What ethical principles are we supposed to glean from this crazy story?
Lia Thomas, a biologically male swimmer who has transitioned to female, has been unfairly crushing all female collegiate competition while being allowed to compete as a transgender athlete. Ethics Alarms has covered the story in more than one post. Lia herself is unapologetic, and her Machiavellian coach is reportedly thrilled. Thomas’s teammates and opponents are not so thrilled, but so far have lacked the courage to take any meaningful action to preserve the integrity of their sport, fearing to end up like J.K. Rowling but without all the money.
So was ex-man Thomas unbeatable as a current woman? No! Yale female swim team star Iszac Henigdefeated her in the women’s 100-meter freestyle with a time of 49.57 seconds. In fact, Thomas finished fifth with a time of 52.84 seconds. (How did THAT happen? Sounds like she “took a dive” to me, no pun intended…) In the 400-freestyle relay, Henig completed her leg in 50.45 seconds versus Thomas’ 51.94.
There is a catch, however. Henig is also a trans competitor, except that she is in the process of transitioning from female to male. In order to illustrate this with a dramatic gesture, the 20-year-old pulled down the top of his swimsuit to reveal the absence of breasts, which she-soon-to-be-he has had removed. A UPenn parent remarked, “I wasn’t prepared for that. Everything is messed up. I can’t wrap my head around this.”
(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:
Something in me loves this mess. The progressive mob took a self-evidently absurd position that was in defiance of one of their false idols, “science,” and now that position is seriously damaging one of the main groups it supposedly supports, one that has far more stakeholders. But the mob lacks the integrity and courage to admit it was wrong. Of course it does. Extremists never admit they are wrong. If they were capable of that, they wouldn’t be extremists. As a result, these episodes cause the woke army’s goose-step to kick the marchers in the chops
Wow. This is great!
Of course, it’s not great for female athletes. What is developing, thanks to bizarre transsexual sanctification cheered on by Woke Nation, is a consensus in professional and amateur women’s sports that individuals who went through puberty as males can fairly compete with women who did not receive the benefit of male hormones. All such ex-men need to do is identify as female, and denying them an unimpeded path to domination in the women’s sport of their choice is an act of bigotry and “transphobia.”
This is, I think it is reasonable to say, counter-factual nonsense. One such ex-man who is demonstrating that it is nonsense is Lia Thomas, whom I first wrote about here. Thomas, who spent three years competing at the University of Pennsylvania a male swimmer, has generously decided to prove exactly how wrong it is to allow trans athletes to compete with biological women. Once he flipped genders, he’s been easily smashing female pool records to smithereens. A coincidence, I’m sure.
Yikes. There are several items below—in fact, all of them— that I would like to devote whole posts to, but far more in my In-Box that I have to devote whole posts to. For some reason, the ethics issues dam has burst in the last few days.
1. There should be no controversy over this: it is wrong, unfair, and absurd for Lia, formerly “Will,” Thomas to compete as a female swimmer in collegiate competitions. Here is the transitioned, now female, former University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swim team star (for three years). His “after” photo is on the left. Oddly, his various treatments and operations have left him a better swimmer as a side effect! Well, that’s not quite right, but she’s dominating the women’s meets, as against Columbia University last month when she won a pair of gold medals in the 200 free and 100 free with margins of 5.4 seconds and 1.3 seconds.
That photo on the left is virtually the only shot of Lia now: I can’t find any full body shots since she transitioned into a championship competitor. Hmmmmm...
If female swimmers who haven’t had the boost of going through male puberty don’t have the guts to protest this, then they deserve what happens. That goes for the female athletes in every other sport as well, and their parents, and their coaches, and the feminist weenies who are allowing women’s sports to be destroyed by their unwillingness to appear “unwoke.”
No question, excluding trans, ex-males from gender-segregated sporting events is a hardship for the new women. I’m sympathetic. I am. But it makes no sense ethically or logically to allow the special problems of a tiny minority to harm the vast majority of female athletes.