Tennis Legend Martina Navratilova Under Fire For Saying Only Women Should Compete In Women’s Sports

Tennis Legend Martina Navratilova Under Fire For Saying Only Women Should Compete In Women’s Sports

'You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards,' wrote tennis star Martina Navratilova.
Libby Emmons
By

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova made waves earlier this week when she penned an op-ed in the Sunday Times about her views on trans athletes in women’s sports, and her interaction with championship Canadian cyclist Rachel McKinnon. At issue was their December 2018 public exchange on Twitter, in which Navratilova wrote “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.”

McKinnon, a cyclist who was born male, began living as a woman after the age of 29, and won the 2018 Masters Track Cycling World Championship, took issue with Navratilova’s remarks, and unleashed a barrage of accusations that Navratilova was transphobic. Never mind that Navratilova has had a trans coach, Renée Richards, came out as gay in 1981, and has been a proponent of women’s sports and fair play for the entirety of her career.

Navratilova took McKinnon’s concerns to heart, and promised to check into the biological issues of trans women competing in women’s sports before coming to any further conclusions. She did that.

Well, I’ve now done that and, if anything, my views have strengthened. To put the argument at its most basic: a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires. It’s insane and it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.

In the now familiar and predictable trans activist backlash, Navratilova was dropped from Athlete Ally, a New York-based LGBT sports advocacy group. In a statement, the group wrote:

Trans women are women, period. They did not decide their gender identity any more than someone decides to be gay, or to have blue eyes. There is no evidence at all that the average trans woman is any bigger, stronger, or faster than the average cisgender woman, but there is evidence that often when athletes lower testosterone through hormone replacement therapy, performance goes down.

That Navratilova is getting thrown under the bus by trans advocates and their willing, female submissives should come as no surprise in this climate where women are vilified for believing that women’s bodies are actually a thing that exists. Because we are meant, as women, to be pliant, giving, and nurturing, we are also meant to bend over and give back the rights that our foremothers have fought so hard to obtain.

Women did not always have permission to compete in sports on anything more than an intramural playing field. That women’s international sport is a thing at all is a testament to women like Navratilova, a strong Czech woman who fought for her rights (and ours), and made a glorious show of it, winning 18 singles Grand Slams and 31 doubles.

It’s no wonder that now, as an elder statesman of women’s international sport, she is unwilling to sit by placidly and watch women be erased from sports entirely. Instead of spouting vitriol like McKinnon, Navratilova is calm, rational, and breaks down the distinctions between those women who are born with hormonal abnormalities and those who choose to live and compete as women, despite not having been born female. It is empowering to see a woman who has already suffered bullying and vilification for being a lesbian stand up again to those who would demand her silence.

Watching the debate over trans ideology play out in the sporting realm has been as fascinating as it has been disheartening. In 2018 in Connecticut, trans track and field athletes won first and second place in girls’ state championships, leaving one girl to take home the bronze. In powerlifting, women who compete on women’s teams with trans male athletes are boycotting the sport because these competitors aren’t allowed to compete as women.

Navratilova is right to call for standards, because trans women athletes and trans men athletes are vying to compete under completely different standards. If trans women want to compete as women, and trans men want to compete as women, and trans women are (or aren’t, because there are no standards) taking estrogen and trans men are taking testosterone, then what does it mean to be a woman competing in women’s sports? Is there any such thing as a woman? Is there any such thing as women’s sports?

These are some of the questions that trans advocates and their cowed women refuse to answer. Instead, they counter with insults and nasty comments, refusing to believe that women are defined as anything at all.

This mobbing, this verbal tarring and feathering, is evidence that the trans agenda is based entirely on feelings and emotional realities as opposed to legitimate biological science. The desire to redefine sex as anything we can imagine creates a fractured reality in which it becomes near-impossible to define anything in relation to the self, or even the self at all.

Although the trans lobby is certain they are on the right side of history, I’d rather be with Martina Navratilova, fighting for fairness in sport, acceptance of lesbians, and the rights of women worldwide.

Libby Emmons is a Senior Contributor to The Federalist. She is a writer and mother living in Brooklyn, NY. Follow her on Twitter @li88ynyc.

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