Monday, June 26, 2023

Today's edition of "Christ, what an asshole!"

Today's edition of Christ What An Asshole is American cycling cheater Lance Armstrong, who wrote a widely-read anti-trans tweet thread this weekend which has been universally panned. 
Best headline here: And here is the entire Deadspin article:
Lance Armstong, a cisgender man and notorious cheater with, as far as I can tell, no training in anything related to endocrinology, biology, or gender affirming care, has some thoughts on the fairness of transgender women competing in women’s sports. On a related note, irony died today.
Armstrong took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the “debate” over trans women competing in sports against cisgender women. If you’re wondering what Lance Amstrong could possibly add to a bullshit “conversation” that is designed to distract from actual problems and is leading to the marginalization of trans kids across the country, you’re not alone.
On her Charlotte's Web substack, Charlotte Clymer writes about the moral panic over trans women in sports, and how discredited scammers like Lance Armstrong and Caitlyn Jenner are coming out of the woodwork to try to monetize it. 
Her piece, When Lance Armstrong Speaks, Why Does Anyone Listen? is lengthy but here's her basic message:
I think it's common sense to have fair regulations in place that protect the safety of all involved.
That looks different depending on the sport. We should be having that conversation in good faith. Any young trans woman should be permitted to compete provided she has followed through on regulations that ensure safety and fairness. That may mean waiting to compete! That's fine.
At the same time, I think it's utterly absurd to suggest there weren't unfair advantages in sport until this conversation on trans inclusion. When it's a cisgender male student athlete involved, these unfair advantages are praised and sometimes take on mythological importance.
Boys and young men who are significantly larger, taller, faster, and stronger than their peers are deemed to be great for sports.
Girls and young women who are similarly outliers are most often said to be bad for women's sports, and that was true long before trans inclusion.
The history of women's sports has seen rather disgusting policing of women's and girls' bodies. 
....most of the trans girls and women who compete in women's sports are average in ability. When a young trans woman is bad at sports, no one cares. But when she's good? Everyone suddenly has an opinion.
The same week that the parents of three young women who are not transgender filed a lawsuit against Connecticut to bar the inclusion of young trans women in track and field events, one of the young trans women was beaten by one of the young cisgender women in a state final.
Did any of y'all see that news?
No, because it undermines the narrative that has driven this absurd moral panic against trans student-athletes. If reasonable adults are made to sit down talk calmly through this in good faith, it suddenly lacks its clickbait value. God forbid.
I don't think this is a topic that has easy answers, but it has been so completely one-sided and so absolutely vicious against trans children ...
So, yeah, when Mr. Armstrong and Ms. Jenner decided to further weaponize this complicated issue for their own benefit, I get a little angry over that. I think anger is warranted in a situation in which the lives of children are being directly affected by rightwing narcissism.
When your friends and family inevitably cite this interview as something to watch, I hope you'll take the time to gently inform them of the ways in which this is all a massive grift being built on the backs of trans kids who just wanna play sports with their friends.

In his Present Age substack, Parker Molloy also writes about how creating a moral panic over trans women in sport is intended to eliminate trans people -- in his piece titled Who Asked You, Lance Armstrong, Molloy writes:
I say this with absolute certainty: if someone offered a compromise that would outright ban trans women who’ve gone through a testosterone-driven puberty from competing in college, professional, and Olympic sports in exchange for social acceptance and legal protections in education, employment, housing, public accommodations, health care, etc., the people currently yelling for trans people to be banned from sports would reject it outright. No such compromise exists, nor is it likely that it ever would, but if this was truly about saving women’s sports and ensuring fairness, it’d be something the anti-trans activists would jump at.
But they wouldn’t.
On a side note, Defector staff writer Patrick Redford speculates about Why Lance Armstrong is Suddenly Concerned with Fairness in Sports and you won't be surprised to learn it has to do with promoting a podcast and a new Fox reality TV show.
The "debate" about whether to allow trans people to compete alongside their cisgendered counterparts is about restricting trans rights. To frame it as a question of sporting integrity would be deeply cynical, even if a notorious cheater weren't the one making it.
Armstrong's name is synonymous with breaking the rules, but it's worth remembering how comprehensive his program of cheating was. He not only pumped himself with EPO and took illegal blood transfusions, but he also ran a sophisticated, team-wide operation. ... Journalists who publicly asked questions about doping were targeted by Armstrong, and he often went above their heads to try and get them fired. This guy defending the concept of fairness is like Dracula making the case for veganism.
....It's grim that someone with such a rotten reputation still feels comfortable to scrutinize trans athlete participation in sports on the grounds of fairness. But Armstrong is correct about one thing: He has no more respect to lose.
This shows the extent of anti-trans and anti-gay legislation in the US now: And regarding New Brunswick's bright idea to require schools to deadname trans kids unless their parents approve, a lawyer reminds us that the Supreme Court handed down a relevant ruling 30 damn years ago: Finally, on a positive note, this statement to the crowd from professional wrestler CM Punk is absolutely outstanding! "Support trans kids, support gay and lesbian rights!"


