This Friday, the top four NCAA Division III women’s soccer teams face off in the national semifinals. One of the final four teams’ goalkeepers, Isa Berardo, is a male transgender playing as a female for Pomona-Pitzer Colleges.
Not surprisingly, the male goalie has dominated the field against opposing female players, giving his own a chance to win the national championship thanks to his physical advantages in a key position. This is increasingly happening throughout women’s sports, at all levels from elementary school through professional competitions. It’s creating not equality, but inequality.
In 2016, Therese Johaug, a Norwegian three-time Olympic cross-country skiing champion, received an 18-month suspension from the sport she loved after it was discovered that the team-approved lip balm she was using to treat her badly sunburned lips contained a performance-enhancing steroid.
A devastated Johaug lamented, “I feel I did everything right. I went to an expert who gave me the ointment, and I asked him if the cream was on a doping list. The answer I got was ‘no.’”
But the powers that be were undeterred from their well-established hard line of fairness, and Johaug was forced to watch the 2018 winter Olympics from the sidelines.
It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances that raises the question: If chemicals from a necessary, medicated lip balm can be construed as such an unjust physical advantage, how on Earth can athletic authorities continue to turn a blind eye to the litany of physical advantages the transgender men increasingly competing in women’s sports so obviously possess in their male bodies?
The ‘Standards’ for Trans Athletes Are Ludicrous
This question remains unanswered, as the International Olympic Committee continues to waffle over the rules for participation in Olympic women’s events. Their rules presently allow men to participate as women, provided their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 consecutive months.
These standards completely fail to consider the host of other advantages inherent in the male body: increased 02 capacity, overall musculature, bone size and density, increased joint stability, and lower body fat, to name a few. These advantages don’t magically disappear with the wave of a synthetic estrogen wand.
For those tempted to believe the male takeover of women’s sports is such a fringe issue that it’s not likely to be an important or frequent enough problem to merit any concern, think again. Here are just a few of the many ways women and girls are losing to their impersonators.
Men Easily Dominate in Women’s Sports
Fallon Fox is a male, American mixed martial arts fighter who competes in the women’s division. Fox ended the career of his opponent, Tamikka Brents, within the first three minutes of their fight when he shattered her eye socket, an injury requiring seven staples in her head, prompting her to declare, “I’ve never felt so overpowered in all my life.”
Hannah Mouncey is going to injure someone if allowed to continue dominating on the Australian women’s national handball team. He played on the men’s national team before deciding to grow out his hair and declare himself a woman.
Rachel McKinnon is a man and two-time women’s world cycling champion, who also uses his status as a professor of philosophy at College of Charleston in South Carolina to bully those who disagree with him, responding to dissenting opinions on Twitter with threats such as, “Abigail Shrier got wrecked on FOX Nation. I’ll do it to you, too.”
Gabrielle Ludwig is a 6-foot-6-inch man who took a starting spot on the women’s basketball team at Mission College in California. He was named first team all conference and mysteriously led the league in rebounds.
Fewer than 5,000 spots are available on NCAA Division III women’s volleyball teams. That didn’t prevent Chloe Anderson, a male, from taking one of them at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Some of Alaska’s finest female track athletes watched the state final race from the sidelines after Nattaphon Wangyot, a male, edged them out of their places in it.
Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood are a dynamic duo from Connecticut, where the unmedicated, post-pubescent boys took first- and second-place state championship titles in girls’ track events. When asked about his obvious physical advantage, Miller flippantly said the girls “should work harder.”
Similarly unmoved by the inequity of his male advantage is Cece Telfer, a man who ran on the Franklin Pierce University men’s 2016-17 track and field team before deciding he would rather race against women. He became the women’s 2019 Division II national champion in the 400-meter race, beating his closest opponent by a second and a half.
Amelia Galpin is a man who competes against women in the Boston Marathon. He, ironically, was featured on “the body edition” of Women’s Running Magazine, sending the message loud and clear that the ideal woman’s body includes a penis. How very progressive.
