The Great Transgender Sports Walk-Back Begins
There was a notable shift in the White House’s position this week, and it was purely political.
There was no press event, no position paper, no eagerly anticipated announcement. And yet there was no hiding the significance of what Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Tuesday’s White House press briefing.
And what she said was: “It’s a complicated issue.”
The issue KJP was referring to was transgender athletics — specifically, whether boys and men should be allowed to compete against girls and women simply by claiming to be “transgender.” Take a look.
The question came from Fox News’s Hillary Vaughn: “Former Governor Nikki Haley … says, quote, ‘The idea that we have biological boys playing in girls’ sports, it is the women’s issue of our times.‘ Does the president agree that this is a women’s rights issue?”
To which Jean-Pierre responded somewhat nervously: “So, we’ve talked about this many times. This is the Title IX, specifically. Uh, look, um, a-a-and again, we’ve talked about this multiple times. It’s a complicated issue, and there are a wide range of views on this. The Department of Education proposed a rule, as you know, that gives schools the flexibility to establish their own, uh, athletics, uh, policies, and so while establishing, uh, guardrails, right, to, to prevent discrimination against trander, transgender kids, and that is something that is i-incredibly important, uh, uh, that the president wants to make sure that we also do that as well. So, I’m just not going to get ahead of that. As I’ve said, there is a proposed rule, uh, uh, for, and, uh, Title IX, uh, on Title IX, uh, that the Department of Education has laid out, so I’m just not going to get ahead of that.”
To which Vaughn followed up: “The president has granddaughters. Does he care that girls are allowed to compete in sports without fear of injury? Does he think it’s fair that girls for girls to have to compete against biological males?”
To which KJP replied: “I just answered the question. It is a complicated issue. It is truly a complicated issue with a wide range of views. A wide range of views. There is no 'yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this. It is complicated.”
Translation: We’re walking back from our previous position of unqualified support for this profoundly unfair and deeply unpopular policy.
Trans-translation: We Democrats have principles. And if you don’t like them, we have others. (Hat tip, Groucho Marx.)
Clearly, the Biden White House thinks the annihilation of women’s sports is “a complicated issue.” Frankly, though, we don’t think it’s complicated at all: Biological boys and men should compete against other biological boys and men, and biological girls and women should compete against other biological girls and women. It’s biology. Or, as the Democrats used to like to say, It’s science.
This is the position of the overwhelming majority of Americans, and the Democrats know it. As always, they’re following the polling, and the polling has them biting their nails. As Gallup has noted, from May 2021 until May 2023, the percentage of people who believe that athletes should compete according to their gender “identity” has shrunk from 34% to 26%, while those who believe that one’s biological sex at birth should be the determining factor has increased from 62% to 69%.
As we wrote a couple of months ago, the cult of transgenderism has hit a political wall, and Democrats have a decision to make. Based on KJP’s unsteady response, it’s clear that they’ve made the decision. The only question now is how, exactly, they’ll begin to distance themselves from the likes of Lia Thomas, Austin Killips, Laurel Hubbard, and all the rest.
The transgender sports issue is simply a bridge too far. It’s a 70-30 issue — perhaps even 80-20, depending on how the question is asked — and with the 2024 election on the horizon, it’s becoming increasingly toxic to Democrats. And Tuesday, KJP began The Great Walk-Back, much like she did a few weeks ago when she jettisoned her boss’s longstanding claim that he’d never discussed his son Hunter’s overseas business dealings with him. Both of those positions have now become untenable.
Here, let’s give credit where credit is due: Riley Gaines. She boldly took up the cause and became the face of the resistance back when the future was far less certain. She took the slings and arrows, and she enlisted others in her cause, and she ultimately made the case to Congress.
As our Emmy Griffin noted recently, the sport of cycling and its international governing body, Union Cycliste Internationale, has already broken ranks with the cultists and the elitists and banned “transgender” cyclists — but mostly because the female cyclists themselves began staging protests and boycotts. No cyclists, no races, no money, no governing body, right? As she wrote:
This is huge. Those hopeful among us figured that the transgender agenda would cross a line eventually. Cycling is the first sport to take a firm stance to protect the integrity of women.
Biological men, regardless of their testosterone-suppression levels, have a body composition that makes them stronger and faster than even elite women athletes. Men gain muscle faster, have greater lung capacity, and have so many other biological advantages.
Indeed, it’s huge. And so was KJP’s walk-back. This is only the beginning, but the trend is unmistakable.
Updated to include additional context on the cycling governing body’s decision to maintain the integrity of its sport.
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