Today's social justice warriors seeking to create a world of universal equality for genders – both those existing at birth and those with which one later may identify – need face a stark reality: That world is impossible and, in part, is their own doing.
We need to recognize some basic realities.
The sentiment "the rules of fair play do not apply in love and war" was attributed to a 1579 novel by John Lyly, recognizing that in combat and in love, no act went "beyond the pale" – i.e., the rules of fair play were tossed out the window. But even today, the sentiment does not extend to competitive sports. True champions evolve from competition held on a level playing field: all competitors adhering to the same rules of the game. This ensures the winner has honed the individual skills and talents necessary to prevail, achieving a level of performance that has escaped a competitor with access to the same asset pool.
Advertisement - story continues below
Over the years, some competitors quietly sought to tilt the playing field in their favor with performance-enhancing drugs, such as steroids. Records, long held by earlier champions using only their natural born talents, sadly fell to new era champions willing to cheat the natural talent pool. The doping deaths of Olympic athletes in 1960 and 1967 finally prompted the International Olympic Committee to act, imposing drug screening in 1968 to again level the playing field in international sporting competition.
A reality of sporting competition is gender does play a role. All else being equal, the physical strength of the best female weightlifter will never equal that of her male counterpart. This is evidenced by the current weight disparity between records the two sexes have set. Similarly, due to physical body structure limitations, the fastest female runner in the world will never outpace the fastest male runner. In fact, the fastest mile run by a male is almost 30 seconds faster than that run by a female, with the former having broken the four minute barrier in 1954 – and continuing to record sub-four minute records since – while the latter still struggles to break that same barrier. This gender differential makes it unfair for the two sexes to compete against each other in the same sporting event. It is why separate records and champions appear by sex.
This brings us to the issue of transgenders and the fairness of their competing against birth-gender athletes. An aspect of this issue most telling is that, while numerous examples of transgender females (men identifying as female) winning competitions against females exist, there are no comparable examples of transgender males (women identifying as males) winning against males. It is doubtful the latter will occur on a high-profile level due to the undeniable fact physical differences in genders exist, making one – birth gender females – weaker than the others – birth gender males and transgender females. In essence, a transgender female competing against a female is testosterone competing against estrogen. In the world of physical capabilities, testosterone is the odds on favorite, tipping the playing field of competitive sports in that direction.
The impact of this realization has gained focus as females now find themselves at a competitive disadvantage at the high school and college levels against transgender females. When this happens in high school, the result can be more devastating for females who lose out on college athletic scholarships for failing to win the gold. This is exactly why three girls from a Connecticut high school filed a federal discrimination complaint against the state's policy allowing transgenders to compete against their identified gender rather than their birth gender.
Advertisement - story continues below
There is another aspect of transgenderism in need of discussion as well. It is the position taken that transgenders be allowed to use public bathrooms of their identified gender rather than their birth gender. There is no doubt this issue creates a discomforting environment for those in the latter category using the same facilities. It raises the question as to whose sensitivities should prevail.
It is estimated that within the U.S. population of 329 million today, there are 1.4 million transgenders. Assuming birth genders roughly are 50 percent male/50 percent female and applying that percentage to transgenders suggests only 700,000 seek to use either male specific or female specific facilities. Thus, purely from a numbers standpoint, less than one half of 1 percent of the U.S. population, identifying as transgender female, create a discomforting environment for non-transgender women using female facilities. Since male child molesters are also known to falsely "identify" as female to access women's bathrooms, is it fair to subject females not only to a discomfort factor but to the safety factor as well simply to accommodate an extremely small transgender community?
The point social justice warriors advocating on behalf of transgenders seem to miss, accepting that an ideal world of universal gender equality simply is not attainable and that it is unfair to mandate a positive benefit for a minute minority at the expense of the vast majority's safety and comfort, is for what goal should such advocates then really be pressing? That goal should be preaching acceptance and respect for those different from the vast majority. Not only is such acceptance and respect a reflection of humanity in a complex world but, hopefully, it would also eliminate revenge as motivation for those, like the alleged Colorado STEM high school killer, who believe one's gender identity is being mocked.
But acceptance and respect demonstrated by the majority for a transgender minority should correlate with the minority's corresponding acceptance and respect for the majority's overwhelming preference to accept birth sex when it comes to matters of sports competition and bathroom privacy.
Absent mutual acceptance and respect, there is but one way a social justice advocate's idealistic world of universal fairness can be achieved. It requires establishing four separate gender designations for sporting competition and public bathroom facility usage: male, female, transgender male and transgender female. Practicality dictates this will never occur. Accordingly, the social justice advocates' call for universal gender fairness equality based on but two genders makes it innately unfair for women today.