A Report from the Trenches of the Gender Wars
Defending girls' sports in California
May 28, 2023
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Last weekend, women affiliated with the group Women are Real protested the participation of a male athlete in the California state championship track and field qualifier session. The women picketing the event were removed after bringing attention to the fact that a male athlete, Athena Ryan, had taken a female runner’s spot in the state championship by finishing second in the “Girls 1600m” event. The National Review (among others) covered the situation.
It was later reported that a second male athlete had beat out a different girl to win the right to compete in the state championship competition in the same race. So, heading in to the state championships, spectators expected to see two boys competing in the girls’ 1600m track event, having deprived the right to compete from two girls who deserved to be there.
I was invited to participate in a protest of the participation of the boys in the girls’ event in the state championship, scheduled for yesterday, and I happily agreed. Lying legacy media outlets like the San Francisco Chronicle portrayed the protests as an “anti-trans” attack on “girls.”
The athletes in question weren’t girls. The protestors weren’t interested in attacking anyone. We were interested in defending girls. The two boys who had qualified to compete in the girls’ category in the state championship had deprived two girls of their rightful places. That’s not fair.
No one planning to protest yesterday wanted to attack any young people in any way. We just thought it was deplorable that the state athletic association, the CIF, was permitting boys to compete in the girls’ category. If the boys could succeed in the boys’ category, great! We would have cheered them on. They didn’t. They chose to invade the girls’ category, presumably with the support of their parents and their schools, and the CIF let them. That’s what we were planning to protest.
It turned out that we didn’t need to. For reasons that are not obvious to me, the boys backed out at the last minute. They did not, as is standard, give race officials sufficient time to replace them with the female athletes who deserved to be there in the first place. But for whatever reason, the boys chose not to compete that day.
The San Francisco ran its predictable shoddy reporting.
Again, the athletes in question aren’t girls. They’re boys who claim to be girls.
I have no idea why the boys made the decision they made, but I hope they made the decision they made because they finally realized that what they had done, what they were planning to do, was fundamentally unfair to girls as a distinct category of human beings. I don’t know if I will ever know why they made the decision they made. But I’m glad they did it.
We decided to show up anyway. We did that for a few reasons. One was that we wanted to cheer for all the girls who competed. Another was that we wanted to make a statement on behalf of the girls who had been excluded. So we did.
We waited in the hot Fresno sun for the 1600m girls’ event to begin. And once it began, we executed our plan. We cheered and cheered for the girls racing around the track. We donned white shirts and black sashes that read “Woman = Adult Human Female.” At the end of the race, we rose with banners that read:
PROTECT FEMALE SPORTS
STAND UP 4 GIRLS
PROTECT FEMALE ATHLETES
WOMEN ARE REAL
Here we are, posing for a photo after the event with our banners:
Here is a really fun video of how the event unfolded. You can also click on the image below.
We were so excited to cheer for the girls who were running. They were amazing. We were also excited to proclaim our support for female-only sports.
You can see in the video how security ordered us to leave, and we did. They threatened to cancel the entire meet if we didn’t.
A lot of people have asked me why we left instead of either calling their bluff or making them cancel the meet. There are several reasons why we chose to comply and one of them is that we had made the point we needed to make. But here’s the more important reason we chose to leave: This was a high school state track and field championship involving minors, female and male. While we waited for the event we were waiting for, we watched numerous other events. We watched kids use poles to hurl themselves over a high-jump. We watch kids, girls and boys, compete in their relay events. We were not there to hurt any of those kids. Those kids, all of them, deserve everything they have fought for and we were not about to stand in their way. We were there to make a point and once we’d made our point, we got out of the way.
Here’s some fun footage of us leaving the venue after security kicked us out, making sure that every single person in that crowd knew that we were there, cheering and standing in solidarity with all of the girls who were there to compete. A parent on the opposite side of the stadium took the video and shared it with us privately. Many parents thanked us. The security guards who kicked us out were very nice and told us privately that they agreed with us. After they confiscated our banners, they returned them.
We’re making a difference. We have no intention of stopping. Let’s go.