More on Brittney Griner

Yesterday I wrote a long post reacting to one way people have talked about Griner possibly trying out for the NBA: that it is unfair to compare women to men because that diminishes women’s accomplishments. I also went in a bit on sports media.

Today I have my second article at The Guardian, this one about the misogynistic and transphobic response to idea of Griner trying out for the NBA [trigger warning for this article]. Here is an excerpt:

With an irony not apparent to these commentators, the belief that Griner is “not manly enough” to play in the NBA is flatly opposed by the other offensive method people used to insult her: that she is a man. This is aclassic transphobic trope, or a fear that her gender presentation does not “match” the sex she was assigned at birth. For example: “she possesses man parts, so why not?”“Griner has a penis and would fit right in”“She looks and sounds like a man.” For much more, if you need it, in this vein, just check out the hashtag.

These transphobic jokes, like the misogynistic ones, devalue Griner because we live in a society that denigrates trans people in general and chafes whenever confronted by someone who does not fit into a neat box of “feminine woman” or “masculine man”. Because athletes are seen as “masculine”, female athletes, by being athletic, are no longer feminine.

I had a really hard writing The Guardian piece. I want to publicly thank Claire Gherini and T. F. Charlton for getting onto Google Drive, where I was writing the piece, and literally going over sentences and then larger ideas.

Brittney Griner's wingspan is 7'4". She is standing against a black backdrop and is in her black Baylor uniform. Her arms are stretched out to the sides and in each hand is a basketball.

Brittney Griner’s wingspan is 7’4″.

When working on a piece like this, I google the topic, bookmark a lot of it, and then print out the pieces I think I’ll use. Here is the list of my sources for this piece (some are actually linked in it, some not):