It is a hot-button issue that got even hotter when trans swimmer Lia Thomas won the 500-yard freestyle in the collegiate national championships on Thursday night. The parents of competitors from five Ivy League schools wrote to The New York Post to share the experiences of their children competing against Thomas.
To sum it up, they basically say it isn’t fair and shouldn’t be happening, especially during Women’s History Month. In the letter, the parents say they “have witnessed firsthand the utter abandonment of women and girls this year.”
The parents state that “Thomas, a biological male, took a lane and a podium from a deserving female swimmer” and “Lia has now broken female legacy records across pools and in the Ivy League.” They state they are furious and that most everyone in the community is furious also.
As the letter continues, they state, “Parents, coaches, swimmers, and rational, logical people know this is grossly unfair” and “female swimmers have not consented to this.” The parents state anyone that has said no to this has been told to be quiet and their concerns are transphobic.
The fellow swimmers apparently talked with coaches about “the injustice they faced in the pool” and “how uncomfortable the locker rooms were with male nudity,” but they kept being turned away. The parents even compared this experience to “a propaganda machine that would make Russia jealous.”
They state that girls who had a problem with transgender athletes competing were told to seek counseling and team meetings were called at every school to communicate a singular message. They went on to say “Everyone was cowed into silence” while the institutions spared no expense to show their support for Lia.
Despite Lia’s accomplishments, the parents say, “Women deserve fairness without caveat, and they should not be asked to shoulder the mental health of others at their own expense. A male body cannot become a female body. A woman is not a disadvantaged man.” They added that “women pay a deep psychological toll, competing or not, when told they are undeserving of fair competition.”
The parents wrapped things up by saying, “No one deserves mistreatment or workplace discrimination, but women’s sex-based rights to safety and fair treatment are not negotiable. Women’s protected rights have been rolled back. We are now aware. We demand change. Demand it with us.”
In those demands, they added, “Women’s boundaries, women’s bodies, their fair treatment, respect and dignity are not up for reimagining by men. Women and girls are not acceptable collateral damage in social change.”