A topic is not officially oversaturated until the world’s greatest surfer weighs in with his thoughts, advice. Slightly more than a week ago, longboarder Sasha Jane Lowerson blitzed the competition, winning the Western Australian Longboarding women’s division with the greatest of ease. She became the first surfer to win both women’s division and men’s, as Ryan Egan, division three years’ prior.
Well, days ago, respectable surf media house Stab Magazine covered Lowerson’s victory for the first time, following the FCC’s recommended guidelines before pushing hot buttons, and drew 11x champion Kelly Slater into the mix.
Slater, sagely, commented, “Make a trans division and we don’t have this confusion.” including a fine shrug emoji at the end.
Fine advice, no doubt, but one small problem, maybe. Harper’s Index, a collection of data highlighting public perception, declares that Americans believe 21% of the population is transgender.
The reality is .6%.
And the percentage of that .6% who surf professionally, I’d have to think, lightly smaller.
So, here we are, stuck. What then to do? Should fairness, in sport, be struck down as an antiquated notion? Should sport, itself, be struck down altogether as a relic of times gone by? I very much wanted to ask Sasha Jane Lowerson, herself, but after agreeing to be interviewed proceeded to block BeachGrit across social media and go dark. When I emailed, asking for account, she responded, “People have made threats on my life. I’m taking some time out! The rules are the rules!”
But I think “the rules” is where everyone aside from Kelly Slater is confused, yes? Where society and norms have shifted under our very feet? Not that anyone needs another cis male’s opinion on the matter, especially one who doesn’t hold eleven surfing world titles, but I believe gender is, like, a thing. A biological truth. To erase, or call it a racist construct, not only defies logic but becomes dangerous as meaning would simply vanish.
So if gender is real, though alterable, should transgendered athletes be allowed to compete in women’s divisions?
There’s having cake. There’s eating cake. The former doesn’t guarantee the latter.
Now drag me to the public square to be beaten black and blue with rolled up copies of Oberlin College’s summer course catalog.