Reka Gyorgy showed commendable courage this weekend for finally speaking out against the National College Athletic Association's rules regarding trans competitors. The Virginia Tech swimmer and Olympian was bumped out of a finals spot in the 500 free due to transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas's participation.
In a letter posted to her Instagram account, Gyorgy wrote, "It feels like that final spot was taken away from me because of the NCAA's decision to let someone who is not a biological female compete... [Thursday] is the result of the NCAA and their lack of interest...
Reka Gyorgy showed commendable courage this weekend for finally speaking out against the National College Athletic Association’s rules regarding trans competitors. The Virginia Tech swimmer and Olympian was bumped out of a finals spot in the 500 free due to transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas’s participation.
In a letter posted to her Instagram account, Gyorgy wrote, “It feels like that final spot was taken away from me because of the NCAA’s decision to let someone who is not a biological female compete… [Thursday] is the result of the NCAA and their lack of interest in protecting their athletes.”
Gyorgy is one of the first NCAA female swimmers to speak publicly about the negative impact Thomas’s participation in the sport has on women. She deserves massive credit for putting her name to her views while others cower in fear of being called transphobic. But even Gyorgy couched her criticism of the NCAA’s rules with an entire paragraph expressing that she “respects” and “fully stands” with Thomas.
Yes, the NCAA is to blame for its unscientific and unfair rules. But women should also recognize that the biological men destroying their sports and invading their private spaces are deserving of neither their compassion nor their respect. The mental illness of the few is simply not an excuse to erode the rights of the many.
Thomas pretends to not understand why women are concerned about his participation. Are we really to believe that that he is oblivious to the biological advantages he has over his female competitors, which do not just disappear with hormone treatments?
A man’s cumulative exposure to higher testosterone levels throughout his life and the effects of puberty give him irreversible — or only partially reversible — advantages in sport, such as larger and stronger bones, broader shoulders, bigger feet and an ability to put on and retain muscle.
Some of these advantages are even more pronounced in the sport of swimming. Anyone who watched an Olympic broadcast over the years heard endless chatter about Michael Phelps’s wingspan or Ian Thorpe’s shoe size. Now we are expected pretend that these things don’t exist so as not to hurt the feelings of trans people.
Testing testosterone levels is simply not enough to account for biological differences. The reality is that the only way to ensure fair competition is for biological men and women to compete in separate categories. Why should Thomas’s perceived right to compete in a category that doesn’t match his biological sex outweigh the right for women to have fairness in sports?
Thomas has also stripped the women on the UPenn swimming team of their right to privacy in the locker room. Thomas has male genitalia and is attracted to women — and multiple team members have reportedly complained about his presence in the locker room making them uncomfortable. But one teammate, who spoke anonymously about the issue, said neither Thomas nor the school seems to care about their concerns.
“It’s really upsetting because Lia doesn’t seem to care how it makes anyone else feel. The thirty-five of us are just supposed to accept being uncomfortable in our own space and locker room for, like, the feelings of one,” the teammate said. “The school was so focused on making sure Lia was OK… that they didn’t even think about the rest of us.”
We would usually call exposing yourself to others without their consent sexual harassment or, at least, indecent exposure. Yet, Thomas’s teammates are told to get over it or change elsewhere. It is inappropriate and, frankly, a safety issue to tell women that they should ignore these very natural feelings of discomfort.
The NCAA’s rules for transgender athletes take on woke, Ivy League values in a way that appears clearly and conspicuously wrong to the average American. While normal people shake their heads and scoff at what is happening in the NCAA pool, elite academics and progressive activists try to tell us that what we are seeing is not just totally normal, but something to celebrate.
Cheryl Cooky, a gender studies professor at Purdue University, cheered Thomas and compared him to Jackie Robinson in an opinion piece for NBC News.
“For anyone who cares about the advancement of sports, and women’s sports in particular, her win should be celebrated,” Cooky said.
Cooky also wondered if it is time for fully gender-integrated sports. I wonder if Cooky, who poses with a soccer ball in her official Purdue photo, would advocate putting Lionel Messi on the field with Megan Rapinoe. The US Women’s National Team couldn’t even beat a team of fifteen-year-old boys. Never mind the obvious safety issues with throwing full-grown men into a contact sport with smaller, slower women.
You have to be living on another planet to think this is a good idea. What would we say about the first man who took out a woman’s knee on an aggressive slide tackle? Or the first man to break a woman’s nose with a 70mph penalty kick? Would the left celebrate a “cisgender” man competing on unfair grounds the way they celebrate Lia Thomas?
It’s time to drop the act that Lia Thomas is as much of a victim as the women being bumped off the podium. His decision to continue to swim on the women’s team, despite his obvious biological advantage, is contemptible. His invasion of the women’s locker room is downright disturbing.
It is OK to feel bad for people who suffer from gender dysphoria, but that shouldn’t render us incapable of criticizing their actions. If we really want to save women’s sports, that means speaking out against everyone involved in their destruction.