On the first day of his administration, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order titled “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.” The order begins with “Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love,” and then proceeds to make a statement relating to transgender policy regarding access to restrooms, locker rooms, and sports.
“Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”
Setting aside the flawed argument that access to restrooms, locker rooms, or school sports have any impact on the ability of children to learn, this executive order made clear the Biden administration’s position regarding transgenderism, especially with regards to children and sports.
In response, the debate over whether biological males or females should have the “right” to use facilities or engage in activities assigned to the opposite gender has been dragged once more to the forefront of the political arena. On February 3, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) posted a Twitter thread titled “4 Myths About Trans People in School Sports: DEBUNKED.”
Attacks on trans youth in sports are showing up in dozens of state legislatures nationwide.
These bans are discriminatory, harmful, and unscientific. Here's why ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/N2oedbpW5u
— ACLU (@ACLU) February 3, 2021
Writing that “Attacks on trans youth in sports are showing up in dozens of state legislatures nationwide. These bans are discriminatory, harmful, and unscientific,” the thread aims to debunk four “myths” with four “facts.”
We will debunk each of these “facts.”
‘FACT ONE: Trans girls are girls.’
The first tweet begins by stating “MYTH: Sex is binary, apparent at birth, and identifiable through singular biological characteristics.” The ACLU then “debunk” this “myth,” saying:
“There is no one way for our bodies to be. Women, including women who are transgender, intersex, or disabled, have a range of different physical characteristics. Biological sex and gender are not binaries. There are no set hormone ranges, body parts, or chromosomes that all people of a particular sex or gender have.”
FACT ONE: Trans girls are girls. pic.twitter.com/R5OWNl5ooI
— ACLU (@ACLU) February 3, 2021
This is scientifically false. With the exception of intersex individuals who amount to less than 2% of the population, biological sex is defined by sex chromosomes. Humans (and most other mammals) have two sex chromosomes, the X and Y. Females have two X chromosomes in their cells, while males have both X and Y. By this distinct characteristic, male and female humans are distinguishable.
‘FACT TWO: Trans athletes do not have an unfair advantage in sports.’
The second tweet begins by stating “MYTH: Trans athletes’ physiological characteristics provide an unfair advantage over cis athletes. The post continues, saying:
“Trans athletes vary in athletic ability just like cisgender athletes. In many states, the very same cis girls who have claimed that trans athletes have an ‘unfair’ advantage have consistently performed as well as or better than transgender competitors.”
This is both hugely manipulative and false. Firstly, it is manipulative to present the fact that some “cis girls” — in other words, biological girls — have outperformed some transgender athletes as proof that there are no biological advantages in physical competition.
For example, a randomly selected biological man may be beaten by a randomly selected biological woman in a wrestling match, but a biological man of average height and weight would likely beat a biological woman of average height and weight. The ACLU’s argument cherry-picks athletes to prove their false premise.
Secondly, there is demonstrable evidence that transgender athletes possess a clear physical advantage over their opponents. Due in large part to their higher bone density, increased muscle mass, and tendon composition, transgender females — biological males — routinely dominate physical competitions with females. Last year, in Connecticut for example, two transgender high schoolers finished first and second in the state’s 55-meter dash, blowing away the nearest female competitors. Before transitioning to female, both racers had finished well outside the top 100 when competing as boys.
Indeed, Martina Navratilova — who won 18 Grand Slam singles tennis titles — recently said that “she supported moves toward equality but that the physical advantages for transgender women competitors who had gone through male puberty were ‘pretty obvious.’” She continued, saying that she opposed “an all-inclusive situation where trans men and women, just based on their self I.D., would be able to compete with no mitigation, no rules outside of that whatsoever. And that clearly would not be a level playing field.”
FACT TWO: Trans athletes do not have an unfair advantage in sports. pic.twitter.com/1aTLqi6A8i
— ACLU (@ACLU) February 3, 2021
‘FACT THREE: Including trans athletes will benefit everyone.’
The third tweet begins by stating “MYTH: The participation of trans athletes hurts cis women.”
“Excluding women who are trans hurts all women. It invites gender policing that could subject any woman to invasive tests or accusations of being ‘too masculine’ or ‘too good’ at their sports to be a ‘real’ woman.
This is an example of a “slippery slope” argument, with an unlikely and negative future outcome being used to justify mostly irrelevant preemptive actions. This is the logical equivalent to saying “Fruit should be banned, because one day, aliens might force-feed us oranges and we could die from Vitamin C overdose.”
To use the safety of “all women” to justify imposing trans athletes upon their category is both cynical and damaging. By including biological males, with clear physical advantages, in situations where they compete physically with biological women, these women are being placed under real physical threat.
‘FACT FOUR: Trans people belong on the same teams as other students.’
The fourth and final tweet begins by stating “MYTH: Trans students need separate teams.”
“Trans people, like all people, may experience detrimental effects to their physical and emotional wellbeing when they are pushed out of affirming spaces and communities. Efforts to exclude subsets of girls from sports can undermine team unity. And youth derive the most benefits from athletics when they are exposed to caring environments where teammates are supported by each other and by coaches.”
This makes two false arguments. The first is the assumption that there are no “detrimental effects” to the “physical and emotional wellbeing” of biological males or females when they are effectively forced to share intimate spaces and activities with those of the opposite sex. Similarly, it assumes that ignoring biological sex would not have any impact on team unity.
The second is that creating a category for trans students, which provides them with the opportunity to engage fairly in these activities, would not provide a “caring environment” where “teammates are supported by each other and by coaches.” Why would coaches not care for their trans athletes, and why would trans athletes not support each other, or be supported by other teams?
The ACLU’s twitter thread concluded with a demand.
“Say it with us: Trans people belong EVERYWHERE – including on sports teams.”
The ACLU are applying a subtle but powerful logical trick here. Much in the same way as the slogan, “Black Lives Matter,” they take an objective statement which most will support and use it as an ideological trojan horse to push a separate agenda. The objective is to force people into the illogical but uncomfortable position of being accused of not supporting the premise if they disagree with the conclusion.
Don’t believe that police officers are systematically targeting and shooting black people? Then you don’t believe that black lives have any value!
Don’t believe that biological males should be allowed to share locker rooms, bathrooms, and sports teams with biological females? Then you don’t believe that trans people belong among us!
Ultimately, this is not an argument for the exclusion of transgender people, who deserve a place in our society like anyone else. However, it is an argument in favor of remaining biologically objective, and understanding that the rights of one person do not necessarily supersede the rights of another, and certainly not in the demonstrably unscientific manner promulgated by the ACLU.
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.