Category Archives: parents

An Insult To Female Athletes

The state of Connecticut has offered a dismaying picture of the future of female athletics, with two male-to-female transgender runners routinely outpacing the competition at the state track championships.

The two biologically male students, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, finished first and second, respectively, in the 55-meter dash this year, crushing the competition. Miller set a new girls ­indoor record and also won the 300-meter. The year before, the two finished first and second in the 100-meter state outdoor championships.

Connecticut allows students to compete in sports as the gender they identify as, with no further requirements. If fashionable opinion has anything to say about it, this will be the universal trend.

Everyone is supposed to ignore the madness of it. In sports, the supposed fluidity of gender runs up against the ineluctability of sex.

Testosterone, which males get massive doses of beginning at ­puberty, is the original performance-enhancing drug. It makes men bigger, stronger and faster. It is easier for them to add muscle mass. They have bigger hearts (physically, not metaphorically, of course) and greater lung capacity, among other physical advantages.

This accounts for the considerable male-female gap in athletic performance. “This differential isn’t the result of boys and men having a male identity, more ­resources, better training or superior discipline,” Doriane Lambelet Coleman and Wickliffe Shreve of Duke Law School have written. “It’s because they have an androgenized body.”

At the 1988 Olympics, Florence Griffith-Joyner established a women’s record of 10.49 seconds in the 100-meter dash that no one has come close to touching ever since (in fact, there are unfounded suspicions that she was using a performance-enhancing drug).

Her epic sprint was ho-hum for a male. According to the International Association of Athletics Federations, there were 15 men in the United States whose best time was 10.49 in the 100-meter in 2018, and they were merely tied for 217th fastest last year.

Worldwide, there were 35 men whose best was at that time, all tied for 768th fastest in 2018.

This is why we have separate ­female and male competitions to begin with, so women can showcase their bodies and get recognition without being overshadowed by men with inherent physiological advantages. This common-sense reason for separate competitions and separate record books is now falling away.

The Olympic committee has dropped a requirement for sex-reassignment surgery for transgender athletes, and it has set a maximum level of testosterone for transgendered women that’s still high for biological females. Even if biologically male athletes get their testosterone levels down, their bodies are still different.

A former Olympic volleyball player from Brazil, Ana Paula Henkel, made this point in an open letter opposing the new Olympic policy. “This rushed and heedless decision to include biological men, born and built with testosterone, with their height, their strength and aerobic capacity of men, is beyond the sphere of tolerance,” Henkel wrote. “It represses, embarrasses, humiliates and excludes women.”

She cited the example of Brazilian player who formerly competed as a man and now dominates in the women’s league and will probably make the 2020 women’s Olympic team (and deny a spot to a female player who doesn’t have the build of a man).

It now takes courage to raise any such objections. Feminists in good standing the day before yesterday are getting ostracized for insisting that there are differences between men and women that matter and can’t be ignored or wished away.

When the tennis great Martina Navratilova wrote against biological men competing in women’s sports, she was roundly attacked as transphobic and swiftly booted from the board of the LGBT group Athlete Ally. Former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, from Britain, got mobbed for expressing similar sentiments.

We live in an age when stating the obvious is forbidden, and women’s sport may never be quite the same again.

By Rich Lowry

Legal Prostitution Is a Moneymaker for Thugs

State Sens. Jessica Ramos, Julia Salazar and Brad Hoylman, along with ­Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, announced last week that they are crafting a bill to “fully decriminalize” what they call “sex work” in the Empire State. Their agenda sounds progressive, but it should alarm anyone who cares about women’s rights.

What these lawmakers are really advocating is the legitimization of pimping, brothel-keeping and the buying of sex. That is what full ­decriminalization means.

Wherever it’s fully legalized or decriminalized, prostitution proves to be a disaster for prostituted women, most of whom are pulled into the sex trade by traffickers and pimps eager to seize the massive profits ­legal prostitution offers.

Permitting men to purchase sex with impunity increases demand for prostitution, which makes selling women’s bodies a lucrative enterprise. That, in turn, is a boon to sex traffickers.

A 2013 study in the European Journal of Law and Economics compared data from countries that had legalized prostitution versus those that hadn’t. It found that trafficking and sexual exploitation are “most prevalent in countries where prostitution is ­legalized.” Conversely, the ­researchers found “a causal link from harsher prostitution laws to reduced trafficking.”

What Salazar & Co. propose is a trafficker’s dream come true.

Curious to know what legalizing the sex trade looks like? Look no further than Germany, considered “Europe’s biggest brothel,” where more than a million men purchase sex every day from an estimated 400,000 women, mostly from Eastern Europe and the undeveloped world, sold in more than 3,500 brothels.

