Don’t let the fact that Enes Kanter Freedom is not a woman, and has never played (or seemingly cared about) women’s sports, concern you. Like many men when it comes to issues involving women, Enes Kanter Freedom considers himself an expert.
Kanter Freedom — a guy who cares about his own freedom so much that he added it to his name but seems to care very little about anyone else’s — appeared on FOX News to state his opinion that trans women don’t belong in sports. Freedom likes to give speeches about how America is a melting pot where diversity is celebrated, but doesn’t seem to see the irony in speaking out about inclusion and equity when it comes to immigrants like himself, then going on television to make fun of trans women. Or maybe he does see the irony and doesn’t care.
A quick perusal of Freedom’s social media doesn’t evidence much of a background or interest in women’s sports, outside of screeching about trans women and picking a fight with the Washington Mystics’ Natasha Cloud over whether America is “trash.” In fact, Freedom’s Twitter feed doesn’t show him posting about the Women’s World Cup, the recently-concluded World Swimming Championships, July’s Outdoor National Track & Field Championship, or even the WNBA season. What Freedom does care about, apparently, is attacking trans women under the guise of caring about women’s sports, to the extent that he thinks it will bolster a possible future congressional bid. Most recently, Freedom’s rhetoric is built around the kind of dreck that gets you on FOX and Newsmax. Stuff like this:
So this is the same brain-dead argument conservatives always trot out about trans women in sports. If it was so easy to “throw on a wig” and dominate, making big money in the process, why haven’t more men done it? In fact, why hasn’t a single man done it?
Why haven’t we seen the influx of cisgender men pretending to be women just to reap the benefit of supposedly being the best?
Here’s why: At its core, this argument is misogyny dressed up as male feminism. At the end of the day, the same guys who make this argument are the ones who would rather be dead than mistaken for a woman. These are the men who still denigrate other men by comparing them to women, asking other men, “oh, do you have your period? Need a tampon?” to imply weakness (because women are inherently weak) and change opposing teams to things like the “Minnesota Vi-queens” and “Dallas Cowgirls.” They wouldn’t be caught dead playing in a women’s league. Which is why it’s never happened.
Freedom went on to say, “Men don’t belong in women’s spaces. Restrooms – Locker Rooms or Sports. Since I’m blackballed from the NBA, should I put on a wig, identify as a woman, and start dominating the WNBA? Is that when the outrage will begin? Is that fair to all the women who spent their whole life chasing their goals? Where are all the Women Rights Activists and Feminists?”
So let me stop you right there, Enes, and point out that women don’t need men to go on FOX News under the guise of “standing up” for us. As for the feminists, we’re concentrating on bigger issues, like our reproductive rights and the lack of child care and equal pay in this country. We don’t have time to spend on made-up crap about biological men coming for women’s sports. Feminism that doesn’t include trans women is not feminism.
It’s almost like being a woman comes with baked-in disadvantages, and these guys know it. And while they can use the idea of hordes of cis-men infiltrating women’s sports as a convenient rallying cry, there are two things to remember: 1) None of these men care about or “support“ women’s sports in any meaningful way, and 2) the only reason they pretend to care about women’s sports is because they can use this issue as a cudgel to beat up on the trans community — a community as deserving of America’s love and acceptance as any other. A community that strives to live an authentic life despite the myriad of hate and vitriol that is constantly tossed their way — and I seem to remember something someone said somewhere about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Kanter Freedom is out of the NBA for a reason, that reason is not his politics (come on, Kyrie Irving is still playing in the NBA), and the only person who thinks he could put up 60 points in a WNBA game is him. It’s readily apparent that, despite his passionate defense of women’s sports, he doesn’t actually watch any. Because again, women’s sports are weak, men like him are big and strong, and therefore he doesn’t even have to watch the game to know how much better he is than every single woman involved.
Like I said, misogyny wrapped up in a faux-feminism bow.