“The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly,” goes the old saying. This applies to rules and social codes, too. And one bad standard that’s ever being enforced more strictly — allowing men claiming “transgender” status to compete in women’s sports — is about to give the movement it reflects a serious body shot, contends one commentator.
That blow will come next year, writes American Thinker’s Ned Barnett, as the “Tokyo Summer Olympics may spell the swift death of the transgender movement as a dominant politically-correct touchstone.”
“Biological men, self-identifying as women, are poised to make a clean sweep of the Women’s Olympics, triggering a very public debate on this third-rail subject,” he continues. “That firestorm, pitting pro-women feminists against extreme pro-transgender progressives, will begin July 24th, just as the Presidential sweepstakes moves into its sprint to the finish line.”
This MUSS (Made-up Sexual Status) agenda, as it can be more precisely known, wasn’t even a notable force until approximately 10 years ago. Yet it has quickly become de rigueur, with all and sundry expected to bow before the new MUSS norms. This includes consenting to MUSSmen in female private spaces and sporting events; to addressing them by “preferred pronouns” (e.g., ze, hir); and, in fact, to regarding a MUSSman claiming womanhood as an actual woman — and woe betide those who dare dissent.
The International Olympic Committee, as confused as anyone, admits it can’t even formulate fair guidelines for determining when MUSSmen can compete as women, according to Barnett. Its current standard states they may do so as “long as their testosterone level remains below 10 nanomoles per liter (nm/l) for 12 months. Typically, men have between 7.7 and 29.4 nm/l of testosterone, while women have between 0.12 and 1.77 nm/l,” reports Barnett. “Under those IOC guidelines, hormonally-restricted men can still maintain nearly 500 percent testosterone advantage over women.”
Exploring the intersex biological differences influencing athletic performance matters because people’s grasp of them shapes their conception of the significance of the male-female division in sports. Insofar as people believe the performance gap is relatively insignificant, they’ll be more likely to suppose MUSSmen’s “crossover” is insignificant.
Barnett addresses this more deeply than most, writing that “the real benefit transgender women experience, according to recent studies by Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, a leading medical university, is found in their masculine bone structure and upper body strength. This develops throughout puberty, making current testosterone levels largely insignificant. These masculine genetic benefits are the very reason for women’s athletics.”
“‘Not every male advantage dissipates when testosterone drops,’ according to Alison Heather, a physiologist at the University of Otago in New Zealand,” Barnett also informs. “‘Some advantages, such as their bigger bone structure, greater lung capacity, and larger heart size remain. Testosterone also promotes muscle memory. Transgender women have a heightened ability to build strength even after they transition,’ Heather explained.” (Just consider the video below of Australian MUSSman “Hannah Mouncey.” Can you spot him?)
Yet this still understates the case. Note that boys’ running records surpass those for girls’ even prior to puberty, when both sexes have the same hormone profile (low estrogen levels). Explanation?
Not only is the male genotype (XY) alone likely associated with the development of athletically advantageous traits, but it also causes a boy’s body to produce, and be shaped by, high testosterone levels during certain periods in the womb (assuming normal development).
Perhaps the most compelling argument, however, isn’t scientific at all. Most people would never guess that the 800-meter-run world record for 14-year-old boys is better than the women’s world record. Note also that women’s professional soccer teams often lose in scrimmages to under-15 boys’ teams. This includes the much ballyhooed U.S. women’s national team, which fell to the Dallas FC under-15 squad 5-2 in 2017.
The intersex performance gap this reflects holds, with some variation, across highly physical sports. Accomplished female athletes understand this best, too, which is why Olympic Gold Medalist Paula Radcliffe, ex-tennis star Martina Navratilova, and Olympic Silver medalist Sharron Davies are among the high-profile sportswomen who’ve spoken out against having MUSSmen in female athletics.
And the MUSSmen are on the march, with boys winning girls high-school track-and-field events; and men dominating women’s weightlifting competitions, long-drive contests, cycling races, and many, many other events.
This dominance is placed in further perspective when considering that “Helen Carroll, who worked on the NCAA Transgender Handbook, estimates that … three tenths of one percent (0.3%) of Americans identify as transgender,” relates Barnett. Moreover, note that only a small minority of that 0.3 percent would have an inclination to compete in sports. Despite this, there “are 200 transgender women in NCAA sports today,” Barnett writes, citing Carroll.
All this is happening in deference to a MUSS agenda that, as I’ve often explained, has no legitimate scientific basis. “Transgender” is an ideological designation, not a scientific one. Yet the ideology birthing it didn’t come from nowhere — it’s a logical extension of earlier mistakes.
I once read a passage a man wrote in the early 1900s expressing the belief that women’s hands were likely too delicate to effectively wield a tennis racquet. Approximately 75 years later, when I worked with children, I encountered a lad of perhaps 10 who supposed that the women’s mile record would be faster than the men’s; another boy, maybe a year older, expressed the notion that the intersex performance gap was “very slight.” Ah, from one extreme to the other.
But what accounts for the latter misconception? Could it have anything to with full-bore inundation with “girl power” propaganda, messages, and images in entertainment, the media, and school? Could it possibly be influenced by hearing, for decades, “A woman can do anything a man can do!” (when she can’t do everything a 14-year-old boy can do)? And if kids are thus raised and deceived, will they raise a stink about MUSSmen in women’s sports?
Its proponents’ arguments are about as valid as a third-wave feminist’s, too. One often heard is that athletes have all sorts of natural advantages. Swimmer Michael Phelps, MUSS activists may point out, benefits from having a wide wingspan, long torso, and low lactic-acid production. Likewise, a MUSSman in women’s sports is just another example of a competitor enjoying genetically endowed benefits. The problem?
We haven’t created sports categories based on wingspan, torso length, or lactic-acid production — or any other esoteric factor. But when we do delineate, we’re supposed to adhere to it. We don’t let a 200-lb man wrestle in the 135-lb division because he identifies as a 133-pounder, for instance.
In other words, if the sexual distinction in athletics is irrelevant, eliminate separate sports for men and women. If it matters enough to be perpetuated, however, it matters enough to be adhered to.
This said, logic only reliably carries the day on fictional planet Vulcan. Humans, in contrast, are highly governed by emotion; thus, Barnett’s suggestion that the 2020 Olympics may spell the MUSS agenda’s “swift death” seems overly optimistic. Oh, it may help the Republicans win the November election if they play their cards right. But with the Left controlling the culture shapers — the media, academia, entertainment, and virtually all big business — the MUSS agenda will likely die a painfully slow death, leaving a lot of collateral damage in its wake.
Photo: PeskyMonkey / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) has written for The New American for more than a decade. He has also written for The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, American Thinker, and many other print and online publications. In addition, he has contributed to college textbooks published by Gale-Cengage Learning, has appeared on television, and is a frequent guest on radio.