When transgender rights come up in conservative media, a favorite talking point has always been the supposedly unfair advantage transgender women have when they compete in sporting events.
People have a natural dislike of unfairness which conservative pundits take advantage of to stoke resentment against transgender women.
Editor and Twitter user Parker Molloy is sick and tired of these nonsensical arguments. She tore them apart in an epic thread covering all angles of the subject.
So, one thing transphobes like to do is post photos of trans women who *gasp* want to compete in school sports and… https://t.co/uTN2tv8NBw— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558828721.0
Right-wing websites wrote all sorts of articles throwing an absolute fit about her competing. Again this is NCAA Di… https://t.co/rZ1cvRsmMD— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558828991.0
To the best of my ability, I wasn’t able to find a single other time any of those sites showed even the slightest i… https://t.co/PMDPSG8N49— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558829130.0
Conservative media outlets don't care about these events until there's a transgender woman competing in them.
And even then, they stop shy of reporting the actual facts...
So anyway, they post this photo. Oh no! She’s... taller than. The two women to her sides! *gasp* It’s obviously so… https://t.co/JCGdgLPHmp— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558829284.0
They both crushed her. Not even close. https://t.co/YxpiavXf82— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558829420.0
She came in 3rd in that race, which was a preliminary to qualify for the final. In the final, she finished in 6th place. 6th!— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558829480.0
They neglect to report how the transgender athlete gave a totally normal, relatively unremarkable performance in her races.
In her other event, the 200M, she didn’t qualify for the finals at all. She came in 12th in the preliminary.— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558829524.0
So, SURELY all the places that reported about how unfair it was that she competed, blah blah blah, SURELY they all… https://t.co/qBaXKpDcwB— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558829658.0
I honestly don’t GAF whether the existence of trans people makes you uncomfortable, and I certainly don’t GAF what… https://t.co/sSWVi8jyvN— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558830228.0
Most transgender athletes are just normal athletes who happen to be transgender, but the media paints them as unbeatable juggernauts.
So anyway, we never, ever hear stories about average trans athletes. Or rather, when we DO hear stories about avera… https://t.co/FbBxm0Kjlg— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558830563.0
A few months ago, there was an article about a trans woman in Brazil who plays pro volleyball. The article hints th… https://t.co/eKnBapIQU9— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558830664.0
It correctly notes that her testosterone levels are actually lower than that of the average woman. They do note tha… https://t.co/G6iIaAG1W5— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558830880.0
But let’s look at another example. Rachel McKinnon is a cyclist. She’s also trans. She won a race and right winger… https://t.co/prYrZhb8SZ— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558831206.0
Transgender athletes either win (and spark outrage) or get ignored completely.
This is what happened: Someone who has beaten McKinnon in 11 out of 13 of their head to head match-ups decides tha… https://t.co/m2tlz4j5ND— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558831364.0
This creates what’s known as an availability heuristic. We overestimate how common something is if it stands out.… https://t.co/XnVgA7MXhb— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558831476.0
Human beings have a natural tendency to make mental mistakes like this one.
Here’s a great graphic explaining this https://t.co/9YDCzHkCNc— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558831542.0
The trans athlete version of that graphic might look something like https://t.co/TehPKrMxyk— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558831834.0
People's fear of unfairness and bias based on the availability heuristic can cause them to ignore the actual lack of evidence supporting their argument.
When you point out that there aren’t currently any actual dominant trans athletes in pro/Olympic sports, people ten… https://t.co/fnYWN27krb— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558832113.0
Because while people like to pretend that trans people started existing in society in just the past decade, that’s… https://t.co/PTUYCccsNQ— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558832229.0
This "issue" goes back much farther than people remember.
September 5, 1976 — more than decades ago... Here’s someone saying that if tennis player Renée Richards is allowed… https://t.co/ZUexN4c0pM— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558832347.0
Richards was a mediocre tennis player when she competed pre-transition in men’s tournaments, and she was a mediocre… https://t.co/NvEpmgX5vj— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558832456.0
That’s why the argument shifted from saying that she’d dominate... to fearmongering about the future of women’s spo… https://t.co/4dfNipRixs— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558832581.0
Many conservative pundits don't seem to have a clear grasp of how hormone therapy works.
“Yes, well, a man who competes against a woman has an advantage in most sports!” Sure. And? As I’ve established, a… https://t.co/3ZoT7tShHn— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558832846.0
This is really hard stuff to quantify, but the ridiculous arguments from people with no understanding of the issue… https://t.co/cT57Rc6tNu— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558832908.0
Most other "solutions" for transgender women competing in sports are similarly ill thought out.
Also, total side note: this article has a really good explanation for why “just create a separate category” is comp… https://t.co/OgzjStNRrI— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558833130.0
“Why don’t trans women just compete against men?!” Because they actually WOULD be at an insurmountable disadvantage… https://t.co/YD3KQnat7R— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558833420.0
They thought that this would make the argument that these girls were actually just mediocre boys who transitioned j… https://t.co/zMjypyouwM— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558833423.0
Molloy's last point really hit home:
But... there’s one last point in this thread I want to make.— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558833463.0
This long, long thread about trans people in sports... and it annoys me more than the misinformation about hormones… https://t.co/v860PUWIOA— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558833523.0
What annoys me the most out of everything... is that people use completely unrelated issues (in this case, misinfor… https://t.co/4SCVmH8aS1— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558833601.0
Even if you don't believe transgender women should be allowed to compete in sports (which they absolutely should be), it shouldn't influence your opinion on transgender rights in general.
Here’s where that person’s first tweet came from... it was a response to a tweet about why discrimination in health… https://t.co/wh9dFjv9Jz— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy) 1558833684.0
Twitter was incredibly grateful to Molloy for so eloquently standing up for transgender women's right to compete!
@ParkerMolloy it's like they think every single trans woman is a caitlyn jenner level phenom with superhuman athlet… https://t.co/oDwDPcYf7i— willardfillmore (@willardfillmore) 1558829936.0
@ParkerMolloy Parker, I am really grateful that you went through the effort to put this all together. And I am exce… https://t.co/8axcdiT5gr— alison 🏳️🌈 🌈 (@alison 🏳️🌈 🌈) 1558890428.0
@alisonborealis @ParkerMolloy https://t.co/6HzDEbUYII— Emma Evans (@Emma Evans) 1558890759.0
The world is an exciting and complex place.
The more we step back and listen to voices like Molloy's, the better equipped we'll be to build a happier, less hateful society for everyone in it.
@ParkerMolloy @faithlesssouth Thank you for taking the time to post this. I am an ally but I learned new things reading it.— imaraven (@imaraven) 1558836834.0