That’s Nice: They “Considered” Taking A Stand For Ethics!

(The relevant section of the SNL skit above begins at the 5:36 mark.)

Lia Thomas, a recently “transitioned” male collegiate swimmer at Penn, has been making a burlesque of female college swimming records as well as demonstrating what the future of women’s and girl’s sports will look like if post puberty males continue to be allowed to compete as women once they can legally switch genders. Her—just because she should be called a “she” doesn’t mean she should be competing against biological shes—team mates have anonymously expressed discomfort with what their matches have become, while Lia is just thrilled to be winning in her new, less competitive category, and Penn’s swimming coach doesn’t care about fairness, only winning.

In such obvious situations of injustice, the sole road to remedy is courage and confrontation. This is true not only for the ethics debacle of trans athletes crushing original women in sports, but other situations as well. Philosopher Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) made her legacy a series of quotes about what happens when those who are aware of wrongdoing—Hannah’s short-hand was “evil”—duck their societal obligation to take action. Here’s a few of them:

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

“Evil thrives on apathy and cannot exist without it.”
“When evil is allowed to compete with good, evil has an emotional populist appeal that wins out unless good men and women stand as a vanguard against abuse.”
“You think that you can judge what’s good or evil from whether you enjoy doing it or not. You think that evil is what always appears in the form of a temptation, while good is what you never spontaneously want to do. I think this is all total rubbish, if you don’t mind my saying so.”
…and more in the same vein. Many of her quotes extrapolate from the famous line attributed (perhaps erroneously) to Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”
Or good women. Or women competing against ex-men who know they have an unfair advantage against women but are quite pleased that they are benefiting from it. Here’s a Penn team photo:
Do you have any trouble finding Lia? As “Sesame Street” used to say, “One of these things is not like the others.” (Although those sunglasses are a clever disguise…)
We are told, in a story in the New York Post, that a group of UPenn’s female swimmers “were so upset by transgender athlete Lia Thomas’ advantages that they mulled boycotting their final home meet — but decided not to for fear they’d be banned from the Ivy League championship.” Quoting a source, the Post said, “Knowing they do not have backing from the school or NCAA, they’re reluctant to jeopardize their opportunity to make the elite Ivy League squad.” A Parent was quoted as saying, “It’s possible the swimmers may end up doing nothing because they are so afraid to be perceived as transphobic.”
So the women “considered” taking necessary action in the pursuit of ethics, but like Theodoric of York, their conclusion was ultimately, “Nah!” Too much trouble.
They deserve no sympathy if, or rather when, their sport becomes a joke.

23 thoughts on “That’s Nice: They “Considered” Taking A Stand For Ethics!

  1. When one is unwilling to take a stand for their own interests, it stands to reason there are few compelling reasons for another to take a stand on the other’s behalf.

    An exception to this can be made when situations of extreme physical injury or death can be expected.

  2. You really expect these women to imperil their internship at or job offer from Goldman Sachs over something as inconsequential as this?

  3. Hmmm, I’m wondering, and I think the girl to Lia’s right is also wondering, what could Lia possibly be doing with that right arm and hand while the photo is being taken?

    I do have a little bit of sympathy for the girls on the team; after all, they really are the victim of absurd social justice running amuck. Could the team make a statement and try to do something about this injustice, sure they could and I wish they would, but swimmers don’t usually fall into the category of people taking courageous public stands against obvious injustice, they just want to swim and compete. They’re literally choosing where they want to fight their battle and that too has consequences.

    All choices have consequences. I think they will regret this lack of choosing action against injustice later.

    • Steve says: “All choices have consequences. I think they will regret this lack of choosing action against injustice later.”

      Three years from now when Lia-the-cheater reidentifies as a man, these swimmers who played it safe will feel even more bamboozled.

  4. Is it my imagination, or are a large percentage of the squad “Pacific Islanders,” as they are currently denominated? Does that make the team diverse even though clearly not thirteen percent of the swimmers are women of color? Or are Pacific Islander women more muscular than women of not color? Anyway, just looks fishy. They must have a recruiting pipeline from the Pacific. Just very striking. Biological men have no advantage and neither do Pacific Islander women? Hmmm.

  5. It’s hard to compete in an event when you know, without a doubt, you will not win. That is demoralizing to a team. I would quit. He has “the” swimmer. That said, I realize the societal pressure where I live is not like it is on the coasts. Those girls have example after example of reasons to keep silent and very few where they would benefit from speaking up. As they summed up in the first Harry Potter, and many other books and stories. “We must all make the choice between what is right and what is easy.” It’s especially hard when the question of what is right is murky and you’re 18-21 years old.

