Chill out a bit, wims

Ah, this is charming: male sports writer tells women it will be inspiring if trans women do completely take over women’s sport. He does it with plenty of contempt, too.

They’re coming! Over the horizon, they’re coming! They’re coming for your medals and your trophies and your endorsement contracts. They’re coming, with their giant bulging muscles and enormous flapping penises, to ruin everything pure and good. Nothing will ever be the same again. Nothing means anything any more. For the trans people – and let’s call them what they are, men in sports bras – are coming. And all is lost.

Great first para; lets us know where we are.

This is the apocalyptic scenario currently facing women’s sport. At least, if you ask certain people. Still, a certain feverish hysteria has long characterised the debate over transgender, intersex and DSD (differences in sex development) athletes in sport, sharpened to a point by recent events.

“A certain feverish hysteria” – wink wink nudge nudge elbow elbow. Women, am I right?

[T]he first thing to say is probably: like, chill out a bit. For most of the arguments against allowing trans women to compete in female athletic competition rest on a scenario that borders on the fantastical. Are we really suggesting there are hordes of male athletes who will suddenly declare themselves female simply to game the system?

He never explains why it has to be “hordes” before we’re allowed to think and say it’s a bad thing. Hey it was just one woman who had her leg broken by Hannah Mouncey; that’s  no big deal so chill, laydeez.

Then he explains why Navratilova is wrong, after giving a cursory acknowledgement of her accomplishments.

But on this one, she’s sadly misguided. You know what? Sport isn’t fair. Never has been. Genetics isn’t fair. Basketball players are blessed with height. Gymnasts are blessed with compact, flexible bodies. Fulham players are blessed with a preternatural ability to give the ball away on the halfway line. Economics isn’t fair. Geography isn’t fair. Privilege isn’t fair. What we call the level playing field is in fact a cosy myth, a homespun feel-good tale that hoodwinks us into chasing our dreams.

Therefore, abruptly change the rules so that women are forced to compete against men, so that the playing field will be vertiginously less level than it was when women and men played on separate teams.

But let’s follow this argument all the way through. Let’s say the floodgates do open. Let’s say transgender athletes pour into women’s sport, and let’s say, despite the flimsy and poorly-understood relationship between testosterone and elite performance, they dominate everything they touch. They sweep up Grand Slam tennis titles and cycling world championships. They monopolise the Olympics. They fill our football and cricket and netball teams. Why would that be bad? Really? Imagine the power of a trans child or teenager seeing a trans athlete on the top step of the Olympic podium. In a way, it would be inspiring.

Says the man, about his imagined utopia in which women never again get to the Olympic podium.

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