Lia-bility Issues and the Dictatorship of the Subjunctive Mood

“Penn swimmer Lia Thomas came away with wins in the 100 meter and 200-meter freestyle races against Harvard on Saturday,” Fox News reported last week. “The victories came days after NCAA updated its policy for transgender participation and how it will be determined on a sport-by-sport basis.” 

Based on the new NCAA policy, “there is nothing that would preclude Lia from racing in March at the NCAA Championships.” Michael Phelps, who won 13 individual Olympic gold medals, has problems with the policy. 

“I believe that we all should feel comfortable with who we are in our own skin, but I think sports should all be played on an even playing field,” Phelps told reporters. “I don’t know what it looks like in the future. It’s hard. It’s very complicated and this is my sport, this has been my sport my whole entire career, and honestly the one thing I would love is everybody being able to compete on an even playing field.” 

The Olympic champion might rethink the “very complicated” part. The pool is already perfectly level, and the disparity belongs to Thomas. This swimmer transitioned from the Penn men’s team to the women’s team, where Thomas now demolishes the competition. That could send a signal to other athletes. 

With appropriate alteration, LeBron James could shatter records in the WNBA. An untooled Nick or Joey Bosa could run wild in women’s rugby and a transformed Conor McGregor would surely smack the fertilizer out of every chick in the ring. With a little nip and tuck, Michael Phelps could doubtless leave the girls in his wake and add to his medal count.

In 1960, Tamara Press of the Soviet Union won Olympic medals in shot put and discus, and sister Irina won gold in hurdles. The pair faced rumors that they were actually men or taking male hormones. The International Amateur Athletic Federation instituted a sex-testing policy in 1966, and the Press sisters promptly pulled out of the European championships, with Tamara conveniently announcing retirement in 1967. 

A sex-testing policy could check hormones, chromosones, internal organs, skeletal structure and such. Such a science-based probe does not seem to be on the table in current conditions. Under the Dictatorship of the Subjunctive Mood (DSM) now prevailing, whatever a person proclaims has to be the case. Skeptics, allegedly, are in the grips of a mental condition called “transphobia,” and the game goes on. The NCAA seems OK with it, but the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) may offer an alternative. 

In drag racing—no pun intended—racers can compete in the categories of “stock,” without alteration from factory specifications. Modified categories offer limitless possibilities for alteration, and allow powerful fuels such as nitromethane. Translated to sports, “stock” would pit men against men and women versus women. 

The surgically altered would compete only in modified categories and “top fuel” or “funny car” could include those on steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. Each category would have its appropriate awards and records. This might generate controversy but so does the current arrangement. 

According to teammates who decline to be identified, Lia Thomas claims to be like Jackie Robinson. A player of great talent, courage, and character, Robinson was the first African American in Major League Baseball. Jackie Robinson did not undergo special operations, take exotic drugs, or attempt to get ahead by competing in a women’s league. The NCAA knows that to be true, but seems to be down with the Dictatorship of the Subjunctive Mood, which is not limited to athletics.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) claimed to be a Cherokee, and when exposed as a fake went on to run for president. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) claimed to have served in Vietnam but that wasn’t true. The falsehood should have prompted a resignation but didn’t. 

Joe Biden claimed he met with former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and served as a liaison between Israel and Egypt during the Six-Day War in 1967. Trouble is, Joe Biden was still in law school at the time. Since Joe Biden did not serve as a liaison during the Six-Day War, the Dictatorship of the Subjunctive Mood must extend all the way to the White House. 

About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

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