Saturday, December 6, 2014

Let the Kids Play

The religious right of Minnesota was dealt a blow this week when the state's high school sports league voted to allow transgender athletes to play on the team that fits their gender, rather than the perceived sex they were born with.

In the run-up to the vote, an anti-transgender group ran this ad in the Star Tribune, which appears to be glad to take any money, no matter how misinforming and hateful:

The young woman in the stock photo (who is about as likely to be 14 years old as I am) looks glum because boys have taken over the girls' softball team and deprived her of a scholarship she was counting on to go to college.

The day of the vote, the Strib included pro and anti commentaries on the op-ed page. The writer opposed to the new rule claimed that the language of the rule was broad enough for any competent lawyer to drive a truck through, allowing a flood of boys onto girls' teams.

Well first of all, in this culture of woman-hating, what boy would want to be on a girls' team? And even if a few did try as a prank or just to prove it could be done, what part of these rules would they be able to get past? The policy requires:

  • A written statement from the student and parents or guardians affirming gender identity.
  • Statements from parents, teachers and/or friends about the student’s actions, attitudes, dress and manner.
  • A written statement from “an appropriate health-care professional’’ verifying the student’s gender identity.
Clearly, it's more than just a kid claiming s/he should be allowed to play on a particular team. It requires confirmation from parents, counselors, doctors, and a lot more. If a boy who wants to prove a point can marshal all of that, then go for it. Allowing for that possibility is a minimal risk compared to the need of kids to play with the team that fits their gender.

Finally, two photos from the final hearing and two letters to the editor in response to the situation.

First, this is just priceless:

And then this fine example of quoting what you believe to be infallible source material:

To which one Twitter wag replied, "I like to think the missing word in the first sentence is 'wash' or maybe 'iron.'"

And two letter writers had this to say:
Hmm. If the issue is wearing clothing …

The front-page photo Dec. 5 on the high school sports policy change regarding transgender students (“Vote allows transgender students to take the field”) showed a student with an anti-transgender sign saying: “A woman must not (wear) men’s clothing, nor a man wear woman’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this” (Deuteronomy 22:5).

I wonder if she would also support this admonition from Deuteronomy 25:11-12: “If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.”

I hope we have come a bit further from tribalism and Judeo-Christian sharia law in 2,500 years.

Carol White, Minneapolis

• • •

I find it curious that some of the protesters holding signs quoting chapter and verse from their Bibles, about the “sin” of women and men wearing each other’s clothes, were literally women in blue-jean pants. Forty years ago, they would have been accused of the same thing and evidently would have been “detested by God.” God must have either changed his mind during these 40 years or they are wrong.

Steve Williams, Minneapolis
Thanks to Carol and Steve for voicing my thoughts. And thanks to the high school league for not letting the theocrats win.

No comments: