "chip away at the sides" of Roe. Roe failing is secretly their greatest fear. They would dissolve as an extant national political concern almost instantly if Roe went away.

      They have no "hopes for upholding bigotry", per se. They care about:

      1. Money.
      2. Regulatory capture / ablation so they can make more money.
      3. Less taxes so they get more money.
      4. Literally nothing else. Not abortion, not trans people and what bathroom they are in, not Dr Seuss or anything else.

      Some/most of their supporters/thralls are bigots, and they need those issues like bathroom stuff to maintain their narrative that those things are related to the things they actually care about (the same people who want to tax us are the ones who want trans women playing sports with your daughter!)... But it's so important to understand they just don't care about it either way. They would be just as happy if they could whip their people up about the "price of cheese in Madagascar"... They would talk 100 percent of the time about the price of cheese in Madagascar every Sunday on Meet the Press. It's not really bigotry in the level where it matters, it's just a fill-in-the-blank.

      As someone who's worked in National politics and just sort of stumbled into Tildes without realizing how predominantly pro-trans it is, I have to say my beliefs on the issue s have been moved in that direction a lot lately. I'd like to see these b.s. laws get ripped to shreds, but to do that it's important to understand what's driving them and it's maybe hard to see that when you're staring down the barrel of it: it's not bigotry, it's money. The best way to stop it is to make it hurt their bottom line somehow so they pick something cheaper to focus on. It's also important to understand that, like abortion, their worst case is that this becomes "decided" in some way by the Supreme Court. They desperately want this to be a conflict that rages for the next 40 years, they don't want it getting settled either way because- again - it makes no difference to them who plays girls' sports, they just need the people they drag with them to feel like their lives are being destabilized in some way that warrants overlooking insignificant things like regulatory capture and huge tax loopholes.

      15 votes
  3. Atvelonis
    (edited )
    Link
    I started fencing in NCAA competitions in college, and can anecdotally corroborate the article's statements that transgender athletes on hormones don't have any particular advantage over their...

    I started fencing in NCAA competitions in college, and can anecdotally corroborate the article's statements that transgender athletes on hormones don't have any particular advantage over their cisgender counterparts. Athletes who complain about the supposed advantages of trans opponents are usually just whining because they don't want to admit that they lost to someone more skilled, driven, or lucky than them. (Though the parents or coaches are usually the unpleasant ones, not the athletes.) It's extremely disingenuous to use athletics as a means of disenfranchising the transgender community.

    Fencing is a somewhat unique sport because its small size means that the men's and women's teams at any given university often practice together. Though they officially compete only against teams of the same gender, many conferences (at least in D-III) will unofficially feature a small number of co-ed bouts if the squad lineup for one team isn't big enough. For a 3×3 match between two men's squads for a particular weapon, it wasn't unheard of for one or two spots to be filled by women if necessary (the alternative is a forfeit for the bout). They would definitely have at least a slight disadvantage, but hardly an insurmountable one—I've been beaten by lots of women before, including, once, by a seven-year-old girl.

    I don't recall this practice operating in the other direction, presumably on the basis of hormones. But once testosterone is out of the picture, the difference between a trans and cis athlete in fencing is essentially negligible. Height is an important factor, but it's not like their are no tall cis women, and what wins you bouts consistently is really going to be your technique, footwork, and having a good mental game. You need to be able to outsmart your opponent; trick or force them into scenarios where you know you have the upper hand. In my case, as a pretty tall épéeist, that could mean some clever baiting so that I can stop-hit to the arm or hand with a retreat, relying on my height and ability to keep distance in order to get a single light. For someone a foot shorter than me, that could mean closing in the distance in a way that doesn't alert me to what they're doing, probably by using absence of blade to disorient me. Athletes have brains, and they know how to use them.

    I can't speak to the details of every sport, but I think the same overarching principle applies. Legislators and other influencers should not be using athletics to justify their transphobia.

    9 votes
  4. [2]
    AnthonyB
    Link
    This is so disingenuous and it bothers me so much. We've seen time and time again Republicans throwing out all sorts of bullshit arguments and running with the one that gains some traction and...

    This is so disingenuous and it bothers me so much. We've seen time and time again Republicans throwing out all sorts of bullshit arguments and running with the one that gains some traction and this one has captured more interest than the bathroom bills from a few years ago. I think one of the things I dont hear very often in this conversation is how this strategy relies on our fixation with fairness in sports. The most important thing in any competition is making sure there is no unfair advantage. Watch any basketball game this weekend and you will see the game come to a near halt in the final minutes because officials will review play after play to ensure they made the correct call. We see the same thing in the NFL with all scoring plays and turnovers subject to review. Most Olympians can't take a piss without someone watching them, and in baseball...jesus where do I start with baseball? You get the point though - a huge part of sports is the obsession with competing on a level playing field, sometimes to the detriment to the game itself. So it's no surprise that this messaging works on so many people. Trans girls and women competing in sports is so rare and is something that most people had never heard of until the past few years so it's hard to blame your average Joe and Jenny for concluding that being trans offers some kind of inherent advantage. As this article shows, there is no proven advantage that comes with being trans and the cases being held up as proof are outliers. Unfortunately, outliers are what people focus on in sports so I think a lot of people are going to support this nonsense because they see as a sports fairness issue rather than a deeper social issue. All it takes is one person that has an advantage. I spend a lot of time arguing about stuff like this and I don't know how to change anyone's mind without having an answer for those outliers. I feel like I could send this article to someone and it won't change their mind because of the two or three examples they heard Joe Rogan. How do you change that person's mind?

    8 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      Oh god, yes. And it's so one-sided. On any other day, anyone crying about this issue about how unfair it is to women to have trans people competing is normally completely ignoring women's sports,...

      I think one of the things I dont hear very often in this conversation is how this strategy relies on our fixation with fairness in sports.

      Oh god, yes. And it's so one-sided. On any other day, anyone crying about this issue about how unfair it is to women to have trans people competing is normally completely ignoring women's sports, and completely ignoring how professional athlete women make a fraction of what men do in most sports. The US Women's Soccer team broke tons of records in 2019 but it barely registered for most people.

      11 votes