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Friday, December 5, 2014

Brave new world in Minnesota

Commenter Coco pointed out that Minnesota passed a law yesterday that allows students to compete on and against the athletic teams of whichever gender they feel more comfortable with.

Here are the relevant excerpts from the Fox News report:

The Minnesota State High School League voted that boys who "self-identify" as girls and girls who consider themselves boys will be able to compete on and against teams of their preferred gender under the policy that will begin in the 2015-2016 season….The policy states that these students would share showers and hotel rooms.

What is to prevent an ordinary boy to just say he's always identified as a girl, and go out for the girls' team? And what sort of danger does this present to girls who compete in contact sports? 

If I were a Minnesota high schooler right now I'd be tempted to just say I'd alway identified as a girl, join the girls' swim team, try to set a state record in the 100 butterfly, then gawk at all the naked girls in the showers. Who's to say I feel differently? 

I'm all for making people with gender dysphoria feel more comfortable, but this is a policy which could come at the expense of others' comfort. 

There is minimal confirmation required. As per the article:

The policy requires transgender student-athletes to provide a written statement from a parent or guardian affirming the gender identity and a note from a health care professional regarding the student's consistent gender identification.

But that seems easy enough to get around. 

This policy would have negligible effect on boys' sports (no girl is going to come in and dominate a male athletic league). But it could wreak havoc with girls' sports. 

Even when a male has a sex change operation, there are all sorts of athletic advantages he will enjoy over a woman who was always female. And the Minnesota policy doesn't even require an operation -- merely a written statement. 

A sense of shame -- and social pressure -- will probably prevent the vast majority boys from actually taking advantage of this policy. But as of now, that's the only safeguard against abuse, and counting on others' scruples is always a chancy proposition. 

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Although i do agree with some of the points you've made, i hardly see you sympathize with the opposite group anyway (white vs black, heterosexual vs homosexual etc).

Social norms favor the majority, at the expense of yet some others' (say transgenders) comfort, anyway, so I wouldn't really be bothered to give up my own comfort a little bit [or the world record stuff and would just appreciate every success (or you can adjust the scoring by incorporating, let's say, a "muscle index")].

How do you prevent a lesbian enjoying her fellow team members at the shower?

Steven said...

A boy who identifies as a girl will set a record in a girls sport, then everybody will think to themselves it's really a boy and there will be an informal record for the fastest female who is physically a female.

Steven said...

Also, will this extend to martial arts?

John Craig said...

Anon --
If this were the 1950's, practically everything I would write on the subject of race would be in favor of abolishing Jim Crow. But that's not the world we live in now. We live in a world where black-on-white violent crime is far, far more prevalent than white-on-black, yet the media totally ignores all of the former and focuses only on the latter. We live in a world where a cop gets attacked by Michael Brown and Brown tries to take his gun, then later charges at him, the cop shoots him in self-defense, and blacks protest and riot as if this were some racist cop driving around looking for a young black to kill. We've been living in affirmative action land for 40+ years now, and we're not supposed to talk about it or notice it.

And by the way, here's why I'm outspoken on the issue:

http://justnotsaid.blogspot.com/2014/10/why-i-feel-free-to-be-honest-about-race.html

As far as gays, I've supported gay marriage from the start, before it was popular in the mainstream. But I'm not going to refrain from being honest about my reactions to issues like this, or even to gays I meet. (That's sort of the purpose of having a blog called "Just not said," as in, certain rings just aren't mentioned in polite company.

True, social norms favor the majority, no one would argue with that. And I don't conflate my personal tastes with morality in any way. But something like boys being able to compete on girls' teams is ridiculous, and is actually something that should have the feminists up in arms, as it would hurt female athletes.

Obviously, there's no way to prevent lesbians from being able to enjoy their teammates in the showers, but I don't see that as presenting the same kinds of risks that having males in their showers would. No lesbian is going to rape and impregnate another girl.

BTW, there's no real way of being able to incorporate a "muscle index" into athletics, the main difference between most athletes is just that, muscles (which is why steroids aid performance), and you'd end up discriminating between different classes of girls, it would add all sorts of needless complications into athletics.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Yes, that's what would result, but why have two sets of books if you don't need to?

The only "martial art" that exists in scholastic competition is wrestling, and that's generally just a boy's sport. (A few girls have tried out for boys' teams in the past, and generally haven't done well, although the media has made a huge deal out of it whenever a girl has beaten a boy.)

Steven said...

279Anonymous, the muscle index is a truly atrocious idea. The point of athletics is that the strongest people win. What would be the point of training to be good and developing your muscles if it is punished?

Shall we just give everybody an equal chance of winning so nobody's feelings are hurt?

I truly do sympathise with transgender people. I have mixed feelings about this policy. I doubt it will be abused as easily as john thinks. I can't imagine many teenagers pulling that off without feeling too embarrassed or other kids knowing what they're doing. And the kid would probably get a hard on first time in the shower.

I like how it would make the transgender person feel but there is some sense in which it would seem unfair and not legit if a physical male won things.

Steven said...

