Stick to the Facts
The reasons for this are multi-layered and complex but largely seem to be rooted in the human desire for righteousness combined with a fear of being publicly shamed. Everyone wants to be declared righteous (something which of course is only possible through the work of Christ) and in our woke-world to question any item on the ‘progressive’ agenda is to put oneself outside cultural righteousness and be declared unclean. This is then combined with the very real fear of social-media trolling and potential career threatening collateral damage. So people just stay quiet – even when they are in a position to resist the tide.
This was always going to hit a crunch when it came to womens sport (as I first suggested on Think 4 years ago). The reality is that being born male confers significant physical advantages – not only to do with testosterone levels but longer limb length, larger heart capacity, higher haemoglobin levels, leaner muscle and so on. World track cycling champion and trans activist Rachel McKinnon is at the forefront of the movement arguing that transwomen have no advantage over biological females in elite sport. Of course, if this were true, so should be the reverse, that biological females are not disadvantaged when it comes to competing with men. But in no elite sport (with the possible exception of ultra-distance running) are women competing at the same level as men.
Martina Navratilova , tennis legend and gay icon, was the first high profile female sports star to break cover on this – only to be predictably pilloried and ostracised by the trans lobby. She has since been joined by boxer Nicola Adams (also gay), marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, swimmer Sharron Davies, and middle distance runner Dame Kelly Holmes. All have received an aggressive online response for stating their concerns, with McKinnon and others trying to organise their being silenced. This rather proves the point of the TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) who have argued that transwomen are simply another expression of men silencing women and colonising female space.
McKinnon has been lobbying athlete sponsors Specialized and Garmin to silence or drop Holmes. The irony of this should be clear as Specialized and Garmin work in an industry where facts rather than ideology are what counts. Those of us who ride Specialized bikes are concerned with the facts of how light, stiff and comfortable the frames are. And those of us who use Garmin’s products want accurate records of how far we have been, how fast, and for how long. It might be nice if my devices told me I was faster and fitter than I actually am, but I don’t want them to do that: I want the truth.
Of course, this is something we can do something about. If, like me, you are a Specialized or Garmin customer (or even if you are not) why not contact them expressing support for Kelly Holmes and asking them to stick to facts rather than be swayed by ideology. It is facts that wins them customer loyalty and the courage to stick to this would win them far more respect than distancing themselves from female athletes who are raising legitimate concerns.
You can email Specialized here: email@example.com
And Garmin here: firstname.lastname@example.org