Michelob Ultra recently waded into the waters of “socially conscious” marketing with a campaign titled “Save It, See It.” The beer company urges Instagram users to “save women’s sports” by hitting “save” on images and videos of female athletes, thus boosting their visibility. “When you hit ‘save,’ they see us,” says a woman in the promotional video.
On paper, this isn’t a bad concept. Women’s sports genuinely need saving. Across the United States, a few courageous female athletes are sounding the alarm about the fundamental unfairness of having to compete against biological males who identify as women. Against an overwhelming cultural tide of transgender ideology, female athletes are being sidelined, silenced, and demoralized.
So it’s disappointing that in its campaign for women’s sports, Michelob chose to feature an athlete who isn’t a woman: CeCé Telfer, a male who competes in women’s NCAA track. Telfer recently made headlines after being disqualified from the women’s Olympic competition due to testosterone levels.
Telfer is a precious human, made in God’s image, valuable, and worthy of respect. But as a matter of biology, Telfer is a man.
Defeating Title IX
The presence of men in women’s sports defeats the purpose of women’s sports. It defeats the purpose of Title IX, which was designed to create equal opportunities for female athletes. As welcome as the millions of dollars Michelob has pledged towards women’s sports may be, it’s all for nothing if women are crowded out of their own teams and pushed off their own podiums.
The athletic advantages of a male versus a female physique are self-evident and indisputable. The presence of men in women’s sports steals women’s victories, robs them of scholarship opportunities, and makes a mockery of their hard work.
Female athletes know this. They see it. They feel it. But due to extreme social pressure — including from powerful corporations like Anheuser-Busch — far too many of them are afraid to say it.
Michelob says it wants women to be seen. But women deserve more than just being seen. Women deserve to be heard.
Let’s Listen to Female Athletes
So let’s take a moment to hear just a few of these women who have been forced to compete unfairly against males.
Selina Soule, a Connecticut high school athlete: “It’s very frustrating and heartbreaking when us girls are at the start of the race and we already know that these athletes are going to come out and win no matter how hard you try.”
Alanna Smith, a Connecticut high school athlete: “We know who’s going to win the race before it even begins. It just seems like all our hard work is going down the drain.”
Madison Kenyon, an Idaho State University athlete: “It was frustrating to know that I was being beat by a male, but I think it really hit me when we’re watching the podium. That’s when it hit me that this wasn’t fair, and that this is removing or dropping females back in their own sport.”
Cynthia Monteleone, a world-champion track athlete: “I found out I was going to be competing against a biological male identifying as a female. When I saw the athlete, to my naked eye I could see that they were definitely taller in stature and had seemingly larger bone mass. When I asked questions, the team managers said, ‘It would be safer for you to keep your mouth shut.’”
Margaret Oneal Monteleone, a Hawaii high school athlete: “I lost out on a chance to win my first-ever meet, and it was very disappointing. We heard that they had only been training for about two weeks beforehand, and I had been training the entire year.”
Linnea Saltz, a Southern Utah University athlete: “It is discouraging for girls and women everywhere to think that they may have to compete against an individual that has a biological advantage over them. Taking away our opportunities will run us out of the sports world, which we already had to fight so hard to be a part of.”
For each of these voices, there are hundreds more. Let’s stop silencing and shaming female athletes who dare to speak the truth about biology. Let’s stop forcing them to pay the price for our attempt to deny reality.
After all the progress achieved through Title IX, how dare we tell women they should be seen and not heard?
Michelob, are you listening?