The Movement to Exclude TransGirls from SportsYou might remember around the turn of the century the Republican tried to frame their hate around bathrooms and that didn’t work; the people of Massachusetts voted down Question 3 so they turned to another tactic… teenage athletes.
The opposition is cast as one between cis-girl athletes on the one hand and a vast liberal conspiracy on the other.
By Masha Gessen
March 27, 2021
A spectre is haunting girls’ sports. It is the spectre of transgender athletes. About fifty different bills pending in more than twenty state legislatures seek to ban transgender athletes from team sports; one such bill was signed into law in Mississippi last week. A federal complaint led in Connecticut alleges that trans girls’ participation in high-school sports constitutes discrimination under Title IX. And, on March 17th, when the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination against L.G.B.T.Q. people, witnesses testifying against the measure spent more time on the perceived existential threat to girls’ athletics than they did on any other argument. (The House passed the Equality Act last month in a nearly party-line vote, as it has in past years, but the legislation has never cleared the Senate.)
The argument—as set out by the Connecticut complaint, summed up during the Senate hearings by the writer Abigail Shrier, who was testifying against the federal bill, and, it seems, as intuitively understood by the public—is that trans girls have an unfair advantage in sports because they have more testosterone. But the assumption that they have more testosterone is problematic, if not down right false, as is the assumption that the testosterone confers an absolute advantage. Many young trans people receive hormonal treatment, often beginning with hormones that prevent puberty and proceeding to so-called cross-sex hormones. Many trans girls are taking testosterone blockers and estrogen. Studies show that even adult athletes lose whatever biological competitive advantage they had soon after they begin transitioning. For this reason, transgender athletes are allowed to compete in the Olympics, provided that they have been on hormones for at least two years.
The goal of this campaign is not to protect cis-girl athletes as much as it is to make trans athletes disappear. This is a movement to exclude trans girls from community and opportunity. It is a movement driven by panic over the safety of women and children that reproduces earlier panics, like those over the presence of lesbians on women’s sports teams. And, just like earlier panics, this one is based on what passes for common sense but is in fact ignorance and hate.
Over in Britain there was a lot of attention given by the news media to trans athletes in their press and it was had a lot of traction, also at that time were news articles about the medical service healthcare for trans youth. A year ago in January this was the headline in the Guardian, “High court to decide if children can consent to gender reassignment” does this sound familiar? The case made it way through the British court system for more than a year… The Republicans got their wedge issue.
Here's who's behind the GOP assault on transgender rights
These right-wing organizations have long records of crafting anti-LGBTQ legislation.And that is their target the Equality Act
The American Independence
By Casey Quinlan
February 17, 2021
The Human Rights Campaign said the legislation is the result of pushes in the states not from concerned community members but rather from national groups providing model bills, with the language and titles strikingly similar across states. In Florida and Georgia, for example, the bills aimed at criminalizing trans-affirming health care for young people are titled the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, while a similar bill in Alabama is called the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act.
The right-wing organizations Alliance Defending Freedom, Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America, and the Heritage Foundation were behind many of the anti-trans bills introduced last year, according to the Human Rights Campaign. The group said they are likely driving many of the bills introduced in the current legislative sessions.
Concerned Women of America's website shares talking points that say policies protecting transgender people from discrimination "opens wide the door to sexual predators searching for victims."
The Heritage Foundation's website is promoting an upcoming virtual event called "The Promise to America's Kids: Protecting Kids From Extreme Gender Ideology and Laws" with a subheading that reads, "Radical gender ideology endangers children's minds, bodies, and relationships with their parents—and the Equality Act would cement it into law.
This whole attack has been to frame the Equality Act as being anti-women. Do you remember Sunday’s posts where Newsweek had an opinion editorial with the headline “The Equality Act and the End of 'Females'?”
That is how the Republicans are trying to shape the discussion on the bill… anti-women.
Back in 1964 the Republicans tried to kill the Civil Rights Act by adding protection for women. The Library of Congress on their website had this about the Civil Rights Act bill...
Representative Howard W. Smith (D-VA) (1883–1976) introduced an amendment to Title VII that added protection from employment discrimination on the basis of sex. Smith’s motives were complex. As the chairman of the House Rules Committee and an opponent of civil rights, Smith often used his position to prevent or delay civil rights legislation from coming to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote. Given this political legacy, it is often said that Smith may have added his amendment as a means of weakening and dividing the political coalition behind the Civil Rights Act. However, opposition to discrimination on the basis of sex had been growing even before Smith’s amendment.
Salon had this to say about the Republicans dredging their old playbook...
I think they are trying to do the same thing now, they want to force the Democrats to take us out of the bill by making us too hot to handle. Their strategy is either; A) prevent the bill from passing because the Democrats will drop the bill if we are not included or B) weaken the bill so it doesn’t include us.
In the 19th century, chivalrous rhetoric about women being the "angels in the house" was used to ennoble antagonism against women's suffrage. Anti-feminists in the 1970s attacked the Equal Rights Amendment by falsely insinuating the housewives would be abandoned by their husbands. Reproductive rights opponents still justify onerous obstacles on abortion access by suggesting women can't be trusted to make important decisions about their own bodies. And, as the current protest movement in Great Britain demonstrates, women's freedom to socialize or even leave the house is often attacked under the guise of "protecting" them from violent men.Chivalrous rhetoric is being dusted off once again to abuse some of the most vulnerable people in our society: young trans people, especially those who are still minors. Across the country, the New York Times reports, "Republicans are diving into a culture war clash that seems to have come out of nowhere," which is the growing hysteria over trans people competing in sports.