By the way, the biggest risk of rape would probably be when one girl showers with a whole group of males.

John Craig said...

Steven --
True, although the type of girl who did that for gender identity reasons would be far less likely to spark that sort of reaction than, say, your typical girl.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever read Michael Bailey's book THE MAN WHO WOULD BE QUEEN? He distinguishes between autogynephiles & feminine transgenders. I've known a few of the latter who in past years were called "drag queens." Drag queen - whoever thought that would date you? But it is dated.

I felt really sorry for these guys because I do think that something is going on in their brains that we dont' yet understand. My guess is that they did not receive the proper dosage of testosterone in utero. In any case, what's going on with them is very deep, and you see it more or less all around the world so it has nothing to do with modern America.

But I don't think they are women trapped in men's bodies.

Coco

@Anonymous, what do you think of this:

http://espn.go.com/espnw/athletes-life/article/10170842/espnw-gabrielle-ludwig-52-year-old-transgender-women-college-basketball-player-enjoying-best-year-life

and this

http://www.cagepotato.com/after-being-tkod-by-fallon-fox-tamikka-brents-says-transgender-fighters-in-mma-just-isnt-fair/

Steven said...

Some of them are surprisingly slight or feminine in body shape, though probably not the ones who would make a male sports team.

John Craig said...

Coco --
Not familiar with Michael Bailey, though I have heard of that distinction. That ex-Navy Seal who recently crossed over was evidently one of the former.

You're an adventurous girl, befriending drag queens or whatever the proper term for them is these days. I feel sorry for them too, though i've never really gotten to know any (I find them grotesque, to tell the truth). And I agree, it's something they're pretty much born with, just like homosexuality. Nobody really has any choice about whom they're attracted to or, for that matter, what/whom they feel like.

I suspect that Anonymous is not going to answer us, negative commenters tend to write their comment and don't come back. Hope he/she does though.

Steven said...

Coco, past life memories in infants and small children is also universal so maybe they really are :-O

Anonymous said...

Well, by saying "let's say, a muscle index", I obviously meant that there can be ways to adjust the scores if you're that into world records or winning. If you would take muscles into account, you couldn't do it on a one by-one basis, rather you should distinguish between different groups of individuals where one is significantly different than the other.

As for the question, whether to give everybody an equal chance of winning so nobody's feelings are hurt, I can only say I'm more into the race itself, not the winning. I wasn't talking about hurt feelings, either.

You can have separate leagues, for example, a mixed and a gender-based one, for those who don't want to compete with the transgenders based on physical differences. All I'm saying is that, we can (and should, in my opinion) find ways.

I don't really get the provocative comments on me (as in, "negative commenters tend to write their comment and don't come back"). I'll surely stop answering at some point, simply because I am not interested in winning an argument. You've made your point, I've made mine. We can go on forever on giving examples and asking "how about this, how about that"; that's just not the way I am.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I wasn't trying to be provocative about your personally, I was just telling Coco that my experience has been that when someone makes a critical comment on the blog, and I respond, they generally don't respond back. I DID say that I hope you'd come back, and I'm glad you did. The "he/she" thing wasn't in reference to the subject of this post, either, it was merely because I don't know whether you're male or female. (I'm guessing female, but that's just a guess.)

As far as three leagues, one each for male, female, and people in between, that seems to me to be a needless complication and expense for school budgets which are already stretched thin anyway. (Also, the third league would probably be too small to justify its existence.)

Here's what I'd do for transponders and everybody else who feels uncomfortable with normal sex roles: set up a special boarding school in each state that they could attend, and where they could be themselves and not get bullied for who they are. The idea of boys competing on girls' athletic teams is absurd, it would make a mockery of the idea of competition.

Anonymous said...

I don't really understand what Anonymous is saying. His/her way of communicating is so convoluted and I have such a simple mind. He/she is confusing me.

I was thinking the issue that this won't affect very many people. Something about that bothers me. It does't matter how few there are, there is a principle here.

This is still an outrageous invasion of privacy against female students. Kids don't ask to be born. They don't choose to go to school or what school they go to.

So, some gender dysphoric M2T (male to transsexual, because no one can change their sex with surgery and hormones) decides that the rest of the world has to cater to his identity issues, and the rest of the world caves in? Where are my privacy rights?

As I've said I do think that gender dysphoria is quite real, but drugs and surgery don't do anything about the underlying issue.

Coco

Steven said...

John, they probably want to fit into normal society and be accepted as a boy/girl, not go to a school full of people like them which will just draw more attention to their different status.

It could be a good sanctuary if they are bullied though. I see the intention behind it.

Steven said...

Coco, what drugs and surgery do is make the outer match the inner. Does this help them find peace and happiness? I don't know- ask them. I imagine ti does help.

If the issue here is showering, maybe something could be done about that.

Anon,

I think the point about world records in athletics and swimming is we are seeing what is possible and pushing the boundaries of human performance. How fast is it possible for a human to sprint 100m? That's interesting.

If it were just a bunch of average people having a race, it wouldn't be very interesting to watch. Watching the ten fastest men racing is more compelling.

