When Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, he was subjected to racist jeers from fans, discrimination from some of his teammates, death threats, and sometimes physical abuse. During his first year on the Brooklyn Dodgers, a player from an opposing team intentionally slid into him cleats-first, leaving a gash in his leg. This treatment was all due to the simple fact that he was a black man playing baseball. His willingness to endure heckles, taunts, and worse, while blazing a trail for other black athletes to follow, has led many people to label him the bravest athlete in sports history.
But now, according to the gay sports outlet Outsports, Robinson’s reign has come to an end. Cyd Zeigler, writing for the publication, has declared that the bravest athlete of all time, the sports figure who best embodies the virtues of courage and heroism, is a biological male who beat the hell out of a bunch of women in MMA. Zeigler gave the “trans” athlete Fallon Fox that moniker in a recent article, explaining that the professional woman-beater “is an indelible part of LGBTQ sports history” and has “opened possibilities for trans athletes in women’s sports that will be felt for generations.” Why any of this requires courage — much less the most courage of any athlete ever — is never explained.
It also isn’t explained how courage is involved when a biological male, with his testosterone and greater muscle mass and denser bone structure, fractures the skull of a female opponent and leaves her lying on the mat, concussed, and bleeding. One would think that the female opponent at least has more courage than the man who is beating her half to death.
We’re assured that it’s okay for a male to physically brutalize a female because females sometimes brutalize each other. This is how Fox himself justified it. “I’m not the first female MMA fighter who’s broken another fighter’s bones,” he said. “And people will of course, because I’m trans, hold it up as this devastating thing that couldn’t possibly happen if I weren’t trans. But there are many different examples of similar things happening.”
He’s right, of course. He’s not the first female fighter to break another fighter’s bones. Mostly because he’s not a female fighter at all. Notice here how the arbitrary sex versus gender distinction has been collapsed and disregarded. The large, muscular man with a penis and XY chromosomal structure isn’t just a woman by gender. He is, in fact, a female.
Don’t count on Zeigler to grapple with that difficulty. We are just supposed to dutifully applaud, accepting at face value whatever lame excuses and justifications are put forward. Zeigler doesn’t present actual arguments in favor of allowing men like Fox to fight women because there are no arguments available to him. It is objectively wrong on every conceivable level — morally, ethically, scientifically. A coherent defense of the practice cannot be offered, and never has been offered. The most the other side of this debate can do is make vague emotional appeals, hoping we’ll forget that the women being abused and cheated have emotions, too. But their emotions are irrelevant, we’re told. Just as science is irrelevant. Just as fairness is irrelevant. All that matters, for some reason, is how this one guy feels. And his insistence on doing what makes him feel good, at any cost, is admirable. Not just admirable, but also heroic. Not just heroic but the most heroic thing anyone has ever done or could ever do.
Heroic. Courageous. Beautiful. Keep repeating it until you believe it.