Flat White

Transgender activism in women's sport remains unpopular

2 March 2022

2:00 PM

2 March 2022

2:00 PM

As Mr Morrison comes out in favour of protecting women’s right to the safety and dignity of playing sport in a sex, rather than a gender classification, we see the left-leaning media take a position that would have been ludicrous even five years ago.

They make it sound progressive, obvious even, that males should be competing with females in sport, but these are not their own opinions. The opinions of the progressive media around sex, gender, and sport have been carefully crafted for them by their imperial masters, with the full knowledge that they are not only unpopular but may be the step too far many of us have been waiting for.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has thrown his support behind a Save Women’s Sports private member’s bill. According to senator Claire Chandler, who introduced the bill, it ‘asks males not to play in female sport, and makes sure volunteers and local clubs don’t face legal action if they offer single-sex women’s sport.’

Mr Morrison said that Liberal senator Claire Chandler ‘is a champion for women’s sport and I think she has been right to raise this issues that she has’.

With an election looming in Australia, Labor has already drawn the battle lines around women’s issues such as sexual assault and harassment in Canberra, casting Mr Morrison’s Liberal Party as misogynistic and out of date. But there is every indication that, should the Liberals stick to their guns on issues around protecting women’s sport and women’s sex-based rights, they may well take the electorate with them.

Research in the US conducted recently by the Transgender Law Centre has indicated that the inclusion of males in women’s sport is vastly unpopular, even among people sympathetic on other issues of transgender inclusion.

The Transgender Law Centre has released a memo with research results around issues of transgender youth, conducted by consultancy firm Lake Research Partners. The research focused on ‘narratives that proved compelling to our base and persuadable’. The ‘base’ mentioned we can assume to be left-leaning Democrats, and ‘persuadable’ would be more moderate swinging voters. The research indicated that transgender activists are failing to find sympathetic arguments around transgender-identified males in women’s sport.

The memo admits that arguments advocating the protection of sex categorisation in sport are more persuasive ‘against any and all arguments’ for transgender people playing in the category of their gender identification. While research indicated that the ‘base’ and ‘persuadables’ are very sympathetic to transgender student-athletes they ‘are extremely susceptible’ to the arguments that keeping males out of women’s sport is ‘necessary to protect the fairness of women’s sport’.

The memo entitled Transgender Youth and the Freedom to be Ourselves: Building Our Choir with a Race Class Gender Narrative, recommends continuing to counter resistance to males in women’s sport by connecting transgender issues with the ongoing struggles that African-American people have faced as a result of slavery. The Race Class Gender Narrative (RCGN) has been developed in the wake of the success of the older ‘race, class narrative’ used extensively by US Democrats.

The race, class narrative is an ‘empirically-tested narrative on race and class’ also developed by Lake Research Partners, that has successfully linked Democrat policies with the struggle of Black and poor people. Lake suggests connecting transgender issues, not just to race, but ‘to more popular reform’, specifically anchoring ‘trans rights’ to successful same-sex marriage campaigns.

One wonders if it is only lawyers who would fund research to tell them that people don’t like to be called bigots for recognising the realities of sex. That is probably unfair to lawyers, but this document completely ignores research in favour of using civil rights history to bully and shame women to cede single-sex sport, services, and spaces.

If trans activists lack anything, it isn’t chutzpah. Against overwhelming public opinion, Transgender Law Centre are unwavering in their commitment to equate ‘justice for transgender people to issues of racial and economic justice’, convinced it will ‘move our base and persuadable audiences on key metrics of support’.

Recent research in Australia suggests that 75 per cent of Australians agree with legal protections for girls’ sport against gender classifications. It seems simplistic phrases like ‘trans women are women’ are easy to say, but the ultimate consequences of such a position prove unpalatable in the face of the reality of removing a protective sex classification from girls and women.

Last year, transgender-identified male and head of Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre, Mridul Wadhwa, caused outrage by saying that women who had been raped and sought out therapy in a single-sex setting, needed to be counselled out of their bigotry. When a Sottish women’s rights organisation responded by insisting women and girls have a right to female-only rape support services, Canadian trans activist Morgane Oger asked if it was ‘legal to guarantee white-only support for white victims of sexual assault in Scotland?’ In the thread, Oger went on to accuse a rape victim’s mother of allowing her ‘daughter’s rape to be used to incite hatred against trans women’.

If trans activists are ‘building a choir’, it is a very elite ‘choir’ that only the privileged few can afford to sing in. A parent, sitting by a pool watching a boy annihilate their daughter after years of getting up at 4 am to chase the black line, can’t afford to harmonise with this song, especially if they hope their daughter will get a scholarship. Neither mother nor father of such a girl would want their daughter to deal with the stress of having a male in the change room.

Lake Research Partners are not an independent firm, their clients include Joe Biden, AOC, Planned Parenthood, and Human Rights Campaign. They claim to be ‘leading the vanguard of the progressive movement and shaping the debate to accommodate, feature, and win important progressive policy changes’. They are right to feel drunk with the power to override reality with ‘narrative’ when those narratives echo in progressive press throughout the world.

Right on cue, after the Prime Minister expressed support for the bill, the Australian press are singing the Lake narratives like a virgin in church. The Guardian has reported that the Save Women’s Sports Bill ‘allows exclusion of transgender people from single-sex sports’. The Canberra Times has claimed that the government is ignoring ‘human rights’ in an attempt to ‘gain the votes of transphobes’.

In the gender wars I have seen dissident lesbians, raped women, homosexual men, and a great range of middle-aged women declared to be exactly the same as Jim Crowe, for not being kind enough to believe that trans women are women. But as the Transgender Law Centre have found, the narrative is just not washing with electorates around women’s and girl’s sport.

The Liberal Party of Australia needs to find courage on this issue and stand up for women and girls who wish to compete fairly and undress in change rooms free of the presence of males.

Edie Wyatt has a BA Hons from the Institute of Cultural Policy Studies and writes on culture, politics and feminism. She tweets at @MsEdieWyatt and blogs at ediewyatt.com

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