The GOP needs a highly emotional wedge issue that preys on people's worst impulses, like the homophobic panic over same-sex marriage that helped George W. Bush win a tight election in 2004. Trans people, unfortunately, make a perfect target, as many cis Americans, those whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth, are ignorant about the realities of trans lives, making them easy to bamboozle with misinformation. But it has not passed the notice of people who actually care about women's sports that the conservatives claiming they want to "save" women's sports from trans athletes are the same people who have hobbled women's sports at every turn through underfunding and outright mockery.
Their ultimate goal is to win back the Senate by trampling on us.
The Republicans only care about winning they don’t care if we die, we are only collateral damage.
The Republicans only care about winning they don’t care if we die, we are only collateral damage.
So what do cis gender people think about this attack on us?
An interesting poll just came out.
A new report released Wednesday found that people support two of the biggest LGBTQ+ issues.19thBy Kate SosinMarch 17,2021In headlines and statehouses, young transgender athletes appear to be a hot-button issue. But a new poll released Wednesday suggests that the nation is far less divided than state politicians.On Wednesday, Hart Research Associates and LGBTQ+ organization the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released a new report that finds that 73 percent of people believe that trans kids should be allowed to play on the team on which they feel comfortable, including 56 percent of Republicans. The poll also found that 70 percent of the country supports the Equality Act, the watershed nondiscrimination protections bill for LGBTQ+ people that is heading to the Senate Judiciary Committee.[…]Wednesday’s poll found that while many initially did express hesitancy about transgender participation in sports, more information quickly shifted their reactions, researchers said. When first asked, just 38 percent said they supported allowing kids to play on sports teams consistent with their gender identities and 28 percent were undecided.“The picture changes substantially with just a small amount of additional information: respondents read that ‘local schools, state athletic associations, and the NCAA have already implemented policies that ensure a level playing field for all students while also protecting transgender youth,’” the report states.
So maybe this whole thing will backfire on the Republicans and they will be seen as the true bullies that they are.
The poll — conducted among 1,005 voters across the country from March 12-15 — shows that Republican voters were split exactly 50-50 on support for the bill. Overall, 53 percent of voters said they would have a more favorable view of their congressperson for voting in favor of the bill.Black voters were far more likely to support the pro-LGBTQ+ legislation than any other group at 88 percent. Seventy-six percent of Latinx voters backed the measure. White voters were least likely at just 67 percent. The report did not disaggregate data for other racial groups.The poll strikes at the heart of the two biggest LGBTQ+ issues facing state governments and Congress.
The Republicans are so tied up in their own hate that they don’t feel what the rest of the country feels. They are living in their echo chamber.
The poll found that,
Transgender youth participation in sports is not yet a settled issue with the public, but their strong inclination is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student athletes. Initially, voters lean toward transgender youth being able to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity—38% say this, versus 34% who say these youth should have to participate in sports consistent with the gender they were assigned at birth; 28% do not have an opinion. The picture changes substantially with just a small amount of additional information: respondents read that “local schools, state athletic associations, and the NCAA have already implemented policies that ensure a level playing field for all students while also protecting transgender youth.” After reading this, they were asked whether they agree or disagree with the followingstatement:Sports are important in young people’s lives. Young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.
What we need to do... educate, educate, and educate and expose their lie. We have the key: sports are important to developing character.
Updated: 1:30 PM
The New York Times just had an article on this.
Lawmakers in a growing number of Republican-led states are advancing and passing bills to bar transgender athletes in girls’ sports, a culture clash that seems to have come out of nowhere.By Jeremy W. PetersMarch 29, 2021[…]“These efforts appear to be far more slick, and far more organized,” said Elizabeth A. Skarin of the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota, which opposes the bill. “Anytime they give a bill a name in South Dakota,” she added, “you know something’s up.”[…]But the idea that there is a sudden influx of transgender competitors who are dominating women’s and girls’ sports does not reflect reality — in high school, college or professionally. Sports associations like the N.C.A.A., which has promoted the inclusion of transgender athletes, have policies in place to address concerns about physical differences in male and female biology. The N.C.A.A. requires athletes who are transitioning to female to be on testosterone suppression treatment for a year before they can compete on a women’s team.[…]Rarely has an issue that so few people encounter — and one that public opinion analysts have only recently begun to study in depth — become a political and cultural flash point so quickly. The lack of awareness creates an environment in which the real impact of transgender participation in sports can be overshadowed by hyperbole.[…]Activists who have been fighting the anti-transgender efforts say the focus on school athletics is creating a false and misplaced perception of victimization.[…]“What we have is a speculative fear of something that hasn’t materialized,” Mr. Strangio, who is a transgender man, added. “They’re acting like LeBron James is going to put on a wig and play basketball with fourth graders. And not one LeBron James, 100. In reality, you’re talking about little kids who just want to play rec sports. They just want to get through life.”[…]The heightened media awareness on the right is due in part to how social conservative activists have improved at packaging transgender-specific restrictions. Borrowing a page from the anti-abortion movement, which was led by men for much of its early period, they have begun featuring women as public advocates.[…]Limiting the rights of transgender people is an issue that has resonance with an increasingly small share of the overall population. A new study by the Public Religion Research Institute reported that only 7 percent of Americans were “completely against” pro-L.G.B.T.Q. policies. But it is a vocal group intent on showing that it can flex its power in the Republican Party.
The Republicans don’t care about the harm they are doing to children, they are like a rabid animal that grabs hold and doesn’t let go.