Finally, a Sports Association Commits to Fairness
Finally, a Sports Association Commits to Fairness
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   06.03.22
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The infamous William “Will” Thomas, who now pretends to be a woman and goes by the name “Lia,” has had a long-time goal of swimming in the Olympics—a goal thwarted by the fact that he is not fast enough. A little thing like insufficient speed, however, is no obstacle for a man who thinks he can become a woman by wishing really hard. Superstitions die hard, especially in a science-denying culture that worships the self and believes fentanyl use is “empowerment.” So, Thomas soldiers on wearing womanface and a woman’s speedo covering his man parts, hoping to make Olympic trials in 2024.

In an interview with Good Morning America, Thomas said,

I knew there would be scrutiny against me if I competed as a woman. … but I also knew I don’t need anyone’s permission to be myself.

Thomas’s self is male, so taking estrogen and cross-dressing constitute a denial of himself.

Thomas is not seeking permission to be himself. He’s demanding to swim on a women’s team when he’s a man. Objecting to a man swimming on the women’s team is not a denial of permission to be himself. It is a denial of his demand that everyone play along with his desire to masquerade as a woman.

When asked about his change in rankings after he began swimming on the women’s team, Thomas responded that swimming success didn’t factor into his decision. All that he sought was to be his “authentic self”:

The biggest change for me is I’m happy. … Trans people don’t transition for athletics. We transition to be happy and authentic and our true selves. 

All that matters to Thomas are his feelings—not the feelings of female teammates or competitors who too have trained their whole lives only to see hopes and dreams destroyed because Thomas wishes he were a woman.

It is widely reported that Thomas—a man with all his man parts—undressed in women’s locker rooms. Many women strongly feel that as women, they should not and do not want to undress in the presence of male peers. For some of these women, those feelings derive from their faith. Thomas, therefore, denied them permission to be their authentic selves. He made them unhappy.

Well, finally the World Swimming Coaches Association (WSCA) has found some sanity and courage in a dusty corner of a chlorine-choked locker room and tossed another obstacle in the lane of Will Thomas.

On May 13, 2022, the WSCA issued its position statement on “transgender” swimmers, that is, on swimmers who pretend to be the sex they are not and never can be. The statement, unfortunately infused with “trans”-cultic language, reads in part,

[T]he inclusion of transgender people into female sport cannot be balanced with fairness due to the retained differences in strength, stamina and physique that are present when comparing the average female with the average transgender female/non-binary person who was assigned male at birth (whether with or without the involvement of testosterone suppression). This is the primary factor to be considered in an endeavour to balance fairness with inclusion.

A “transgender female” is a male. Non-binary persons don’t exist.  And no one is “assigned” either a sex, or a gender, or a gender identity at birth. But at least the WSCA acknowledges that men and women are different, and those differences matter when it comes to sports.

The WSCA offers a solution:

One … solution is to create a Trans Division. The Trans Females [i.e., men or female impersonators] will race each other. The Trans Males [i.e., females or male impersonators] will race each other. There is an argument that the Trans Males have been completely lost in this debate because they are uncompetitive in our current structure. This would also allow those of indeterminate gender to be factored into such a solution.

This solution would enable Thomas to be his “authentic” self: a “trans” person.

Evidently, the WSCA is not up to date on current Newspeak. “Gender” refers to the aggregate of behaviors, conventions, roles, and expectations associated with sex of male or female. As such, there is no such thing as a person possessing an “indeterminate gender.”

Perhaps the WSCA was using “gender” in the old-fashioned way, as a synonym for biological sex. If so, neither Will Thomas nor any other “trans”-identifying swimmer has an “indeterminate gender.” Smith has a definite “gender,” and it’s male.

Like other supporters of the sexual integration of sports who grasp at any defense they can concoct, Thomas trots out the tired and patently silly claim that since there is physical diversity among women athletes, women’s sports should include men:

I’m not a medical expert, but there is a lot of variation among cis female athletes or cis women who are very tall and very muscular and have more testosterone than other cis women. Should that then disqualify them?

Well then, why should women’s sports be limited to women? Why should only men who pretend to be women be allowed to participate in women’s sports?

If the fact that some women have more testosterone than others justifies allowing men who pretend to be women to participate in women’s sports, why not let men who don’t pretend to be women participate in women’s sports? Thomas can’t say, “Well, they’re not women,” because he’s not a woman either. And he can’t say, “Well, they’re not transgender” because that would constitute discrimination based on “gender identity.”

Leftists claim that anti-discrimination policies and commitments to equality demand that men who pretend to be women be treated exactly like women. Such a claim is nonsense. If commitments to anti-discrimination were intended to prohibit all distinctions based on both sex and “gender identity,” then there should be no sex-segregated activities for anyone anywhere.

If sports cannot take into account either sex or “gender identity,” then there should be no single sex sports at all. If swim teams allow Will Thomas to swim on the women’s team, then they should allow Michal Phelps to as well. Allowing Thomas to swim on the women’s team while prohibiting Phelps would constitute discrimination based on “gender identity,” and as Thomas believes, we can’t have that.

With regard to equality: commitments to equality entail treating like things alike. Equality does not entail or require treating unlike things alike. Will Thomas is a thing unlike those things called women. The fundamental distinction in sports is not height, muscle mass, and hormone levels. The fundamental distinction is biological sex, which shapes average biological differences. Sure, the fastest female swimmer may be faster than the slowest male swimmer. But the fastest males will always be faster than the fastest women.

We ignore “trans”-cultic beliefs and practices at our own peril. Left unopposed, they threaten our First Amendment speech rights and religions liberty. They threaten the right of parents to raise their children in accordance with truth. They threaten the privacy of all Americans in spaces in which men and women engage in personal acts, like going to the bathroom, undressing, and tending to menstrual needs–which only women do. They threaten women’s sports. And they threaten the safety of girls and women.

Listen to this article read by Laurie:

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins was the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008 through early 2023. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years in Deerfield High School’s writing center in Deerfield, Illinois. Her cultural commentaries have been carried on a number of pro-family websites nationally and internationally, and Laurie has appeared on numerous radio programs across the country. In addition, Laurie has spoken at the Council for National Policy and educational conferences sponsored by the Constitutional Coalition. She has been married to her husband for forty-four years, and they have four grown children...
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