This morning's post is a little early because I have to close up the cottage for the winter and then head home.
We know it is largely based on bias and lack of understanding. The right-wing conservatives rile up base and those who do not understand that children no matter what their sex are pretty much the same physically until puberty.
The ConversationByGeorge B. Cunningham (UAA Endowed Professor of Sport Management, University of Florida) and Kelsey Garrison (PhD student, Department of Sports Management, University of Florida)December 7, 2023In 2023, 24 states had laws or regulations in place prohibiting transgender students from participating on public school athletic teams consistent with their gender identity. These bans mean that a person whose sex assigned at birth was male but who identifies as a girl or woman cannot play on a girls or women’s athletic team at a public school in that state.The topic has spurred many debates about fairness, the science behind sports performance, civil rights and sports as a human right.As researchers who study diversity, equity and inclusion in sport, we were interested in understanding what prompted such bans. Though not a surprise, we showed for the first time through an in-depth study set to be published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Sport Management that state-level politics and public biases against transgender people are largely to blame.
They are not the only ones who have study trans athletes know it is the testosterone that changes the bodies of athletes, that before puberty girls and boys physical strength are the same. When trans girls go on puberty blockers it freezes their bodies at pre-puberty strengths.
The politics of transgender bansStates whose residents have conservative political leanings tend to have more restrictive views on civil rights issues such as immigration, health care and the use of the death penalty.These patterns hold for transgender rights, too.[…]But politics tells only part of the story.We found that conservative political leanings spurred collective biases against transgender people, which in turn prompted the bans.[…]Transgender athletes face the real possibility of participating in a sport one day, only to be prohibited from doing so the next. Ending a career in sports, regardless at what age, can harm the mental health of some athletes, something only likely to be magnified given the reason for the end.
Education! That is what we need to do but it is going to be hard to root out deep seated biases and lack of knowledge on trans athletes.
What’s next?The links among conservative politics, collective biases against transgender people and transgender rights are unlikely to diminish any time soon. National political reporters Adam Nagourney and Jeremy Peter explained that social conservatives have targeted transgender rights as a way of galvanizing their constituents. The GOP efforts came about after planning by national conservative organizations to “harness the emotion around gender politics.”Proponents of transgender inclusion have offered counterarguments, showing that transgender athletes are not a threat to women’s sports, nor have they ever been.This data is important but will go only so far when combating biases.Education and the chance to be around transgender people in everyday life also help curb prejudice. These collective factors, when combined with compelling stories about transgender inclusion in sports, may be what’s needed to overcome the biases in place.
But the Republican states have silenced us. They have taken away our voice. They have taken away our story. We know why they have silenced us, it is because they fear us. They are afraid of losing their 1950 “Father Knows Best” world.
Meanwhile AOC has our back!
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted anti-trans legislation targeting girls in sports at a hearing dripping with transphobia.AdvocateBy Christopher WiggensDecember 7, 2023During a congressional hearing on Tuesday, lawmakers and advocates clashed over proposed restrictions targeting transgender athletes in sports.The hearing, marked by intense debate and critical interrogations, underscored the growing Republican-led efforts to legislate on the rights of transgender Americans. Democrats stood in the way of the misinformation and transphobia that was pervasive during the GOP-controlled hearing.U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Democrat, played a pivotal role in the hearing, challenging the underlying motives of these legislative proposals. She pointedly questioned the disproportionate attention and resources dedicated to marginalizing an already vulnerable group.
Then she let them have it, she went after their biases and lies.
“We’re here today because there’s a proposal here to further marginalize trans women in sports,” Ocasio-Cortez began, highlighting the tiny percentage of transgender individuals in the U.S. population and questioning the need for such targeted legislation for an even smaller percentage of transgender athletes.The hearing brought forth alarming revelations about the extent of privacy invasions potentially sanctioned by these proposed bans. Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, shed light on the intrusive measures that could be implemented, including genital examinations.“In some states, any individual could challenge whether someone is a girl enough to play. In some states, it requires actual genital verification, which is shocking,” Goss Graves explained.Ocasio-Cortez underscored the broader implications of such policies, expressing concerns over the invasion of privacy for all women and girls, transgender or cisgender. She emphasized the potential for arbitrary and invasive examinations based on mere suspicion of a person’s gender.The hearing brought forth alarming revelations about the extent of privacy invasions potentially sanctioned by these proposed bans. Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, shed light on the intrusive measures that could be implemented, including genital examinations.“In some states, any individual could challenge whether someone is a girl enough to play. In some states, it requires actual genital verification, which is shocking,” Goss Graves explained.Ocasio-Cortez underscored the broader implications of such policies, expressing concerns over the invasion of privacy for all women and girls, transgender or cisgender. She emphasized the potential for arbitrary and invasive examinations based on mere suspicion of a person’s gender.
The Republicans are hyper-focused on us to the extent that it blinds them from what they are doing to others not just us.
What we do know; in Connecticut according to the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) in the 2022-2023 school year, there were approximately 225,000 student athletes participating in high school sports in the state. It is estimated that there are only a dozen or two trans athletes across all the sports. This whole flap is over about 24 trans athletes!
Ocasio-Cortez concluded her remarks by juxtaposing the push for these bans against the voting record of some lawmakers on other women’s rights issues.“I don’t believe we’re sitting here in a panel of men that has actually thought about the biology and privacy consequences of all women – trans or cisgender,” she said, casting doubt on the motivations behind the hearing.[…]“Targeting trans children for playing sports makes all women, whether trans or cisgender, less safe,” she wrote. “Sex testing is regressive, invasive, discriminatory, and a fundamental violation of our privacy as women and as Americans. This is shameful.”
Thank you Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for having our back.
Ask yourself this question. What is the purpose of high school sports? To win at all cost?
Or to teach life skills:
- Teamwork and cooperation
- Self-confidence and self-esteem
- School spirit and pride
- Social connections skills
- Positive role models
Google's Bard said,
Ultimately, the purpose of high school sports is to provide students with a well-rounded educational experience that goes beyond academics. By participating in sports, students can develop the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual skills they need to succeed in life.
Denying access to these opportunities can have a significant negative impact on transgender students' development, limiting their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth. It can also contribute to feelings of isolation, discrimination, and low self-worth.
It is important to remember that everyone deserves the opportunity to participate in sports, regardless of their gender identity. Creating inclusive environments where all students feel welcome and supported is crucial for fostering a healthy and positive athletic experience for all.
To not allow trans athletes to learn these skills is discrimination.