Peter Hasson, DCNF
South Park jumped into the transgender athlete debate Wednesday in the series’ newest episode, in which a character resembling professional wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage dominates women’s sports after identifying as transgender woman “Heather Swanson.”
Swanson dominates the “Strongwoman Competition” just two weeks after identifying as a male athlete. “I can’t tell you how free I feel, now that I can identify as a woman. Now that I can compete as female, I’m ready to smash the other girls,” Swanson says, adding: “I am the strongest woman this state has ever seen!”
South Park is so good this season it makes me angry. pic.twitter.com/LHvbRVx5pL
— Chris Edwards (@CineWipe) November 14, 2019
— South Park (@SouthPark) November 14, 2019
The episode, “Board Girls,” drew laughs online, while also offending some liberal observers, with its satire of biologically male athletes who have dominated female athletics after identifying as transgender.
Left-wing website PinkNews accused South Park of sinking “to new lows” with the episode.
Emily VanDerWerff, a transgender writer for Vox.com, said the episode was “based on a falsity, a scenario that doesn’t happen and especially doesn’t happen at elite levels of competition,” adding: “I weighed writing an article about the South Park thing, but I’m loathe to give it more oxygen.”
I weighed writing an article about the South Park thing, but I’m loathe to give it more oxygen. But fuck you if you think it’s funny that I care about my friends.
— Emily “The Yam” VanDerWerff (@tvoti) November 14, 2019
Contrary to left-wing criticisms of the South Park episode, a majority of Americans oppose allowing biologically male athletes who identify as transgender onto girls’ sports teams, according to a Morning Consult poll released Nov. 8.
The Equality Act, which passed the House in May with unanimous Democratic support, amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make “gender identity” a protected characteristic under federal anti-discrimination law.
Among other things, the legislation would force public schools to expand female athletic teams to include biological males who identify as transgender girls. Every Democratic frontrunner for president supports the bill.
Many athletic leagues, including the NCAA, require transgender athletes to undergo hormone therapy before competing. Scientific research on the subject indicates that male athletes who identify as transgender retain physiological advantages over female athletes, even after suppressing testosterone levels.