This Photo Should End the Transgender-Athlete Debate | National Review

This Photo Should End the Transgender-Athlete Debate | National Review

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas (L) of the University of Pennsylvania stands on the podium after winning the 500-yard freestyle as other medalists (L-R) Emma Weyant, Erica Sullivan and Brooke Forde pose for a photo at the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship in Atlanta, Ga., March 17, 2022. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

On a most basic level, everyone knows that the decision to allow Lia Thomas to compete against women at the collegiate level is wrong. The decision has been rationalized to death with rhetoric concerning the transgender swimmer’s “authentic self,” as if the female swimmers competing under a new glass ceiling had any quarrel with that.

But the photo above should end that debate. In a tolerant and reasonable society that values fairness — fairness for women, which understandably has been an animating issue for progressives and was the motivation for the first bill Barack Obama signed as president — the jarring image of Thomas towering over the defeated women at the 500-yard freestyle yesterday is unassailable evidence of how wrong this charade is.

Winning the NCAA championship event, Thomas can be seen cradling the trophy while the comparatively diminutive women — including Olympians — pose on the side with their lesser prizes. (They are on a lower podium, which exaggerates the height difference, but Thomas is estimated to be over six-feet tall.) Madeleine Kearns, who is in Atlanta covering the competition, reported that the cheers for the second- and third-place finishers were noticeably louder.

I was reminded of this scene, and it seems David Harsanyi was too:

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.