What is going on in Ohio?

The state seems to be a magnet for bad political ideas, and is striving to become the Yankee Texas. Recently, it was the extreme gerrymandering that no one wants to fix (hey, maybe political parties shouldn’t be in charge of defining districts?), and now…this new law.

If you’re unhappy that you lost a contest in high school, just accuse your opponent of being transgender, and demand a thorough investigation. Ohio Republicans will help by demanding that their pants be pulled down to inspect their genitals, followed by an invasive internal inspection, then a blood draw to have their testosterone levels measured, and a cheek swab to check out their chromosomes. FREEDOM! They’re the party that is going to get the intrusive legislation of Big Government off your backs by legislating that your school can insist on ad hoc genital, hormone, and chromosome inspections, all in the name of protecting women’s sports.

Yeah, that’s exactly what women athletes have been demanding, that others can request gynecological exams at will.


  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    FREEDOM! They’re the party that is going to get the intrusive legislation of Big Government off your backs by legislating that your school can insist on ad hoc genital, hormone, and chromosome inspections, all in the name of protecting women’s sports.

    Silly liberal! Freedom and Limited Government isn’t about perverted stuff like sex and gender. It’s about letting white, male, cis-heterosexual, Christians have their way.

  2. Robbo says

    Who they gonna get to do the “External and internal genitalia evaluation?”

    I bet trump would volunteer. he has bragged about his external genitalia evaluation prowess.

  3. Doc Bill says

    Here in the Real Texas ™, not Yankee Texas but Yee Haw Yahoo Shoot ‘Em Up Texas, “anti-trans” legislation affects about 100 students out of 5 million. However, that is all the GOPQ is capable of doing – passing anti-minority laws and imposing the government on your personal life because they are the party of small government, right?

  4. Ada Christine says

    the spirit of this law harms trans people the most, but the letter and any enforcement of this law is going to harm trans and cis people alike. i know its authors are aware of this and don’t give a shit, and i know I’m merely screaming into the void. if i have to scream i might as well scream truthfully.

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 2

    Who they gonna get to do the “External and internal genitalia evaluation?”

    It’s Ohio. I’m sure they can find some college athletics coaches who are up for the task.

  6. Walter Solomon says

    …and is striving to become the Yankee Texas.

    Apropos to nothing, I think it’s time New Englanders reclaim that word since Southerners morphed and mutated it into something unrecognizable. A Midwesterner is most certainly not a Yankee in the original meaning of the word.

  7. says

    It only occurred to me yesterday the effect these sorts of laws would have on girls’ and women’s sports in general, and that it might even be the point of the whole exercise. Conservatives have been shitting their pants over Title IX for decades, and the success of the American Women’s soccer team (particularly Megan Rapinoe) and its demand for equal pay must have been a serious irritant to them in recent years.
    While I’m sure they are horrified at the thought of a trans woman competing against “real” women (they do live in their own nightmares, after all) I suspect that messing with all female athletes and dissuading them from playing sports is at least an extra benefit in their minds. It might even be the goal of it all. And if they can do it under the guise of protecting young women and use their “groomer” rhetoric to counter any opposition, so much the better. The old excuses, like the fear that running will hurt their ovaries or their uteruses might fall out probably won’t fly anymore.
    Sure, they’ll involve doctors in those genital inspections, but remember Larry Nassar was a doctor, too.
    I could definitely see this having a fairly chilling effect on participation in sports among girls in these states.

  8. says

    The text of the bill says the inspection is to be done by a doctor. Women athletes would then be obligated to get a full gynecological exam before participating in sports, and would then carry around a signed official certificate that says they are a Real Woman.

  9. microraptor says

    Meanwhile, Florida is banning trans care for adults from being paid for by Medicaid.

  10. says

    The bit on testosterone level reminds me (vaguely) of an incident where a cis woman athlete was facing a trophy/medal/award retraction and a ban from women’s sports because her body naturally produced more testosterone than typical. IIRC, she got to keep her trophy and competition rights. Smells like grease for various slippery slopes.

  11. dbinmn says

    Who pays for the visit/exam? The accuser or the accused? Isn’t a set up like this why some argue against Red Flag gun laws because of the possibility of malicious, false accusations?

