I am a woman, just like anybody else on the team,” Lia Thomas, the transgender collegiate swimmer, said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. Except, no, Lia is not a woman, and Lia is surely not like anybody else on the women’s swimming team. It is absurd to think otherwise, and such talk must stop. It has gone on long enough.
Lia is not, nor ever will be, a woman. Lia can refer to Lia in any particular way Lia wants. Lia can dress however Lia wants. Lia can identify however Lia wants. But Lia has male genitalia . Lia does not have breasts. Lia cannot bear children or produce eggs. Lia does not have a menstrual cycle. Lia will never go through menopause. These are the biological norms for being a woman. These are facts. This is science. And, as we all know from the past two years, science must be trusted.
Lia’s declaration of being a woman, and subsequently having an article published in Sports Illustrated celebrating it, should raise flags. One cannot authentically change from male to female just by saying so. Embracing such a fantasy will cause irreparable harm to women in the future. It will ultimately result in the loss of opportunities for women in every aspect of society. If a male wishes to self-identify as female, that’s a personal choice. However, his right to embrace a female identity must not infringe on the rights and opportunities of actual females. Real women should not have to suffer so Lia Thomas can identify as one.