Democrats Toss Women Athletes Under the Bus

Democrats love to portray themselves as the party of women. The website proclaims proudly, “We are committed to ensuring full equality for women.”

Yet this past week, House Democrats voted unanimously to, appropriating a phrase from Joe Biden, put women back in chains. Not as slaves, but in competitive sports, giving them second class stature by tilting the playing field so far askew that most women will fall off the field and be unable to compete fairly in sports.

The US House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, “which would require schools to include male athletes who identify as transgender girls on female sports teams”, throwing biological women competing as such under the bus.

This bill amends the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect “sexual orientation and gender identity” under federal anti-discrimination law. It all sounds fine and compassionate until one looks at the practical implications.

At a humorous level in the workplace, it will allow guys who look like John Candy or John Belushi to claim they are a woman and demand to work as a Hooters server or a Playboy bunny. I’m sure that’s not the intent of the bill.

Instead it’s in sports that the unintended consequences will be on full display. As reported by The Daily Caller, the Equality Act, “would force public schools to expand female athletic teams to include biological males who identify as transgender girls.” Don’t expect this to end with only high school sports. Think professional and Olympic competitions.

Males and females are biologically different, regardless of what gender activists say or believe. Chromosomal differences between boys and girls begin differentiating the two sexes from the moment of conception, with developmental differences in musculoskeletal structure and function affecting athletic performance decades later.

No amount of testosterone or estrogen taken as an adult will change what has already been programmed into the body before birth. Just as installing the latest operating system on a ten-year-old phone won’t improve its performance, instead only crashing it.

What the Equality Act is doing is substituting the psychological term “gender identity” for the biologic absolute of “sex.”  Just because people identify and earnestly believe they are of a certain gender does not change their anatomy and physiology. To think otherwise belongs in the realm of make-believe.

How will the Equality Act play out in sports? Earlier this year in Connecticut, two boys, “transitioning” into girls, competed in the girls’ state track championships, taking first and second place in the 55-meter sprint, the winner setting a state record for girls.

So much for the real girls training and preparing, hoping to be a state champion. This inequality extends beyond simply high school sports.

Let’s look at Olympic track, say the 200-meter race. The women’s record is 21.34 seconds, set in 1988. How would men’s times in the 2016 Olympics compare in the same event?

There were 10 heats in the men’s 200-meter event at the Rio games, each heat with 7 or 8 runners. Of the 80 or so male runners, all but 5 had a time that would have broken the women’s 28-year standing women’s Olympic record.

Meaning that just about any of the men, if competing as a transgender, would have easily won the gold medal. Any three of these transitioning men would have swept the medals. Please explain how that is fair for women and serves their desire for equality.

The pole vault is no different. The men’s Olympic record is 6.03 meters compared to 5.05 meters for women. If John is becoming Jane and wants to compete in women’s pole vaulting, he/she will easily win gold and likely set a new Olympic record.

Repeat this analysis for any track and field event, swimming, weightlifting, and many other sports and the results would be the same.

Transgender athlete and activist Rachel McKinnon wins a gold medal

(YouTube screen grab)

Look at weightlifting as another example, using the 69 kg weight class. The world record for men is 357 kg versus 275 kg for women, close to a 25 percent difference.

This scenario played out in real life in the 2017 Australasian Championships when a New Zealand man, transitioning into a woman, easily won a gold medal in women’s weightlifting. How is that fair to the biologic female competitors?

It’s no better in team sports. The US women’s soccer team, 2015 World Cup winners, lost to a 15-and-under boys team from Dallas. The same thing happened in Australia when the women’s national team lost a practice match 7-0 to a teenage boys team.

Female professional athletes aren’t pleased with this bill. Three of them, Doriane Coleman, Martina Navratilova, and Sanya Richards-Ross wrote an  op-ed in the Washington Post noting the obvious.

The evidence is unequivocal that starting in puberty, in every sport except sailing, shooting and riding, there will always be significant numbers of boys and men who would beat the best girls and women in head-to-head competition.

They also correctly noted that, “sex segregation is the only way to achieve equality for girls and women in competitive athletics.” This is the reason for separate men’s and women’s competitions, rather than a coed free-for-all.

The Equality Act does just the opposite by replacing “sex” with “gender identity.”  To be fair, a third athletic category of transgender would be required although that may be challenging with 70 something genders at latest count. Why not leave well enough alone and stick to male or female as the only two categories?

Democrats, in pushing this bill, have essentially eliminated most women’s sports. No more medals, instead only participation trophies. Transgenders make up a fraction of a percent of the population, compared to females who are half the population. This is the real “war on women” waged by Democrats. It will be interesting to hear how Democrats campaigning next year explain their logic for all but eliminating women’s sports.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.

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