Ostensibly, a biological woman beat a so-called transgender woman at a swim meet

In December, Will Thomas, a man who claims to be a woman, won several swimming races at the University of Pennsylvania while competing as a woman. On Saturday, however, there was a countervailing headline: A woman who claims to be a man beat Will Thomas. The new narrative will be that so-called transgender women pose no competitive threat to real women. What gives me pause is that this is the same narrative we saw when New Zealand sent Gavin Hubbard to compete in women’s weightlifting at the summer Olympics and Gavin flamed out, allowing transgender activists to say that so-called transgender women pose no competitive threat to real women. There’s a pattern here....

Because all the pronouns get confusing, let me set my parameters here. Gavin Hubbard, a man from New Zealand, now “identifies” as a woman. I will use his last name and correct biological pronouns.

Will Thomas, a male college student at the University of Pennsylvania, now “identifies” identifies as a woman. I will use his last name and correct biological pronouns.

Finally, Iszac Henig, a female college student, now claims to be a man. I will use her last name and correct biological pronouns.

The first act in this play was in the summer of 2020 when there was a big kerfuffle that New Zealand was sending Hubbard to compete in the women’s weightlifting category at the Olympics. People noted his bigger bones, as well as the lifelong benefits testosterone, gave him when it came to physical strength, even though he’d been taking female hormones. However, once at the Olympics, Hubbard flamed out completely. As I  noted at the time, leftists immediately crowed that his failures showed that there was nothing unfair about having men compete against women.

Because I’m cynical and suspicious, I openly wondered whether Hubbard threw the competition on purpose. Sure, he didn’t take home a medal but, as a good activist should, he weakened the primary argument people have made against allowing biological men to claim womanhood and then compete against women; namely, that physically, men will beat women. This was one man who couldn’t.

Hubbard was quickly forgotten, though, thanks in large part to Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan retreat—the one that left behind dead Americans, dead children, and untold generations of real women suffering at the hands of real Muslim men.

Image: Swimmers racing by drobotdean. Freepik License.

The debate was reignited in December when Thomas wiped out his NCAA competition at a swim meet in Akron while swimming as a female. As with Hubbard, people again pointed out that letting men compete against women ensures that women will be at a serious disadvantage. The fact is that even teenage boys are faster and stronger than grown women and Thomas’s victories simply reinforced that truism.

However, yesterday, quite conveniently and miraculously, a woman beat Thomas at an NCAA swim meet. To add color to the story, the woman, Henig, claims to be a man, although she denies ever having had testosterone.

So, if you’re trying to keep score, last month, a man pretending to be a woman outswam real women. This month, a woman pretending to be a man outswam the man pretending to be a woman. Once more, just as with Hubbard, we have this wonderful “proof” that biological women can beat so-called “transgender” women (that is, that biological women can beat men).

But just as with Hubbard, I’m troubled by the numbers. It’s hard to do one-on-one analyses because they’ve been swimming all sorts of different races, but I compared whatever information I had available when it came to Thomas’s top times to the overall Division I top NCAA times, as well as comparing them to his and Henig’s times yesterday. What emerges is that Henig is a decent swimmer for a woman, although by no means NCAA champion material, and that Thomas experienced a sudden collapse:

Will Thomas and Iszac Henig swim results
Division 1 (all in yards) Real Women's top scores Thomas in Dec. Thomas in Jan. Henig in Jan.
Women's 50 free 21.02     22:76
Women's 100 free 45:46   52:84 49:57
Women's 200 free 1:39:10 1:41:93 1:48:73  
Women's 500 free 4:24:06 4:34:06 4:57:20  
Women's 400  freestyle relay 3:06:96   51:94 his leg 50:45 her leg
Women's 1650 free 15:03:31 15:59:71    

Weird, right? I’m not accusing Thomas of throwing the races. I’m just pointing out how useful it is that Thomas, just like Hubbard, suddenly flamed out when the debate about men competing against women reached a fever pitch. The fact that he flamed out against a woman who believes she’s a man only makes the story more colorful, rather than making it any less useless when it comes to the cause of men competing against women.

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