    • Soft disagree, there are all kinds of people who compete for the joy of competition. I’m a third degree black belt in Taekwondo. I’m also overweight, and it’s not all muscle. I’m probably in the wrong weight class, every time I go out I get shellacked… I know I’m not going to win… But it’s fun. There’s there’s an element of fairness in sports. It’s my own damn fault I tip the scale. I could fix that and compete in the right weight class, I might even win every now and again (I got bronze at Can-Am once) ((the division was small)), and I don’t begrudge that because it’s fair. But there’s a difference between that and fighting against something that might technically be in my weight class, but configured differently. I think I’d lose to a moderately sized black bear. Just saying.

      The question is why do female divisions exist? And the answer is the same as every other division: they exist in order to give people who cannot compete at the pinnacle of the sport a place to compete, because while some people don’t care about winning, at the end of the day, I assume that most do, and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for your average beer league to play on the same field as the majors.

      So what is the differentiation between the leagues? It depends by league. Catchment area, membership, national origin, age, weight, gender, we split ourselves up all kinds of ways. And the important thing to remember is that these divisions aren’t arbitrary, there is a reason the division was deemed necessary, there is a group that is supposed to be enfranchised. Adding biologically male bodies (and I know they hate that term, but reality sucks) to female competition flies in the face of why the division was enacted to begin with.

      Alphabet soup activists point out that there aren’t a whole lot of examples of trans athletes clearing the podiums. That’s because trans athletes are still excluded from most divisions. In situations where they’re allowed, they disproportionately win. This goes on for long enough, it opens up more broadly, and women just lose.

      • “I think I’d lose to a moderately sized black bear. Just saying.”

        Jeff! How dare you compare the difference between trans women and women to a man and a bear?!?!

        Didn’t mean it that way… But in this context… I think I’d shellack a woman in the same weight division and feel really bad about it.

        • HT would feel bad about it because of his sense of fair play in sports. Virtually all athletes develop that sense of fair play early on. I certainly did right up through collegiate sports. Lia has no ethics alarms or sense of fair play and good sportsmanship.

          What is getting lost in all the media coverage is what an unbelievably selfish bastard this guy is.
          His sense of entitlement must be off the charts. I swam competitively for many years and I promise you that I would be leading the charge in exposing this egocentric prick for the scoundrel that he is.

          These chicks really need to find their voices especially since 99% of people will agree with them and the momentum will build. Damned if I would allow this asshole to erase me.

          • I mean…. It depends. The people who like to win like to win, and the people that are paid to win are paid to win, whether or not they personally feel that it’s unsportsmanlike for them to be competing against the other people in the pool shouldn’t be determinative. We have rules specifically because people cheat to win. The standard should be the standard. The division should be the standard. And there is no “female identifying persons” division.

            • My point in the second sentence was putting the Detroit Lions on the same field as the Green Bay Packers might *feel* unfair, heck, it might feel like child abuse, but the Packers still have to play.

              • Yes, but the Lions are still a professional football team. Put the Lions up against any non-NFL team, though, and I would be willing to bet they’d wipe the floor with them.

                I followed the Astros for those three years when they fielded what eventually was not too much better than a minor league team, so I know exactly how the Lions fans feel.

          • Caped Crusader, as I noted above, I think the guy’s a sociopath. That look on his face says to me he’s having a really fun time wrecking these chicks’ party.

        • But, HT, your postulate is directly on point. The Trans Activists assert that gender and gender identification are merely cultural or social constructs. Perhaps it is ethical to refer to this swimmer as “she/her” because it is a Golden Rule issue, but no one really thinks that Lia is, in fact, a woman. To believe Lia is a biological woman is both dishonest and delusional.

          Yet, if we are to accept that a biologically male athlete truly is a biological female athlete, then where does it end? Why is it limited to sex/gender/gender Identity? Race, according to Rachel Dolezal is a social and cultural construct, right? Why, then, does species matter? Why can’t I identify as an aardvark or a Tyrannosaurus Rex (extinction notwithstanding)?

          Suspension of logic and reason are required to get to that point to conclude that there is no difference between a biological male and a biological female. What are we supposed to think, that those two track and fielders in Boston are just really, really great female athletes and this swimmer is somehow just a better female swimmer than all the Katie Ledeckys of women’s swimming?

          As to your point above about your Taekwondo prowess, I suggest that college athletics is about much more than competition (I was a third degree blue belt in Ishinryu karate, though I haven’t practiced it in decades; even at my best, I couldn’t beat the brown and black belts because the skill levels between the belts is exponential).

          There is a lot more riding on college sports than simply going to a swim meet this weekend. Our son is a senior in high school and has competed in club swimming for over 10 years. At a certain point, women peak in physical strength where men simply get bigger and stronger – our son is taller and stronger than the other 17 year girls on his swim team, he is also faster and has more endurance in the water for longer times. (This guy’s times bear that out – he beat the second fastest woman in the mile by 38 seconds. That is a HUGE time difference in swimming.)

