In 1976, Bruce Jenner became “the world’s greatest athlete” after defeating the undefeatable Mykola Avilov of the Soviet Union to win Olympic gold for the decathlon. His iconic flag wave – not at all the norm at the time – became a tradition for gold medalists the world over. In 2015, with the words “for all intents and purposes, I am a woman,” Jenner – now Caitlyn, rather than Bruce – became the world’s most famous trans celebrity. One might think this a major victory for the LGBTQ community. Yet today, it seems most trans activists would rather Caitlyn never existed. What happened?
Caitlyn Jenner just isn’t behaving the way trans activists want her to. She’s a Republican who doesn’t freak out when someone misgenders her and – gasp – she doesn’t believe trans athletes who were born boys should compete in girls’ sports. Caitlyn Jenner doesn’t fit inside the box progressives built for her and she doesn’t parrot the right narrative – and the left just can’t cope.
A TMZ reporter caught Caitlyn in a parking lot mid-coffee run and asked about legislation banning transgender girls who were born biological boys from playing in girls’ sports in school. “This is a question of fairness,” she replied. “That’s why I oppose biological boys, who are trans, competing in girls’ sports in school. It just isn’t fair, and we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
And the Twitterverse exploded with rage.
While numerous trans activists lambasted Jenner, two in particular really stood out. First, writer and activist Charlotte Clymer said, “Caitlyn Jenner completely fails to understand the science here.” Clymer goes above and beyond the typical “trans traitor,” “self-hating trans,” and “stop hurting trans kids” attacks. Is Caitlyn Jenner a doctor? No, of course not. But she did train and study enough to win a gold medal in the Olympics as a man competing against men. That certainly makes her more of a subject matter expert in the field of trans people in sports than Clymer, who is neither doctor nor a professional athlete.
The claims that trans women have no competitive advantage against biological women brings to mind the case of Fallon Fox, the MMA fighter who was a man for 31 years before undergoing surgery in 2006. It is Fox’s reaction to Jenner that stands out, perhaps more than that of Clymer. “You are such a traitor @Caitlyn_Jenner,” Fox tweeted. “So we need to ‘protect girls sports’ from other girls now? And fairness? Don’t you know how testosterone blockers work?”
What makes Fox’s tweet so interesting is her MMA career. Before being knocked out by Ashlee Evans-Smith, Fox was undefeated as a female fighter. Fox fought a total of six matches, winning two by submission and three by knockout. Her last fight was the 2014 bout with Tamikka Brents. Within two minutes and 17 seconds, Fox gave Brents a concussion and seven broken orbital bones – that’s every bone in the eye socket – and that was the second time Fox broke an opponent’s skull. The first time was Erika Newsome, who never fought again.
“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night,” Brents later said. “I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right …”
But it’s Caitlyn Jenner who doesn’t understand the science or is ignoring it? Testosterone blockers or not, a 30-year-old man developed differently from a woman: denser bones, more muscle mass, different shaped bones and muscles … There’s a lot more to it than just the amount of testosterone being produced by a fighter during a match.
Calm and Collected Cait
The left likes to rant and rave. That isn’t Jenner’s style. The left likes to play identity politics and ignore facts. Evidently that isn’t Jenner’s style, either. Instead, Jenner remains calm and collected amid the storm of hatred from progressives. Rather than backpedaling, Jenner reaffirmed her stance on the issue in a tweet:
“I didn’t expect to get asked this on my Saturday morning coffee run, but I’m clear about where I stand. It’s an issue of fairness and we need to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
Jenner didn’t lose her cool when Joy Behar repeatedly misgendered her, either. While calling Jenner down as inexperienced and saying that “he” – that is, she – should just concede and let someone more qualified take on California’s Gavin Newsom, Behar used male pronouns four times in reference to Jenner. She issued a very half-hearted apology, saying, “so first of all, let me apologize for my pronoun mix-up. I think I just didn’t get enough sleep last night. I had no intention of mixing them up, but … and I tried to correct it immediately, but, whatever. It just came out. So, I’m sorry if anybody was upset by that.”
Jenner’s response? “Don’t sweat it, @JoyVBehar,” she tweeted the next morning. “I’m not about cancel culture. I know where your heart is. California has bigger issues than pronouns.” Controversial, but calm and collected all the while – but can she dethrone Newsom and become California Cait?
Read more from James Fite.