Is the Absurdity of the Lia Thomas Saga Hastening a Pro-Sanity Coalition?
Ivy League women’s swimming is a subject that I likely would have known or cared little about until an eccentric young man named Will Thomas decided to draw attention to himself by pretending to be a woman named Lia, competing against female athletes who are admirably seeking recognition and achievement in the sport that he’s currently a pioneer in destroying.
His personal indulgence in the fantasy that he’s a woman was not enough, of course, and it’s certainly not the point. If he simply wanted to call himself Lia and grow out his hair and wear dresses while pretending to be a girl, that wouldn’t necessarily be anything new or noteworthy. What’s new, and the reason he’s all over the news, is that the media, the NCAA, and the self-appointed cultural elite have catered to his demand that the entire world of women’s sports serve his fantasy.
In Will’s fantasy, the six-foot-one strapping lad that his parents had named Will Thomas was little more than a fiction. Actually, he is, and had always been, a lovely lady named Lia.
But there remains some evidence that Will did exist, in reality. He still has a webpage memorializing his career as a swimmer on the UPenn men’s swimming team. In his collegiate career, he was ranked #462 in national rankings. Lia, on the other hand, is recognized as a far superior competitor in the swimming world, recently winning the NCAA Division I women’s title in the 500 individual freestyle with a “personal best of 4:33.24.”
Except, it wasn’t his personal best in that race. His personal best is 4:18.72. But that was when he was Will Thomas, swimming for the UPenn men’s team.
Let’s be clear. You are not only to imagine, but to fully accept as truth that the objective accomplishments of a very average collegiate swimmer named Will Thomas are entirely separate from those of his newly imagined alter-ego, the dominant collegiate swimmer named Lia Thomas -- despite sharing the same parents, the same upbringing, the same fingerprints, the same DNA, and unquestionably having always occupied the same body.
Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated argues, as Lia does, that Will Thomas never existed, but Lia Thomas always did. “This had been a season unlike any in her 22 years,” writes Robert Sanchez of this past season. So, you see, Lia has always been a “her,” even when he was a boy named Will. Those times you see posted on UPenn’s website for Will Thomas never actually happened, because the swimmer that clocked those times just a couple of years ago was actually Lia Thomas. But Lia never clocked those times either, obviously, because those times were better than the “personal best” time which just won Lia Thomas the NCAA Division I women’s title in the past weeks.
Are you keeping up? Of course not. No one could, because none of this makes any sense at all, and it’s absolutely insane.
Worst of all, actual women with two X chromosomes are truly suffering because of the insanity that Lia Thomas is imposing upon others. Imagine training your entire life as a female athlete, only to be robbed of a rightful position in the Ivy League finals due to a man, who eclipsed all the competing women’s winning times just a few years back when he was still recognized as a very average male Division 1 college athlete.
That happened to Virginia Tech swimmer, Reka Gyorgy. This former ACC champion, All-American, and Olympian placed 17th in the 500 freestyle that Lia Thomas won by swimming his personal best*. This was her “last college meet ever,” but watching Thomas win, Riley Gaines of the University of Kentucky tells the Daily Wire that Gyorgy said, “Wow, I can’t believe I just got beat by someone who wasn’t even trying their hardest.” She “had tears in her eyes,” Gaines reports.
Gyorgy had reason to cry. Being in the top 16 would have allowed her to swim in the finals, but she missed by one spot that was occupied by Lia Thomas. Another girl placed ninth, missing the “A final,” which prevented her from being an All-American. As Gyorgy bravely writes, “every event that transgender athletes competed in was one spot taken away from biological females throughout the meet.”
Nothing about that is fair. It’s absurd. But the one silver lining is that opposition to this obvious absurdity is quite possibly remaking the political landscape.
Countless unexpected opponents have been raising their voices. Some have been doing so for years. Many know that Dave Chapelle has gotten into hot water for addressing his concerns with the core pitch of the trans ideology, which is that “trans women are women.” He jokes in his Netflix special, Sticks and Stones:
Caitlyn Jenner was voted Woman of the Year. Her first year as a woman. Isn’t that something? Beat every b**** in the Detroit, she’s better than all of you! Never even had a period. Ain’t that something? Oh, I’d be mad as s*** if I was a woman.
And women are, including prominent feminists. J.K. Rowling, whose Harry Potter books are the single most influential pop culture phenomenon outside of possibly Star Wars in the past three generations, has come under fire for not conforming to radical gender theology. Most recently, she “slammed a U.K. official for being unwilling to define what a woman is,” a task that Matt Walsh has proven is impossible if you’re simultaneously trying to argue that men who think they’re women can actually be women.
When a follower asked Rowling if she wanted her “legacy to die on this hill,” Rowling impressively responded:
Yes, sweetheart. I’m staying right here on this hill, defending the right of women and girls to talk about themselves, their bodies, and their lives in any way they damn well please. You worry about your legacy, I’ll worry about mine.
But it’s not just ultra-famous liberals getting in on the truth party and the decrying the absurd gender cultists. Outside the NCAA championships where Lia Thomas competed, a group called “Save Women’s Sports” protested the decision to let males compete against female athletes. The founder of this organization, a self-described radical feminist named Amy E. Souza, had this to say:
I am a lifelong registered Democrat who ultimately feels politically homeless. With the whole Biden election, I began to feel more and more disenfranchised from Democrats as a party, and I began to feel more and more that they did not represent my beliefs or my views…
I registered as a Republican in 2020 after two politicians told me they did not want my vote because of my stance on the rights for women and girls. They wanted to put men in [female] prisons and men on [women’s] sports teams, and in my daughter’s school, so that’s why I decided I cannot be a part of this party anymore.
Reality, we are finding, is still popular among a broad swathe of human beings, and not just limited to certain political persuasions. And the coalition we are now seeing form in opposition to radical gender theology shows that our culture retains a primal aversion to seeing women and girls suffer.
Protection of women’s sports from intrusion by men pretending to be women may lead to the most culturally galvanizing and unifying moment in modern American history. We Americans can’t seem to agree on much these days, but the very least we should be able to agree upon, as it appears we generally do, is that a man shouldn’t pretend to be a girl in order to excel in sports against women and thereby gain attention himself.