". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


What the Kentucky Derby Can Tell Us About Gender Sanity

May 5, 2023

As millions around the world tune in to watch the once-in-a-lifetime coronation of King Charles III, others will turn their eyes to the Kentucky Derby to see a less prestigious king crowned. The contest, the highlight of the horse racing year, represents one-third of the Triple Crown … and its garland of roses virtually always crowns a king.

With only three exceptions over its 148-year history, the winners have been exclusively male stallions. “A total of 40 fillies have run in the Kentucky Derby and six were post-time favorites,” explains the Kentucky Derby’s official website. “Winning Colors (1988), Genuine Risk (1980) and Regret (1915) are the only fillies to win the Kentucky Derby.” Males so dominate the Kentucky Derby that horse trainers hold a separate prestigious race for fillies and mares: the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Today, biological reality dominates horse racing as fully as it disappears from human society. The left-wing website Slate.com acknowledged the facts before transgender ideology became de rigueur. “Studies of running, rowing, speed skating, and swimming races have shown that human males are on average 11 percent faster than women. The gap between colts and fillies — male and female horses younger than 4 years old — is around 1 percent,” Salon noted in 2010. Sports Illustrated acknowledged as long ago as 1956, “Fillies and mares race, of course, for the same reason as colts … although the majority of them lack the physical strength to compete on equal terms with the better colts.”

The Distaff excludes males regardless of equine gender dysphoria. No one consulted the colts about their pronouns. Racing authorities assume every horse’s gender is the same as the “sex assigned at birth.” Even if it were possible for a stallion to identify as a filly, professional horse races’ entrance criteria are entirely physical, to assure fairness.

When it comes to sports, female horses enjoy more rights than women or girls.

Young men can begin exploiting their unfair physical advantage from the moment of puberty. Connecticut high school sprinters Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood — males who identify as female — came in first and second in the state’s 2019 girls’ 55-meter dash. They would have ranked 120 and 195 in the same event against other males.

This condition can persist well after they are young men. Physical advantages conferred by nature, and nature’s God, allow 46-year-old cyclist Tiffany Thomas, whose parents named him Trent, to outrace women half his age.

While “trans women” collect prizes, real woman pay the price. Denying women the thrill of victory and the psychological boost of sports glory harms the mental health of women, who are already more likely to report adverse mental health outcomes. The sure and certain sense of futility breeds frustration. “We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts,” said one of Miller and Yearwood’s female competitors, Connecticut high school junior Selina Soule. “It’s demoralizing.”

Forcing women to see the naked bodies of men also imposes a cost on their mind and modesty. College women’s swimming champion Riley Gaines said record-setting swimmer Lia Thomas, a male who identifies as female, parades around the locker room with his genitalia exposed. The incident left Gaines and other women feeling “uncomfortable, awkward, embarrassed, and even traumatized by this experience.”

Unfair male competition also costs female athletes scholarships and other economic opportunities. David Hughes, a 70-year-old bearded Florida man, won the “Ladies No-limit Hold’em” poker tournament at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino last Saturday. Thanks to “anti-discrimination” laws, the organizers had to let Hughes try out his poker face and pick out a winning hand. Even if men enjoy no inherent physical advantage at cards, Hughes won $5,555 intended for females.

The suffering women experience at the hands of male athletes is far from purely psychological. Fallon Fox, an MMA fighter who fractured the skull of an opponent, boasted in a since-removed tweet: “For the record, I knocked two [women] out. One woman’s skull was fractured, the other not. And just so you know, I enjoyed it. See, I love smacking up TE[R]Fs in the cage who talk transphobic nonsense. It’s bliss. Don’t be mad.” 

Tolerating deplorable attitudes like Fox’s prevents U.S. society from defending the weak from the predation of the strong. And it costs our society the highest possible casualty: Transgender ideology forces all Americans to become liars. Any society operating outside truth operates outside God’s blessing, the most perilous territory known to man.

Yet even now, there is hope that elected officials may heed our Founding Fathers’ wisdom and covet the blessings of Heaven for our nation’s health. Our “representatives” could allow the will of the people to influence policy — a rare occurrence, to be sure — and give women an equal opportunity to win races, hold records, and earn monetary rewards. Or they could follow President Joe Biden and Barack Obama’s lead: They can continue to rely on a top-down court-focused strategy that preempts the discussion, artifices “rights” to ogle women’s bodies leaving them in the dust or crushing them in the ring, and taking home their prize money. Even now, there is hope that maybe statesmen will rise up, stand on the truth, and ask God to guide us into the haven of His will.

Then again, maybe our leaders don’t have the good sense God gave a horse.

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.