The Irony of "The Progressive"

by Daniel Oakes | September 01, 2021

female lifter with a jerk

If it's reasonable and progressive to allow “transwomen” to play women's sports and “transmen” to play men's sports, wouldn't it also be reasonable and progressive to drop the sex/gender divide altogether and allow everyone to participate as human beings – outright total freedom among the sexes and genders (sexes and genders that wouldn't even be worth acknowledging anymore)?

It follows, perhaps, that there wouldn't even be a need to transition to something if there were no barriers or acknowledged differences between the things in question – if all things were treated exactly the same, or not treated in any particular way at all.

If we examine the situation carefully, however, this type of social freedom and equality (super-progressive) isn't what “progressives” actually argue for. When we see Laurel Hubbard thrashing the competition in the name of “inclusion,” it's not really intended to “break down social barriers,” or to “inspire young trans-people”; ostensibly, it looks like these things, due to the media's laziness, but actually, if we read between the lines, something far, far more insidious is occurring.

By allowing a “trans-athlete” to compete in a women's division, all that has happened is that a new “sub-division” or category of competitor has been created; one which, incidentally, isn't highly representative (like the suffragettes), or that should be inspiring (health and mental health outcomes for young trans-individuals is very poor). But besides all this, nothing in the name of equality has, ironically, actually been achieved. No barriers have been broken down – merely another one has been erected (according to progressive logic, another “category” of individual will one day have to come along to challenge the Laurel Hubbards of this world, the way progressives currently challenge the category “male”).

So, “progressives,” then, are slightly misanthropic and don't seem to like certain groups/categories of people, or they're envious of them and want to “join in.” It's certainly clear, that contemporary progressives appear less progressive than liberals like Rippetoe and Co. who mock supposed barriers between social groups on a weekly basis (on the podcast they mock Rip's pink skin, which trivializes the whole notion that skin color is a “thing” which needs serious acknowledgment).

This isn't to say that Rip and Co. don't acknowledge differences between groups of people at all. They've focused on individuals who transitioned to “women” in order to compete against other women, in order to explain that if you are exposed to testosterone in utero you will have an advantage against those who aren't exposed to testosterone in the womb. Again though, I think Rippetoe and Co. would rather we just drop categories of people altogether because the overt categories create the overt inequality. If there's no categories then the best "human" wins: an easy solution.

Scandinavian Countries

Something in fact interesting happens when societies stop trying to meddle with things like gender equality and just treat everyone as “humans.” Jordan Peterson explains that in countries where there is more equality of opportunity (as opposed to equality of outcome), the gender divide actually grows rather than shrinks:  Growing Differences.

Progressives like to think that if societies were totally free everyone would be a blank slate and would choose to perform totally random job occupations and there would be no gender divide. This simply doesn't happen in reality and that kind of makes sense when you think of the biological differences between individuals.

For the true progressive, the best solution in the Laurel Hubbard's case would be for there to be no division of gender or weight classes in the sport. This is total freedom. But watch what will happen to those who weren't exposed to testosterone in the womb. They probably won't even get to compete – the divisions between “gender” would, like in the Scandinavian countries, grow larger, and progressives will go full circle and say this is “unfair.”

It's up to the progressives, then, to pick their poison and choose between total freedom and weight classes/divisions in sports. If not a male/female sex division, the onus is on them to come up with something else. The progressive is supposed to want change, after all – sometimes it looks like change for the sake of change itself.  

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