Amid Hollywood Wokeness, South Park Dares to Tell the Truth About Trans Sports
As PJ Media's Stephen Kruiser wrote on Thursday, American popular culture is getting choked by wokeness. Social justice warriors have complained about a Friends reboot, Director Todd Phillips quit comedy as liberal scoldings mounted, Disney Plus has a bizarre "not woke" warning before old movies, and Ellie Goulding is threatening not to sing for the Dallas Cowboys because LGBT activists can't handle the Salvation Army being Christian.
Unfazed, South Park has made one of its most offensive and most drop-dead hilarious episodes yet. The TV show dared to mock the increasingly taboo subject of males entering women's sports by claiming to identify as transgender.
The episode "Board Girls" plays on sex stereotypes — women are smarter but men are stronger. It features two basic narratives: a buff hunk of a man dominating women's sports; and girls dominating a board game club a group of boys set up. While women want to keep the man out of he "Strong Woman" competition, boys want to keep the pesky girls out of their board game group. But in both cases, the invaders just keep winning.
Hilariously, South Park casts the extremely politically correct character literally named "Strong Woman" in the position of getting victimized by the hunk entering women's sports. Not only does "Heather Swanson" defeat Strong Woman in the competition, but he takes every opportunity to shove it in her face, acting like a stereotypical insecure but aggressive male.
Strong Woman and her partner PC Principal (a bully who beats up children for not being politically correct) are both extremely offended, but they cannot speak against Heather Swanson because it would be "transphobic" to oppose the "inclusion" of biological males in women's sports. Swanson mocks PC Principal as a "transphobe," even when the principal says nothing. In fact, Strong Woman and PC Principal have baby children — the PC babies — who will cry at the slightest hint of anything politically incorrect.
Faced with the obvious injustice of a woman being forced to compete with a biological male — who also seems to be on steroids — neither of the two PC characters can speak out against it.
At the same time, the ever-offensive boy Eric Cartman is just trying to play board games with his pals, but the girls keep showing up. The boys just want to pretend to be pirates or historical characters, while the girls memorize the rules and win every board game thrown at them. As a lover of board games myself, I can vouch for the fact that part of the fun is just the pretense, and for what it's worth, my wife is better at inventing new strategies for a new board game than I am.
The episode ends by bringing these two themes together, with the women getting their comeuppance by defeating "Heather Swanson" in a board game tournament. Finally defeated, Swanson goes to sulk and hang out with Cartman.
In this episode, South Park deftly handled the issue of biological men dominating women's sports — a very taboo topic. Indeed, even medical experts have found themselves censored on or excluded from social media for speaking out about the very clear biological differences between males and females.
Differences between men and women begin in the womb, where boy babies are exposed to testosterone in utero. Males have a developmental advantage over women in sports, leading to what one study described as "intolerable unfairness" if males compete with females in the same sport. At the same time, women should have female athletes to look up to and admire. When biological males take first place in women's sports, they rob the female competition of their rightful victory and they rob little girls of role models to look up to.
Yet female athletes fear to speak up, knowing they would face retribution. The LGBT sports group Athlete Ally severed ties with lesbian tennis legend Martina Navratilova after she spoke out about this unfairness. Male cyclist Rachel McKinnon, who has taken multiple women's world records, said that those who oppose his competing in women's sports are opponents of "human rights."
Brave feminists have ventured to speak out and have been met with harassment, threats, and even violence, being branded with the slur "TERF." When I ventured to praise them for their bravery (despite my disagreements with many radical feminists on important issues like abortion), the LGBT outlet Pink News acted as though I were doing something untoward, and attempted to connect me with the alt-right, which is absurd.
In the midst of this push to silence dissent on transgender identity, South Park's willingness to address the issue — and make hilarious jokes out of it — is inspiring. Perhaps more importantly, it's also hilarious. This show, at least, will stand against Hollywood wokeness and deliver clever social commentary, whatever the cost.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.