Organized athletics for women have come of age and beyond during my lifetime. When I was in my youth, it seemed the extent of women’s athletics was participating in gym class and maybe some women playing tennis and golf. Participating in athletic competitions was perceived as a non-feminine act. Suffice it to say, things have significantly changed for the better. Are we now allowing this to slip away with women not even putting up a whimper?
The famous Title IX was passed in 1972 when I was just entering college. It had other concerns, but it became the controlling factor in developing women sports at the college level and thus spurred everything we have today. Young girls now participate in soccer leagues from an early age which have created the United States soccer behemoth which once again won the Women’s World Cup.
Every May I spend an extensive amount of time watching college softball. I think it is a great game. The young women have made it their own by acting completely different than the young men who play in the college baseball world series in June. Don’t for a minute think these women aren’t highly skilled while they are doing their “girl-type” things. They are excellent athletes who perform at a high level. The one thing I particularly like about it is the men don’t play softball. We don’t know how they would do.
When we watch women’s basketball which has improved exponentially at the college and pro level, a lot of us instinctively compare the quality of play to the men’s game. If we were all honest with each other, almost no women would make the men’s team at their college. They would not even be riding the end of the bench. As good as some of the women’s professional players have become, no member of the Los Angeles Sparks would make it to the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster — let alone get playing time. The men are bigger, stronger and for the most part faster.
We have developed these dual systems in recognition of the different physical makeup of men and women. Sometimes we have discussed a woman breaking into a men’s sport. One of the more famous instances was when the great Billie Jean King (believe me she was great) played and beat Bobby Riggs. Riggs beat the equally great Margaret Court who still owns the record for most major titles by a woman- 24. That was before succumbing to the racket of King. Riggs was 55 years-old. Ms. King knew she would have no chance against Rod Laver.
We never envisioned sports reversing with men going the other way and competing in women’s sports. In our “enlightened” (woke) age, we are now seeing that regularly.
It seems like almost weekly we are alerted to another male, who identifies as a female, winning a sporting competition for women. A male who was a member of the men’s cross country team at the University of Montana decided he was no longer male and joined the women’s team. The athlete was named as the Big Sky conference female cross country athlete of the week. It is not surprising that the athlete excelled. The athlete’s times in the 800 meters, 1500 meters and 5,000 meters are better than the women’s collegiate records by significant margins in all with records that have stood for a good bit of time.
Then there is the cyclist who changed from male to female and was recently crowned the winner of the female cycling world championship. Look at a picture of the cyclist and tell me those are not the musculature of men’s legs. No question the winner worked hard, but that is not the point. Is it a fair competition? By the way, this was the second year in a row the cyclist won the race.
Or there is the story of the handball player towering over teammates and the competition. Then there is the weightlifter who won the international competition. It goes on and on and on.
Martina Navratilova initially came out questioning all this. She wrote “It’s insane and it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.” Some are saying she has evolved from that position; I don’t believe it. Martina was a fabulous tennis player and is an icon of the gay movement. She knows as great as she was, she would have had no chance against Jimmy Connor or John McEnroe if they were to identify as women. She knows no other young female athlete should have to endure the challenge.
Apparently, there has been a lot of pushback from the LGBTQ organizations in support of transgender athletes. There apparently has been a lot of shaming and corresponding cowering. This is not a question about transgenderism. This is all about fairness to young females who want to have an equal playing field in their chosen sport. That is all. This is about women being able to compete as athletes against other women. Transgenders may have the right to change sex, but that does not translate into a right to destroy women’s athletics. This is not fair and needs to end.
Women — stand up for the rights of young women and stop this travesty.