In Germany, “sex entrepreneurs” run multimillion-dollar enterprises through online virgin auctions, drive-in sex stalls, outdoor “sex boxes,” mega-brothels and all you-can-consume 24/7 flat-rate sex buffets.

In “Paradise,” one of Germany’s mega-brothels, around 3,000 men purchase 150 women’s bodies for sex on a daily basis. Josie, a woman working there, told a documentary filmmaker that she had slept with around 15,000 customers: “When I say that, it makes me feel so sad.”

Josie’s make-up bag includes a tube of xylocaine anesthetic gel to numb the physical pain resulting from being used by up to 20 men a day. Last year, a German court convicted the owner of Paradise, Jürgen Rudloff, of abetting human trafficking.

“Sex work” is a clever euphemism preferred by the pimp lobby to whitewash and sanitize the brutalities inherent to prostitution. It’s not a “job” but a system of gender inequality: An estimated 98 percent of the 42 million people in prostitution worldwide are women, while 99 percent of those who buy them are men.

Prostitution is also a form of violence against women. Studies show that 71 percent of prostituted women are physically assaulted on the job; 68 percent experience post-traumatic stress disorder at the same levels as combat veterans and victims of torture; 89 percent wish to escape prostitution.

A 2004 mortality study of 1,969 female prostitutes, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that homicide accounted for roughly half of the deaths. The ­researchers noted: “No population of women studied previously had a . . . percentage of deaths due to murder even approximating those observed in our cohort.”

No wonder many progressives are up in arms over the proposed legislation. As Taina Bien-Aimé, ­executive director of the New York-based Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, told me, “For New York legislators to propose decriminalizing such abuse as long as men pay for it is an abject betrayal of women’s right to equality.”

Governments that claim to care about women’s equality, dignity and safety should never adopt laws that enable exploiters, such as pimps and sex buyers, to operate freely.

A better alternative is the abolition or Nordic model. First ­adopted in Sweden, then in Norway, Iceland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, France and Israel, the Nordic model protects women in prostitution by offering social services and exit opportunities, while targeting those who use and profit from their bodies: sex buyers, pimps and traffickers.

It is this model that truly dignifies and values women. Salazar & Co. should take heed.

Laila Mickelwait is the director of abolition for Exodus Cry, which works to abolish sex trafficking and the commercial sex industry.

By Laila Mickelwait

Chris Pratt Bashed for his Faith and Politics

Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt, the stud in such movies as “Guardians of the Galaxy’’ and “Jurassic World,” who’s shined his Hollywood star on a slew of film and TV roles, has apparently broken from the pack of bland, pretty-boy ­actors — by farming the land, openly worshipping God and observing a brand of personal and political conservatism capable of making progressive heads explode.

How dare he! Perhaps more ­remarkable considering all of the above, in 2015, Pratt was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list.

And yet that didn’t stop Kaitlin Thomas from going after him in a snarky piece published by TV Guide last week as part of the magazine’s “12 Days of Chris-Mas’’ feature — a celebration of 12 dudes named Chris, including Chris Pine and Chris Tucker, even Ludacris. Pratt comes in fifth place, but only after a sound drubbing.

The piece — headlined, “How to Love Chris Pratt Without Hating Yourself: He’s Definitely the Most Divisive of the Chrises” — is so petty and mean-spirited, it could only have been intended to turn fans against its subject. This, even as the author asserts that “many people” — maybe in Tinseltown — share the author’s distaste for Pratt’s way of life.

“When you take a deeper look at Pratt the man and not necessarily Pratt the actor, some of the shine wears off,” Thomas wrote. And then she goes at Pratt for, apparently, trying to give away his family’s aging cat via Twitter in 2011. The cat found a good home, and crisis was averted. But that was only Thomas’ first gripe.

Next, she attacks Pratt because he and his then-wife, Anna Faris, tried to get rid of the family’s pet Chihuahua five years later (the couple’s son was allergic), resulting in the pooch for a while wandering the streets of Los Angeles.

Horrors! The beastie was ­returned to a loving home. But of all the animal-cruelty complaints against Pratt, the most wickedly ­unfair is Thomas’ diatribe about his love of hunting — a responsible and clean method of feeding his family. (And I would never kill an animal.)

Writing about the lambs he raises on his farm on an island off the coast of Washington state, Thomas condemns Pratt for a video he posted to Instagram this year, in which he said: “They are the happiest lambs on the planet, they are so sweet and then one day they wake up dead and they’re in my freezer.” The writer doesn’t ­divulge if she eats meat.