  12. says

    feralboy12: The reich-wingers could certainly go a long way toward destroying women’s sports, simply by enabling and encouraging women and girls who lose in tryouts to challenge the femininity of whoever performs better than them — thus ensuring that the best female athletes never get to go pro. And when only the most proper and unambiguously non-masculine women get to play in pro teams, the quality of their play will go downhill, the games will turn to crap, fewer people will pay to watch them, and the entirety of women’s sports will sink back to irrelevance and unseriousness.

  13. Robbo says

    when do you think they will pass the “Save Men’s Sports Act?”
    just kidding.
    that won’t ever happen.

  14. StevoR says

    @1. Akira MacKenzie : That’s free -dumb.

    Oh and if only they were mute. Metaphorically speaking and with apologies to those who can’t speak.

  15. says

    If I were on an Ohio high school sportsball team I would gather my friends and start a protest group where we just constantly accuse each other of being trans. Then we’d say, “Welp, guess you gotta inspect my balls again,” and pull down our pants in front of everyone at the match. They are demanding to see them after all, and as a high school boy I’d just be dying to pull shit like that. Of course knowing what I know from my Ohio-ian friends the most likely result of this will be the shithead kids using this law to screw with their opponents.

  16. birgerjohansson says

    David Klopotoski @ 17
    Hey, are you sure you are not related to Eli Bosnick at God Awful Movies?

  17. wzrd1 says

    Remember now, the GOP is anti-big gubmint!
    So, to prove that, they passed a law enabling tens of thousands of dollars to prove something medical science has trouble proving, while defining things to have it their way or not at all, proving small gubmint is the way to go in a really, really big way.
    Wanna bet step 2 is asking for federal funding?

    The GOP, small government writ large. All, at the low, low price of sexually harassing your daughters, so that they’re used to it once they’re out in GOP fiat ruled society.
    A fiat ruled society lousy with guns. Doesn’t sound like a winning proposition to me, because eventually people figure out that they’ve been ill used and abused, then it’s guillotine time…

  18. calgor says

    Whenever I hear about laws affecting trans athletes, I do tend to get exasperated as they always seem designed to explicitly to hurt the targeted minorities.

    Unfortunately, the instigators of these laws do exploited an ignorance of much of the public (alas, myself included), namely, does being trans provide an advantage to the trans athlete? I notice that the lawmakers don’t provide supporting evidence for their stance but opposing evidence is also sadly not put forward.

  19. Ada Christine says


    There are many reasons somebody might have an advantage over another competitor. There’s conflicting evidence as to whether trans women do or do not have an advantage, which to me says that this varies based on the individual–as it would for cisgender competitors

    And you’re right, they’re exploiting people’s ignorance, but it’s the ignorance of the fact that the question of competitive advantage is a red herring and not the underlying reason for discriminatory legislation.

  20. Aoife_b says

    The short answer is no. The longer answer is the Olympics have allowed trans competitors for years, if trans people had an advantage you’d expect someone to have taken gold

  21. silvrhalide says

    @5 Well, Dennis Hastert is practically next door in Illinois.
    @6 Definitely. Ohioans are NOT Yankees. The term originally only pertained to residents of the original 13 colonies, then was used to refer exclusively to the Union soldiers & citizens, which means the Northeast. Ohio is not in the Northeast.
    @17 Nahhh… female athletes should throw used tampons at GOP lawmakers. Which, I think, one of the riot grrls bands did at one point to hecklers.
    Also, I think it’s hilarious that these idiots think that they’re protecting girls from boys.
    “According to wrestlelikeagirl.org, “girls wrestling has been the fastest growing high school sport in the country.” Earlier this year, the Ohio High School Athletic Association sanctioned girls wrestling, making it an official Ohio sport; the state joined 32 other states in doing so. According to the Columbus Dispatch, there were around 800 girls wrestling in the state this past season. Girls wrestling is expected to only grow in popularity in the coming years.”

    Well I guess now we know the real reason this bill got passed. So the sons of Republicans don’t get their asses kicked by a girl.

