One of my many regrets is that when I was young and on the tennis circuit, I played as a man. I had a crush on Margaret Osborne duPont, an older player who won numerous Wimbledon and U.S. national doubles titles, and the very pretty Karen Hantz, a Wimbledon singles winner, not to mention the Buding sisters from Germany. Had I thought of it back then—I am talking about the late ’50s—I could have been showering with them, not to mention competing against them. Instead, I had my you-know-what kicked by Nicola Pietrangeli, Rafael Osuna, Frank Froehling, Roy Emerson, and other male champions of the period.
Ironically, I once had a practice match with Althea Gibson, the first great female black American champion, and it was very close. We played in Rome and Althea asked me to go all out. She was ranked No. 1 in the world and I was among the lowest in the rankings, yet it was damn close. The only woman I ever lost to in a sanctioned tournament was Dick Raskind, but when we played he was a ranked male player. He eventually became Renée Richards, and competed against women, but by the time he became a she, he or she was past it. (RR is a noted eye doctor right here in the Big Bagel.)
I say all this because I’ve just watched a South African Olympic winner, who looks like a man, sounds like a man, and whose testosterone count is that of a man, compete against women in what I would say is as unfair a contest as it gets. I don’t want to go into details, but the term “trans” is now meaningless ever since it was stretched to apply to anyone who chooses to identify as the opposite sex, or indeed no sex at all. I’ll get back to tennis in a jiffy, but first let me get this out of the way: It’s today’s edition of You Couldn’t Make It Up, courtesy of the London Underground, as the limeys call their subway. “Ladies and gentlemen” is being dropped from the subway’s announcements to accommodate the “trans” community. Yep, the “transies” felt left out and made a fuss and the Brits caved in quicker than you can say “Kiss my ass.” A big shot on the subway system said, “We have reviewed the language that we use in announcements and elsewhere and will make sure that it is fully inclusive, reflecting the great diversity of London.” In future, announcers will address the crowd with “Hello, everyone.” The LGBT pressure group Stonewall insisted on it. I wrote the subway boss a letter proposing they just address everyone with “Hello, sailor.”
So, no more gender-specific announcements on London buses, trains, or subways. Mind you, there might be a backlash somewhere along the line. Don’t expect society always to go along with the ever-more-absurd demands of the obsessive gender lobby. The fact that anyone today can choose whatever gender they like, no questions asked, is, frankly, the most ridiculous thing ever. The LGBT movement is at present claiming everyone as one of theirs. Exactly 50 years ago the Brits legalized homosexuality, a natural thing to do since 90 percent of the aristocracy were homosexual. Last month the commander of the British navy came out for trans rights. It’s only a matter of time before Admiral Nelson is outed. He did, after all, in his dying breath at Trafalgar say, “Kiss me, Hardy!”
In a more serious vein, gender testing is very important because it ensures fairness. As John McEnroe said recently—before he got cold feet—Serena Williams would be ranked 700 if she played against men. I say she would not even be in the first 1,000. The gulf is not one of skill. It is the consequence of the skeletal structure and biology, the very different construction of the male and female pelvic girdle, a difference that has a profound effect on generating force and speed. But try to say this to the “transies” trying to cash in and you will be called a bigot, a fascist, a Nazi, a Taki, you name it, they’ll call you it.
Basically it is a rejection of truth, all this relativism business. Allowing people legally to decide their own gender is a terrible idea. It is bound to destroy women’s sport, and the constraints it will place on freedom of speech are too horrible to contemplate. Worst of all will be the mind-warping effect it will have on children. This gender idiocy must stop, but don’t expect anyone in Washington to do anything about it. The LGBT lobby scares the daylights out of them. This is the bad news. The good is that Taki could have had a wonderful youth, especially in the showers following the matches. And I coulda been somebody. I coulda been a contender.