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The Overhauling of Martina Navratilova

On February 17th, tennis legend, Martina Navratilova, wrote an op-ed for the Sunday Times where she criticized trans athletes. Two days later the non-profit, Athlete Ally, removed Navratilova as their Ambassador and from their advisory board. The group maintains that,

Martina Navratilova’s recent comments on trans athletes are transphobic, based on a false understanding of science and data, and perpetuate dangerous myths that lead to the ongoing targeting of trans people through discriminatory laws, hateful stereotypes and disproportionate violence.

This statement raises some interesting questions. First, Athlete Ally claims that Navratilova’s comments are based on a false understanding of science and data. So what exactly were Navratilova’s comments? Navratilova argues that,

It would be “cheating” to allow transgender women to compete in women’s sporting events due to “unfair physical advantages,”

Further she adds,

It’s insane and it’s cheating,” she continued. “I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.”

Seems like a fair statement to make given the obvious biological differences between males and females, but admittedly, my knowledge of human biology is limited to a high school education and Google. However, I’m willing to admit I don’t know what I don’t know; so if what I learned in high school was wrong, I’m certainly open to correction. So the question then becomes, what is the science and data? According to the same statement put out by the group,

“First of all, trans women are women, period. They did not decide their gender identity any more than someone decides to be gay, or to have blue eyes. There is no evidence at all that the average trans woman is any bigger, stronger, or faster than the average cisgender woman, but there is evidence that often when athletes lower testosterone through hormone replacement therapy, performance goes down.”

Firstly, if trans women are women, then why is the author calling them trans women in the first place? If they really are just women, you shouldn’t need a qualifier that indicates that they used to be men to describe them. Second, trans women are women because why? Presumably because the author says so, and she’s the arbiter of biology because she hasn’t provided any scientific data that biological males are women simply because they self identify as such. I identify as a billionaire, but my checking account says I’m not. Is my bank dehumanizing me?

Next, the author equates gender identity–which I’m assuming is separate from sex–and compares it to homosexuality, and eye color. It’s pretty well established that the physical characteristic of eye color is genetically predetermined, but what about sexual orientation and gender identity? Unfortunately for Athlete Ally, the answer is no. That’s not to say, that there isn’t a gene, but I am claiming that based on the available evidence; the gene hasn’t been found yet. Put simply, gender identity and homosexuality are not yet proven to be genetic predispositions. The big take away for Athlete Ally is that when criticizing another opinion by appealing to the authority of science, and then making unscientifically proven claims–their own credibility is undermined.

The second sentence of the statement is the most damning, but since we live in a era where we are taught to accept the word of conferred experts as truth–or risk the labels of racist, bigot, homophobic, or transphobic; we are naturally inclined to not question it. So when the author says, “There is no evidence at all that the average trans woman is any bigger, stronger, or faster than the average cisgender woman”

I genuinely assume the author may have been dropped on her head as a child. But according to “the evidence”, all that Mongo here needs to do in order to level the playing field according to science is– lower his/her testosterone. Fortunately, this time the author isn’t fooling around. A link to the scientific claim be made is provided. Being a curious guy with nothing better to do with his time, I clicked on the link. It takes you to a scholarly, peer reviewed journal, called,”Race Times for Transgender Athletes”.

To sum up the article, the author, a trans woman, studied the race times of a whole eight (including herself) non-world class long distance runners who used to be males, and compared their times before and after having their testosterone artificially lowered. Astonishingly, she found that after these eight participants lowered their testosterone to normal female levels, their run times dropped as well. And there you have it, proof positive that male and female is nothing more than a state of mind because the science proves it. Except that it doesn’t.

The first problem with the claim is the sample size. A whole eight people doesn’t necessarily translate well to generalizing the findings to an entire 7,714,576,923 population. Second, the author relies on self report data for the race times, and can only confirm the actual times of four of the participants. Hardly, rigorous application of the scientific method. The author attempts to explain this away by citing transphobia as the reason we should accept the claim. Essentially, the author wants us to accept as fact, that which can’t be confirmed because she claims trans people are hiding in attics from the trans Gestapo. Finally, the conclusion is that after the participants had their testosterone lowered, their times were on a “competitive level” with biological females. This is a highly misleading statement because it doesn’t answer the primary question, do biological men have a general competitive advantage over biological women? A male’s run time being lowered doesn’t answer necessarily mean that all biological advantages have been erased.

Fun fact: The fastest time in the women’s 100m is 10.49, and held by Florence Griffith Joyner. In order to even qualify to run in the Olympics in the Men’s 100m, you have to have a minimum time of 10.16. Therefore the fastest women ever, couldn’t even qualify to attempt to compete in the men’s 100m.

