Opinion: 3 cheers for the brave high school girls taking on the transgender lobby

by Daniel Payne · Feb 12th, 2020 5:27 pm

Publicly criticizing the transgender lobby these days is no small thing. Consider J.K. Rowling, who was the recipient of sustained global outrage after she noted, correctly, that "sex is real" and is not dependent upon subjective feelings about "gender identity."

Celebrity host Mario Lopez, meanwhile, recently issued a groveling apology in response to furious criticism after he pointed out that it's "dangerous" to encourage three-year-olds to decide if they are one sex or the other. Some years ago, a man who identifies as a woman threatened conservative commentator Ben Shapiro with violent assault because Shapiro referred to the man as "sir."

It can be hard enough to face down this sort of fanaticism when you're a celebrity with an established career and lots of money. Doing it as a lesser-known citizen can be disastrous. One woman who argued against gender ideology was fired by her modeling agency. A female grad student was investigated by her university for claiming that women cannot be men. Multiple Canadian beauticians were threatened with ruinous lawsuits for refusing to wax the genitals of a man who believed he was a woman. A female journalist was banned from Twitter for saying "men aren't women." A British researcher was fired for saying the same thing.

It's dangerous territory. That's why we should be so impressed with the three Connecticut girls suing numerous public officials over a policy that allows young men who identify as women to compete in female sports leagues. Two of those young boys in particular have been utterly dominating state female track and field competitions in recent years—unsurprisingly, since their male bodies give them distinct and critical advantages over their female competitors.

It is bold enough to bring such a lawsuit against a powerful and uniquely zealous interest group. Yet these young women have even attached their names to the lawsuit. That opens them up for significant harassment, social backlash, retribution and numerous other indignities; transgender activists have become adept in recent years at targeting their critics and forcing them to recant. Hopefully that won't happen here.

Of course it is plainly unfair to allow young men to compete against women; the reason we have sex-segregated sports is because males and females are physiologically distinct and, unquestionably, athletically variant. Testosterone has a way of doing what all the gender theory in the world can't possibly do: It gives men a significant and undeniable advantage in athletic competitions. That's not opinion—it's one of the most well-attested and self-evident facts of human history.

With any luck, this lawsuit will succeed. Even if it should not, the bravery of these young women should not go unnoticed. That kind of backbone is rare, and admirable, and worth encouraging.