Pratt then comes under fire for joking about the “outrage culture’’ that has engulfed society, which the TV Guide piece, I would venture, illustrates perfectly. He also takes licks for telling Men’s Health in 2017 that stories about his kind of blue-collar upbringing are ­under-represented in Hollywood. Well?

“The idea that Pratt doesn’t see himself — though he may come from a working-class family and spends most of his time on a farm, he’s also a successful, straight white man at the heart of two ­major film franchises — as being represented in television or film is ridiculous,” Thomas writes. “But the truth is, the reason Pratt’s comment enraged so many people is because it ignored the fact there are a number of communities ­actually struggling for better representation.’’

Perhaps to fend off people coming for him with pitchforks, Pratt actually apologized for making this “stupid’’ comment about the lack of characters like him in Hollywood fare.
He shouldn’t have bothered.

Thomas makes clear that her main grievance against Pratt is with something over which he has no control — he’s a “straight white man.” As much as she might ­resent Pratt’s skin color, his sexual orientation and his success, she can’t just wish him away.

Then there was the egregious Instagram post in which Pratt told people to “turn up the volume” and not just “read the subtitles” — which apparently could offend the hearing impaired. Whatever.

One thing not expressly referred to in TV Guide is Pratt’s deep Christian faith, a rarity in amoral Hollywood. And something I ­applaud. You are free to hate Chris Pratt’s hunting, his conservatism, even his acting. But don’t hate him. He is to be praised, not scorned, for the way he lives. This is one good and humble man.

By Andrea Peyser

There Are Real World Consequences To Submitting To The Transgender Zeitgeist

Sympathy for transgender people cannot trump objective reality.

Last week, a member of my Orthodox Jewish congregation approached me at synagogue to tell me a story. Many of the women in the congregation exercise at a females-only gym for modesty purposes. The gym is successful; its main constituency is religious women who don’t wish to be stared at by men, or to see men in various states of undress.

According to the congregation member, this month, a transgender woman — a biological male who suffers from gender dysphoria — came to the gym. This man, who retains his male biological characteristics, then entered the locker room and proceeded to disrobe. When told by management that he could use a private dressing room, he refused, announcing that he was a woman and could disrobe in front of all the other women.

The predictable result: Many of the actual biological women began cancelling their memberships. When the management asked people higher in the chain, they were simply told that to require the man to use a private dressing room or to reject his membership would subject the company to litigation and possible boycott. So the gym will simply have to lose its chief clientele because a man with a mental disorder believes he has the right to disrobe in front of women.

As it turns out, there are indeed public-policy consequences to the question of transgender pronouns. Those public-policy questions all revolve around a central issue: Can subjective perception trump objective observation? If the answer is yes, tyranny of the individual becomes the order of the day. We all must bow before the subjective wants, needs, and desires of people who require special protection from life’s realities. We must reeducate generations of people to ignore science in favor of feelings. We must strong-arm individuals into abandoning central planks of their morality in the name of sensitivity.

Meanwhile, Twitter announced this week that it would seek to ban those who “misgender” or “deadname” transgender people. In other words, if you note that Chelsea Manning or Caitlyn Jenner is a man, or if you use the names “Bradley” or “Bruce” with regard to the aforementioned transgender people, Twitter could ban you for “repeated and/or non-consensual slurs.” So you will abide by subjective self-definition, or you will be censored. Twitter recently banned a leftist feminist for merely noting that sex is biological and that men cannot become women.

It doesn’t stop there. As Walt Heyer of The Federalist reports, a Texas divorce case now pits a mother who dresses her six-year-old male child, James, as a girl and calls him “Luna” against James’s father, whom she is accusing of child abuse for refusing to treat James as a girl. Heyer reports, “She is also seeking to require him to pay for the child’s visits to a transgender-affirming therapist and transgender medical alterations, which may include hormonal sterilization starting at age eight.” James, as it turns out, prefers being called James and being treated as a boy by his father. That’s not stopping Mom. Refusing to abide by the judgment of a six-year-old — or in this case, a six-year-old’s mom — could mean losing your child in a world where we treat sex as malleable.

