Rod Liddle

Will women’s sports cease to exist?

Will women’s sports cease to exist?
Text settings

Congratulations to Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood for sweeping all before them in the Connecticut girls’ high school track races last week. Yes, of course they are men. There were some anguished complaints from the various girls these two speedy lads defeated, but these were of course brushed aside in a country where women’s sporting events may one day soon consist entirely of men.

Already a Democratic party representative, Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), is insisting that the US powerlifting tournaments allow transgender women to compete, so that people who look very much like Geoff Capes, and have the same chromosomes as Geoff Capes, and the same bone structure and musculature, can compete against women. Meanwhile, the fastest female college sprinter in the US is CeCe Telfer, who, once again, is not what you or I or science would call a lady, and one of the world champions in women’s cycling is a chap called Rachel McKinnon, whom I have mentioned here before.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Martina Navratilova described it as ‘insane’ and ‘cheating’ that men who have transitioned should be allowed to compete against women, adding that ‘hundreds’ of trans athletes have ‘achieved honours as women which were beyond their capabilities as men’. The former tennis star added that

few people were prepared to speak up about this issue because of the furore that would immediately descend upon them from the perpetually enraged trans lobby. Indeed, within a few hours of her article being published she was booted off the advisory board of a gay advocacy group and was being denounced left, right and centre in the kind of furiously screeched terms that have become the hallmark of these perhaps not wholly balanced campaigners.

Those who support the rights of transgender women to compete in women’s sports often cite the only piece of research done on the issue which ‘proves’ that it is a myth that transgender women have an advantage over normal women. This study was published in 2015 and is cited every time the issue arises — but I have one or two problems with it, to tell you the truth. First, it concerned a total of just eight athletes, which is a smallish sample (no control group, either). Second, it was not carried out by a qualified geneticist or social scientist, but by a ‘medical physicist’ by the name of Joanna Harper. And third, Joanna Harper, once an athlete herself, was, um, how can I put this, not always called Joanna. She was raised as a boy and transitioned to being a fairly fast lady in her thirties. So she has skin in the game and we might surmise that she, or he, set out to prove a thesis, rather than, in good Popperian practice, trying to disprove it.

But none of these caveats cuts the remotest ice with the lobby groups or indeed the liberal media, who quote from her survey as if it were on a par with the work of Crick and Watson. And meanwhile, blokes keep winning everything. Sometimes they are blokes who have had some becoming breasts appended to them and put on a bit of lippy, sometimes they are blokes who seemingly make no effort at all to disguise the fact that they are blokes.

The question, then, is this: will women’s sports cease to exist before or after we’ve closed down Frankenstein’s castle, i.e. the Tavistock clinic’s gender identity development service? The Tavistock is an extremely well endowed, so to speak, institution in London and every year somewhere in the region of 2,000 children are referred to this service, a substantial number of whom go on to be interfered with chemically or surgically, and transferred from one sex to another.

An internal report on this god-awful place by Dr David Bell suggested that it was ‘not fit for purpose’ and that decisions were taken to transition young people without taking into account social and personal factors, such as whether they had suffered a bereavement or abuse.

I will bet there’s a whole bunch of other factors they don’t take into account as well, such as peer pressure at school, other underlying mental health issues, unhelpful interventions from parents or social workers, and a repulsive propaganda programme which surrounds them at all times telling them how wonderful it is to transition.

Anyway, following Bell’s report a senior governor at the hospital, Marcus Evans, has resigned. Evans, who practises the pseudoscience of psychoanalysis, has said that decisions to transition the poor kids are taken ‘too quickly’. He added: ‘There is pressure from the child who is in a distressed state, there is pressure from the family and the peer group and from the pro-trans lobbies — and all of this puts pressure on the clinician who may want to help the individual to resolve their distressed state by going along with a quick solution.’ No kidding. The point being that these are largely adolescent children who are trying to come to terms with their own sexuality: it’s a confusing time.

The trans lobby doesn’t recognise any of this stuff, mind: if a kid, no matter how old he or she might be, wishes to change sex, then it should be allowed to do so. It is remarkable and a little chilling how all of those concerned with the wellbeing of our children — the government, the teachers, the doctors, the counsellors, the social workers, the Tavistock and in many cases even the parents — have bought into the extremist views of a pressure group which, at the very least, we might describe as ‘troubled’. But then, I suppose that they dare not.

My guess is that we will look back on this period of experimentation on our children with horror and deeply regret the day we decided that kids should be allowed to be shunted into whatever ghetto of victimisation they so desire, given that our society today seems to value victimhood above all else. In the meantime, shouldn’t the Tavistock’s gender clinic be closed down?