  22. whywhywhy says

    I would like to say that Ohio is a nice place to live, but at the moment I am too incensed with my state to give a damn. This is the effect of gerrymandering and bigotry. For now we are the state of the treasonous Jim Jordan. We are the state that starts Pride month by attacking Trans kids and undermining girls sports. We are the state where our governor, leaders of the state legislature, and other state wide elected officials just ignored a order from our supreme court (and nothing will happen). We are the state where the son of the governor is on the state Supreme Court and refused to recuse himself on a case involving his dad. We are also on course to outlaw abortions at the earliest opportunity even if it undermines the states largest employer (Cleveland Clinic). There are too many people with too much power who just want to inflict suffering on others.

    In short, we are a slightly more crappy than the mean of the USA.

  23. says

    For some time now, I’ve had a question for those who insist that trans women must not compete against cis women on account of inherent trans superiority.

    IF it is, indeed, true that trans women have an innate advantage over cis women in athletic competition… then in any venue which allows trans and cis women to compete against each other, trans women should, logically, have won a disproportionately large percentage of all top honors (1st-thru-3rd-place) in those venues.

    Has that happened?

    Thus far, nobody who makes noise about “trans woman athletic superiority” has managed to pony up the hard data which would settle the question. ‘Tis a mystery.

  24. Ada Christine says

    the only sport I’d dominate disproportionately is the being hot and annoying decathlon

  25. says

    Thus far, nobody who makes noise about “trans woman athletic superiority” has managed to pony up the hard data which would settle the question. ‘Tis a mystery.

    Yeah, they only mention ONE particular transwoman athlete who managed to blow all her competitors away by a huge margin, without even mentioning the total number of transwomen athletes in general, or how well they perform as a whole relative to ciswomen athletes. I can’t say how big a representative sample you’d need to answer that question properly, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lot more than 1. Or even 2.

  26. says

    Related: Republicans in the Ohio House vote to put Canada on a federal watch list.

    Here’s a link to the actual Resolution.

    What the Resolution is about is condemning the fact that Canadian jurisdictions put restrictions on in-person gatherings during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic… including religious gatherings. (Note: these would actually be provincial governments, not the federal government, but that distinction is probably too complex for Ohio Republicans to understand.) Now, to be clear, no provincial government was really all that strict with their public health restrictions during the pandemic (and Alberta, the Alabama of Canada, and the only province called out by name, least of all), and virtually all carved out extensive exceptions for religious gatherings (Alberta most of all).

    And, of course, it wasn’t that religious gatherings were actually banned; you could still have them provided you were willing to take some measures to prevent the spread of infection. Like, you could require masking, or you could split the congregation up and have multiple services a day so each one could have better physical distancing, or you could have virtual services, or, or, or… you had options. But these intransigent, belligerent churches had a list of reasons why they couldn’t do anything to minimize the spread of a deadly plague: God requires the whole congregation to come together for services, God requires you to be there in person, God requires people to show their faces, God, God, God….

    If you don’t recognize most of the names and incidents mentioned in the Resolution, I envy you. They’re all far-right fringe assholes. And the incidents mentioned… well, every one of them has a huge asterisk, when they’re not simply outright dishonest. Artur and David Pawlowski, for example, were not arrested for for organizing a church service. They were arrested—twice—for political rallies, and what they were specifically arrested for was (in the first case) holding mask-less rallies in defiance of public health orders and advocating that others also break the law (that is, telling everyone to defy masking mandates), and (in the second case) advocating literal violence (they were calling for blood at one of the trucker convoys near the Alberta-US border… the one where people actually brought guns and intended to fight the gubbermint).

    The mention of C-4 is particularly telling. The Resolution very cagily neglects to mention what C-4 is actually about. C-4 is the bill that criminalized (gay) conversion therapy in Canada. Of course, there is nothing about the bill that criminalizes merely expressing a biblical view of anything, or, indeed, expressing sincerely held religious beliefs at all. The bill criminalizes torture; not expression. You can express anything you want, including odious and incorrect beliefs about sexuality and gender. You can even scream homophobic slurs into the faces of gay people, if that’s your jam… and that holds true even if you’re a religious leader. You just can’t torture people in an attempt to make them straight anymore.

    Not a single person spoke at the Ohio legislature against the Resolution. Instead, the only witnesses were a parade of far-right Christian baboons. Even James Coates was invited, and anywhere Coates is welcomed is not a place decent human beings want to be. I guess that now holds true of the Ohio legislature.