Whether or not California voters consider Caitlyn Jenner a serious candidate for governor, the former Olympian and reality-TV star has made a splash with an announced entry into politics. Yet Jenner is facing vile backlash from the so-called tolerant and inclusive left.
Upon gearing up to launch the campaign, Jenner defended women’s sports by stating the issue is “a question of fairness.”
“That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school,” Jenner told a TMZ reporter in a Malibu parking lot. “It just isn’t fair. And we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
Jenner, of course, understands better than anyone why excluding transgender athletes from women’s sports isn’t discriminatory. Before becoming Caitlyn in April 2015, Bruce Jenner was a gold medal Olympic athlete. At the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal during the height of the Cold War, Jenner set a world record score of 8,618 points in the men’s decathlon event and was dubbed “the world’s greatest athlete.”
Significantly, Jenner’s first campaign ad includes multiple clips of that athletic career, including one of a TV announcer referring to the former athlete as a “he.”
Yet, rather than deny the past, Jenner embraces it, acknowledging Bruce as part of what is now a complicated history. Having competed athletically against men, it is obvious why Jenner would conclude that biological men should not be allowed in competitive women’s sport. Jenner knows intuitively that female Olympians would not have stood a chance against Bruce. But for expressing this completely reasonable opinion, Jenner is now facing personal, vicious attacks.”
On MSNBC, transgender activist Charlotte Clymer called Jenner, “a hateful person,” “a hypocrite,” and “the Phyllis Schlafly of the trans community.” Jemele Hill, a sports journalist and contributor at The Atlantic, announced to her 1.4 million Twitter followers that Jenner is, “the Candace Owens of the trans community.”
Equality California, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, wrote, “Here are the facts: Caitlyn Jenner is willing to sacrifice the health & well-being of trans kids to win votes.” Male-to-female transgender model Plastic Martyr called Jenner a “self loathing, vapid fame-whore that abuses her privilege & platform …’”
The reaction to a former Olympian stating basic facts about sex and biology is revealing. Similar to the way leftist Twitter users made racist attacks against Republican Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., for the crime of upstaging President Joe Biden’s first joint address to Congress, so-called woke activists are trying to bully an Olympic athlete who is now transgender for having “problematic” opinions about women’s sports.
Conservatives, by contrast, generally reacted positively to Jenner’s stance on women’s sports, as well as Jenner’s first campaign ad, which called for schools and businesses to reopen immediately. The positive reaction suggests conservatives are largely at peace with how grown adults choose to live, so long as they don’t try to force an agenda on everyone else. And many are willing to accept individual complexity in a way that leftists are not.
When conservatives push back, it is largely against activists who attempt to push their lifestyle, ideology, and politics on the rest of us—particularly children. Accepting the decision of a grown adult to transition is different from teaching gender ideology to children, or forcing women and girls to compete against biological males in sports.
Jenner supports efforts to protect the integrity of girl’s and women’s sports, which is an encouraging, honest, and brave position. Yet it’s unclear what Jenner supports in terms of LGBT ideology and race in the classroom. Moving forward, these will be important questions to ask. But for now, it says a lot that conservatives are leaving the door open to compromise that leftists would rather pretend doesn’t exist.
Back during the early years of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” Jenner routinely came off as the calm, rational one. Perhaps that was an easy role to play given the contrast with momager Kris, but it may also suggest that, while appearances have changed, much about Jenner remains the same.
As an Olympic athlete with vast wealth, Jenner is in a privileged position to be able to express politically incorrect opinions about politics and women’s sports. The country would be better off if all of us felt free to do the same.