1% of Athletic’s Events Is Trans Domination, Seriously?

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I watched a Big Joel video on conservative commedy [1:47:00] the other day. I’ve forgotten most of it, but the one interesting part was on The Daily Wire’s movie Lady Ballers which is basically The One Joke™️[^joke] stetched out to a feature length film. I don’t care much of it but I thought I’d use it as an oppurtunity to talk about my thoughts on trans women in women’s sport.

Personally, I’d expect transwomen1 to have undergone transition before competing in women’s leagues, a position most athletics body’s agree with. Ben Shapiro, CEO of The Daily Wire, proposed that the movie be a documentary but they couldn’t find any leagues that would allow men to compete. This invalidates the thesis, but alas we’re in a moral panic, evidence be damed. Also, why would a man upend his life and lots of time and money undergoing many medical procedures just to dominante women’s sports? There are easier ways to get money and scholarships that don’t require you to live as somebody you aren’t.

I flippantly dismissed scholarships and money but it’s a fair concern. I found a website called “SheWon.org” [NOT ACTUAL SITE] which catalogs instances where trans men beat cisgendered athletes. It lists 900 stolen oppurtunities since 2018 and while that sounds a lot, the denominator is missing—in other words, there are far more than 900 sporting events for women to compete in. There site lists 156 oppurtunities in track and field2 that a transwoman stole in the US from 2018. There are 44 track and field events. Assuming each of the 50 US states have 10 track meets each year and we exclude the COVID years, we get 88,000 possible events in which trans women took less than 1% of those. I’ll admit this is an underestimation (as long as you admit that there are far more events) but even bringing it down an order of magnitude the best argument you can make is that they do rather well for their ultra tiny population. I just don’t see this “trans” domination and given how small of a population they are, I doubt it will change.

Even accepting this unfairness, isn’t sport inherently unfair. Try as we might to equalize things, some will be better resourced, better trained and more naturally inclined to win a particular sport. Why is this the unfairness that’s being harped on. We don’t always get what we want in life and sometimes one’s best just isn’t good enough. Sports is literally a zero sum game but the oppurtunities in life aren’t? There are bigger discussions we could have covering how to fund education, that isn’t as fun as harping on about a minority. At the same time, I don’t want to say fairness doesn’t matter at all. I mean, you don’t want an “I am 12” moment where having adults compete with primary school students.

Trans people are seen as a huge threat to the sanctity of women’s sport but isn’t apathy a bigger killer? Have you heard all the jokes about the WNBA along with how more successful national women’s teams get far less than their failing male counterparts. What have transgender people done to contribute to any of that?kno Since the movie is just another attempt at owning the libs and happens to be less offensive than it is funny, Daily Wire personality said they all missed the point which was that nobody cares about women’s sports3. I don’t disagee per say but if that’s the case what’s the point of this film which had no basis in reality to begin with and the whole moral panic around trans women?

Also, I think this is changing. As I’m writing this, the 2024 NCAA women’s basketball finals got higher vieweship than the men’s one. All ciswomen on the team as far as I’m concerned so the need for me to make things more exciting doesn’t hold water. The winning team also had an undefeated season. Clearly, people give are starting to give a shit about women’s sports!

I don’t know why I wrote this. I might even remove it at some point but here we are. The thing that worries me about this moral panic is that it will go beyond sport. It starts here since most people justifiably object to trans women in sports even though I’m not entirely convinced. It’ll start extending to removing them from public life and it will also extend to people who aren’t considered to be performing gender properly. Sure, you might be a manly man but if you eat a banan too fruitily, you too could be on the chopping block. Far from a gender activist, let alone an ally, but I hate to see how they have a hard time that people want to make worse as has happened before.

  1. Focusing on trans women here since they are a bigger controversy than trans men. Many such cases. ↩︎

  2. I doubt the accuracy of these statistics. I looked for “olympic” and I saw 5 people, all of whom Controversy over whether the winner is male or not. Seriously? In fairness, 11 of the 900 had this “controversy” but I doubt the rest of the list is methodologically solid. Here’s the data [CSV: 131KB] and the archive to the site if you want to play around with it yourself. I only did this since I like Excel’s data import from URL feature↩︎

  3. This line was quoted in the movie. The full quote [ARCHIVE]. I’m trying to be charitable but in context, his point is stupid. He thinks this is some grave systemic injustice exceeding many others even as we’ve shown that this is 2% at most on their own terms and that they admit they coudn’t find a place that would let them do this. ↩︎