Singletrack World Response to Nadine Dorries’ Comments on Trans Athletes

by 460

Singletrack World takes the position that Trans women are women, and cannot support the recent statements by the UK Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries. In the Mail on Sunday, she wrote that ‘competitive women’s sport must be reserved for people born of the female sex. Not someone who was born male, took puberty blockers or has suppressed testosterone, but unequivocally and unarguably someone who was born female. I want all of our sporting bodies to follow that policy.’

This position has since been reiterated at a Westminster summit, from which the following statement has been released:

‘The Culture Secretary has urged leaders of the UK’s biggest sports to work to ‘raise their game’ and protect the integrity of elite and competitive women’s sport, at a Westminster summit on the inclusion of transgender athletes this afternoon (28 June). 

‘Nadine Dorries met with bosses of national governing bodies, and urged them to adopt the Government’s unequivocal view that elite and competitive women’s sport must be reserved for people born of the female sex.’

We understand that British Cycling was at the meeting, but will continue its ongoing policy review and will not issue any response at this time.

Singletrack World is concerned that this message to UK sporting bodies will result in exclusionary and prejudicial policies, and would urge British Cycling to set policies which allow Trans women – and men – to participate at all levels of sport.

Singletrack World supports inclusion, equality and diversity, not just when it comes to riding bikes, but in daily life. We are concerned that difficult and sensitive discussions about ‘fairness’ in elite sport are being used to enable a wider global political agenda of anti Trans rights, and are being used to promote transphobia. We encourage all our readers to reject any such rhetoric and help make our sport a welcoming and diverse space.  

We realise that this statement will likely prompt many questions, and we don’t believe we have all the answers. However, we cannot stand by and see a government minister give such direction to our national sports governing bodies without voicing our dissent. Trans women are women, Trans men are men, and sport is for all.

For reference, here is the full release from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport following yesterday’s meeting:

The Culture Secretary has urged leaders of the UK’s biggest sports to work to ‘raise their game’ and protect the integrity of elite and competitive women’s sport, at a Westminster summit on the inclusion of transgender athletes this afternoon (28 June). 

Nadine Dorries met with bosses of national governing bodies, and urged them to adopt the Government’s unequivocal view that elite and competitive women’s sport must be reserved for people born of the female sex. 

Having listened to the challenges that sports are facing in implementing policies on transgender participation, the Culture Secretary emphasised that clear direction is needed that protects and shows compassion to all athletes, and encouraged sports to make progress with moving towards a position where fairness takes priority in competitive sport. This includes the consideration of launching inclusive open categories where appropriate. 

Governing bodies made clear that they are actively carrying out their own scientific research to establish the impact of athletes’ sex at birth and gender reassignment on athletic performance. UK Sport and Sport England will support the interpretation of the guidance published by the UK’s sports councils, and will coordinate the process of reporting back to Ministers on progress later in the summer. 

The Culture Secretary also encouraged governing bodies to engage with their international federations and encourage them to have consistent policies worldwide. 

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: 

“Sport is for everyone, no matter where you’ve come from in life. It allows people to come together and perform on a level playing field, based upon basic fairness and the integrity of competition.

“The government has the utmost compassion for people born into a body they don’t recognise. But we can’t pretend that sex doesn’t have a direct impact on a person’s athletic performance. Asking women and teenage girls to compete against someone who was biologically born a male is inherently unfair.

“I recognise that this is a complex and emotionally charged issue, so I welcome the support of our domestic governing bodies to protect and show compassion to all athletes. In the interests of sporting integrity, we must bring clarity to protect the future interests of sport around the world.” 

Today’s summit follows guidance published by the UK’s sports councils in September 2021 which made clear that balancing transgender inclusion, safety and fairness where sex can have an impact on a result, is not always possible. In April 2022 British Cycling suspended their current transgender policy, pending a full review. 

Beyond the UK, last week the International Swimming Federation (FINA) voted to bar transgender athletes participating in women’s events if they have gone through the process of male puberty.

This policy was reached after its scientific panel found that trans women had a “relative performance advantage over biological females, even after medication to reduce testosterone”. Later in the week International Rugby League also suspended the participation of male-born transgender players from competing in international women’s matches while they conduct more research. 

Meanwhile international federations including World Athletics and FIFA have signalled they will review their transgender eligibility policies. 

The official user account of Singletrack Magazine

More posts from Singletrack

Viewing 20 posts - 441 through 460 (of 460 total)
  • Singletrack World Response to Nadine Dorries’ Comments on Trans Athletes
  • squirrelking
    Free Member

    1) Do you think that if LS had used different words to describe the same boundaries (female people attracted only to female people) the protesters would’ve found that acceptable?

    2) Would you think it acceptable?

    3) Is it just their use of “men” that earns them the description “hate group” and justifies the protest?

