Texas high school girls wrestler, Mack Beggs, took home yet another state title this past week, defeating her competition, completing a 32-0 perfect senior season. Not unlike the state title and perfect 57-0 record in her junior year of high school. Nobody can beat Beggs, thanks to her grappling skills, fierce determination, and the testosterone-fueled muscle mass of a boy following multiple years of hormonal injections.
Born Mackenzie Beggs, “Mack” chose to become a boy during high school, transitioing her from talented female wrestler to absolutely unbeatable female wrestler. Since Begg’s decision to become a boy falls under medical condition, she was allowed to compete even as she began multiple rounds of testosterone that would provide her a more masculine physique.
Beggs and her family didn’t seek this unfair dominance. The Beggs family had petitioned the Texas State Athletic Board to allow Beggs to switch to boys wrestling where she would be in a more equitable muscle mass mix. The State Board refused, insisting that athletes can only compete in the gender class into which they were born. That may seen utterly non-progressive of cranks in Texas. But imagine the floodgates opened if you allowed student athletes to decide for themselves under which gender they would compete. The outcome would be particularly horrible for girls sports, with larger-framed boys identifying as girls and dominating the leagues. The Australians have spent multiple years now protesting New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard, a man transitioned into a woman who dominates the women’s weightlifting contests at the annual Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
For the sake of the civil rights debate, assume that treatments to modify genders is a medically sound process for those who choose to do so. That may not be the case, but debating the health merits of gender reassignment is a different topic. This is about inalienable rights, and where yours end and everybody else’s begins. As in, does Mack Beggs have the right to competitively destroy the sport of girls wrestling for the remainder of the girls in the State of Texas in order to express her rights?
If you accept that Beggs morphing into a boy is an “immutable” characteristic, since she was always meant to be a boy but for a mistake at birth, she shouldn’t be denied access to sports anymore than a kid born super tall who dominates the basketball court. Shaquille O’Neal averaged 47 points a game in high school, where he was 7-foot and unusually filled-out. He was unstoppable. LeBron James the very same with his unique muscular frame and dexterity for that size at such a young age. Nobody would have suggested O’Neal or James be denied playing high school basketball merely because they were born that way.
Beggs’ case differs though in that she’s taking hormones that provide her clear advantage of her peers who are not allowed to take the very same drug, a performance enhancing drug specifically utilized illicitly in sports. Beggs may have a viable prescription for testosterone, but that course of treatment itself creates a uniquely inequitable situation in the sport. Consider the very sympathetic case of a young solider injured in duty to his nation. Imagine that solider loses a good portion of his arm in combat. Thanks to technology, he’s fitted with a bionic prosthesis that allows him to have semi-normal use of his arm again. But that electro-mechanical arm also provides for superior to human strength. Would we allow that man to box competitively? What if his right cross knocked out every single opponent and he was 89-0, as in Beggs’ record during her two years after testosterone treatments? This is a man who gave his very limb for his country. He’d never be allowed to box. It would ruin the sport.
Without any ill intention, Beggs has ruined the sport of girls wrestling. High school athletics, while not sounding incredibly naive, is about the spirit of the competition. Maybe not football and basketball which bring in dollars, but assume wrestling is a fairly pure endeavor. If you know high school wrestlers, you understand their earnest commitment to the sport itself. Not to mention the college scholarships which are on the line. What of these hundreds of other wrestling girls who enter the season knowing they can’t win because they’re facing a steroid-ripped Mack Beggs somewhere down the line? By providing for a right for Beggs’ to wrestle, you’ve taken away the better part of the right of the remainder of the class. Is that a protection of Beggs’ rights or a trouncing of all others?
Such is the nature of the tyranny of the minority. Transgender rights are a solid basis for judging such situation since depending upon which study you believe, somewhere between 0.2 and 0.6 percent of the nation identifies as transgendered. The number has elevated in recent years with Caitlyn Jenner media age promotion of the subject matter. Behind being hip, you’re also now in a cultural period where expressing your desire in dress, manner, and voice to be another gender isn’t an immediate detriment to your public or school safety. So the number has risen. Nevertheless, it’s a tiny fraction of the population, far less in number than most politically relevant minority groups. If not for their adoption into the flock by gay and lesbian political and social organizations, transgender identified persons would largely be dismissed.