Steven said...

Also Anon, you could have different weight categories like in boxing so people are grouped with those roughly the same physically, but it wont take away the male advantage. Male athletes will have more muscle and strength than women of the same weight. How else could you do it? Whatever you come up with will be complicated and you're talking about restructuring the whole off female athletics to accommodate a few transgenders. And what about women with smaller muscles who want to compete against the best women?

John Craig said...

Steven --
There's a school like that for LGBT kids in NYC, I think it does them some good.

Also, the point of this ruling is not that we wouldn't get to watch the ten fastest boys in Minnesota race, we'd still get that. It's that the girls' race would be sort of meaningless if you had people who were biologically male competing against them.

In the article which is linked to in this post, some spokeswoman for some leftist group is quoted as saying that the number of kids across the country who actually elect to take advantage of such policies is miniscule. The comment was meant to be reassuring, and it is, but it also shows how ridiculous the ruling is: if the number across the country is so minuscule, why bother to put such a policy into effect?

In a way, I'd almost like to see this ting play out, just to see the havoc it could wreak on Title IX.

Steven said...

My comment about the ten best males was aimed at Anonymous. I was trying to explain the value of records and striving to set them, just generally. I can't find what i was replying to now but I wasn't making a point about the Minnesota ruling.

I understand the issue here is for the girls.

If there was a male transgender swimmer in the female's races who dominated, I think the acknowledgement and feeling that (s)he's really not a female physically and therefore not truly a legit female winner would be unavoidable. Even some resentment may appear.

Its kind of like Pistorius. He took part in the able bodied running but how would people have felt if he won?

Incidentally, there was a male to female transgender talented Thai boxer who somewhat controversially wore make up during fights and was good at kicking butt. After the op, I think maybe she started fighting women, though not sure. There's a movie about her.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Okay, I should have figured you were making a separate point.

Pistorius is a good analogy. His case was almost like letting a wheelchair athlete compete against the marathoners.

Don't know if you're aware, but the UFC actually let a transgender athlete compete against the women, I linked it in this post (under "all sorts of athletic advantages"). It's ludicrous.

Steven said...

thanks, I just read it. Good article. There's definitely another side to this that you articulate very well.

I looked Fallon Fox up. Her record is 5 wins (2, submissions, 2 TKOs and 1 KO), 1 loss by TKO.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Thank you.

Glen Filthie said...

This is why I disagree with your sympathies for queers, trannies and other sexually disturbed degenerates. To mainstream them, you have to undermine other healthy aspects of human nature to accommodate them.

The social engineers pushing sexual perversion also have a serious hate on for competition. They regard it as a human failing and are trying to get rid of it along with other icky aspects of our society like morals and ethics. Kids get trophies at sporting events just for showing up, they don't keep score at games, and self esteem is more important than dedication and accomplishment. Hate to say 'I told ya so' John...but your sympathies with these people are seriously misplaced.

Good grief, that is how childish these idiots are. Sure, the losers at sporting events feel bad about themselves. So what do they do? They strive to improve themselves! And that in turn drives the winners to improve themselves too. That is why human beings have always embraced competition.`

I think we have opened a Pandora's Box when we let the queers out of the closet. There is a lot of crap that will come out with them.

John Craig said...

Glen --
I sympathize with them personally: I can imagine how hard it is to grow up feeling like a freak. But I have no sympathy for political movements like this, where they demand special privileges. I think I've always made it clear that as longs they're asking for equal rights (like gay marriage, which would come with a lot of responsibilities they don't want, like community property and alimony), I'm fine with it, but the minute they tart asking for special privileges, as in the above-decribed policy, I'm against it.

You may be right that there's a lot of crap that will come with this movement; if so, I'll be against it. But sympathizing for people who are essentially freaks is different.

Glen Filthie said...

But John...they aren't 'freaks'. They're disturbed. Put it this way: it wouldn't even occur to you or I to ask for these special privileges. You would be ashamed to accept a trophy you didn't earn. I would be ashamed to compete against you and deprive you of recognition for your athletic accomplishment or a win in deference to my self esteem.

None of that will even phase on the majority of queers. Perhaps I misunderstand you - but you seem to think you can separate gays from behaviours like this. They are no different from your narcissists and sociopaths. Just like them, no matter how much you feed their egos they are never happy. And yes I know there are exceptions to that, but they are the exception.

One of my other favourite lady bloggers puts it like this: "Being nice to our enemies will not make them our friends".

The gays are not finished with us either. You heard it here first!

John Craig said...

Glen --
We're going to have to agree to disagree on this. I don't think the majority of gays are narcissists and sociopaths. They certainly have their share, and unfortunately, the narcissists and sociopaths tend to rise to prominence in any movement (witness Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson) and turn people against it. But being a homosexual does not mean that one also has a Cluster B personality syndrome.

By the way, I agree that being nice to our enemies won't make them our friends. And I won't be surprised if the gay movement starts to demand more special privileges, like the one described in this post, and at that point I'll stop supporting them -- as I did in this post.