The Renee Richards / Juwanna Mann logical fallacy

I’m so sick of transphobes. Transphobes (or, to be more polite, TERFs), hate trans men and trans women, and use their hatred as part of this logical fallacy that girls can’t compete in school sports because boys take hormones to be girls and win all the girls’ sports.

Give me a break. If you’re that clueless, you really need to stay away from the silverware drawer, or any other place with sharp objects.

Yet people still hold fast to this cockamamie concept that kids are being denied their right to compete in sports because someone decided to switch gender and take all the awards.

And they’re using Lia Thomas as an example.

Lia Thomas is a collegiate swimmer. She is also a trans woman. And conservatives are using that as an argument that she had some unfair advantage over her swimming opponents. I mean, listen to these amateur biologists try to explain it away.

Yeesh. I just posted a clip from Fox News. Now I have to scrub my hands with Lava soap.

First off, the whole argument is bunk. By that theory, Michael Phelps has physical advantages over his fellow swimmers – he’s got more flexible legs and ankles when he swims, he has a larger wingspan and arm reach in the water – so should he be penalized for his superiority in the water? I think not.

But the whole thing boils down to two misguided tropes among TERFs. They think that women’s sports will be compromised with tainted record-holders by men in dresses, and that by having trans men and women in locker rooms, it’ll open the locker rooms up to ugly situations.

Again … I call bullshit on both concepts.

They’ll use the argument of Dr. Renee Richards, who transitioned in the early 1970’s and later found some success on the women’s tennis circuit. Well, “some success” meant she won a match or two, but it’s not like Dr. Richards suddenly became the second coming of Chris Evert.

Especially since she got knocked out of the U.S. Open by … Chris Evert.

But here’s the thing. Dr. Richards didn’t transition because she wanted to win tennis matches. She transitioned for her own personal reasons, and whether she shares them with you or not, that’s her choice, not yours.

Oh wait, there’s also the Juwanna Mann argument, that men will pretend to be women so they can participate in – and dominate – women’s sports. This postulation comes from an old motion picture of an NBA basketball star who revitalizes his career by playing in drag on a WNBA team.

Yep, it’s Tootsie with a 3-point line.

But you know what these arguments sound like? They sound like this. Take out the “trans” modifier and add in the word “gay” or “black” or “Hispanic” or “Irish” or “Asian,” and you get something entirely sinister and ugly.

It’s the ignorance that prevented integration in professional sports for decades. And if there are ceiling-breakers out there like Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente and Hideo Nomo and Jim Abbott and Yvonne Goolagong and Bubba Wallace out there to tear away at the patriarchy, then so be it.

We don’t need this prejudice in our lives. Nobody does.

So keep your racist, xenophobic, transphobic demagoguery to yourself.

I don’t need it. And neither does anybody else.