I have a recommended new title:

"NCAA Swimming Champ Caught In Possession Of Performance-Enhancing Testicles"

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Not only is this grossly unfair to women, and not only does this completely undermine Title IX, but the mainstream media treats this guy as some kind of oppressed victim, or someone who has had to “overcome” in some way, when the truth is, he’s boldly imposed himself on women and the single-sex sports they deserve to have without his disruption and interference.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to, decent people who are “on the fence” and want “inclusion,” who were totally unaware that this guy has an intact male body. People assume if he’s “trans” and “really a woman on the inside” it means he’s had surgery. They assume that’s what transition means. No. They don’t understand this was a mediocre straight male swimmer who is still a mediocre straight male swimmer, who is stealing victories from women. It’s outrageous.

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Once again, Dr Shermer hits the nail on the head - this is a case of an unlevel playing field. It is clear that the situation is unfair but not so clear how to make it fair (to all).

One reason 'woke' became a pejorative is The Woke often oversimplify solutions and/or ignore resulting injustices to The Others (ie. groups aside from the one they are advocating). Of course, when folks point out that they are not reducing injustices but simply switching old injustices for new injustices they are attacked as racist, sexist, trans-phobic, etc.

We need more folks like Dr Shermer who advocate for actual fairness and justice rather than 'evening the score.'

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Patti, this is a perfect example of straw-man argument (or should I say straw-cis-man argument?) as literally NO ONE argues that "no cis woman athlete can beat a trans woman athlete ever." No one. And the link you provided is to a trans claiming that she's fighting for her very existence. I have stated here and elsewhere many times that I support trans rights as human rights. Full stop. But that doesn't mean one gets to trample on the rights of others. Again, please read my Skeptic column on conflicting rights:


And tell me your solution to the problem, namely in this case, when a MTF trans swimmer has an unfair physical advantage over women swimmers, who until recently were protected by Title IX law from being discriminated against. Thomas is literally taking a woman's rightly spot on the podium, and said women are losing not just the hard-earned pride in having outperformed their competitors, but all the benefits that accrue to them as successful collegiate athletes (scholarships, etc.). If I'm a transphobe then you're a misogynist. But let's drop the labels and find a solution for trans athletes to compete without violating the rights of women. What do you propose? If you read through the comments here you will find many interesting solutions. Which of them do you prefer?

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Trans women competing against cis-women in sports is blatantly unfair. Future generations will marvel that we thought otherwise. It is unfortunate that speaking up in favor of women's hard-earned rights and in favor of acknowledging the physical reality of biology is considered anti-trans. They are separate issues and conflating them is a strategy.

Of course trans men are not competing against biological men. That is because this is not really about trans rights. It is about WINNING using any advantage permitted, winning awards and scholarships, depriving women who would have otherwise placed from doing so.

There should be separate leagues for trans-people if they are taking hormones and/or hormone blockers and hence can't compete on a level playing field with members of their own biological sex. The criteria for assignment to women's and men's teams should be unambiguous XX and XY chromosomes.

I agree that a powerful way to stop the current situation is for women to refuse to compete against trans-women. I gather the social ostracism is ferocious to do so, especially in collegiate sports. It will take courage. All people who first stood up for rights we now take for granted needed courage.

I applaud Shermer for speaking out.

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Female athletes should boycott competitions, and male athletes should also boycott in solidarity. Then this insanity would end in no time.

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I wonder if Feminists realize that only in a patriarchy can men replace women. By allowing men to compete in women's sports and to enter female only safe spaces Trans affirming Feminists are doing the bidding of the patriarchy. Irony is a bitch.

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Mar 19, 2022·edited Mar 19, 2022

I'm all for trans people having the freedom to do whatever they want. But, when it comes to sports, there is a physical difference between men and women. If that difference gives an advantage to a trans participating in a sport only because the trans identifies with the gender of the players, then that's not fair to the same gender players.

Therefore, a person with a "Y" chromosome, indicating male, would not be allowed to participate in a sport that is intended for females. Likewise, a person with two "X" chromosomes, indicating female, would not be allowed to play in a sport that is all male. That means the issue is not one of social judgement. It is an issue of fairness to all athletes.

Of course, there can be cases where gender is ambiguous, not only outwardly, but even at the level of chromosomes. Those situations should be handled on a case by case basis.

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I agree with the gist of your article. However, I would lose the inflammatory ideological phrasing such as "progressive woke ideology". It is divisive, fundamentally irrelevant, and distracting to your point, which would remain the same without such words. As I was reading the article, I was nodding in agreement until I read that phrase, when my hackles rose. Such rhetoric is a turnoff to many people, and if your goal is to make a legitimate point then you'd be better served not dragging ideological catchphrases in the conversation. As long as such phrasing remains a part of "conversations", true understanding suffers.

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Very well said. But so obvious!!

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I am a fierce advocate for equality for everyone but this does not necessarily translate to everyone being allowed to do whatever they want regardless. When I was a junior doctor doing my intern year in cardiology there was a resident who had wanted to do surgery but didn’t produce antibodies to the HepB vaccine. The rule is that if you are carrying out exposure prone procedures you must demonstrate Hep B immunity and they therefore could not become a surgeon.

Did this transgress their rights? We’re they subject to discrimination? No. The world is not always fair. Sometimes you have to accept this. MTF trans athletes may have to realise that they cannot fairly compete in female competitions and in some circumstances it could be dangerous (e.g. martial arts).

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The only test needed, does the participant have the equipment to make a baby. That means they have the right chromosomes, harmon levels and menstraul cycle.

