“My daughter was in absolute tears. She was like, ‘This is so unfair.’ I totally agree.”
A boy who identifies as a female won first place in the girls’ U14 2023 Southern Region Oireachtas competitions for Irish dancing.
The boy qualifies for the world championships.
Does it shock anyone that the boy competed in the boy division this year, where he placed 11th in the world? Yeah, I’m not shocked, either.
Parents are ticked off. From The Daily Signal:
“Oh, my gosh. It’s going to make me cry,” said one mother, whose daughter danced in the same competition as the trans-identifying boy in the Dallas, Texas, event. “I never thought I was going to have to deal with this. And my heart breaks for my daughter and the other girls that are having to deal with this. They are too young to have to deal with topics that are going on in society, that are adult topics, that they don’t quite comprehend yet.”
“They just look at it as unfair,” she added emotionally. “And it’s really hard to explain to them what’s going on and why they have to accept it. That’s what society’s making them do. As a mom, I want to be an advocate for my daughter. But at the same time, I have to protect my family.”
“My daughter was in absolute tears,” shared the mother whose daughter competed against the boy last weekend. Her daughter was unaware he was a boy until he received first place and word spread like wildfire throughout the competition, she said. “She was like, ‘This is so unfair.’ I totally agree.”
“Parents think it’s outrageous,” shared one dancer’s parent, who spoke anonymously to preserve family privacy. “They are absolutely outraged. It’s absolutely ridiculous, just like in any other sport, and we’re seeing it play out on the national stage in the congressional hearings this week.”
“The feeling is one of fundamental unfairness,” this parent added. “And then obviously the frustration and resentment that goes along with that.”
“It’s just not OK,” protested a mother whose daughter also danced at the Southern Region Oireachtas and is now heading to the World Championships. “It’s totally wrong. It’s unfair, especially in Irish dance. A lot of it is just about power and strength. Yes, there is the technique … but a lot of it also has to do with strength and power and the boys are stronger.”
The Daily Signal reviewed message boards within the Irish dancing community where many parents voiced their frustrations.
Their anger escalated “when their posts were deleted by the Voy message board moderator (who also deleted a post by this journalist [The Daily Signal’s Mary Margaret Olohan] requesting parents reach out for this story).”
Irish dancing does not separate the sexes solely based on sex. Male and female Irish dancing are entirely different:
Maggie McKneely, a young woman who competed in the adult competition at the Southern Region Oireachtas last weekend, also reflected on the situation in a phone interview with The Daily Signal.
“Most sports, men and women tend to do the same basic activity, just at very different skill levels, but Irish dance is highly gendered,” explained McKneely, who works as a legislative strategist for the conservative organization, Concerned Women for America. “The two sexes wear different shoes, they wear different clothes, they actually have completely different dance styles. They’re really not interchangeable in any way.”
“If a boy decides to compete as a girl, he has to learn how to dance like a girl and wear girls’ dance shoes,” she continued. “So I think it’s really ridiculous. It’s not fair to the kids. It’s certainly not fair to the girls who have to compete against the boy. And it totally undermines what makes Irish dance what it is, the highly gendered aspect of it is a defining feature.”
The judges don’t even judge the males and females the same. Former Irish dance instructor and judge Rowena Ryan said the majority within the community supports the LGBT community, but it doesn’t change facts:
But that doesn’t change the fact that boys have physical advantages over girls in Irish dance, she said: “There’s just no getting around the physical differences between men and women.”
“When you’re judging competitions between girls and boys, things that you look for are different in a male dancer compared to a female dancer,” she said. “So I just don’t think it’s fair to have the two competing against another because they are judged on different criteria.”
“You can identify as a giraffe if that’s what you want to do,” the former judge added. “I believe firmly in live and let live. It’s when someone else’s decisions are then affecting a lot of other people that you then have to sit back and decide what needs to happen. And I’m sorry, but girls need to compete against girls and boys need to compete against boys.”
I’ve had to write “feels” way too often this week. But I’ll do it again. Facts don’t care about your feels. Your feels do not matter.DONATE
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