Cap said...

The pundits piling on Lance Armstrong all resort to name-calling to avoid discussing the real issue: whether including males in female sports is fair to females. As David French wrote recently in the NYT:
After all, when we survey the performance gap between male and female athletes, is that gap best explained by the differences in gender identity between the competitors or the differences that are inherent in biological sex? And if those differences are best explained by biological sex rather than gender identity, then any rule that wipes out biological sex as the determining factor in eligibility will undermine both the practical and legal basis for women’s sports.

We know that biological sex, not gender identity, is the salient factor. If females could compete on the same footing as males, there would be no need for a separate category. But humans are sexually dimorphic, with adult males being on average larger, stronger, faster, and more aggressive. In reality, the best female athletes lose to mediocre males, with, for example, the US Women's National Soccer Team losing to a high school boys squad or Lia Thomas going from a mid-ranking male swimmer to NCAA women's champion. Sports governing bodies were wrong to set testosterone levels as a criterion for including trans athletes in female sports, since males retain the advantages of going through puberty - greater heart and lung capacity, more efficient skeleton, greater strength and endurance - even with reduced testosterone levels. It was good to see World Athletics and World Aquatics look at the evidence and now require athletes who have gone through puberty to compete according to their birth sex.

We have a lot of experience with inclusivity and fairness in sports, and establishing new categories is how it's done. That's why we have the Olympics for able-bodied athletes, and the Para and Special Olympics for athletes with physical and mental disabilities respectively. Youth sports are divided into age groups, and combat sports into weight divisions. Fair competition is the path to inclusivity. The way to be inclusive is to create fair competition. Instead of denying females fair competition and bullying critics into silence by calling them bigots and transphobes, trans rights advocates should be pushing for a separate trans category, especially for athletes taking cross-sex hormones that give them an advantage or disadvantage against those of the same sex.

lungta said...

Pro trans, in practise and in the real world, is simply being pro men abusing women, their rights and spaces to accommodate another's mental condition.
Society will totally bankrupt itself trying to fulfill the delusions of the deluded if these solutions become the formula for problem solution.

Cathie from Canada said...

Cap, and Lungta -- all professional sports associations have incorporated standards for their sports to create fair levels of competition and I expect they will continue to do so. The trans-panic we are seeing now is being created artificially by people who want to make it illegal again to be diverse. They are the fraud, not trans people.

Rodger said...

Not so fast Cathie.... thinking that biological males shouldn't compete as females is not even remotely the same as "making it illegal again to be diverse"
It's easy to see where the "moral panic" comes from, isn't it?
Try again, Cathie, this time with apples and apples!
Lance was roided up just like majority of his competition - So one roided guy beat a bunch of other roided up I care? No.
Is it a place to hang your logic while trying to discredit what Lance has to say? No it isn't...


Cathie from Canada said...

Rodger, the articles I quoted from in this piece go into much more detail about the research done into so-called "men competing against women" issues and the sports associations have given these issues a great deal of study too. Conservative politicians are inflating this issue to rile up school boards and parents about a trans-panic, just like they riled up people in the mid-2000s against gay marriage ("God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve") and against gays in the military ("don't ask don't tell") - we saw the same crap happening all through the 20th century, when even being "homo" was criminalized. This kind of anti-gay talk has a long and discredible history, and these are not arguments made in good faith.