Dear Matt Walsh,
Kindly take your patriarchal condescension and shove it. If I for one second ever believe that you give a flying fuck about women’s sports, please, let my friends know that I’ve been abducted by aliens. Can you do that for me, Matt Walsh? That would be awesome.
I’ve scrolled through your history, I can’t seem to find anything about the recent USA Women’s Hockey boycott or the shameful way the association tried to recruit teenaged girls as a way of not paying their athletes appropriately. I can’t seem to find a single mention of the USA Women’s Soccer team labor deal on April 5th. In fact, I can’t seem to find anything you’ve ever said about… oh wait –
It’s not like you have any clout when it comes to women’s issues.
You’re certainly no friend to trans people. Which would explain your rampant misgendering of Andraya Yearwood.
Your writing is so problematic that Media Matters has a tag for you.
So why in the seven hells would you concern yourself with high school students’ genders unless it was to harass them about reproductive rights?
And let’s not forget that the only other time you had something to say about female athletes, you decided to talk about Simone Biles, who is also a black woman. Normally people wait for 3 strikes to call racist, but I’m happy to take a cue from a Russian on this one.
The only way you can write an article about Andraya Yearwood and somehow complain about transgender bathrooms in the same word-space is because your article is actually about transphobia, not women’s sports.
Side note: to settle the damn bathroom thing once and for all: locker rooms are modeled after Greek bathhouses. They weren’t our design, they were by men, for men, to give you all a reason to “no homo” check each other out naked. In women’s washrooms we don’t all pee into a trough. We have stall doors and walls, and if those stall doors and walls are not to our satisfaction, we are more than capable of saying so for ourselves. You can stop worrying about our urine safety. We can handle that on our own.
Back to the sports.
The problem is not a transgender girl competing in the girl’s division. The problem is that sports are segregated by gender in the first place.
The second problem is that high school sports models itself off of Olympic sports rather than modeling itself off of the principle of high school sports: keeping kids active. (I’m not qualified to speak on how the Olympics should do things. For more information on that, and how the IOC complicates these issues for athletes like Andraya see this article.)
If you built the entire system from the standpoint that as many kids should participate as possible, that competition, camaraderie, teamwork, and physical activity are all vital to development as a person, you wouldn’t have boys and girls teams to begin with. Let’s take the 100-meter race as an example.
Historically there’s been a 10 second barrier for men and an 11 second barrier for women. By Olympic standards. Great. Let’s run the 100 meter sprint like this: <10 seconds, <11 seconds, <12 seconds, <13 seconds. And so on and so forth until every kid who wants to run gets to. Place equal value on each division.
Now you’ve got kids competing in groups against others who are roughly the same skill level as they are, and no one had to go through any weird news cycle as a minor about how their genitalia affects their running.
The truth, Matt Walsh? Even if you did give a damn? Here’s the truth.
This is none of your business.
And I hope your daughters grow up to tell you the exact same thing one day.
But since you asked, and you asked feminists, the answer to your question is actually another question:
What makes you think that women’s leagues are the only ones that should be shifting in order to make room for these social changes?
You say that soon there will be no women’s sports, “There will be men’s leagues and then cross dressing men’s leagues.” Why are the men’s leagues safe and untouched?
Why aren’t you making noise on behalf of Emily Shilson?
How about AEM Lleida?
Didn’t you watch Pitch?
Women’s sports aren’t going anywhere. The goal was never to make a women’s league and leave it at that. We all want to play on the same field, and that means yours.
We’re coming for your sports and athletes like Andraya Yearwood are going to help us get there.
Edit: For approximately 38 minutes this article was titled “Matt Walsh Should Be Misgendered from Now On”, and ended with “PS I’ll be misgendering you from now on. I hope you mind, girlfriend.”
After a conversation on twitter I was asked not to normalize misgendering, even for bigots. Out of respect for the trans community, I’ve edited the title. Out of necessity for accountability in matters of privilege dynamics, I’ve added this edit. I apologize, and am always grateful for the education and emotional labour of others 🙂
Also published on Medium.