LIBBY EMMONS: It's time for women athletes, and the fans who love them, to boycott any competitive sport that allows men into female contests

Sasha Jane Lowerson was tapped by surf brand Rip Curl to boost the brand after they got rid of Bethany Hamilton, who had spoken out against men competing in women's sports. Trans golfer Hailey Davidson is poised to gain a spot on the Ladies Professional Gold Association tour after two rounds of in the LPGA and Epson Tour Qualifying School in Palm Springs, California. Tessa Johnson, Evelyn Williamson, Veronica in cycling, Lia Thomas in swimming, Cece Telfer in running, Laurel Hubbard in weightlifting, Harriet Haynes in pool, the list goes on and on. 

Nearly every women's sport is facing infiltration by men who not only claim to be women, but who believe this claim gives them the right to take the place of women in competition. It is a shocking ask, one that shows the lie of gender identity on its face, but one that we've become far too accustomed to in our culture. Most people barely bat an eye when they see a man dolled up like a dame standing on the winners podium after a women's athletic competition.

It has to stop. And it won't stop if we count on the monied interests to stop it. It will only stop if the women athletes stop playing and if the fans stop cheering. In pool, a group of women are putting together a lawsuit against the World Eightball Pool Federation and Ultimate Pool group claiming that they have faced "direct sex discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sex." This comes after Lynne Pinches refused to play in a championship against male player Harriet Haynes.

More women need to speak up, to take their balls and go home, to expose the radical inequality, the harmful lies, and the intense discrimination being levied against women in their own competitions. Critics tend to say that men who compete in women's sports don't win all the time, and that this means it's no big deal. But of course, winning is not the issue—opprtunity is. When a man competes in women's sports, he is costing a woman the chance to compete. To get to the winners circle, or to even fall short, means that a woman lost the chance to do so.

When Laurel Hubbard competed on the women's Olympic weightlifting for New Zealand, he lost spectacularly. But back home, the women he beat to gain the spot on the Olympic team never even had the chance to show what they could do on the global stage. They were denied that opportunity all because Hubbard felt he was entitled to take their spot by virtue of his supposed female feelings. It's not a harmless lie but one that cost women their athletic careers.

Brands get on board with trans ideology and the erasure of women in women's sports, sponsoring these fellas, boosting them in ad campaigns, declaring them to be "brave" and "courageous" for entering competitions and winning prize money all while knowing they have more biological advantages than any of the women who toss their proverbial hat into the ring. 

"I have doubts that companies like Ripcurl and Redbull actually believe that men should compete with women in women’s sports," skateboarder Taylor Silverman told me. "However, whether they really buy this lie or are just pandering, I’m glad they are letting people know to no longer support them." She's been a proponent of boycotting brands that elevate men who claim to be trans over women athletes.

Media outlets make bank when they report on these men taking home accolades and reaping the rewards of their lies. When stories about trans athletes in women's sports hit the front pages, it's the men in women face, not the women who should rightfully be winners, whose names are in bold print, whose pictures are above the fold.

These men change their pronouns, change their clothes, medically alter their bodies, and declare that all the rest of us must go along with it as well, even to the erasure of our sisters, daughters, mothers, and everyone cheers when they do it. The would-be winners take home their second or third place participation trophies as their names are forgotten and the men's new, lady names are hailed as champions.

When these athletes first starting taking women's places, opportunities, even scholarships, many women—not enough—spoke up. It seemed like all that was necessary was to point out the unfairness, that the obvious inequalities between men and women in physical strength, endurance, bone and muscle mass, for people to realize that these men and everyone who backed them were straight lying.

That isn't what happened. Instead, as more and more men rushed into women's sports, entitled by their new estrogen prescriptions, manicures, and unnecessary sports bras, it was the women who complained who were vilified by brands, athletic governing bodies, media, and sometimes fans. The entire thing is absurd and we all know it.

People who know the difference between men and women and understand that biology is not a fiction. They have been aghast to find that a sports, so based on meritocracy, where the differences between men and women are so stark, have permitted this atrocity. 

Davidson claimed that pushback against his inclusion in women's golf was "transphobic." Davidson is a big hulking man with a big golf swing, and even just seeing him standing next to his competitors points out the absurdity of him calling himself a woman. One need only remember back to the 2022 NCAA swimming championships in Atlanta and recall Lia (neé William) Thomas standing there on the winner's podium next to the fit, strong, yet diminutive women to imagine the absurdity posed by Davidson on the green.

"I've seen that it's not about protecting women's sports or me having an advantage, it's just that you don't like trans people," Davidson said. "It's very sad that that's what it comes down to. In the last couple of months, that's what I've come to learn."

"I understand the questions and dialogue surrounding transgender athletes. I honestly do," Davidson said. "What I'll never understand, though, is the hatred that comes with it. Some people initiate these attacks willingly, while others maybe don't realize how hurtful their words can be."

But there's no hate against Davidson, or fear of trans people, in being fully and clearly aware of the fact that men and women are different, that no amount of drugs or surgeries can turn men into women. For those of us who have been saying this for years, whose protestations have been ridiculed, the absurdity continues to mount. The visuals of these fellas standing next to the women they beat in competition is increasingly striking. It's as though pretending to be a woman, and beating them in sports, is part of a fetish not an athletic ambition.

Women should stop standing up for this, as should anyone who knows the difference between truth and lies, fact and diction, reality and fantasy. It's time to stop just boycotting brands that boat men in women's sports, it's time to boycott the competitions themselves. If the women stop showing up, it will be clear just what is being eradicated by the demand that we swallow cheap lies.


 

Image: Title: trans sports
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