The civil rights of “female athletes”

The Associated Press/The Guardian does a crap job of reporting on the Title IX ruling.

A subhead:

Ruling calls policy a violation of civil rights of ‘female athletes’

What’s with the scare quotes? Have we decided female athletes don’t exist now? Are they all an illusion? Are they a product of lies and public relations?

Connecticut’s policy allowing transgender girls to compete as girls in high school sports violates the civil rights of athletes who have always identified as female, the US Education Department has determined in a decision that could force the state to change course to keep federal funding and influence others to do the same.

It’s interesting how the boys who claim to be girls are called transgender girls, no scare quotes, while girls are called “athletes who have always identified as female.” How insulting is that? And how fantasy-privileging, and reality-scorning? Let’s get this straight. It’s the boys who are claiming to be something they are not, and it’s the girls who are what they are as well as what they say they are. Furthermore, it’s the boys who have a large physical advantage over the girls, not the other way around. It’s also journalistically bizarre that everyone simply assumes that the boys really do “identify as” girls as opposed to pretending to for a few years in order to win races and maybe athletic scholarships.

A letter from the department’s civil rights office, a copy of which was obtained Thursday by the Associated Press, came in response to a complaint filed last year by several cisgender female track athletes who argued that two transgender female runners had an unfair physical advantage.

Again. They’re not “cisgender female track athletes,” they’re just female track athletes. They don’t need an extra label to denote that they’re not lying or pretending or fantasizing about being female, and it’s insulting to slap that label on them.

“All that today’s finding represents is yet another attack from the Trump administration on transgender students,” said Chase Strangio, who leads transgender justice initiatives for the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT and HIV Project.

It’s not an attack. Not letting boys who say they are girls compete on the girls’ team is not attacking those boys – they can compete on the boys’ team. The attack is from the other direction: letting boys who say they “identify as” girls compete against girls attacks the right of girls to fair competition. It would be nice if all these putative progressives gave a damn about that.

“Trans students belong in our schools, including on sports teams, and we aren’t backing down from this fight,” Strangio said.

Nobody is trying to keep trans students out of schools or off sports teams.

It still amazes me how suddenly and swiftly women’s rights stopped mattering.

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