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He, him. Thomas did not magically change sex. He, not she.

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“Also, let's look at what academic sources have to say. And I'll cite my sources so no one can question their validity.”

“it is also important to know that any strength and endurance advantages a transgender woman arguably may have as a result of her prior testosterone levels dissipate after about one year of estrogen or testosterone suppression therapy. According to medical experts on this issue, the assumption that a transgender woman competing on a women’s team would have a competitive advantage outside the range of performance and competitive advantage or disadvantage that already exists among female athletes is not supported by evidence” NCAA Inclusion of Transgender Student-Athletes,NCAA Executive Committee, August 2011, pp.8, https://ncaaorg.s3.amazonaws.com/inclusion/lgbtq/INC_TransgenderHandbook.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3aI6uXA5a9x_lgIfQgPQET8HxUYs6PMyw_98Bi6Mko_RbPBGVF2w9gyyM

“Yet, arguments supporting trans inclusion based on claims that most trans women’s testosterone levels are below the average testosterone counts of cis women and that they have no “male advantage” represent a slippery slope. The so-called male advantage is precisely the logic that justifies the hyperandrogenism regulation. It is crucial to remember that the regulation was implemented to replace IOC’s notorious sex control policy of gender verification. It was designed to exclude female athletes who were deemed too masculine and thus, not feminine enough. Contrary to popular perception, such measures do not protect women’s rights to compete; rather, they serve to perpetuate the male domination of sports and sustain the belief that men are superior athletes. This connection, or the slipperiness of the slope, is well illustrated through Harper’s role in designing the sex control policies in sport. As the chief medical physicist advising the IOC on transgender policies, Harper played a significant role in the publication of the updated transgender policy of 2015 that set the upper limit of testosterone to 10nmol/L for both trans women and women with intersex conditions. While advocating for trans inclusion in sport, Harper engaged in the design of a regulation that effectively issued ultimatums to some intersex/DSD women to choose between retiring from sport or medically altering their bodies.” Itani, S. (2020). The ‘Feminist’Discourse on Trans Exclusion from Sports. ジェンダー研究: お茶の水女子大学ジェンダー研究所年報, (23), 27-46. https://www2.igs.ocha.ac.jp/en/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/special-2.pdf

“Given these results, it is UNLIKELY that a transitioned male to female athlete with testosterone levels within the normal female range will retain the same relative ability after transition; a powerful argument for the performance enhancing effects of testosterone” Harper, J., Martinez-Patino, M. J., Pigozzi, F., & Pitsiladis, Y. (2018). Implications of a third gender for elite sports. Current sports medicine reports, 17(2), 42-44. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/Fulltext/2018/02000/Implications_of_a_Third_Gender_for_Elite_Sports.4.aspx.

“The initial fear that transgender women would dominate women’s sport has simply not materialised, in large part due to the effects of testosterone suppression. Transgender women are majorly underrepresented in elite level sport. For instance, there were approximately 4700 female competitors and 460 female medal winners in the Rio Olympic Games. Assuming that transgender individuals make up approximately 0.6% of the population, then there should have been 20 to 25 transgender women competitors and two or three medal winners at the 2016 Olympics.” Harper, J., Martinez-Patino, M. J., Pigozzi, F., & Pitsiladis, Y. (2018). Implications of a third gender for elite sports. Current sports medicine reports, 17(2), 42-44. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/Fulltext/2018/02000/Implications_of_a_Third_Gender_for_Elite_Sports.4.aspx.

Note: The first two openly trans women did not compete in the Olympics until the 2020 Olympics. New Zealander Weightlifter, Laurel Hubbard, failed all three of her lift attempts and American BMX biker, Chelsea Wolfe, never even made it off the reserve squad. https://www.insider.com/tokyo-2020-4-transgender-athletes-talk-about-their-olympics-experience-2021-8?fbclid=IwAR3ravqDofyS14-o1jtXMOGdQnmtM4NRJTiEYbwv8XsOwXzn__HNdLBpIhk

Trans women athletes themselves often rely on the fact that their bodies lose the “male advantage” after a period of hormone therapy and/or gender affirmation surgery. The frame of the body (the height and bone density) may stay, but trans women must often carry heavier bodies with an otherwise average female muscle mass. E.g. Joanna Harper (2019, April 1). “Sport’s Transgender debate needs compromise not conflict”,The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2019/apr/01/sports-transgender-debate-compromise-not-conflict?fbclid=IwAR3E2oiyxBTes4IF6Bbc-4zo8_0S-WJuTyT7Qqu72xorUk5LakK_mf6DJ7g

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By definition of the word, Thomas did not "cheat". Your concerns are valid, but your issue is with the NCAA, not Thomas.

What is driving you to double-down on your effort to smear her as a "cheater"?

Your misdirected aggressive stance simply closes the door to any open-minded conversation on how to fairly address transgender participation in collegiate sports.

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Thanks for unequivocally standing up for women’s rights. Where are the feminists, dammit?!? Eventually, in order to stay competitive all women’s sports teams will HAVE to recruit trans women in order to stay competitive. Women will have been driven out of women’s sports. This situation (and the lack of protection from women’s rights advocates) is surreal.

And isn’t it wonderful to be unafraid of being cancelled? I am too. I’m getting old and ornery and can say anything I damn well please 😉. My Left comrades showed me the door >20 years ago (for being a Zionist Jew unable to stay silent in the face of antisemitism). It’s all the more important those who can speak out, do so.

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