          Our son has college recruiters from Division 1 schools looking at him. His performance may determine whether he gets that last spot on the X university team, nudging out the other two finalists. If he gets recruited, will he get scholarship money? Will he get athletics dorm accommodations and cafeterias? Will he get complimentary swimming gear? Will he get access to the right trainers? Will his performance attract next level recruiters for say, the Olympic time trials or the Pro-Am tours, where sponsorship and endorsement deals may involve real money? Even though it is not baseball, basketball, or football, those are mighty incentives for an athlete. How will the demand of training impair his ability to perform as a student?

          The same holds for women athletes. Also, there is the personal achievement that Allison Swimmer set school records in the 100, 200, and 500 freestyle, and dominated in the 100 and 200 fly, both in short course and long course. Allison Swimmer wants to knock Katie Ledecky off the podium and beat her times, setting personal, school, course, national, and world records. Those are also powerful motivators for elite athletes.

          The women competing against this guy are athletes who have spent years in the pool, swimming laps in the best and worst conditions, making micro-adjustments to their strokes and kicks, tightening that turn ever so slightly, eating the proper diet and getting the best rest possible. They have not gone to the party at Brenda’s house on Friday because they had a meet that weekend and needed to perform at their best. They have worked, and continue to work, hard, long, difficult, painful hours looking at black lines on the bottom of pools to get to that next level, sacrificing a lot of things to get there. They have worked twice as hard to make good grades in high school and maintain their college standings academically to stay on the team because of the demands of training and classwork. They have suffered injuries, illnesses, physical and mental exhaustion to the point of collapse, and they have done it to perform at their best, only for some cynical guy who couldn’t cut the times on the men’s circuit to come along and smash their goals?

          In this post and the comments, there is a theme that these women are somehow unethical or cowards for not standing up against this nonsense. In one sense, it is true – they should stand up and declare that not only is this unfair, it is stupid and unethical. Yet, what are these women supposed to do? If they complain, the Trans Activists are going to annihilate them for transphobia or bigotry or some other idiotic reason, especially where the school administration refused to defend them. All for what? So the school might kick them off the team and/or send them to DIE* reeducation, strip them of their positions and their scholarships? Any school referring the matter to “Dean of ‘DIE'” has already taken the path of least resistance. Is that cowardice? Weakness? I don’t know but that is a lot of pressure to put on these athletes who didn’t sign up for it in the first place. Remember, these women were already on the team and this just decided he was going to compete as a woman. The women didn’t have a choice in the matter and switching to another university is a hold lot harder than switching jobs or jackets. So, they were told, “Ladies, meet Lia. She’s gonna be on your team this season.”

          If you ask Katie Ledecky is she could beat Michael Phelps so would tell you she couldn’t. If you ask any serious coach whether Katie Ledecky could beat Michael Phelps, he/she would say no. Why? Because men and women are physically different.


          *Ed. Note: “DIE” Training stands for “Diversity, Inclusion and Equity” training, or brainwashing.

  6. If this quote is accurate (article in the Daily Mail), that, and similar reactions, may be what it eventually takes to put a lid on this nonsense:
    “It’ll be like the last couple meets,” a source told the outlet. “Lia will finish and nobody will give a s***. Then when the first biological female finishes, there will be a huge eruption of applause.”

  7. These college swimmers have a very hard choice. They could protest, but they are risking a bias incident investigation over said protest. Even in the unlikely event they aren’t considered “responsible” for displaying “bias” over gender identity, the mere fact that they were charged could lead to a denial of references (or bad inpit) given to those who do checks when they apply for appointment for the seniors on the team, and for a loss of scholarships if the coach decides he doesn’t want “transphobes” on the team (note, a collegiate volleyball player who objected to “woke” events got benched by her coaches).

    In this sense, Jack is being unfair to the women on the team. This isn’t the old days where they’d protest, and there would be a bit of fai coverage. These days, especially among college administrators, such an event would be considered that school’s version of January 6,

  8. Aside from the fact that they will get zero support from anyone at their school, I think their legitimate fear is that publicly protesting will also result in ruining any career chances they might have after college.

    We talked about this blog being an echo chamber, but my sense is that a lot of colleges (Ivy League would be at the top of the list) take the echo chamber idea to an extreme. If you feel that you will be the only person on campus making this protest — well it makes it really hard. Any we all know that the mainstream media would also come down on them like a ton of bricks.

    It’s not a valid reason, but I can sympathize with these women. On the other hand, there are folks who stand up on campus to declare their conservative values, even knowing they will be persecuted. I can sympathize with them without admiring their courage.

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