Recently, Lia Thomas became the first (known) trans woman to win a Division I National Championship. Lia, a swimmer, competes for the University of Pennsylvania and has followed all of the regulations laid out by the NCAA for transgender athletes.

Despite this, when Lia won, the internet and the sports world exploded with “feminists” arguing that allowing Lia to compete in the women’s competition was a “danger” to women’s sports.

Concerned Women for America even filed a Title IX complaint against the University of Pennsylvania for allowing Lia to compete. The CWA president was quoted saying “the future of women’s sports is at risk and the equal rights of female athletes are being infringed.” Scrolling with Twitter, I saw plenty of cis-men and cis-women alike spouting transphobic rhetoric while simultaneously and constantly misgendering Lia as an effort to “get their point across” about the apparent inequality of allowing transgender women to compete in women’s sports.

First, I’m not buying that men are all of a sudden so concerned about the equality of women’s sports. You don’t care when women are not paid the same amount as men in ANY sport. I can guarantee most of you don’t watch women’s sports and I didn’t see all of these men up in arms last year when the NCAA gave high-class NCAA basketball players a single rack of weights during the NCAA basketball tournament.

No, men don’t care about women’s sports. Instead, men see this as an opportunity to be outwardly transphobic while simultaneously seeming like they “support” women. You don’t.

Second, the “feminists” that claim that trans women competing in sports is wrong and unequal are just using the age-old trick of trying to gain equality on the oppression of others used by white feminists for hundreds of years.

Women’s sports have been treated differently than men’s sports forever, and the sudden idea that allowing trans women to compete is violating the “equality” of sports is honestly laughable to me.

Do you know what violates “equality” in sports? Literally everything else. After the age of 8, girls and boys are separated based on gender with the inherent idea that boys are “better” at sports than women. The men, then get all of the good workout equipment, the best trainers, the better coaches, more money, and extra publicity.

Meanwhile, when I was an athlete in high school, my hockey coach was given the position of coaching the girl's team as a “punishment” for things he had done while being the men’s head coach. Don’t get me wrong, he was a great coach, but the inherent sexism in his new position of coaching women being the “punishment” was insulting at the time and continues to frustrate me into adulthood.

The women are so often given the lackluster gyms in high school, they are treated differently and trained differently than men's teams. Already, at a young age, boys are treated as stronger, faster, and better than girls.

Most female athletes I know would have loved the opportunity to compete against literally anyone. I grew up playing tackle football with my cousins, I begged my dad to let me play on the men’s hockey team (which he didn’t), and my girl's soccer team constantly asked to scrimmage against the boys.

The women I did know who competed with men, not only kept up with them but absolutely demolished a lot of them. One of my friends who played on both the boy and girls hockey team in high school made the boys look absolutely silly at times. She was faster, she had more skill, and her technique was just astronomically better than theirs.

Real, true, athletes, just want to compete.

Additionally, there have always been “biologically” differences in athletes, regardless of gender. Michael Phelps is built like a damn fish, honestly, it’s amazing that man doesn’t have gills, that’s about all he’s missing. But, you never heard anyone complain about his “biological” advantages being unfair against everyone else he competed against, did you?

Women in sports have plenty of biological differences too. But, no one complains about the 6 ‘2 woman who happens to be better at basketball than a 5’2 woman, do they?

Allowing Trans women in sports is not the issue. The inequality in sports is the issue. Sexism and unequal treatment is the issue. If you truly want to address inequality in sports, maybe start by addressing how differently male and female athletes are treated from the beginning. Maybe address the lack of publicity in women’s sports. Maybe address the inequality of pay in women’s sports.

For now, all I see is blatant transphobia being redefined as “support” for women and misinformation revolving around the “dangers” of allowing trans women to compete. All I see is so-called “feminists” utilizing the same strategy they have used for centuries to gain even an ounce of equality; pushing for equal rights while maintaining the oppression of others.

I don’t even believe for one second that the argument against transgender athletes is about “protecting” women. It’s just transphobia.

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