There are real-world consequences to the deliberate rewriting of basic biology, and the substitution of subjectivity for objectivity. It means rewriting business operation, school curricula, medical treatment standards, censorship rules, and even parenting. Sympathy for those who suffer from gender dysphoria is obviously proper — no one wants transgender people harmed or targeted. But sympathy for a mental disorder should not trump either objective reality or competing priorities based on those objective realities. “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is not a story about the wonderful sensitivity of a population educated on the subjective desires of a ruler ensconced in sartorial self-definition. Falsehood crumbles in the light of day, no matter how sympathetic we are to those who wish to perpetuate it — unless force becomes the order of the day.

by BEN SHAPIRO

Law Banning Female Genital Mutilation Ruled Unconstitutional; Michigan Doctors Cleared Of Charges

female genital mutilation

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that the U.S. law banning female genital mutilation was unconstitutional and dismissed charges against several doctors in Michigan who carried out the procedure on underage girls as part Muslim sect’s religious practice.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that Congress had no authority to enact a law that criminalizes female genital mutilation (FGM). “As despicable as [FGM] may be… [Congress] overstepped its bounds” by banning the procedure, the judge said.

The ruling came after defense lawyers challenged the 22-year-old genital mutilation law that hasn’t been used until 2017 when Dr. Jumana Nagarwala was arrested and accused of mutilating the genitalia of young girls.

She allegedly headed a conspiracy, which lasted over 12 years and involved seven other people, and led to the mutilation of about 100 girls, according to prosecutors, as part of a religious procedure practiced by members of the Dawoodi Bohra, a Muslim sect.

While the charges of performing FGM were dropped, Nagarwala and other conspirators are still facing conspiracy and obstruction charges, according to the Detroit Free Press.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said officials are reviewing the judge’s decision and will consider appealing it.

Women’s rights groups condemned the ruling, saying it’s a setback to the rights of women in the U.S.

“It’s a giant step backward in the protection of women’s and girls’ rights,” Shelby Quast, the Americas director of Equality Now, told the newspaper. “Especially when there is a global movement to eliminate this practice.”

“It’s a giant step backward in the protection of women’s and girls’ rights … Especially when there is a global movement to eliminate this practice.”

— Shelby Quast, the Americas director of Equality Now,

She said that 23 states don’t criminal FGM, noting that “parents are aware of where there are laws against it and where there are not. And they will take advantage of that.”

Michigan state Sen. Rick Jones also slammed the ruling.

“I’m angry that the federal judge dismissed this horrific case that affected upwards of a hundred girls who were brutally victimized and attacked against their will,” he said in a statement. “This is why it was so important for Michigan to act. We set a precedent that female genital mutilation will not be tolerated here … I hope other states will follow suit.”

The case in Michigan prompted state officials to pass a state law officially banning FGM. The law carries a penalty of 15 years in prison for assisting or performing the procedure, but applies only to future instances. Nagarwala and other members of the sect were charged under an old federal law passed by Congress.

The federal law was passed in 1996 under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The federal judge ruled the banning of the procedure under the clause was unconstitutional.

“There is nothing commercial or economic about FGM,” Friedman wrote in the opinion. “[FGM] is not part of a larger market and it has no demonstrated effect on interstate commerce. The Commerce Clause does not permit Congress to regulate a crime of this nature.”

Shannon Smith, Nagarwala’s lawyer, told the Free Press that they are “unbelievably happy” after the judge’s ruling, saying “The impact is huge. It eliminates four defendants from the indictment, and it severely punctures major holes in the government’s case.”

By Lukas Mikelionis 

More than 30 people failed to report Nikolas Cruz’s ‘troubling behavior’ until after Parkland: report

More than 30 people who experienced or knew of Nikolas Cruz’s worrying behavior didn’t report it until 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, earlier this year.

Cruz’s behavior was “troubling … and in many cases it probably should have caused them to report what they heard, saw or learned,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Tuesday, according to The Sun-Sentinel. “But for a variety of reasons they did not.”

Gualtieri, who also chairs the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission — which was created after the massacre at the school — disclosed the news Tuesday as the commission opened four days of hearings.

Cruz, the suspected shooter, reportedly engaged in questionable behavior long before the mass shooting in February — including killing animals. According to a sheriff’s office detective, Cruz once showed another student a photo of a decapitated cat.

The 19-year-old also allegedly “said he was glad they killed all those gay people” in reference to the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, which left 49 people dead.

Cruz also reportedly “made bad jokes about Jewish people, Nazis and Hitler and wished all Jews were dead” and said “he did not like black people and would like to shoot them.”

Days after the massacre, the FBI admitted to receiving a call about Cruz in early January. The person called their Public Access Line (PAL) tipline to express concerns about his erratic behavior and social media posts.

The FBI said in a statement at the time that “under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life” and that protocols were not followed after they received the tip.

The parents of Jaime Guttenberg, a student who was killed in the massacre, filed a lawsuit against the FBI on Tuesday because the tip wasn’t acted upon.

