Here’s a question to ponder: If people think the male-female athletics performance gap is very slight, will they be more or less likely to oppose having men claiming womanhood enter women’s sports? Remember when answering that such men generally have treatments (e.g., testosterone-suppressing drugs) that partially eliminate their biological advantages.
Okay, now here’s a story. It came to light when I worked with children that one boy, approximately 11 years old, supposed that the women’s mile record would be better than the men’s; another male age-mate expressed the belief that the intersex performance gap was “very slight.” Of course, they were perhaps extreme cases; nonetheless, experience has taught me that people generally underestimate that gap’s size.
Yet given that in the 800-meter run the record for 14-year-old boys is better than the women’s world record — and that, with a bit of variation, this reflects the gap across physical sports — the aforementioned attitude reflects profound dislocation from reality. So here’s a second question: Where did these people get their fanciful notions? From:
- The Christian Coalition.
- The 700 Club.
- The John Birch Society.
- The Patriarchy™.
- The feminist-spawned, girl-power indoctrination people have been subjected to for decades via the media, academia and entertainment.
If you chose E, read on (everyone else, head to HuffPo).
The feminists who actually complain about MUSS (Made-up Sexual Status) -men in women’s sports like to blame D, the patriarchy, whose fossilized remains are as hard to find as a T-Rex’s. What blindness. They ought to point the finger at Equality Dogma, at whose altar moderns worship and which has been preached, incessantly, to advance an agenda.
The idea was that if you could convince people the sexes were basically equal in worldly capacities, no one would think there was any reason to keep women out of what traditionally had been male realms. Voila! Goodbye, discrimination!
This was convenient when girls/women wanted to join police forces and fire departments, enter military academies such as the Citadel or Virginia Military Institute, join boys’ sports teams and Little League, and previously all-male clubs. It’s not so convenient now that the thinking is being taken closer to its logical conclusion.
But the point is this: If because the sexes “are basically equal in capacities” there’s no reason to keep women out of men’s arenas, there’s also no reason to keep men out of women’s arenas. In fact, not only is this turnabout an imperative of equality, there isn’t even a good reason to have separate, sex-specific arenas in the first place. They’re a relic of a bigoted past — like baseball’s Negro Leagues.
As one commenter discussing MUSSmen in women’s sports put it here,
“I’m constantly told that men and women are equal and that gender is a social construct. I’m constantly shown ‘bad[***] women’ on TV and in movies that can beat up men easily. I’m told a woman can do anything a man can do. So…why segregate sports?”
Because men have an advanta…uh…but, wait, equality! No, I mean, er…there are biologi…uh…not that I’m sexist! Talk about cognitive dissonance.
So now sports are less sex-segregated than ever, with males increasingly taking titles and glory from females; an example is the two Connecticut high school boy runners who’ve turned their girl competitors into also-rans. The girls are crying foul, too, but they should be crying “Feminists!!.”
Just consider, for instance, how there was also a pseudo-scientific element factoring in here. For decades the dominant, feminism-prescribed theory (mis)shaping thinking on the sexes was known as “gender neutrality.” It held that the sexes were the same except for the superficial physical differences, and, therefore, raising boys and girls identically would result in their being identical in personality, inclination and abilities.
The social pressure enforcing this dogma was intense, too. Left-wing writer Camille Paglia, for instance, told a story about how feminists would corner her on college campuses in the 1970s and insist that hormones didn’t exist and that, even if they did, they couldn’t possibly influence behavior. Again, it was convenient.
But then something happened. The MUSS crew came along and essentially said, “The proposition ‘The sexes are the same except for the superficial physical differences’ has a corollary: ‘Change the superficial physical differences, and you can be the opposite sex.’” Voila! Goodbye, discrimination (against men who want to enter women’s sports)!
If all this “hoisted with their own petards” action isn’t enough, there’s another irony here. I was inundated with “gender neutrality” theory growing up (not that I ever believed it). It was “science” with a capital S, rejection of which got you branded as backward and bigoted. Now this is precisely what happens to feminists who reject the MUSS agenda today.
Of course, this is all very insane. Yet the commenter I cited earlier (who asked, “why segregate sports?”) reflects a now common sentiment. It’s a feeling of schadenfreude experienced by those who, hearing for decades the “A woman can do anything a man can!” battle cry, are happy the feminists are finally being called out.
Speaking of which reminds me of a decades-old story involving ex-tennis champion Martina Navratilova. Long before she was complaining about MUSSmen in women’s sports — which brought her condemnation — she was puffing up her chest claiming she could beat the world’s 100th-ranked man.
Well, Ilie Nastase, a colorful bad boy of tennis who was in his 40s at the time, well below 100 and mostly if not completely retired, challenged her to a match. He was so anxious to make it work that he said, being his showy self, he was willing to eat like a pig and gain weight to play her; he was even willing to wear a dress. She never accepted the challenge.
It’s ironic that female athletes are now increasingly being challenged by men in dresses (figuratively if not literally) and no longer can demur. You’ve come a long way, baby.