If society survives long enough it will look back upon the first couple of decades of this century as the point where sexual deviance was mainstreamed in the name of tolerance, the deity du jour of the American left and libertarians. While most attention has focused on the immense effort devoted to making sure that the small percentage of homosexuals (who make up a blessedly small number of people in general) who wish to take part in imitation marriage ceremonies and humored and nothing meany-pants is said about them, the most interesting efforts are those which seek to normalize people who decide that their self-proclaimed gender does not comport with their biological make-up. A while back National Review columnist Kevin Williamson commented on the black man, Roderick Laverne Cox, who now insists that he is actually a woman named Laverne Cox (though one would have thought that anyone with the smallest sense of irony would have changed their last name along with their gender).
As a matter of government, I have little or no desire to police how Cox or any other man or woman conducts his or her personal life. But having a culture organized around the elevation of unreality over reality in the service of Eros, who is a sometimes savage god, is not only irrational but antirational. Cox’s situation gave him an intensely unhappy childhood and led to an eventual suicide attempt, and his story demands our sympathy; times being what they are, we might even offer our indulgence. But neither of those should be allowed to overwhelm the facts, which are not subject to our feelings, however sincere or well intended.
For this very mild statement of the obvious, the Chicago-Tribune pulled his op-ed and he has been widely lambasted:
The Chicago Sun-Times removed a syndicated post from its website and issued a public apology today, after readers raised objections with the content of the op-ed, which originally appeared on The National Review’s website. It’s no wonder people were upset. The article, headlined “Laverne Cox Is Not a Woman,” is conservative troll Kevin D. Williamson blabbering on about trans Orange Is the New Blackactress Cox’s recent Time magazine cover. In his ugly, buffoonish way, Williamson refuses to address Cox and Chelsea Manning by their preferred pronouns. It’s another dull, babyish bit of stinkery from noted stinker Williamson, and isn’t really surprising in its willful obtuseness, nor its place on National Review’s website.
This impulse is not limited to the world of show business. My own state of Maryland passed a law last session which prohibits any discrimination against those who claim a gender other than the obvious:
The legislation — called the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 — bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and sexual identity but includes an exemption for religious organizations, private clubs and educational institutions. It defines gender in terms of a person’s consistent and sincere expression of sexual identity based on appearance, expression or behavior, regardless of biological sex at birth.
It has created a situation where, if the mood strikes you, you, the hirsute, overweight, social outcast male, can use the women’s locker room at the local public pool so long as you sincerely believe, for some unspecified period of time, that you are a woman. This is a bonanza for all the lesbians trapped in men’s bodies out there.
Where this particular ship is likely to hit the rocks is the opposition by a significant portion of the feminist movement and the reason it will fail is because it involves money.
Transvestites, like Cox, have a long tradition in show business. While Cox is arguably more feminine in appearance that Tim Curry (or Michelle Obama, for that matter), the only new ground he has broken is that he may (or may not) have had genital mutilation surgery. During the time I was stationed in Berlin the Chez Romy Haag, a nightclub owned by Dutch transvestite Edouard Frans Verbaarsschott, who went by the stage name of Romy Haag, was one of the hottest night clubs in a city packed with great night clubs. In other words, Cox is trading on the trendiness of pretending to be a woman via surgical intervention.
Sports, however, is a different matter. It is in athletics that all of the nonsense about gender versus sex breaks down. For instance, two years ago 51 year-old “Gabrielle Ludwig,” (a svelte 6’6″, 220 pounds) became starting center for the Mission College (California) women’s basketball team:
Last week, Ludwig gathered her 10 teammates at practice and offered to quit. This was their time to shine, she told the group of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds. She didn’t want to be a distraction for the team. The other women said if Ludwig, whom they nicknamed “Big Sexy” and “Princess,” didn’t play, they wouldn’t either.
Didn’t she know she was the glue holding the team together?
“Then let’s just play basketball,” she replied solemnly, looking each teammate in the eye.
A lifelong basketball lover, Ludwig has been helping coach and working out with the Saints since the beginning of the school year, but she only received conference clearance to compete on the last day of November. She took the court as No. 42 the next day, scoring three points on four free throws in about seven minutes of play. Last weekend, during her first home game, she scored eight points in 11 minutes, Facebook friend requests from the opposing team — and not a single heckle.
What is left unsaid, of course, is the impact this will have on women’s college and professional athletics which is a zero sum game. For every hulking “Gabrielle Ludwig” on a team there is an actual woman being cut from the squad. With the standard being set as a “consistent and genuine expression” of gender identity rather than, say, a homone test, it is easy to see how women’s athletics could disappear because women are simply not competitive in most sports. Take, for instance, something like the 100 meters. In the 2012 London Olympics these are the results from the finals of the women’s 100 meters:
If you look at the men’s 100 meter high school championships from California you see:
The 18th place finisher was faster than the women’s Olympic Gold Medal winner.
Where the actual physical difference between male and female, between men and women, comes to the fore is in combatives. For instance, Mixed Martial Arts has a transgender fighter named “Fallon Fox” (or as his birth certificate says, Boyd Burton). Last weekend, he squared off with a woman fighter named Tamikka Brent, no slouch herself in the masculine features category. Prior to the fight she had this to say:
“I am tired of Fox getting all this publicity just for being a transgender fighter rather than having great skills. I think it’s unfair anyway but as long as the opponent knows and accepts the fight then go ahead… She’s using all that attention as a good publicity tactic – go ahead and ride that free publicity train as long as you can. I’ll gladly derail that s*** quickly so the world can go back to giving the publicity and notice to the female fighters who earn it. It just pisses me off that Women’s MMA has fought to get away from being seen as a side show. She’s using that to further her career while setting Women’s MMA back in the process.”
How did that work out?
On Saturday, Fox defeated Tamikka Brents by TKO at 2:17 of the first round of their match. In addition to the damaged orbital bone that required seven staples, Brents received a concussion. In a post-fight interview this week, she told Whoa TV that “I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life.”
“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because [he] was born a man or not, because I’m not a doctor,” she stated. “I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right.
Hardly an unexpected outcome given the advantage that men have over women in muscle mass, body composition, and bone structure that is the product of nature and not a social construct.
Women’s sport exists as a carve out because women simply cannot compete with men in sports requiring speed and strength. There is no doubt that Mia Hamm was a stellar women’s soccer player but does anyone think she could have made the cut to any of the top level men’s soccer teams? No. She was too small (she would have tied for one of the four shortest players among all players in the 2012 World Cup) and too slow. Title IX is a response to the fact that women’s sports are basically less interesting to spectators than men’s sports and an acknowledgement that without a specific carve out there would a very small opportunity for women to participate in college athletics. As we’ve seen with the minority business set asides in government contracting, these special interest programs are rife with abuse. Every time a carve out is created, there are people waiting in the wings to manipulate it. Affluent parents have created an industry around having their perfectly normal kids diagnosed with learning disabilities because they have the resources to browbeat schools into providing private tutors for their gits. And these kids don’t have time limits on ACTs and SATs. If you think this can’t happen, think again. It is inevitable that with the mainstreaming of the idea that your gender is determined by deeply held feelings not by biology that women’s college and professional athletics will receive an influx of men who simply aren’t good enough for elite men’s athletics but are better than the best women. This is money taken directly from women’s sports and an affront to the gender bean-counting that has been the mainstay of the feminist movement.