“Everybody failed, and this is going to be the shooting where we hold people accountable,” Guttenberg’s father, Fred, said at the hearing on Tuesday, The Miami Herald reported. “If only one person had stepped up and done their job, my daughter would be alive today.”

The Broward County sheriff said after the shooting said at least “20 calls for service” were made regarding Cruz in the last few years alone.

Gualtieri reiterated on Tuesday that if you “see something, say something.”

“It means something, and it has to be more than a phrase,” Gualtieri said. “We need it to resonate with the public because law enforcement simply cannot be everywhere at the same time, and we have to have the public’s help to effectively do our job.”

The sheriff’s detective said that while two students did report Cruz to school administrators in December 2016, they were ignored.

PARENT ALERT: Number Of Knives Confiscated In Schools Up 20 Percent From Last Year

National School Safety Taskforce

The haul of weapons — especially knives — intercepted in city schools has continued to spike this academic year, according to new NYPD data.

A year after a student was stabbed to death in a city classroom for the first time in 25 years, knife recoveries have jumped by 20 percent compared with the same stretch last year, according to the numbers.

Overall weapons confiscations have increased by 9 percent during the current school year compared to the same period last year, the data reveal.

The 2018-2019 increases come on top of a 28 percent rise in overall weapons recoveries in 2017-2018, including a 32 percent hike in intercepted knives, according to DOE data.

A total of 2,718 weapons were recovered over the course of the last academic year, up from 2,119 the year prior.

Since the start of this school year on Sept. 5 through Oct. 14, officials have confiscated 494 weapons in city school buildings, according to the NYPD.

That up from 453 during the same period last year.

So far, school personnel have recovered 284 blades compared with 234 last year — a full 20 percent increase.

Concern over the presence of knives in schools intensified last year after Abel Cedeno fatally stabbed one classmate and injured another at Urban Assembly of Wildlife Conservation in The Bronx.

The NYPD said there have been no guns detected so far this year, down from three that were intercepted during the same period last year.

The biggest percentage jump came in the “other” weapons category, which rose from 43 to 75 — a 74 percent increase. The NYPD defined the classification as “any object that can be considered a dangerous instrument,” but declined to provide examples.

Tasers and stun-gun recoveries have ticked up this year so far from five to eight while boxcutter confiscations fell from 159 to 126, according to the data.

“Weapons of any kind have absolutely no place in our schools, and our effective security measures ensure we are swiftly and safely recovering items without incident,” said DOE spokeswoman Miranda Barbot.

The DOE also stressed that the weapons spike has come amidst a sharp decline overall in major crimes in schools in recent years.

“Our schools continue to get safer, we have seen a 29 percent decrease in major crimes in schools since the 2013-14 school year, and we increased the frequency of unannounced scanning last year,” Barbot said.

By Selim Algar

Kristen Bell & Keira Knightley Think ‘Snow White’ ‘Cinderella’ Are Sexist For Children

Cinderella Sexist

Kristen Bell, the voice of Anna in Disney’s hit animated film “Frozen,” revealed in an interview published Wednesday her concerns about the message “Snow White” sends to her two daughters.

Bell told Parents magazine that she asks her daughters, “Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission? Because you cannot kiss someone if they’re sleeping!” she said.

The 38-year-old actress appeared to worry about the message of consent, particularly what it means for her young girls Lincoln, 5, and Delta, 3.

Bell, who reads to her daughters every night, also expressed concerns about the part when Snow White eats an apple from the witch — a stranger.

“Everytime we close Snow White I look at my girls and ask ‘Don’t you think it’s weird that Snow White didn’t ask the old witch why she needed to eat the apple? Or where she got the apple?’ I say, ‘I would never take food from a stranger, would you?’ And my kids are like, ‘No!’ And I’m like, ‘OK, I’m doing something right,'” she told the magazine.

In the 1938 Disney film, Snow White falls into deathless sleep after eating a poison apple from a jealous witch, until a prince wakes her with true love’s kiss.

Keira Knightley, appearing Tuesday on the talk show “Ellen,” said her 3-year-old daughter is banned from “Cinderella.”

“Because she waits around for a rich guy to rescue her. Don’t. Rescue yourself, obviously,” Knightley said.

The 33-year-old actress said “Little Mermaid” is also banned, even though she loves the film.

“I mean, the songs are great, but do not give your voice up for a man. Hello,” she said.

But she said “Finding Dory” is a “big favorite,” and “Frozen is huge, Moana is totally fine.”

Knightley was also promoting her upcoming Disney film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” on the show.

By Amy Lieu