They might find out that’s not true the hard way. Last Friday, the Republican-controlled Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill that will prevent trans people from playing in female sports (it’s not clear if this only applies to high school sports or also college sports–or even private leagues, so I’ll use the ugly legislative language of “female”).
That they think this is something they should be wasting their time on is ludicrous enough, but the bill itself is nightmare fuel and de facto sexual assault.
As currently written, anyone can demand that any participant of a female sport can dispute a participant’s sex. Resolution of said dispute must involve a signed physician’s statement verifying the following (text original; boldface mine):
- The participant’s internal and external reproductive anatomy;
- The participant’s normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone;
- An analysis of the participant’s genetic makeup.
Leaving aside the biological issues, such as determining ‘normal’ levels of testosterone in girls, girls and women will have to undergo an internal examination if challenged. If you want to read what this entails, here are more details about how invasive this is. And it’s not like girls and women don’t have enough body-image related bullshit to put with: I can’t even imagine how traumatic this would be for a girl who is asked to do this–and kids can be really mean about this stuff too.
But the phrase “I can’t even imagine” is critical here: Republicans, as they usually do with the cruel and punitive legislation they support, don’t believe the laws will be applied them, admittedly, often with good cause because, well, America. But there are enough ‘sports parents’ who will do anything for an advantage for their kids, or cruel, bullying adults who just don’t like a certain kid.
What Republicans don’t realize is that enough non-Republicans are so pissed at Republicans that some of them might file disputes as retribution, notions of ‘don’t sink to their level*’ be damned. Legislators have family members, not to mention teams in their districts. Sure, the local softball team in a bill supporter’s district went 10-2 this year, but last year, they were 3-9: must be the secret boys! Check ’em all! Remember, no one squeals harder than conservatives to whom the law is applied equally (as rare as that is).
For all the pundit caterwauling about social breakdown and lack of national unity, there are few better ways to ensure social breakdown and lack of national unity than cruel and punitive laws like this.
At least they’re not offering bounties. Assholes.
*Or, to use a phrase, they go low, we go high. How did that work out for everyone?