Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Ending the Right to Free Expression

In the current chapter in the clash of civilizations we have a Russian leader taking over Eastern Ukraine. We also have the president of China acting as though Western democracy is something of a contagious disease. Despite what our leading thinkers think, Xi Jinping probably has less interest in transforming the West than in protecting his nation from nefarious Western influence.

After all, the West has been projecting weakness while Eastern countries are certainly trying to project strength. And then when Western countries try to project strength, as happened in this country with vaccine and mask mandates, and as is happening in Canada, they feel like they are overdoing it. Being harangued by Chrystia Freeland or by Kathy Hochul feels like the revenge of the governesses. One hates to have to say it, but these conspicuous and out-of-control displays of machismo seem more likely to provoke bad relationships between men and women.

As for tough guy Joe Biden, he can barely even read his scripts any more. Besides, as we have noted here, Biden has surely had cosmetic surgery done to his face. Do not imagine that a face that has been lifted and perhaps even Botoxed conveys resolute strength.

In slightly different terms, we in the West cannot build much of anything any more, but we are surely good at sanctioning people-- even when we pay the largest price.

Anyway, Western democracies, for all of their love of voting, are also based on the concept of rights. For the record, it’s the opposite of wrongs. And yet, in a world where no one seems any longer to be able to think straight, the concept of rights has been extended-- to those who believe, sincerely, that they are transgendered. Not only that, but respecting the rights of Penn swimmer Lia Thomas means that you are not allowed to question her belief. That means, shut the fuck up. 

Transgender rights has become a new despotism, not merely destroying women’s sports but silencing those who would disagree. While we are complaining about restrictions against free speech in foreign countries, we would do better to clean up our own petty despots.

Anyway, the NCAA notwithstanding, the absurdity of allowing a male to compete in women’s sports could be solved relatively easily. In a better world, in a world where women were allowed to express themselves without feeling threatened, the female members of the Penn swim team and the other female members of Ivy League swim teams would simply boycott all meets where Thomas was competing. Simple and direct. Problem solved.

Moreover, as we have reported, the notion that Thomas, what with his male genitalia, should be allowed to change in the women’s dressing room should elicit a protest. Women should refuse to use the changing room while he is present. Problem solved.

Again, women should not allow themselves to be diminished, demeaned and degraded by the cockamamie notion of trans rights. One notes that many feminists have taken up this cause, but, unfortunately not enough.

Now, thanks to Suzy Weiss, who attended the Ivy League swim championships, we learn of the threats and intimidation that have been directed against women swimmers. The message: shut up about Lia Thomas or we will ruin your life.

Naturally, we all love our free and democratic republic, but please explain to me why nations around the world, looking at this absurdity play out in the nation’s finest universities, should not be saying that theories of human rights are a poisoned gift, leading to oppression and suppression.

Now, parents of Penn swimmers know the story. And yet, they are not allowed to protest. 

Weiss reports:

He and his wife, plus another Penn mom, tell me that their daughters tell them that Thomas seems oblivious to all the discussion around her. “They haven’t asked our girls how they feel about any of this,” says the mom. “My daughter is a female, and Lia has dated females, and now she’s in the locker room with male parts.”  

These young women have been threatened. We should all protest this injustice; but none of us are:

But the Penn couple thinks that Thomas’s comfort has come at the expense of their own daughters’ who they say have received “veiled threats” from the university when it comes to speaking out. At the meet, the announcer opens with a warning against “racist, homophobic, or transphobic discrimination.”  

So, if you refuse to compete against a male swimmer, you are a racist, sexist homophobic transphobe. Oppression, anyone.

The threats work:

So it is no surprise that not one of the swimmers would speak to me; nor have they spoken on the record to any other reporter. It’s not that they haven’t considered it. “One of the swimmers on their team called my daughter and asked if they were to put out a statement, if the Harvard swimmers would too,” a Harvard dad told me on Friday night. 

You and I feel for the girls in question. Competitive swimming was their world. Now it has been taken from them. But, also taken from them has been their right to express freely an opinion about the attempt to change reality by changing the way people speak. 

These kids and their parents are ultra-competitive—in swimming, in schooling, and socially. In some cases, these families passed up scholarships to D1 schools so that the kids could swim for Columbia, or Dartmouth or Cornell or Yale and pick up a more elite diploma along with a varsity letter. Getting here meant a decade or so of early practices, endless carpools, faraway meets, college visits, charity projects, SAT prep and AP classes. 

We do not have a Communist Party breathing down our necks, but the people in question have been threatened and intimidated by the thought police:

But getting in doesn’t mean an end to the prep and the striving. There are still job prospects, summer internships, and graduate school admissions to worry about. They love prestige, and they love rules. Rules got them and their kids where they are; these are the highest-scoring rule-followers in the country. But now the rules—Thomas has followed all of the Ivy League and NCAA ones—have turned on them. “Whether you think it or not, you can’t go against her,” says the Brown dad. “No one wants to take the hard stance because they don’t want to be demonized.”

One of the Penn moms says her own daughter warned her against speaking out. “She’s worried about getting into grad school, and she doesnt want my name or hers to come up on Google attached to this.” (Her daughter is hoping to get a graduate degree in biology.)

Nice closing touch. Biologically speaking Lia Thomas is a male. And yet, reality be damned; science be damned; free expression be damned. Your overlords have told these young women that they must sacrifice the work that they put into competitive swimming in order not to offend someone whose mind is prey to a delusional belief. 

And you thought we lived in a free country. And you thought that free expression was a sacred right. Dare we say, the West has gone soft and weak. Vladimir Putin knows it. Xi Jinping knows it. We alone do not know it.


jabrwok said...

His name is not "Lia". He's not a "she". They're trans*sexuals*. Words have genders, people have sexes.

Don't use the vocabulary of the enemy. Doing so concedes the battlefield.

markedup2 said...

You and I feel for the girls in question
No, I don't.

They are more concerned about a future based on their own fear than their current reality. It's entirely possible that showing up in a future Google search on this issue would make them out to be heroes or even martyrs worthy of praise. We get the future we imagine.

It's a personal choice and they've made one. There is nothing to "feel for". They are making their own decisions; they can live with the consequences.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that female swimmers should be gifted with spray cans of red paint. Perhaps some spray itching powder to be used first.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Putting on a one piece swimsuit does not make you a female swimmer.