AS some readers know, Tina and I gave up paying the BBC licence fee in May 2020, not too long after the death of George Floyd. I’d been badgering Tina for a couple of years already, pointing to the BBC’s obfuscation, bias by omission, general campaigning for minority interests, divisive programming and Covid fearmongering, but in the end it was the death of a career criminal and the fawning that followed that eventually made her agree that enough is enough.
Around the same time, we gave up buying newspapers for the same reason. Despite this, Tina still flicks up the odd BBC or Guardian story in the morning and, not content with reading this carp to herself, she has to share it with me. So, for a change, I bought her the Sunday Times on Mother’s Day, citing that if she’s going to continue to read garbage in the morning, she might as well consume it from somewhere else. As she sat guffawing and exclaiming at various stories, I scanned the sports pages and came upon a story with ‘No right answer’ emblazoned across the page and a picture of Lia Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania standing head and shoulders above her competitors at a recent swimming competition. Well, the clickbait sucked me in and I had to read what Elgan Alderman, the former BBC ‘comedy’ writer, had to say on the issue.
It seems that commentators on the trans issue have as much trouble expressing their views as the average politician does with the question ‘What is a woman?’ Alderman was no different, constantly referring to the former Will Thomas as ‘she’ and ‘her’, while putting up both pro and con arguments on men competing against women in sports competitions.
This piece featured one of the worst analogies I’ve seen in any argument. Alderman cited Schuyler Bailar, the first woman-to-man trans swimmer, who organised a letter in support of Thomas. Bailar referred to Michael Phelps’s advantages which helped him in winning 23 Olympic swimming golds as ‘celebrated biological diversity . . . with an abnormally large wingspan, feet and upper body, Phelps was born with advantages and used them to become the most decorated Olympian in history, rather than face eviction.’
What a bizarre argument. Whatever advantages Phelps was born with, he was still born a man. The way Bailar tells it, you’d think he was born a shark and transitioned to a human.
Alderman talks of the sportswomen speaking out on the issue, former swimmer Sharron Davies criticising the decision to allow Thomas to compete, and a letter from 16 ‘anonymous’ swimmers from the Pennsylvania team stating: ‘We fully support Lia Thomas in her decision to affirm her gender identity . . . however, we also recognise that when it comes to sports competition, that the biology of sex is a separate issue from someone’s gender identity. Biologically, Lia holds an unfair advantage over competition in the women’s category.’
Alderman doesn’t think so. He cites Thomas’s times dropping off – ‘she did 500 yards in 4:18.72 in men’s competition’ – and claims ‘she has shrunk by an inch’ to 6 foot 1. That’s all right then. It doesn’t matter that Thomas towers above his competitors or that his times, against men, have dropped. I’m sure Thomas’s opponents will feel pleased at that news.
While his piece makes references to both sides of the trans debate, if you can call it that, Alderman’s concessions, on Thomas’s recent performances and there being ‘no right answer’ on trans participation in women’s sports, are as laughable as watching politicians squirm when they’re asked about something deemed controversial. There is actually a right answer. Men should not compete in women’s sports, full stop. I don’t care what pills they’re taking or what bits they’ve had removed. That muscle mass won’t disappear. They will always hold an unfair advantage over their opponents. Women, many of whom have been training their whole lives to be the best in their chosen sport, will wonder why they bothered. In my view, the best way for women to protest against what is being done in the name of diversity and inclusivity is to stop competing. As long as they participate, this lunacy will continue.
I’ve noticed that men only ever seem to want to enter into physical sports where their biology will always be an advantage. They don’t move into table tennis, snooker or darts. There have been trans MMA fighters, trans swimmers, weightlifters and now cycling. Emily Bridges, formerly Zach Bridges, who competed with men as recently as last month, is ready to take women’s cycling by storm. (See footnote)
Riders such as Laura Kenny can wave goodbye to any chance of future success. Though a mediocre cyclist on the men’s circuit, Bridges’s advanced muscle mass, which comes from being born a man, will mean that his involvement in women’s cycling becomes a fruitful and successful enterprise. Something to welcome for the alphabet brigade but there’ll be little cheer from female cyclists, who have worked hard to get where they are.
TalkRadio have been running two polls recently. One asks, can men get pregnant? The other, can a woman have a penis? At last check, the majority answer in both polls was yes.
What the hell is going on in this world, where facts like biology can be cast aside in favour of gender lunacy? We continue to shout that there are only two sexes, that 2+2=4, that good and bad weather is a natural thing, that people should be judged on the content of their character and not their skin colour – and the idiots in charge tell us we’re being controversial. We truly are in the age of insanity.
Footnote: It seems British Cycling have changed their minds on Emily Bridges appearing at his first event. I’m presuming that it was for this meet or until the hormone drugs kick in. I fully expect him to race against women at some point in the future though.