Be careful what you wish for


It seems to me that some of those old-time adages that have been around for many, many years still apply today. One of these has appeared in a number of variations but I think the most understandable version appeared in “From these beginnings,” 1937, by Jane Annixter. It reads “Be careful what you wish for because you are liable to get it,” Yep, that admonition, that cautionary note, sure appears to apply to some of the goings-on we’re seeing these days.

Recall how a few years ago there was a large scale ruckus involving bathroom rights in North Carolina. The essence of the tussle was the question whether transgender individuals have the right to access bathrooms according to gender identity, not their biological features. (Note: According to Psychology Today, “The term transgender refers to people whose sense of their own gender differs from what would be expected based on the sex characteristics with which they are born.”) Well, this brouhaha spread to other states in different ways but some have proved interesting so let’s look at one of the important underpinnings.

In May 2016, the New York Times reported, ” The Justice and Education Departments issued guidance that, under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student’s transgender status — and that the departments would treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX.” Well, since most schools receive federal money in one or more ways, the threat of depriving schools of that money led to adoption of this “guidance” by lotsa schools.

Okay, so what? Well, a couple instances have surfaced in news reports regarding transgender policies and procedures. In Boyertown, Pennsylvania, a female student sued the school district after she reportedly encountered a transgender individual whose physical appearance was that of a male in what was formerly a girls-only campus facility. She reportedly complained that she wanted to reestablish the bodily privacy previously enjoyed in locker rooms and restrooms on campus . She protested that officials didn’t tell students about the change in school policy so she and others didn’t have a chance to raise their concerns about allowing students to choose their locker rooms and restrooms based not on their sex but on their beliefs about their gender. Well, she lost her case so she and other genetic girls have to accept having male bodies in formerly girls-only restrooms/ locker rooms. Sorry ‘bout that, but it’s what the official policy calls for.

Another manifestation of transgender’s rights recently occurred in Hartford, Connecticut, where three girls, members of a high school track team, have filed a federal discrimination complaint alleging the state’s policy on transgender athletes has cost them top finishes in races and possible college scholarships. The state’s organization governing high school sports cites a state anti-discrimination law that requires students in school be treated according to the gender they identify with. That effectively means athletes can compete according to their expressed gender identity regardless of the sex determined at birth.

Okay, so what? Well, for example, one transgender student who has the physical attributes of a boy now holds 10 state records that previously were held by girls. There are multiple instances where transgender athletes finish far ahead of other competitors in girls events and thus dominate the field over non-transgender athletes. Not fair? Too bad, but that’s what officials provided for and what they got.

Closer to home, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) policy states, “a transgender female (or male-to-female (MTF) transgender student athlete) who is taking medically prescribed hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate on a boy’s team at any time. However, before a transgender female can compete in a girl’s sport or on a girl’s team, the transgender female must either (1) have completed a minimum of one year of hormone treatment related to gender transition or (2) demonstrate to the Commissioner’s Office by way of sound medical evidence that the transgender female student athlete does not possess physical (bone structure, muscle mass, testosterone, hormonal, etc.) or physiological advantages over genetic females of the same age group.”

How about them apples! Sure tends to level the playing field, doesn’t it – and makes a body wonder if Connecticut shouldn’t go to school on how Ohio treats transgender athletes. At least that’s how it seems to me.

By Bill Taylor

Bill Taylor, a regular Greene County Daily contributing columnist and local area resident, may be contacted at [email protected].

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