Fact checkers’ holiday

Even the New Yorker…which is famous for having a rigorous fact-checking department. Even the New Yorker tells us these stupid lies.

Lia Thomas has been swimming since she was five years old. As a high schooler, she was one of the top swimmers in Texas, an All-American. She followed her older brother onto the men’s team at the University of Pennsylvania, and established herself as a strong competitor in distance races; in her sophomore season, at the Ivy League championships, she finished second in three events.

Six factual errors (actually lies) in that one paragraph, because William “Lia” Thomas is not a she but a he.

We get the unconvincing story of how he felt unaligned with his body and finally “came out” to his coaches, who were all supportive surprise surprise. (What would have happened to them if they hadn’t been? Nothing good, we can be sure.)

The N.C.A.A. allowed a path for people like her to join the women’s team, but it was not quick or easy. In general, élite male athletes have considerable physical advantages over élite female athletes. 

You don’t say. Louisa Thomas (no relation, I trust) goes through some facts in a bored sort of way, knowing we’re going to end up with “but never mind all that.”

As trans women have fought for inclusion in women’s sports, various governing bodies have implemented rules for mitigating any physical advantages that they might have. But just what those advantages are and how to counteract them—and whether that is necessary or even possible—has been fiercely debated.

Which it shouldn’t be, nor should trans women have fought for inclusion in women’s sports. None of this should ever have been on the table. Men with their male bodies should never have forced their way into women’s sports, and the people responsible should have said a firm no from the outset.

[I]n early December, at the Zippy Invitational, in Akron, Ohio, Thomas dropped another second off her time in the five-hundred-yard freestyle, and nearly a second and a half off her time in the two-hundred-yard race. She won the sixteen-hundred-and-fifty-yard freestyle by thirty-eight seconds. On the same day, a group of parents of Penn swimmers anonymously sent a letter to the N.C.A.A. arguing that Thomas should not be allowed to compete in women’s competitions. “At stake here is the integrity of women’s sports,” the parents’ letter, which was also sent to Penn and the Ivy League, declared. “The precedent being set—one in which women do not have a protected and equitable space to compete—is a direct threat to female athletes in every sport. What are the boundaries?”

The letter was leaked to the Daily Mail, and conservative outlets gleefully reported on rifts between Thomas and her teammates. 

Blah blah blah. It’s crap for many hundreds more words, which I can’t bring myself to share.

H/t Arty

2 Responses to “Fact checkers’ holiday”