The transgendered or gender fluid or gender neutral or gender everything have insisted upon a series of demands to be met by the two-hundred fold in relative size non-transgender population. These range from clearly relevant and basic demands regarding personal safety, to an entire mix of cultural and etiquette provisions that range from bathroom choice in department stores to the appropriate use of pronouns when referring to a trans person, even an adult to a child. Were these merely polite requests, they might be bothersome, but not an obvious imposition. People who felt themselves obliged would take to learn the various new vocabulary to properly converse with trans individuals and those who felt not so obliged would smile and choose not to partake. But these requests are now quickly moving into the realm of forced concession.
Numerous states, led by California, are moving to punish teachers and other individuals in positions of supervision for mis-gendering students or others under their care. Mis-gendering sounds horrible, but ultimately boils down to, not altering language to adopt to the chosen new gender of the student. These punishments can include fines and censures, and in extreme cases, arrest and incarceration. (Note: defenders of the law are quick to note that claims of “jail time” for misgendering infractions a greatly exaggerated, but none dispute that criminal penalties of some kind will be levied.)
In the United Kingdom, suffering similar tyranny of the minority fools, the Equality Act provides for school children identifying as opposing genders to be protected from bullying and emotional distress. That seems somewhat noble enough, if not idealistic to the point of being nonsensical,. Until you consider that a trans support organization called the police on a female teacher to report a hate crime because the teacher had not called the girl, now living as a boy, to be referred to by the pronouns he-his-him. According to the complainants, this “mis-gendering” caused the boy to be reminded that he used to be a girl and he went into a deep funk. This episode could be incredibly silly if not for it being a potentially actionable offense, providing for the teacher to be treated as a hate criminal, whatever that means. In the least, it could affect your job, your standing, and your reputation. These serious consequences even without suggestion of malice or ill intent whatsoever.
Though you wouldn’t believe it from the intelligentsia bemoaning, we live in one of the freest nations in the world. Talk up Europe all you want, they have no Freedom of the Press or Freedom of Speech. People are routinely fined, if not arrested, in the EU for speaking their piece or even reporting unfavorably on off-limit topics or even sharing certain news and information on Twitter. Nope, America wins the open information contest, the very reason you see so many people spending so much time trying to shout down opposing viewpoints, because they can’t do so by legal fiat. We have a live and let live spirit like few others, despite our Puritanical past. Naturally some percentage of the population finds all this gender bending to be personal troubling, if not an affront to their own beliefs. But for the most part, outside of the noxious media saturation on the topic, most people will sing the refrain, it’s your life, do with it what you want. If it’s your kid, you raise them the way you want. Provided, you don’t adversely affect my right to do the same.
Where does that line begin in relation to the transgender community’s desire to force the rest of the population to modify behaviors, to provide for the comfort and convenience of their own personal choices? Such as Mack Beggs deciding to become a boy and still have the right to wrestle. The first part rankles very few, at least beyond the measure of occasionally snickering and finding it more cultural phenomenon then medical science . The latter part confers a right that therein affects the rights of others. Does Beggs’ have the right within her and her family’s own gender decision to essentially deny the competitive landscape for the entire remainder of the population of female high school wrestlers in the State of Texas? Does a student who changes their gender identity have a right to have a teacher put under hate crime investigation for not calling them by the newly requested pronouns? Alexis Arquette, the transwoman member of the acting Arquette family, insisted in her 40’s she was no longer transgender but that she was a man or a woman, changing daily based upon her mood. Would the rest of the world be expected to modify pronoun diction daily based on her whims?
What were once giggle worthy Rocky Horror jokes about boys wanting to be girls and vice-versa have now entered the world of practical consequences. In the very least, vis-a-vis Constitutional rights of both the minority and the majority. By way of important reminder, the civil rights granted in the document define that everybody gets all of them. In subsequent thought, we’ve agreed that those rights are circumscribed only by where they begin to deny or infringe upon the rights of others. Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness may not include your right to both decide you’re no longer a girl but a boy and also want to wrestle in high school. Maybe you have to cede the latter because to accommodate you, we must un-accommodate so many others. It’s possible you can’t have it all, nor should you simply by personal desire.
Short people struggle at basketball. We have decided that that’s tough for them. We’re not going to lower the hoops and deny tall people the right to dominate the sport. We don’t forbid barbecuing throughout a neighborhood because a kid on the block has asthma. Even if you believe that switching genders is a legitimate matter of health, it does not, nor should not, come with it special rights above and beyond those of others to pursue their own peace. Demanding such is no way to go about changing hearts and minds, let alone a path to equity.