April 8, 2023 – Editorial
Riley Gaines, former NCAA swimmer, was assaulted yesterday after speaking at an event at the San Francisco State University.
The outspoken critic of trans athletes in women’s sports said she was hit three times as she left the event, and was able to capture some of it on video.
The former collegiate athlete has an entire website dedicated to her cause, with headlines ‘Swimming against the current,” and “It’s Bio-Logical.” A call-out reads, “Riley Gaines is bringing awareness to female equality in sports, starting with women’s swimming. Join her fight and stand up for women in sports.”
Protecting women’s rights to compete only against people who are biologically women is a cause that the editorial staff at Cyclists International supports. Although we don’t agree with Riley Gaines on some of her more radical positions such as locker room etiquette, and codifying into law what makes a woman a woman, we do agree that people who are biologically men should not be competing with women in competitive (non-social) sports.
It took years for women to gain the right to have equal access to sports. That was not ratified by law until Title IX was passed. Now men –who are biologically men, and who see an opportunity to beat us at our own game, are competing with us as “women.”
On the face of it, the notion of joining women’s competitive sports seems logical. But when you are one of the women competing with a trans person with a man’s body, you realize instantly it’s anything but fair.
I learned that when I competed at a multi-day bike race in Fitchburg, MA. One of the teams brought their trans athlete with them. I can only say that there was not a single woman in that race who could beat this person–still a man physically–in women’s clothing–and they didn’t.
They were twice my size in height, muscles, and height, They powered past all of us and picked up all the prizes in the events that took brute strength and speed. The only thing they weren’t good at was the mountains. The team was gleeful with excitement as they picked up the win in all the flat race stages.
I was pissed and disappointed. It was an absolute joke. Not one of us could compete against this person. This is very similar to the situation Riley Gaines found herself in when competing against the 6′ 4″ Lia Thomas, formerly Will Thomas. She explains her viewpoint well on The Daily Signal.
There is extreme hypocrisy in allowing trans women to compete against women. Let’s start with the flip side: do you see any trans men competing with men? Nope, not even if they are taking testosterone can they compete. The development of male muscles, heart, veins, are all larger than women’s from the time of birth.
The next level of hypocrisy is that testosterone is banned for female athletes in competition. Yet,
mystifyingly, men in women’s clothing with many times more the natural testosterone are allowed to compete in a woman’s race– where none of the women can take testosterone?
Test number 3: why are so many men deciding to compete as women? Because they can finally win! Put them in a men’s field and their performance is mediocre.
At the time that I was competing in bike races, trans women in competition was not “a thing” yet, so it didn’t occur with great frequency. But after that race I began to wonder if I was going to run into this athlete again–and I certainly did not want to. It took all the wind out of my sails, and soon thereafter I stopped doing any major competing. It just wasn’t worth it if this team was there with their rider, and they seemed to be traveling the entire northeast circuit.
At that time, not many trans people had caught on to the idea that if they wanted to, they could compete favorably against women –and win consistently. Now that the idea has caught on, it is undoing the last 20 years of progress in women’s sports won through Title IX. It’s sending us back straight to the 1960s when we had no right to have equal sports programs in grammar school, high school and college because the men who ran those institutions didn’t think we were worth it.
And it’s doing exactly what Title IX sought to protect women from, where men have an advantage and always have the edge. To those trans people who feel they have a “right” to compete in women’s sports, I truly question their motives. Is it simply because politically they feel that because they have a right to be trans, they have a right to do everything a woman biologically does? If that were the case, they would menstruate, give birth to babies, and feed children with their breasts. It is just as preposterous for a trans man to think they can suddenly use their semen to make a woman pregnant.
We are totally in favor of people expressing their new found sexuality in ways that do not harm others. But we draw the line when it is used to take back a woman’s right to win in women’s sports. This will not be the last time we speak out on this issue–the fight is just beginning.