If you were asked to imagine a male-chauvinist sports setup, would it be one in which females could compete solely with other females? If so, you’d be more than in the ballpark — according to a couple professors. And it isn’t just genital bias that’s wronging women athletes.
Anima Adjepong of the University of Cincinnati (UC) recently cowrote an op-ed for The Society Pages. The piece was also partly penned by a Simon Fraser University (SFU) instructor who simply goes by “Travers.”
The paper’s subject: gender equality and racialized ideology — and the fact that both produce a sinister sex-separation in sports.
Per the professors, athletics is the only area where males and females are split:
Sex-segregated sport is increasingly untenable. As sports authorities and politicians enact flawed attempts to regulate who can and cannot participate in women’s and girls’ sports, the shaky foundations of the current system reveal themselves. … Sport is the only remaining institutional realm where sex segregation is permissible and, as such, it maintains and reproduces gender inequality.
It’s creating the illusion that sex is binary:
More than any other institution, sport showcases the cultural system of binary sex difference and makes it appear natural.
The educators are anti-insult:
There are many dangers in uncritically accepting the claim that women need to be protected from male competitors to experience success. First, it reinforces men’s dominance beyond sport… Second, it insidiously [affirms] women’s weakness, denying girls and women the opportunity to develop in competition with boys and men…
Anima and Travers assert that sports play an intentional role in “gender inequality.” And it’s all about the West:
Sport’s role in perpetuating gender inequality is not accidental. The history of modern sport in the West begins with the deliberate exclusion of women. … The legacy of Western patriarchal ideologies that view women — at least white women — as “the fairer sex” who are not supposed to be too fast, too strong, or too muscular, continues to shape cultural attitudes.
Damsels are being disciplined:
Women who transgress ideologies about gender difference are often severely punished, particularly in sport.
In 1950 and 1968, the academics indicate, World Athletics and the International Olympics Committee launched “so-called gender verification processes.” Those were meant “to ensure adherence to cultural norms regarding binary sex difference and female inferiority.”
The piece puts in quotes words such as “sex controls” and (concerning chromosomes) “male.” As for tests to confirm an athlete’s sex, those exams are evidently erroneous:
Each of these tests is scientifically flawed: Decades of gender verification testing by sports authorities have only proven that sex is not binary but instead expansive.
The professorial pair are far from alone. Over the past few years, we’ve been informed of the two-sex model’s anti-science absurdity:
Back to Anima and Travers, they propose it’s the old system which is comprised of “gender ideology.” And separating men and women is not only sexist, but racist:
The gender ideology which frames the claim that women’s sports require protection from so-called male pretenders is also a racialized ideology. After all, today’s sporting environments are an outgrowth of the European colonial project that positioned sport as part of a “civilizing” project that was white supremacist and hetero-patriarchal at its core. We see this colonial gender ideology in the heightened attention directed at sportswomen from the Global South who are accused of being too athletically powerful, too “masculine” in appearance, to qualify for female eligibility.
Amid the colonization — and ferocious fear — one marginalized group gets sinisterly swept:
Transgender women are swept up in sport’s gender panic not because they regularly outperform cisgender women — they do not — but because sport is the one realm where cultural beliefs regarding fundamental sex and gender differences continue to be institutionalized.
Over the past several years, the article notes, bills across the country have been crafted “specifically to block trans girls and women from participating in ‘female’ sport” as part of a larger “anti-trans campaign.” But at least the enemy “targeting trans girls and women for surveillance” has been named. The wickedness of white men strikes again:
Backed by a constellation of white supremacist, conservative and hetero-patriarchal organizations and movements in collusion with so-called “gender critical feminists,” these campaigns are stoking a gender panic.
Will allowing transgender-identifying athletes to compete in women’s leagues eliminate white supremacy? What if the result is a black female being beaten by a white biological male? In that case, is the patriarchy or white racism the better foe to defeat?
America has some big decisions to make. Anima and Travers — both of whom prefer “they/them” pronouns — are casting their votes: Males possess no inherent athletic advantage over females; so stop sexist racists who aren’t forcing females to prove that fact.
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