News Analysis May 9, 2021 2:43 PM EST

Sarah Silverman falsely claims there's no difference between biological males and females in failed attempt to shame Caitlyn Jenner

Sarah Silverman could do with a fact check.

Sarah Silverman falsely claims there's no difference between biological males and females in failed attempt to shame Caitlyn Jenner
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY
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Sarah Silverman could do with a fact check. On a podcast episode, Silverman took aim at Caitlyn Jenner after Jenner stated that it's unfair for biological boys to play in girls' sports. Silverman was aghast that Jenner, a transwoman and former Olympian prior to transitioning late in life, could claim that boys and girls are different, with different capabilities.

"I saw Caitlyn Jenner saying trans girls should not play in girls' sports," Silverman began before admonishing Jenner.

"Caitlyn. You're a woman, right? A trans girl is a girl."

Silverman trotted out the now familiar tactic of using emphasis to claim righteousness, and then she went on to repeat false claims, all while shaking her head in disbeleif that someone with Jenner's lived experience as a male athlete and a person who underwent transition could have an independent viewpoint.

"She should have the same rights at cis girls," Silverman said, again shaking her head. "If you think a trans girl—what, you think a trans girl is too strong?" She laughed.

"What about tall girls? As opposed to short girls?" Silverman brought up physical differences within groups, ignoring the physical differences of those groups to each other. "What about boys in high school who are teeny tiny and their teammates have already hit puberty and they're shaving?"

Silverman didn't say if she thought boys who are slow to mature should be considered girls, but she did say that maybe high school sports should not be divided by biological sex. "Why don't you just have co-ed sports that are divided by weight or height?" She asked.

"Y'know. This is so dumb," she argued.

And then instead of backing up her argument with emotionally manipulative rhetoric, she spouted falsehoods. "Y'know they legislating this shit without one single example of how this plays out."

But there are, in fact, plenty of examples. And that great liberal God, Science, has receipts for the differences between pubescent boys and girls as well. In addition to significant data, such as that provided by Save Women's Sports, showing that boys have greater strength, muscle mass, and bone density, there are also specific cases where girls missed out on opportunities because biological boys took their place.

In the 2017-2018 school year, "two biologically male, transgender students, Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, began competing against female athletes in track and field. They literally ran away with all the top medals and accolades.

"While the media applauded the duo for bravery, female runners Selina Soule, Alana Smith and Chelsea Mitchell were relegated to the sidelines of women's sports, watching athletes born the opposite sex sweep the titles and scholarships set aside for female competitors." These girls were denied winning spots because biological boys took the awards.

In 2019, "Male-bodied, University of Montana runner June Eastwood was named the NCAA Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week by the Big Sky Conference. Three months into Eastwood's testosterone suppression treatment she noticed a decrease in her athletic ability, from endurance to muscle strength. According to Runner's World, Eastwood's coach, University of Montana's Brian Schweyen, said that 'June's times, intervals, and training in workouts don't compare' to her previous times, prior to testosterone suppression." Eastwood still retains the advantages of having gone through male puberty, including muscle mass and bone density, despite the suppression of her testosterone levels.

Athletic organizations know, however, that no matter how much Eastwood or other biologically male, transgender athletes, take estrogen, their testosterone levels never get as low as biological women, and biological women who take testosterone never get to the lowest level of estrogen-taking biological males.

"But a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that when young women take testosterone, their athletic endurance increases. In the small sampling of 48 healthy, active women between the ages of 18-35, testosterone levels were increased over the course of 10 weeks from the standard women’s range of .09 nmol/liter of blood to 4.3 nmol/liter. The normal, healthy range for men is 9.2 to 31.8 nmol/liter. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) requires that male-bodied transgender individuals who want to compete in women’s events have lowered their testosterone levels to 10 nmol/liter for a period of 12 months or more," as I wrote in the American Conservative.

Women, and apparently transwomen, who speak out about the unfairness of biological males competing against women, are routinely insulted and deplatformed, such as Silverman insulted Jenner, or as happened to Martina Navritalova just a few short years ago.

Silverman, for her part, continued to dismissively shake her head at Jenner's statements. Perhaps Silverman hasn't heard about Laurel Hubbard, who transitioned in her 30s and proceeded to trounce teen girls in heavy weightlifting competitions, despite Hubbard's advanced age. Hubbard is now set to become the first transgender athlete to represent her country in women's categories at the Tokyo Olympic games.

Hubbard and competitors at the 2019 Pacific Games

These are only some examples, there are many more.

Is it fair that gender-noncomforming biological males who identify as transgender should be considered female for all intents and purposes just because that's what they say they are? For Silverman, Jenner's statements are not about "worrying about girls' sports."

"Uh, believe me," she says, though she is neither trans nor a high school athlete looking to use her athletic ability as a ticket to college, "I think there are better ways to worry about girls' sports."

"This is not worrying about—this is not what that is. This is not worrying, this is not concern for girls' sports," Silverman says, before accusing Jenner of being transphobic.

"This is transphobia, full stop. Which is such a bummer when a—such a prominent trans woman is such a twat."

After making false claims, she falls to serving insults, assuming that there are absolutely no reasons other than feeling icky about trans people to want to allow girls the chance for fair competition.

Jenner recently came out against biological males competing against women, saying "This is a question of fairness. That's why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls' sports in school. It just isn't fair. And we have to protect girls' sports in our school."

For her remarks, she was bashed on Twitter by prominent LGBTQ activists, such as Jameela Jamil, who said "Imaging benefitting from the work/activism/sacrifice of trans people to be able to enjoy the platform of acceptance you currently have... only to use it to close the doors behind you. I hope her extremely influential kids/stepkids speak out against this." She then showed photos of male athletes who are taller, shorter, stronger, weaker than each other to show that physical differences within groups does not deny men the chance to compete against one another.

The only way that works is by ascribing to the fallacy that biological males who identify as transgender are actually and in all respects female. Jenner, who has lived on both sides of the gender divide, and to great success in both versions of herself, clearly knows that there is a difference. Jenner is running for California governor.

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