Although we seem to be eclipsing them now at a break-neck pace, another cultural watershed will be reached in just a couple weeks when the NCAA swimming championships are held in Atlanta, Georgia. That is the moment when the integrity of an entire division of college athletics will either be preserved or forever tarnished.
This type of melodramatic preface isn't meant to heap scorn upon an individual, University of Penn swimmer Lia Thomas, tormented psychologically with gender dysphoria. It's meant to heap scorn upon an entire apparatus of academics and professionals who obviously know better, weakly and cowardly acquiescing to the fleeting spirit of the age despite the fundamental unfairness it represents to female athletes today and into the future.
Thomas, as most who have followed this saga know by now, was a member of the Penn men's swim team for his first three years of college. At some point between his junior and senior season, Thomas began a regimen of gender hormones to suppress his testosterone, started calling himself Lia, donned a women's swimsuit, and successfully petitioned his Ivy League school to muscle a biological female off the team in order to make room for his participation.
A few weeks ago, Thomas shattered long-standing pool records for female competitors in the Ivy League championships, bringing home first place finishes in the 500, 200, and 100-yard freestyle, and was part of a winning relay team as well.
To fully comprehend just how fundamentally unfair his participation is, sports scientist Ross Tucker broke down the "splits" (time each swimmer took to complete a 50-yard increment of the race) for the top 3 finishers of the 500-yard freestyle. The visual, coupled with Tucker's explanation of the data, is staggering. Needless to say, Thomas' splits are represented with the gold line, consistently well below the fastest times any of the other championship female swimmers could produce:
What's so galling about this entire sordid tale is that everyone knows it's wrong, but everyone is petrified of being called insensitive and "phobic," and thus canceled. It's even paralyzed Thomas' own teammates, 16 of whom banded together to petition both the University of Pennsylvania and the Ivy League to object to their "lost competitive opportunities." They only felt comfortable submitting their letter anonymously, fearing reprisal.
Long live the patriarchy.
As difficult as we're making it, there's truly only two options available for society to choose at this point. Either we agree with science that there is a physiological advantage that comes with being born male – a skeletal and muscular system that allows biological males to perform at a higher level than their female-bodied counterparts – or there is not.
If we agree that there is such an advantage, then it is fundamentally unfair and unjust to allow biological males to compete in divisions specifically established for female competitors. That doesn't discriminate against Thomas any more than it does every other biological male who have been given their own division in which to compete – the very division that Thomas competed successfully in for 3 years. What it does do is protect an even playing field for female athletes.
If we agree that there is no such advantage, however, then of course Thomas should be allowed to swim against females, as should all other biological males. If there is no inherent advantage for men, there is no longer any justification for women's divisions in athletics. No more red golf tees, no more WNBA, no more U.S. Women's Soccer – just golf tees, NBA, and professional soccer where the best athletes get to fill the roster.
Those are the two options that the NCAA must pick between. But, for now, they are attempting to choose the path of least resistance, which in our current woke moment, is to discriminate against biological females to placate the insurgent transgender movement.
At this point, the only hope of sanity and fairness prevailing before collegiate women's swim records are forever put out of reach for female athletes, is to make that path one of great resistance.
Meaning, those 16 anonymous teammates should identify themselves and boycott further competitions. Not only that, but parents and guardians of female athletes should threaten and file lawsuits against entities that cost their daughters scholarship opportunities, awards, and recognitions by failing to protect a level playing field.
Coddling is not compassion. In fact, coddling the whims of transgender dogma is thoroughly lacking in compassion to every other competitor in that 500-yard freestyle who finished tightly packed, but nearly a minute behind the biological male they were forced to compete against. It's time we were clear about that reality.
Common sense can still prevail, but only if enough people have the courage to speak it.
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