Patterico's Pontifications


Women’s Athletics: the New Frontier in Transgender Rights

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:24 pm

[guest post by JVW]

If 2020 JVW arrived in a time machine to visit 2010 JVW sometime right after the “Affordable” Care Act had passed through Congress and been signed by President Obama (a big effen’ deal, right Mr. Biden?) and told his younger, leaner, more hirsute, less grumpy, more agreeable-with-new-things self that one of the major social battles ten years hence would be accepting athletes born as males — with all of the attendant size and musculature of that gender — but now self-identifying as female into competitions heretofore restricted to girls and women, 2010 JVW would almost certainly have packed it all in and repatriated to his family’s little ancestral hometown in rural Ireland to happily sell four-leaf clover knick-knacks to unsuspecting tourists. But here we are, so let’s try to unpack how all of this has happened and try to figure out where we might go from here.

Title IX, passed in the run-up to Richard Nixon’s re-election almost a half-century ago, was intended to ensure that girls and women in educational environments had access to the same sort of programs and activities that boys and men had. Through the years the measure has yielded some remarkable results, including the expansion of athletics programs at the K-12 and college levels, even though this expansion has come at the expense of men’s programs. American women athletes are now the envy of the world, as our teams dominate in the major sports of swimming and water polo as well as those lesser-known endeavors such as basketball, soccer, track and field, gymnastics and tennis. Indeed, no other nation on earth has done more to promote female sports than the United States has done, as evidenced by women from all over the world coming here for training and competition opportunities. This ought to strike us as absolutely amazing considering that we are told by activists that without an Equal Rights Amendment to our Constitution women will always be relegated to second-class citizenship. Just as American women have long since surpassed their brethren in academic accomplishment, so too do they now officially outpace them on the international playing fields.

So naturally as we close-out the first quarter of the Twenty-first Century, it is time to let complicated notions of intersectionality ruin all of that. The latest frontier for the cultural warriors has been to allow individuals born with male biological characteristics but who are more comfortable living life as females to participate in female athletics. This idea is taking root despite some of the obvious physical advantages that these trans-women athletes possess over what we now call cis-women. Heavily-moneyed sports organization like the International Olympic Committee and the NCAA are able to apply pretty strict regulations regarding maximum allowable testosterone levels and a minimum timeframe since the transformation process began, but less well-funded entities such as high school athletics associations and masters’ sports leagues continue to struggle to define who is eligible to participate.

So I was very interested to see a lawsuit filed earlier this month by a group of Connecticut high school girls who feels that their trans-female competitors are robbing them of potential scholarships by taking spots in championship meets, thus denying the girls opportunities to be evaluated by college coaches and recruiters. This is the clash of the intersectionality matrix: where compassion for people suffering from gender dysphoria is balanced with the need to provide biological girls with opportunities to have their day in the sun as athletes. It’s a debate that has exacerbated the rift among progressives as the trans rights lobby clashes with a group that they call TERFs — trans exclusionary radical feminists — who seek to protect the “safe spaces” that have been carved out for women over the past half-century.

You can bet that politicians are being called upon to take sides, and it should come as no surprise that a certain type of politician can be counted on to ignore any nuances in the arguments on each side and just let loose with mindless virtue signaling. Behold:

Though this situation calls for compassion, and perhaps outright bans are not the best way to negotiate this minefield, the ugly pandering by Lieawatha adds nothing of value to the public debate, and it’s probably as good a reason as any why her Presidential campaign seems destined to come to a close very shortly (knock on wood). It’s going to take a great deal of reasoned compromise to figure out a way of providing opportunity for trans athletes without unfairly disadvantaging their biologically female competitors. In the meantime, it will be awfully interesting to see what twists and turns await the Connecticut lawsuit along the way.


Trump: Stock Market Down on Fears Democrats Might Win, Even Though I Will Win

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

Donald Trump says the stock market is going down because it’s possible the Democrats could win, although he thinks he will win, and also if you ask him specifically, it could have something to do with the coronavirus as well:

REPORTER: Thank you Mr. President. You mention the stock market earlier to go back to that to be clear the Dow Jones dropped more than 2000 points this week. Are you suggesting that was overblown? Our financial markets overreacting here?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I think the financial markets are very upset when they look at the Democrat candidates standing on that stage making fools out of themselves and they say if we ever have a President like this and there’s always a possibility, it’s an election you know who knows what happens, right? I think we are going to win. I think we are going to win by a lot but when they look at the statements made by the people standing behind those podiums I think that has a huge effect, yeah.

REPORTER: Did it have to do with the coronavirus?

TRUMP: Know, I think it did. I think it did but I think you can add quite a bit of selloff to what they are seeing because they are seeing the potential you know again I think we are going to win. I feel very confident of it. We have done everything and much more than I said we were going to do. You look at what we have done. What we have done is incredible with the tax cuts and regulation cuts and rebuilding our military, taking care of our vets and getting them choice and accountability all of the things we have done protecting our Second Amendment I mean they view that, the Second Amendment they are going to destroy the Second Amendment. When people look at that they say this is not good. So you add that in, I really believe that is a factor but no, this is what we are talking about is the virus, that is what we are talking about. I do believe that–I do believe in terms of CNBC and in terms of FOXBusiness I do believe that that’s a factor, yeah, and I think after I win the election I think the stock market is going to boom like it has never been before just like it did by the way after I won the last election the stock market the day after went up like a rocket ship.

Those dang Democrats are continuing to hammer the stock market. As of this writing it’s down 836 points for the day. That’s more than 3000 points since last Friday. Ouch. I hope you folks are weathering it.

I sold some stocks at the beginning of the year. Not as much as I would have liked to because of concerns about taxes. But of course the lion’s share of our holdings, both in hand and retirement funds, are in stocks — and a tumble like this hurts everyone. Here’s hoping it stops.

In unrelated news, South Carolina might be the last chance to head off the coming Bernie storm. Nate Silver says:

As of early Wednesday afternoon, Biden is at 31.1 percent in our South Carolina polling average, giving him roughly a 10-point lead over Sanders, who is second with 21.4 percent. Tom Steyer is third at 14.6 percent, with everyone else in the single digits. If Sanders was hoping for a post-Nevada bounce, it doesn’t seem to be happening in the Palmetto State. The most recent polls for Biden, which conducted all or some of their interviews after Nevada, actually show him with a larger lead over Sanders than the ones before Nevada. And none of the polls yet account for House Majority Whip James Clyburn’s endorsement of Biden.

Still, 10-point polling leads in the primary are not entirely safe, especially with several days left to go until a state votes.

There are some Trump supporters, like the folks at the hybrid PAC Committee to Defend the President, who clearly consider Biden to be the worst threat to Trump, such that they produced this:

The quotes you hear are from Obama, reading from his book, and of course he is not talking about Biden, but the ad tries to make it seem like he is. Obama’s spokeswoman said: “this despicable ad is straight out of the Republican disinformation playbook, and it’s clearly designed to suppress turnout among minority voters in South Carolina by taking President Obama’s voice out of context and twisting his words to mislead viewers.” She says Obama has called on TV stations to pull the deceptive ad.

If Biden pulls off a win in South Carolina, the Democrats might actually have a real chance to win. Scary news for the Dow Jones!

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