Georgetown Lawyer: Exclude Science from Transgender Sports Debate

Canadian cyclist Rachel McKinnon poses for a photograph before competing against the USA's Dawn Orwick in their F35-39 Sprint Final during the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Masters Championship, in Manchester on October 19, 2019. - Transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon has defended her right to compete in women's sport despite …
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty

Ordinary Americans must not use biological science when deciding which athletes should be assigned to men’s or women’s athletic competitions, says a credentialed law professor at Georgetown University.

“We should recognize that in sports, as in the rest of life, we all have competitive edges and weaknesses — and that judgments about which are and aren’t fair are matters of culture and politics, not biology,” says M. Gregg Bloche.

“Why are the feelings of this small [transgender] minority trumping the feelings of millions of women?” responded Beth Stelzer, the founder of Save Women’s Sports. “Why is it fair for our voices to be silenced? … This is taking away a women’s choice to say ‘No’ …  They are eating away the definition of what a woman is.”

Bloche’s proposal to bar American women and men from using science to decide the sex of athletes boosts the pro-transgender activists who argue that men can become women by merely saying so, regardless of genetics, biology, and physiology.

Bloche writes:

We allow some differences in capability to affect sports outcomes without calling out those with an edge as cheaters. Indeed, we admire many of these advantages, whether we believe they’re bestowed by God or good fortune: we praise competitors for their strength, speed, endurance, agility, toughness, discipline, resolve, and more.

And here’s the key: the lines we draw between the competitive edges we accept, even admire, and those we think unfair are the stuff of our culture, not our science. Wrestlers compete in weight classes — we reject a contest between a 125 pounder and a 195 pounder as a mismatch — but we’re OK with a 6’ 4” high-school basketball center’s unequal struggle under the rim against an opposing team’s 7-footer.

So cultural change off-the-field has no small impact on understandings of athletic fairness. Movement toward gender equity is driving the dissolution of rules differences between men’s and women’s competitions. And growing acceptance of gender identity as subjectively-experienced, not anatomic, is driving change in understandings of which advantages are and aren’t fair when women and men compete separately.

Transgender activists are already trying to prevent ordinary women athletes from governing their own sports by arguing that biology is so complex that only credentialled specialists can decide if a person is female or male. This biology-is-too-complex strategy aims to give pro-transgender professionals the authority to govern membership in women’s sports — and prevent ordinary Americans from using simple and cheap measures for deciding who is a man or a woman, a girl or a boy.

But those sex decisions are needed for a wide series of civic purposes, such as the award of grants and scholarships to girls and boys, describing male or female suspects and victims in crimes, protecting people from privacy violations, or providing social incentives and rewards for vital civic tasks, such as child-rearing and soldiering.

Bloche’s anti-science, pro-transgender claim would help to strip Americans of their power to regulate their civic lives, and it would gradually transfer that power in the name of civil rights to a self-selecting, elite class of credentialed, hourly-rate professionals.

Bloche did not respond to questions from Breitbart News.

 

Bloche’s plan to disregard biology is demeaning to women, continued Stelzer. “It is humiliating to be forced to deny nature and to be forced to call these males as females,” she said. “Too often, women in society we have been denied opportunities to speak and participate.”

“It is not ‘transphobic’ to not want to play sports with male-bodied persons who identify as being female … This is taking away a women’s choice to say no,” she said.

Ths gender vs. biology debate “is not just about the fairness of sports, but is about giving women the ability to choose who is in their shared places,” such as sports leagues and bathrooms, she said. “Allowing transgender men to enter denies us the right the choose [even though] there are women that have gone through serious abuse and they should not have to worry about a male body in their locker room, or in the team where they’re trying to compete,” she said.

Preventing women from preserving their own communities is also damaging to women, Stelzer observed. “There are very few aspects of society where women come together and support each other, so [womens’] sports can lead to lifelong friendships — but those friendships are skewed when male bodies are thrown into the mix.”

“We need to consider the feelings of millions of women who are being pushed into silence, where feminists are being harassed, bullied, and silenced,” she said.

“We’re growing as more voices are speaking up, more women and women’s organizations are feeling comfortable in supporting each other — and men are supporting them too,” she said.

Deputies working for President Donald Trump argue Americans can easily tell males from females, and so can easily make civic decisions over who is a man or a women, for example, when deciding if a man in a dress should be allowed to sleep in the same room as women who are fleeing violence from men.

“It really just flies against the great common understanding that exists everywhere outside some ivory towers [for the government] to say that Americans really don’t know how to decide if someone is a man or a woman,” a senior HUD official told Breitbart News.

 

 

 

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