Nothing fair about it

An editorial by swimming champion Nancy Hogshead-Makar:

As an Olympic champion and as a civil rights lawyer, I can assure you that there is nothing fair about transgender woman Lia Thomas competing for the University of Pennsylvania in NCAA swimming.

I swam on the U.S. National Team for nine years, from 1976–1984, the same years that East German swimmers dominated women’s competitions by cheating with anabolic steroids.

I was able to win three Olympic gold medals and a silver medal because the East Germans boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

We all knew they were cheating. The boycott announcement was a relief; I knew I’d have a fair shot at winning.

And she did win, and the Olympic gold medals changed her life.

Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination, permits sex-segregation in sport – which means that, for the most part, men compete against men, and women compete against women.

Title IX gave me a fair opportunity to win and set records, as well as access to money, accolades, and leadership opportunities.

If Congress and courts had forbidden sex-segregated sports, the way race and religious segregation is prohibited, I would have qualified for my high school team, but I’d never have been the Hall of Famer that I became.

Because women are smaller than men, the way domestic cats are smaller than tigers. They’re not inferior, they’re smaller. That’s why sex segregation in sport is both fair and necessary.

As a civil rights lawyer, I run Champion Women, a non-profit that provides legal advocacy for girls and women in sports. We produce data — for athletes, families, alumni and donors – which demonstrates just how badly 90% of colleges and universities are discriminating against women.

In total, women are denied over 183,000 opportunities to play collegiate sports, they’re denied over a billion dollars in athletic scholarships, and hundreds and millions of dollars in treatment, meaning women aren’t being given equal facilities, locker rooms, medical care, publicity, travel, and so forth.

I’ve never met a single female athlete that couldn’t list the ways they’re getting second-class treatment as compared to their male football or basketball players.

In those 38 years, I’ve never heard a single man say, ‘Oh you women face such overwhelming sex discrimination throughout society, particularly in sexual harassment and violence. Here, take our athletic facilities and scholarships.’

Quite the opposite.

The unwritten rule is that women’s sports can exist, so long as not a single male is harmed by women’s inclusion.

But when it’s a whole bunch of women pfffffffffffff who cares.

And yet, notice that women are expected to graciously move over and let trans athlete-inclusion change the meaning of the ‘women’s sports’ category.

Expected to and bullied to and forced to. Thomas’s team-mates are being forced to by their university. It’s disgusting.

It is sexist; we’d never allow the meaning of NCAA ‘men’s sports’ category to change so that current NFL and NBA teams could be included.

We’d never allow 25-year-old men to compete in boy’s high school events. And we would never tell those boys to just ‘work harder’ if they wanted to win.

Unfair, isn’t it.

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