Rhetorical and Contextual Analysis

  1. Martina Navratilova’s Girl Power

In the "Wall Street Journal," William McGurn raises a rhetorical question on whether athletes who are born as males but identify themselves as girls cheating or not. William McGurn decided to put the question since the issue of transgender has been addressed several times by people who have different opinions about the male gender identifying themselves as female yet their phenotypes are totally those of the male generation. Martina Navratilova decided to raise the alarm on the same issue after noticing that males who had identified themselves as women were engaging in sports with women and winning awards yet their genotype is that of the male gender. According to her, such an act is not fair, and they should not be allowed to do so.

The goal of McGurn's journal is to address the key themes of the rhetorical question and the expected actions. As such, two themes can be identified in the journal. Firstly, the theme of transgender is the core of McGurn's journal. In this case, the theme of transgender runs through the whole article, and it is related to sporting competitions. Some of the women who win trophies in top games are those who have undergone a change in gender identity. Although they possess males' sex organs and a masculine body, they claim to female due to their social upbringing and other factors which may be personal. Besides, such transgender females end up engaging in sports. Since they have masculine bodies, they always tend to outdo women who were born with that gender identity.

According to biology, sex and gender are mostly assigned to individuals based on the sexual organs they possess. However, the current world has come with social constructs whereby even those who were born as males decide to change their gender roles to begins performing feminine roles. Such men begin identifying themselves as women even in public. More so, they engage in activities meant for women. To make their bodies look a bit feminine, some treat themselves with feminine hormones such as progesterone and estrogen. In the end, they may convince strangers that they are of the female gender. Some people in society tend to accept their transgender decisions. Still, others such as Martina Navratilova deny this, especially when they engage in activities meant for women and outdoing women due to their masculine advantage. As such, Martina describes such transgender women as “cheaters” and that they tend to be unjust to those who are naturally born women.

As shown above, Navratilova considers the act of transgender women competing in sports with naturally born women and winning over them as an unjust act. Therefore, the second theme which is the theme of injustice comes in. Injustice refers to the denial of justice or being unfair to a person or a group of people. According to Navratilova, transgender women are unjust to naturally born when it comes to sporting. In the article, McGurn quotes her saying, "a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organization is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires.” Based on this quote from Martina Navratilova, there is no guarantee that men who undergo transgender will remain with the female title forever since they still possess male sexual organs. As such, allowing them to engage in sports with real women is same as traumatizing women who are naturally born that way.

Furthermore, Martina Navratilova openly says: "It's insane, and it's cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair." Such, a post indicates that she can no more tolerate transgender women. Having been a tennis player, she seems to understand the hardships of playing with a transgender female. Biologically, males tend to develop more energy than females due to the androgens hormones that they possess. The hormone is responsible for the development of masculine bodies which absorb more energy. As a result, they end up outdoing women in most of the activities which involve more energy such as sports.

To stress this theme of injustice, William McGurn also refers to an article written on the New York Times magazine by Andrew Sullivan. The headline of the article read “The Nature of Sex.” Mr. Sullivan supports Navratilova’s opinion by noting that the implications of biological identity should not be ignored while formulating the Equality Act. By this opinion, he also values the idea of justice for naturally born women rather than allowing those who possess male hormones to take over by winning all the awards in the top sports. Therefore, the issue of transgender women engaging in similar sports with naturally born women should be examined deeply so that justice can prevail.

More so, the rhetorical question posed by William McGhun has its role in the audience. In this case, the audience not only refers to transgender but also to the general public who

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