Laurel Hubbard and JayCee Cooper are two men doing their darndest to dominate women’s powerlifting. Hubbard took gold in two women’s heavyweight categories at the Pacific Games. Cooper filed a discrimination claim against USA Powerlifting, demanding a right to lift against women.
Caroline Layt is a man who was once voted “Women’s Rugby Player of the Year.” Britney Stinson, also a man, has broken into the Women’s Football Alliance and USA Baseball. Maxine Blythin is a man who just recently won the title “Women’s Cricketer of the Week.” Cate McGregor — you guessed it, another man — is on the Canberra women’s cricket team.
Lies Are Informing Public Policy
The list goes on and on, and so does the utterly nonsensical rhetoric relentlessly shoved down the public’s collective throat as fact. In the Human Rights Campaign’s “Guide for Schools in Transition,” the section related to trans-identified people in sports reads, “Concerns about competitive advantage are unfounded and often grounded in stereotypes about the differences and abilities of males vs. females.”
This is the kind of rhetoric informing public policy — the notion that men’s advantage in sports is nothing more than a sex stereotype that can be overcome with a little more elbow grease and courage from the females. It’s fascinating, is it not, that given this newfound clarity, we don’t somehow see females identifying their way onto the starting lineups of NFL or NBA teams.
Does anyone else remember what happened when Serena Williams challenged the 203rd-ranked player from the men’s league? I’ll give you a hint: She lost. Badly. The dominant U.S. women’s soccer team routinely loses to high school boys teams.
Sex-Based Protections Exist for a Reason
I take no pleasure in acknowledging this reality. As a former small-college basketball player, I’ll never forget the day a group of meathead-looking men showed up for our open gym and asked to play against us. I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder and something to prove, so I played as hard and aggressively as I possibly could.
At one point, I decided to try to stop one of the men from completing a fast-break layup. I sprinted in front of him, planted my body on the block outside the key, and braced myself for impact.
I was still seeing stars 10 minutes later. I had never been hit by so much brute force in my entire life. I later discovered I had, in fact, taken a charge from then-Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander, so my bravado was actually sheer stupidity, but the point has stayed with me, stamped into my memory for more than a decade now: No amount of 5 a.m. practices or extra drills or mental toughness or “working harder” would ever be sufficient for me to overcome the physical gap between our abilities.
That’s why sex-based protections exist in the first place. Without them, women like me would never be able to afford our college educations, as men would have swept up the scholarships we received. And that’s exactly what’s starting to happen.
Fight Back to Protect Women’s Sports
I hesitated to write this article for quite some time because it’s so profoundly discouraging to know that every time I talk about this, plenty of men are sitting around saying, “Women’s sports are a joke anyway,” or, “Feminists made their bed; now they need to lie in it.”
The fact that I feel compelled even to consider writing an extra paragraph unpacking the merits of women’s sports is evidence of the volume of work we have left to do. Ambivalent men will always find a way to blame women for our mistreatment, and it’s why feminism will always continue to exist: Someone has to care about this stuff. It’s not right, and it needs to stop.
Men’s and women’s bodies are different. It’s not rocket science, it’s biology, and it turns out biology is one bigoted son of a gun. Anatomy discriminates. Women have known this for centuries. Biology is science, however, and as the left is constantly reminding us, science denial is pretty dangerous.
It’s time to step up and speak up and stop this nonsense once and for all. It’s going to take all hands on deck. Women, girls, and the people who love them need to complain loudly and often whenever they’re faced with the prospect of having to compete against the men who would cheat them out of what is rightfully theirs. Film the lunacy of it all. Share it broadly on social media.
Women had to fight loud and hard to acquire athletic opportunities in the first place. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly clear we will have to fight long and hard to keep them.
Kaeley Triller Haver studied English at Northwest University and puts her education to use as the communications director of a local nonprofit organization. Of all the titles she’s ever held, Kaeley considers “mom” the most significant.