Man cares about women’s sports because it lets him be transphobic

Illustration of a man sitting down pointing angrily at a TV screen with the words "On now Girlball" on it.
Sofia Reeves / The Mossy Log

MIKE NGUYEN is many things: a popular conservative pundit, an IPA fanatic and a fan of women’s sports, at least according to him.

Nguyen gestures toward his television screen, where a WNBA player makes a 3-point shot.

“Look at these girls,” he said. “That’s pure estrogen right there. Estrogen made that shot.”

Last month, Nguyen found himself in the spotlight following his controversial comments on the Roe Jogan podcast, in which he claimed trans women were “ruining womens sports.” However, when prompted in an interview several days later, Nguyen was unable to name a single female sports player, aside from his “little cousin Phoebe who’s on the swim team.” Nguyen contacted me for an interview to correct the record.

“I love lady sports,” Nguyen said. “Always have. Back in high school, me and my friends would go to every single women’s soccer game. We’d even try to sneak into their locker rooms after. Because we were true fans.”

I ask Nguyen what his favorite women’s sport to watch is.

“Hm,” Nguyen said. “You know, there’s beach volleyball, mud wrestling, and … that other one. You know what I mean. Girlball.”

I do love a good round of girlball.

We watch a few more minutes of the basketball game together. Nguyen tells me which women, in his opinion, have the best asses. We do not always agree, but it is good to have discussions with people whose beliefs differ from yours.

“We need to get trans-identified women out of sports,” Nguyen said out of nowhere. “Letting men in there is ridiculous. It’s like sending Lionel Messi into a rec soccer game.”

I ask him to expand on this point.

“Well, it’s simple biology,” Nguyen says. “Men just have better bodies for sports, you know? They’re taller, and they have broader shoulders and bigger penises.”

Though I have to give it to Nguyen on this last point — men do, on average, have larger penises than women — I am not convinced by the rest of his arguments. I decide to do my own research. I search on Facebook, Instagram and White Pages for trans women near me; what better source than a primary source, after all? Soon, I find a person, Melinda Purly, who lives only two streets away from me, and decide to pay her a visit.

I ask Purly how she feels about trans women in women’s sports. In response, she asks me how I got into her house. I assure her that this is unimportant, and I am simply doing journalism. Though Purly seems at first uninterested in being interviewed, I get her to agree to answering a few questions on the condition that I leave and not come back.

I ask Melinda how many women’s sports teams she plays on.

“None,” says Melinda. “I don’t play any sports. I just go for runs sometimes.”

I ask Melinda if, while on these runs, she attempts to find women to run faster than. Melinda says no and asks me why the hell she would do that, and asks me again to leave her home. Intrepid journalist I am, I press on. I ask Melinda what woman’s soul she stole in order to transition. Melinda threatens to call the police.

Even after both these interviews, I am left with questions. Do trans women have an advantage over cis women in sports? Should they be allowed to play together? And which NBA player really has the best ass? I turn to the internet. After many hard days of research, I come to a conclusion: Te’a Cooper, formerly of the Los Angeles Sparks. Satisfied with my work, I decide to leave the rest of the questions for some other young journalist or Twitter user with a cartoon frog avatar to answer. After all, I cannot claim all the glory.

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