It’s dumb to separate sports by sex. At least, that’s what a writer at the Atlantic thinks.
Maggie Mertens wrote a 2,000-word op-ed in which she claimed that keeping sports divided into boys/men and girls/women categories is old-fashioned, stating that, “maintaining this binary in youth sports reinforces the idea that boys are inherently bigger, faster, and stronger than girls in a competitive setting.”
Mertens further contends that sex has been proven through science to be a construct that changes quickly and that isn’t uniform throughout one’s life.
Citing a comment from Sari van Anders, the research chair in social neuroendocrinology at Queen’s University in Ontario, sex can even change within minutes.
“Science is increasingly showing how sex is dynamic; it has multiple aspects and also shifts; for example, social experiences can actually change levels of sex-related hormones like testosterone in our bodies in a second-to-second and month-to-month way!” van Anders said.
All of this, and the rest of her blabbering article, is nonsense.
Anyone with some level of common sense knows that the average male -- and the majority of males -- is stronger than the average woman. Growing up, boys are taught to play with a certain level of gentleness against girls, since most are far stronger than any female that could matchup against them.
Furthermore, even if men like Lia Thomas undergo gender reassignment surgery and take hormone suppressants to make them “more feminine,” they still have little difficulty doing better than the vast majority of women; back in February, Thomas won three titles at the Ivy League Championships in just his first year competing.
Lastly, most of the time, low-level male athletes can beat the best women in any given sport. Back in 1998, the Williams sisters, Venus and Serensa, two of the sports biggest icons, said that they could beat anyone ranked outside the top-200 in the men’s division at the Australian Open. Karsten Braasch, ranked 203rd on the men’s side and who had been eliminate early in the Open, obliged by playing both of them in one set mini-matches.
Braasch smoked both of them, who were starting to hit their stride in their careers. Serena fell 6-1, Venus was only slightly less humiliated by a score of 6-2.
"Both sisters are great tennis players and hit the ball extremely well," Braasch recalled in an account he wrote of the match for The Guardian after the event. "However, if you've been playing on the men's tour there are certain shots you can play that are going to put them in difficulty.”
Serena was stunned by the outcome.
"I hit shots that would have been winners on the women's Tour and he got to them easily," Serena said after the match. "This time next year I'll beat him. I have to pump some weight."
If even Serena Williams, who is the greatest woman’s tennis of all-time, couldn’t beat a well-below average ATP men’s player at the height of her career, then maybe we should drop the argument that sex-based separation in sports is a bad thing and let common sense prevail.
The rest of the world would benefit.
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