The Corner


How Will Women’s Sports Work?

The starting blocks at the USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., February 15, 2020 (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports/Reuters)

The Wall Street Journal has an appropriately tough op-ed on the Biden executive order which will push all public schools to open up their girls’ facilities to transgender girls — young men who identify as young women.

I’m curious to see what this looks like in practice on a wide scale. The dominance of two transgender athletes in Connecticut’s track sports inspired a lawsuit asserting the state’s policy violated Title IX. The ruling that it indeed violated Title IX is probably unlikely to survive Justice Gorsuch’s bizarre Bostock decision. Nor the revised guidance coming from the Biden decision.

But in any case my guess is that there’s going to be a short period in which girls’ sports continue relatively normally in many schools — but that it may become routine for the best existing girls’ athletes to drop out after the entrance of trans athletes into their sport. Will the teams survive? Will there be a concerted effort to shame young girls into being polite and even enthusiastic losers in competitions they have no hope of winning?

In the longer term, I wonder if these decisions will divert more young women away from public school facilities and into private extracurriculars like dance. The pattern across the world is that as more choices open up, the sexes tend to diverge more in their choices of professions and hobbies. I wonder if the 2020s’ identity movement will, on the whole, tend to “gender” extra-curricular activities even more — pushing more women away from increasingly “male” athletics into something else.

Also, how will this work at higher levels? Surely we’re not far away from America lobbying the Olympic committee on these matters. Will “less enlightened” countries want to play by the new rules?


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