All of this is to say, that the so-called science used as the moral justification to bully and silence Martina Navratilova is as unreal as the idea that someone can change their biology by self-identification. Therefore, the real question behind all this is, why? Why bully and silence one of the most famous athletes on the planet? Why excommunicate an original member of the LGBTQ rights movement (Navratilova came out in 1981)? The answer, I believe, lies as far back as 1987, and ironically was a strategy to gain acceptance for homosexuality. It’s starts with an essay by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen entitled, “The Overhauling of Straight America” that was later published as the book, “After the Ball“. In this essay, the authors outline their ideas for having homosexuality accepted by mainstream America.

The first order of business is desensitization of the American public concerning gays and gay rights. To desensitize the public is to help it view homosexuality with indifference instead of with keen emotion. Ideally, we would have straights register differences in sexual preference the way they register different tastes for ice cream or sports games: she likes strawberry and I like vanilla; he follows baseball and I follow football. No big deal. At least in the beginning, we are seeking public desensitization and nothing more. We do not need and cannot expect a full “appreciation” or “understanding” of homosexuality from the average American. You can forget about trying to persuade the masses that homosexuality is a good thing. But if only you can get them to think that it is just another thing, with a shrug of their shoulders, then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won. And to get to shoulder-shrug stage, gays as a class must cease to appear mysterious, alien, loathsome and contrary. A large-scale media campaign will be required in order to change the image of gays in America. And any campaign to accomplish this turnaround should do six things.

The strategy then shifts to, “Talk About Gays and Gayness As Loudly and As Often As Possible”:

Open and frank talk makes the subject seem less furtive, alien, and sinful, more above-board. Constant talk builds the impression that public opinion is at least divided on the subject, and that a sizable segment accepts or even practices homosexuality. Even rancorous debates between opponents and defenders serve the purpose of desensitization so long as “respectable” gays are front and center to make their own pitch. The main thing is to talk about gayness until the issue becomes thoroughly tiresome.

Finally, the authors recommend vilifying any resistance:

Would a desensitizing campaign of open and sustained talk about gay issues reach every rabid opponent of homosexuality? Of course not. While public opinion is one primary source of mainstream values, religious authority is the other. When conservative churches condemn gays, there are only two things we can do to confound the homophobia of true believers. First, we can use talk to muddy the moral waters. This means publicizing support for gays by more moderate churches, raising theological objections of our own about conservative interpretations of biblical teachings, and exposing hatred and inconsistency. Second, we can undermine the moral authority of homophobic churches by portraying them as antiquated backwaters, badly out of step with the times and with the latest findings of psychology. Against the mighty pull of institutional Religion one must set the mightier draw of Science & Public Opinion (the shield and sword of that accursed “secular humanism”). Such an unholy alliance has worked well against churches before, on such topics as divorce and abortion. With enough open talk about the prevalence and acceptability of homosexuality, that alliance can work again here.

At a later stage of the media campaign for gay rights-long after other gay ads have become commonplace-it will be time to get tough with remaining opponents. To be blunt, they must be vilified. (This will be all the more necessary because, by that time, the entrenched enemy will have quadrupled its output of vitriol and disinformation.) Our goal is here is twofold. First, we seek to replace the mainstream’s self-righteous pride about its homophobia with shame and guilt. Second, we intend to make the antigays look so nasty that average Americans will want to dissociate themselves from such types.

The public should be shown images of ranting homophobes whose secondary traits and beliefs disgust middle America. These images might include: the Ku Klux Klan demanding that gays be burned alive or castrated; bigoted southern ministers drooling with hysterical hatred to a degree that looks both comical and deranged; menacing punks, thugs, and convicts speaking coolly about the “fags” they have killed or would like to kill; a tour of Nazi concentration camps where homosexuals were tortured and gassed.

A campaign to vilify the victimizers is going to enrage our most fervid enemies, of course. But what else can we say? The shoe fits, and we should make them try it on for size, with all of America watching.

To be clear, I’m not advocating some widespread homosexual conspiracy or condemning homosexuals. However, what I am saying is, whether intentional or not, I think there’s strong argument to be made that you can chart the course of the LGBTQ movement along the points laid out in the essay, and now, we are firmly in the last stage of “vilifying the victimizers”. Anyone who criticizes the movement in the slightest way, is cast out and labeled as a threat to the physical safety of those inside the movement. Essentially, critics of the trans people competing in sports of the opposite sex are now the moral equivalent of the Hitler or the KKK. Therefore, people are wholly justified when they unperson them from society. But herein lies the rub, if the movement is so rigid in their ideology that they can label a gay rights icon like Martina Navratilova as a hateful bigot, then no one inside the movement is safe. When the bar is lowered so far that sooner or later everyone trips over it, and the punishment is exile; like an aging star, the movement will collapse in on itself; leaving nothing but an empty hole.

Originally published at throwemopen.com on February 22, 2019.

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Throw’em Open.com. A Sports Website for free thinking individuals.

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Outlaw Sports: KEJ

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