Guest post: How many future Rapinoes?

Speaking of the necessity of choice between competition and inclusion –

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on When you operate with the value of compassion first.

If participation in sports is now to be based on “compassion,” and “inclusion,” then trans-identified prospective athletes are going to have to line up behind the millions of boys, girls, men, and women who fail to make the team of their choice. Or is their “exclusion” somehow okay? The vast majority of these “excludees” are not going to be allowed to try to game the rules by trying out teams they’re not qualified for. High-schoolers aren’t going to be permitted to sign up for primary school teams. Adults aren’t going to be allowed into children’s leagues. All for excellent reasons that everyone knows and abides by. Nobody calls that “cruel,” or “disgusting.” But somehow, girls and women are forced to give way to male players who are permitted on their teams? How many future Rapinoes are being denied spots on teams right now because of delusionally misguided notions of “inclusion?”

Many trans-supportive comments on twitter threads like this one decry the sudden “hypocritical” interest in women’s sports by those opposed to TiM “inclusion.” This is supposed to be some sort of “gotcha,” and that those supposedly being “caught” are only involved in the debate to stick it to trans identified people. Just like women who organize for the protection of their own rights and safety have no legitimate reason to do so, they are only doing so out of spiteful, malicious, genocidal, anti-trans bigotry. By this same logic, Black people organizing for their own interests don’t really have any reason to do so, they’re doing it for kicks because they just really hate White people.

Yes, that totally sounds like the right side of history to me.

I’m not into sports, but I still get to say “cheating is bad,” whether I follow sports or not. I get to say that permitting cheating, and encouraging cheating, is not good for society, even if I’m not cheated personally. Nobody gets to tell my to whom I am permitted to extend my concern. I get to feel anger and sympathy towards those who are cheated because I am human. That’s what we do. If the attention which that concern and interest shines on you does not put you in a good light, that’s on you, not me. I get to say that your hand is in the cookie jar, even if the cookies are not mine, and even if I don’t happen to like the kind of cookies you’re stealing. The important thing is the theft, not whether or not I happen to like particular sweet treats after meals. Letting you get away with it is not in my interest, or anyone else’s, because you might not limit your thieving to cookies.* Similarly, the sports cheating in question is not happening in a separate reality. The people doing the cheating and allowing it to happen live with the rest of us. How are they to be trusted outside the arena, gymnasium, or board room? Toxic dishonesty, entitlement, and impunity doesn’t wash down the drain in the locker room showers; it doesn’t get left behind under lock and key in the sporting authority’s office desk drawer. It gets carried out into the wider world. But there’s more at stake than broad, theoretical notions of ethics and morality. While the cheaters win their phony victories, women and girls suffer real harm. It is in everyone’s interest to stop that from happening, rather than celebrating and enabling it.

*Given the temperaments of many pro-TiM-inclusion commenters, it seems entirely appropriate that I pitch this argument to the level of a naughty child having to be told why stealing is bad. Mind you, they still wouldn’t get it. We’d get the usual “trans women ARE women,” which is about as cogent an argument as the schoolyard classic “I know you are, but what am I?”

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