A Modest Proposal For Ohio’s Anti-Trans Athletes Law
Please take a moment to read the horror story that is Ohio House Bill 151. This bill is no symbolic passing fancy, it was recently passed by Ohio House.
The bill is to pander to the current GOP culture war by addressing, what the supposed party of individualism, regards as one of the biggest problems in America right now: transexual athletes participating in sports. Though the real concern (as reflected in this law) is for supposed transexual “males” participating in female sports. The law states:
“No school, interscholastic conference, or organization that regulates interscholastic athletics shall permit individuals of the male sex to participate on athletic teams or in athletic competitions designated only for participants of the female sex.”
There is no reciprocal prohibition against females participating in athletics designated for those of the male sex. For the record, this alone makes the law subject to challenge under the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
This near law is absurd on many levels, but the worst of it is the bill’s proposal to allow challenges to the sexual identity of anyone participating in school sports.
The law provides for what happens “if a participant’s sex is disputed.” Some things about that first. It doesn’t say who may dispute the sex of a participant. Presumably anybody may do so. The bill does not require that the person raising the dispute state a basis for doing so. It can be for any reason, or no reason at all. There is not even a basic requirement that this challenge be advanced in good faith. Instead, the bill provides blanket protection to those making such challenges, with no concern at all given for the motivations behind their doing so.
We now move on to what happens if someone, anyone, raises a dispute of a child athlete’s sex. It’s a three step process. Step 1 is traumatic sexual assault. Step 2 is a blood test. Step 3 is genetic testing. All of these must be done. In the Orwellian words of the bill:
“If a participant’s sex is disputed, the participant shall establish the participant’s sex by presenting a signed physician’s statement indicating the participant’s sex based upon only the following:
(1) The participant’s internal and external reproductive anatomy;
(2) The participant’s normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone;
(3) An analysis of the participant’s genetic makeup.”
So Ohio parents, if say your 11 year old daughter is excelling on her elementary school track team some other parent, perhaps of a jealous child not doing as well, may dispute whether your daughter is a daughter. You must then take your daughter to an exam where her labia will be spread to determine her “true sex.” The proposed law leaves it to you to explain all this to your daughter. In the meantime, a Republican Party preoccupied by child molesting pedophiles is enshrining child molesting into law.
Keep in mind that this is not any kind of medical examination. It is not being done to treat a patient, or protect the medical interests of any patient. Rather, this fondling of an 11 year old’s vagina is for the purpose of scratching a perverted Republican political itch.
Of course, dear Ohio parents, you are not done. Your daughter must also be subjected to a blood test to determine if her levels of testosterone are wrong. For the record, this House passed bill does not define what the acceptable and unacceptable levels of testosterone are.
You still aren’t done. Your child must also have her genes evaluated. Again the law provides no guidance on what constitutes good or bad genes in a world where genetic sexual markers are much more diverse than just XX or XY.
For the record, Ohio parents, you get to pay for all that. Neither the state, nor the person challenging your daughter’s sex, are obligated to pay for the privilege of having her sexually molested, testosterone measured, and genetically profiled. Also for the record, Ohio parents, if your child fails in these undefined measures, the supposed “victims” of your kid’s unfair advantage can sue you for damages, even those only “psychological.”
Of course, the impact on this will not be equal. As one mother of a nine year old daughter on Twitter put it the the biggest targets of such a law will be “Girls who do not look feminine enough, girls of color, girls who are ‘too good.’” This struck me as true. I’m old but I can remember what was whispered in school about girls who it was said looked “butch.” The girls “who are ‘too good’” line resonated with me too. I can remember similar whispers about girls who excelled. Those not as good are likely to target those who are good. Nobody likes to believe they are not winning because another is simply better than they are. Losers are inclined to believe that winners are, in some way, cheating. That’s just human nature.
Of course, the lawmakers behind this are counting on the targets being those who are the few, and the already marginalized. Which brings me to my “modest proposal.” Should this become law its horrors should be visited not on a few, but rather, upon all.
I urge concerned Ohioans to form an organization that will dispute, without exception, the sex of absolutely every person (male or female) participating in absolutely any school athletics. Let the effects of this law be universal, not selective, all inclusive, and so not discriminatory. If this is such a great idea let every child participating in athletics experience it and absolutely every parent of all those children explain it to their child and pay for it. Do not allow those behind this law to get away with it by allowing its application to be limited to a few, bring this to all.
What I suggest may sound harsh, and unfair to the children. Perhaps so, but in making this potential law unfair to all children (and their parents) the law shall fall, and thus eliminate a never ending unfairness to a smaller group of children these lawmakers hope to keep invisible. Illumination is the best disinfectant and I urge this light to be shined on all so that the disease may be cured.