'We can't bow to the woke': Caitlyn Jenner on protecting women's sports and why JK Rowling is right
While Caitlyn Jenner fully supports Lia living as a woman, she says she does not understand her motives in sport
Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas is literally swimming in controversial waters due to a polarizing debate about whether she should be allowed to compete against biological females or not. Now, the 22-year-old's recent interview to Sports Illustrated magazine just fanned the flames of disapproval further. "The very simple answer is that I am not a man. I'm a woman — so I belong on the women's team," Lia had said making her stand clear on the debate.
Critics argue that because Lia was born a biological male, she has advantages in the pool that biological women don't have and the precedent she is setting could be a direct threat to female athletes in every sport. One of the most forthright critics is trans celebrity Caitlyn Jenner who was previously Bruce Jenner, the athlete who won gold in the Decathlon at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. She said, "I don't think biological boys should compete in women's sports — we have to protect women's sports. That's the bottom line."
Caitlyn continued, "I respect [Lia's] right to transition and I hope she has a wonderful, wonderful life. But she grew up as a biological boy and I don't think it's fair that she's competing in women's sports. Her cardiovascular system is bigger, her heart is bigger, she's got longer arms and legs." The former Olympian further told DailyMail, "Three years earlier, she was on the men's team ranked 462; now she's No. 1 in the same event for women? Obviously, it's not fair." The former athlete expressed despair at the bitter gender wars raging today."The world's gone mad,' she says. 'It was never meant to be like this."
Lia is abiding by the regulations set out by the US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which requires trans women to be on hormone therapy for at least 12 months before they can compete. Commenting on this, Caitlyn says, "She's following the rules" before adding "but the rules have to change." Caitlyn also spoke about how she always turns down invites to take part in ladies' golf tournaments because she feels bad for taking a trophy away from the ladies who really deserve it.
"Here's an example: I play golf and, seven years after my transition, I still have a big advantage over women players. I'm 6ft 1in. I have longer arms than the ladies and I can outdrive them by a hundred yards,' Caitlyn explains. "Even being off testosterone and on estrogen for seven years now, what I've got left over is still more than they've ever had. So, it wouldn't be fair." Although Caitlyn fully supports Lia living as a woman, but says she does not understand her motive in sport. "I don't see how you can be happy beating other girls under these circumstances. You have to have a sense of personal responsibility. You can still enjoy sports but not play at a competitive level, right?," she offers.
Many women are concerned that certain aspects of gender identity ideology pose challenges to their fundamental rights, but fear that if they raise their voices they will be stigmatized as transphobic. JK Rowling, regarded as a serial offender by trans activists has been maligned for calling for single-sex spaces to be preserved, while philosophy professor Kathleen Stock was forced to quit her job at Sussex University after being accused of transphobia for her views on gender identity.
"There's a fringe element of the trans community that has a big voice, and their mission is to shut down all other opinions. I have a large platform, so nobody's going to shut me up. We can't bow down to the woke people who want to change the world," Caitlyn agrees. Though, the trans celebrity criticized Rowling in 2020, when the author questioned the use of the term "people who menstruate" instead of women, she has since softened her stance.
Last year, Caitlyn sided with American comedian Dave Chapelle, who came under fire for saying: "They canceled J.K. Rowling — my God! Effectively, she said gender was a fact, the trans community got mad as sh**, they started calling her a TERF [a trans exclusionary radical feminist] . . . I'm Team TERF. I agree . . . gender is a fact." Caitlyn tweeted: "This isn't about the LGBT movement. It's about woke cancel culture run amok, trying to silence free speech". Caitlyn says, "J.K. Rowling shouldn't be canceled. She's just got an opinion. Everybody's got to calm down."