How Long, Oh Lord?

The familiar Morse Code S.O.S. isn’t a real abbreviation but has since come to mean “save our souls” or, in the nautical sense, “save our ships.” Either works, but it could well mean to “save our state in this essay’s remit.” In fact, it could legitimately stand for “save our sweethearts.”

It’s no secret that the Palmetto State is one of the reddest in the South and quite possibly in the country. The question remains why our legislature has taken so long to get a Save Women’s Sports bill for our conservative, Republican governor to sign. We should have been at the vanguard of this movement. Palmetto voters are crying with the Psalmist, “How Long, oh Lord?” Our petulance might not be so severe if bills had not already been presented for signature—or already signed—in Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia,  and even Pennsylvania, to name only a few. Palmetto legislators did not need to reinvent the wheel. The delay appears unnecessary, but it may—finally— be coming to fruition.

Why did it take so long? Both legislative houses are to blame for one reason or another. Last year’s bill meandered about and went nowhere. This session, the bill had a frighteningly similar fate. And lentitude is not lost on Palmetto voters.  

The mephitic Medical Marijuana Bill, a bill that had the imprecations of most of law enforcement, took up most of the session. With its passage, only the state’s potheads are happy. Our country has witnessed its highest addition rates in over 40 years, over a million overdoses, and the highest on-the-job consumption rates ever. Palmetto lawmakers stepped up with a bill that grants” limited” pot use in pill form. We know, however, that this bill is the proverbial nose of the camel under the tent. The 4/20 crowd will be back soon, asking the legislature not to Bogart that joint and approve recreational use. And why not? The first step has already been taken. The country loses billions in lost productivity to drug and alcohol abuse. It begs the question why a medical marijuana bill fascinated our legislature so much.

But that malversation comes nowhere close to the limpid energy exerted to Save Women’s Sports. Now, at the dies irae of the closing session, the bill is slogging its way through the legislative body to the governor’s desk—or so we hope. Why a conservative, Republican-dominated legislature could not kluge together a bill that our governor would doubtless sign strikes one as mysterious.

Is there any good reason for this lethargy on the part of our lawmakers? Not really. Some lawmakers may be eyeing comfortable university retirement settings, but they’ll be canceled before they ever get there. More than a few Democrats have opposed Save Women’s Sports bills, but, sadly, some Republicans have, too. Republican governors vetoed bills in Utah and Indiana. Utah’s Gov. Spencer Cox issued a teary rebuke of the bill in his state, saying that only four transgender teenagers would be affected and that suicide rates are high among transgender teens. The Left wept with him, but both forgot that letting children make life-alerting transgender decisions is nothing short of abuse. Is it possible that making such a decision is a prelude to later regret? The fact is that children would do anything to become dinosaurs, gazelles, or any other curious oddity. Even the very liberal Washington Post published a story of deep regret by a transgendered victim [sic] who argues at 19 that she was still too young to have made such a life-changing decision (  

It cannot be because there is some inherent reason for allowing transgender males to compete against women. We know that men-who-become-women retain muscle mass, stamina, and ability. Look at Lia Thomas and the recent swimming NCAA competitions. In the freestyle, as a man, Thomas ranked 554, yet first as a reconstituted woman. This doesn’t mean that a woman will never beat a transgender man, or that she is inferior somehow. But it does mean she will not, no matter how good she is, outperform a biological man who has trained as well as she. If transgender males and females want to compete, let them compete against each other.

Some governors argue that the bill will be fought in the courts. So be it. Let’s go to court and see where it lands. Women athletes do not want transgender males competing against them. Parents do not want their daughters fighting against transgender males. This leaves only the Left, who adore any menagerie of misfits, and the transgender crowd itself. To put it in political terms for legislators, it’s an exceedingly small voting bloc that will never vote Republican—ever.

The legislative session is winding down in our state. Republicans need to get a Save Women’s Sports bill to Gov. Henry McMaster, who will doubtless sign it. If you care about women, if you care about your daughters, if you care about your wives or your sweethearts, you will gladly see the Palmetto State pass a Save Women’s Sports Bill. Insiders say a bill will soon go to the governor, possibly by the time this appears.   If Republicans fail to bring a bill forward before the end of this legislative session, however, they should be taken to the voting booth woodshed.

Mark Y. Herring is professor emeritus, dean of library services from Winthrop University. Herring spent 42 years as dean or director in academic libraries in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. He was most recently appointed by Gov. Henry McMaster to the South Carolina State Library Board. He resides with his wife, Carol, in Rock Hill.