Due to the thickness of my skull and the rather primitive simplicity of my brain, there are certain things I simply can’t comprehend no matter how hard I try.

One such thing happened recently when University of Pennsylvania senior Lia Thomas won the 500-yard freestyle during the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming Championships at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the campus of Georgia Tech University in Atlanta.

The problem is, Lia Thomas was actually born male. His birth name is William Thomas, and he decided to call himself female in 2019. In my opinion, having Thomas in the pool with genuine female swimmers is a joke; that’s not being “inclusive” or “embracing diversity,” it’s blatant discrimination against women.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s just fine if a guy wants to call himself a gal. Everyone should have the right to “identify” with whatever gender he or she likes.

LIA THOMAS

But simply making a verbal proclamation or declaration doesn’t change the physical realities of a person’s body. The simple fact is, male and female bodies have very different structural, anatomical and muscular makeups, and it’s downright stupid to pretend that a man doesn’t have an inherent advantage in several aspects of physicality.

Why is that hard to grasp? Why would this even be an issue?

I’ll tell you why: Because society has deteriorated to the point where the agendas of small groups of people are allowed to dictate guidelines and form policies and protocol for the masses.

University of Virginia freshman Emma Weyant finished second in the 500 free, 1.75 seconds behind Thomas. Weyant hails from Sarasota, Fla., and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis posted a reaction on social media that pretty much sums up the situation (from a standpoint of reality rather than “wokeness”).

“By allowing men to compete in women’s sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud,” DeSantis said. “In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota’s Emma Weyant as the best women’s swimmer in the 500y freestyle.”

DeSantis also said, “We need to stop allowing organizations like the NCAA to perpetuate frauds on the public, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.”

I couldn’t agree more. Even Caitlynn Jenner (who, as Bruce Jenner, won the men’s decathlon in the 1976 Summer Olympics and is one of the most famous transgender humans) agrees.

“No, it wasn’t fair,” Jenner said. “It’s not a fair fight.”

Thomas is 6-3 and has much, much larger hands than most women. He/she also made the finals in the 100 and 200-yard freestyle races at this year’s NCAA championship meet.

While swimming for the Penn men’s team in the 2018-2019 season, Thomas was ranked 554th in the country in the 200 freestyle, 65th in the 500 and 32nd in the 1,650. As a woman this season, she ranked fifth, first and eighth, respectively.

Jenner even disregarded Thomas’ victory with a tweet that says it all: “Emma is the rightful winner! It’s not transphobic or anti-trans, it’s common sense!”

Yep. But unfortunately, in many circles common sense isn’t very common these days.

Thomas did not participate in a post-race news conference, as is normally required by the NCAA. Representatives of multiple women’s activist groups were on hand to protest the ridiculous situation at the meet, including Save Women’s Sports and Young Women for America.

A third group, Concerned Women for America, later announced that a complaint would be filed against Penn violating Title IX by allowing Thomas to compete on the school’s women’s team.

Again, my brain doesn’t comprehend how this is even an issue. And considering all that has gone on with Title IX over the years in the name of assuring equal opportunity in women’s college sports, why would some misguided leaders suddenly want to destroy the whole concept?

On top of everything else is the ludicrous likelihood that Thomas would join other competitors in the women’s locker room before and after a given swim meet.

Sixteen members of the Penn women’s swim team sent a letter to school and Ivy League officials expressing their views.

“We fully support Lia Thomas in her decision to affirm her gender identity and to transition from a man to a woman,” they said. “Lia has every right to live her life authentically. However, we also recognize that when it comes to sports competition, that the biology of sex is a separate issue from someone’s gender identity.”

Ya think?

Let’s face it: Whether you believe (like me) that God made men and women differently, or you prefer to think they somehow got that way through a random set of unlikely (and arguably implausible) circumstances, you can’t possibly deny that there are major differences between the bodies of members of the two sexes. If you do, you’re denying your own composition and therefore showing substantial disrespect for yourself.

Thomas, of course, defended his actions in a media interview.

“I’m a woman, just like anybody else on the team,” Thomas said. 

I beg to differ, dude. You can be a woman in your mind and in the eyes of a handful of individuals, but you never will be physically.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email: ddavison@houstonherald.com.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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