After delivering another round of anti-Trumpism last week, “South Park” waded further into controversial waters on Wednesday by mocking the idea of transgender athletes competing against women and winning at every turn.
“Titled ‘Board Girls,’ the seventh episode of the 23rd season revolved around the character Strong Woman (who is also the vice principal at the elementary school and partner of PC Principal, with whom she has the PC babies) entering a Strongwoman Competition, which she previously won,” reports The Hollywood Reporter. “In top shape and ready to compete, she is asked by a sportscaster how she feels about trans women in the competition. Strong Woman says she is happy about the situation.”
However, Strong Woman’s enthusiasm about transgender athletes competing alongside her turns sour when she meets Heather Swanson, who looks uncannily similar to the late wrestler Macho Man Randy Savage and who began identifying as a female just “two weeks ago.”
“I’m not here to talk about my transition, I’m here to kick some f***ing a**,” says Heather Swanson in an undeniably masculine voice.
Predictably, Heather Swanson bests all of the other female athletes in the competition, leaving one battered and bruised after beating her mercilessly in a boxing match – an inarguable reference to the time transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox broke her female opponent’s skull in 2014.
As the show unfolds, both Strong Woman and PC Principal jump through mental hoops to maintain their wokeness in the face of being beaten by Heather Swanson, fearing the bigotry that would erupt within them if they were to say that Heather had an unfair biological advantage. More from THR:
Heather, of course, wins the competition and later a number of other female competitions, all the while picking a fight with Strong Woman and calling PC Principal a “transphobe” because he takes issue with Heather’s behavior. It is later learned that the Randy Savage character is an ex-boyfriend out for revenge against Strong Woman for embarrassing him years prior.
In the end, Heather, who claimed to be unstoppable, is defeated by some of the elementary school girls who formed a board game club after the boys at the school complained and had them removed from their game club.
Heather says the competition against the girls was not fair because she was born a man, which means she does not read the board game directions beforehand, like she says woman do, so she was at a disadvantage. Cartman then invites Heather to join the boy’s club.
The episode prompted some serious backlash from transgender activists, including Rachel McKinnon, a transgender world track cycling champion, who denounced both “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker as transphobic.
“I’m not particularly mad about the South Park episode,” McKinnon said on Twitter. “Yes it’s transphobic. Yes it’s lazy. Yes it contributes to harm to trans women and girls. But they’re lazy and increasingly irrelevant. F***, ‘Futurama’ made the same stupid storyline in 2003. Transphobes don’t have new jokes.”
“‘South Park’ has been deeply transphobic the *entire time.* This isn’t their first explicitly transphobic storyline,” continued McKinnon. “It won’t be their last. Stone and Parker are transphobes. Write them off. Ignore their lazy show.”