I’m a #girldad and very proud to be one. I love Breana with all of my heart and then some (ya’ll know what I mean). However…
In recent events, the NCAA allowed Lia Thomas, swimming for the University of Pennsylvania, to swim in the NCAA D-1 Women’s National Swimming Championships. HE won the 500-yard freestyle event… you see, Lia was biologically born as a male… and there lies the issue. Interestingly, Thomas competed for the men’s swimming team at the University of Pennsylvania for three years before transitioning, undergoing hormone therapy, then switching to compete for the women’s team in 2020. Thomas finished the 500-yard freestyle final in 4 minutes, 33.24 seconds, just over a second faster than second-place finisher Emma Weyant (University of Virginia), while Olympian Erica Sullivan (University of Texas) touched the wall next to take third place. Title IX was established to promote and advocate for equality in women sports, but it seems that is no longer the case.
Breana played tennis in high school and is a pretty good tennis player (she takes after her mom). They played mixed doubles, but she never had to compete in singles against a boy. Girls played against girls, and boys played against boys. As a #girldad, I’m proud of Breana’s effort in competing. However, as the future begins to change, how would I go back and explain to her that she had to compete against males. At some point, right is right, and wrong is wrong… but that seems to get lost in translation. Some will say it becomes relative, but then…. whose relativeness do we believe?
I’m not sure where society took a wrong turn, but I don’t think it was when I was growing up. If it was, we didn’t know about it. How do we tell our children not to cheat, stay honest and honorable, while others will literally try to change their gender or call themselves what they are not in order to compete? In the spirit of “political correctness,” I’m sure this becomes an obtuse thought. However, when we tell our girls not to compete, we stifle or limit their competitiveness nature in order to take a stance.
If we see this now, where will it be later on? We say, “It cannot get worse,” but then something more asinine happens. When we say, “The audacity of…,’ the gravity of the situation does not carry the weight. I will say I admire the actual girls who swam in the meet. I also admire that they spoke out about it afterwards. I wish one of them had won. But then we know they actually did even though no trophy or medal was given.
My daughter is now grown but still plays league tennis. As a #girldad, I’m passionate about and for women sports. For all the future girl athletes, I wish for them the opportunity to be able to compete at their level. But it needs to be at their level. We can get into the science of it, we can get into the biology of it, we can… get into it. In the end, how one is born is what they are. Allowing a male to compete with females does not create a venue of equality.
It seems equality is no longer equal. However, to quote Gavroche in Les Misérables, “Here is the thing about equality, everyone’s equal when they’re dead.”
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©2022 J Clay Norton
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Allen Marett said:
I wonder what would have been said if this had happened in larger sport like basketball.
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