Saving Girls’ Sports

Saving Girls’ Sports
Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller (2nd L) wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood (L) and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn., on Feb. 7, 2019. (Pat Eaton-Robb/AP Photo)
Walter Block

The feminists are illogical, once again.

Nowadays, the feminists are all up in arms about the intervention into women’s sports of males who declare themselves females. And this is not an unreasonable concern of theirs. For, if encouraged, even allowed, transgender athletes will spell the death knell of women’s athletic competitions. The biological fact is that boys, whether they declare themselves females or not, are stronger, faster, quicker, and more agile, than girls. This gives them a gigantic competitive advantage in pretty much all sports.

For example, almost 300 high school boys can beat the women’s world record in the quarter mile. Similar disparities between teenaged boys and female Olympic champions exist in many other track distances, field events, and in swimming. John McEnroe famously speculated that if Serena Williams, one of the best female tennis players who ever played, entered the male competition, she would rank around 700th best.

The latest episode concerns a New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard who previously lifted weights as a male. The Olympic authorities of that nation have not yet decided whether or not to choose her to represent them in this year’s event in Japan, but they might well. If they do, there goes a possible spot that might have been given to a biological woman. Feminists are once again outraged.

(There is but one counter example to the general rule that top male athletes can outcompete the best females: Women are hard-wired to endure in the neighborhood of 48 hours or longer of intense physical stress—the time it sometimes takes to give birth. Well, ultra-marathons take roughly that number of hours or more to complete, and women are very competitive with men in these events; the longer the race, the better females do, relatively; but they are only competitive in these gargantuan events.)

There are now numerous cases on record in which transgender girls entered female races, and pulverized the field. The feminists are quite right to object to this undermining of girls’ sports. Happily, enlightened states such as Mississippi are now protecting young women from these unwarranted and unjustified invasions. Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill to that effect in March.

Yet, it was not that long ago that the shoe was on the other feminist foot. Then, they were demanding that girls be allowed to compete with boys in sports such as wrestling. The male wrestlers were appalled. Coming from decent families, boys were told, “Don’t hit girls (and don’t crush them either!)” What to do? How to quell this incursion? Start the match flat on your back, lie there, get pinned, and allow the girls to win all the competitions? Take the very opposite tack? The former didn’t embarrass them, and the latter went against the grain of civilized order. The result was a despoliation of the sport of wrestling, courtesy of the feminists.

Now, what they were previously doing to male wrestlers is being done to them by transgender athletes. They don’t at all appreciate the latter intrusion, and are in splendid ignorance of the fact that they were previously guilty of the very same act of trespass. How’s that for “mansplaining”?

What about transgender girls? Are they to have no competitive arenas of their own? Due to their use of estrogen, they are weaker and less competitive than otherwise would have been the case, but still way stronger than girls. And their male transgender counterparts are stronger and thus more competitive than they were before, thanks to doses of testosterone, but still nowhere near the level of males. No, they should not be banished from sports rivalry. They, too, deserve to experience the joys of competition. They should be allowed to organize their own events, whether in high school, college, or the Olympics. We already have the Paralympics. Why not also athletic games for transgender athletes?

The feminists are hoist by their own petard.

Walter E. Block is the chair in economics at Loyola University in New Orleans. He is also an adjunct scholar at the Mises Institute and the Hoover Institute.
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Walter E. Block is the chair in economics at Loyola University in New Orleans. He is also an adjunct scholar at the Mises Institute and the Hoover Institute.
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