    I can’t really answer 1), 2) is a yes from me as it is a more nuanced answer. 3) is also a yes in my opinion and could be conditional for 1).

    I agree that different perspectives need to be considered but the idea of a harmonious “community” seems to be anything but and is probably better occasionally described as a collective containing a not insignificant minority of self-beneficial alliances that have no concern for anyone but themselves, often to the detriment of those others.

    You could use that same analogy to describe feminists, the left, the right and cyclists. It’s by no means unique so please don’t interpret it as a slur, it’s just what seems to happen within disparate groups with no clear leadership (and why anarchism would be doomed to failure from the beginning).

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Neither of us, as far as I know, were anything but supportive of Rachael so again, I don’t know why you brought her up in that specific context.

    I didn’t bring her up, I qualified a previous comment is all.

    Do you think that if LS had used different words to describe the same boundaries (female people attracted only to female people) the protesters would’ve found that acceptable?

    Probably not. Their narrative is that trans women aren’t women, using slightly less direct language doesn’t change that belief (and in less punchy on a placard). But my answers to all those questions would be guesswork at best.

    For my part, not that as squirrelking says I have any skin in the game directly, it’s the not language I have issues with personally. So, if you’re insinuating that I’m concerned about the use of the word “man” because I’m a man then you couldn’t be further from the mark. Rather I’m pissed off about the systematic bullying of a tiny minority of people who have likely already gone through hell to get as far as they have.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    @tjagain

    I know you’re out of this discussion but I have been thinking a bit about what you said.

    The first point I’d like to make is that there is a narrative on this thread and in the wider media I constantly see where you and others have come to your viewpoint by listening to women while I and others have come to ours by listening to trans people.

    In my case this is incorrect.

    Yes, I’ve listened to the views of trans people but mostly I’ve listened to the views of cis-women. It seems the women you’ve listened to are afraid of trans people whereas the women I’ve listened to are afraid of the gatekeeping that inevitably comes when you exclude trans people.

    They are worried about being hauled out of bathrooms because they don’t appear feminine enough. They are worried about having to ‘prove’ they are not trans or intersex in order to continue playing sports. Listen to the Scottish Rugby Blog podcast I posted a few days ago for an example of the concerns I hear again and again from women that led me to my position.

    However, asking for evidence that fears are an actual risk is not shutting down debate. Many countries already have self identification so if the risks are genuine shouldn’t there be some evidence by now?

    We’re already seeing the risks that come from setting up barriers that have to be policed over in the US.

    We have two groups of women who are concerned by different things. Personally, I would say the risk transgender people pose is tiny compared to the risk the brave defenders of women’s spaces pose.

    I’ll try not to disregard the views of your friends but please don’t disregard the views of my friends.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    @brucewee I know you were addressing TJ but thats helpful knowing where you’re speaking from. Can’t say I disagree either, that’s a very fair position to come from. Also thanks, I’ve been looking for a word and ‘gatekeeping’ had just fallen out my head.


    @cougar
    RE the “man” comment that wasn’t how I interpreted that question.

    Probably not. Their narrative is that trans women aren’t women, using slightly less direct language doesn’t change that belief (and in less punchy on a placard). But my answers to all those questions would be guesswork at best.

    Ah, but, by changing the language you would be changing the narrative. As someone who openly admits to having a habit of dealing in absolutes I’m sure you can appreciate the present language is exactly that. Change the language so its no longer an absolute then you change the fundamental narrative. Presumably they don’t want to do that so the question will forever remain hypothetical.

    But again, that’s just IMO, they’ve already set their stall so I can see how it’s difficult to see beyond that.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    I’ll try not to disregard the views of your friends but please don’t disregard the views of my friends.

    Wise words.

    Ah, but, by changing the language you would be changing the narrative.

    Would you? I genuinely don’t know.

    It’s academic anyway.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    I think so, but only from the hypothetical POV I described. As you say, it’s academic really.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    However, asking for evidence that fears are an actual risk is not shutting down debate. Many countries already have self identification so if the risks are genuine shouldn’t there be some evidence by now?

    Which is the point I was trying to get across. Evidence should support and encourage debate, not shut it down.

    As I said before, there’s a few posters on here who usually argue cogently using evidence but seem unable or unwilling to do so on this topic. On both sides.

    I appreciate its a relatively new and emotive topic, data may not be widely available, but just seemed odd to me

    Cougar
    Full Member

    If the number of posters complaining about being variously ‘shut down’ or ‘cancelled’ or ‘not allowed to speak’ had expended as much effort into having a discussion instead of whining then we’d probably have come up with a solution by now. 😁

    configuration
    Free Member

    If the number of posters complaining about being variously ‘shut down’ or ‘cancelled’ or ‘not allowed to speak’ had expended as much effort into having a discussion instead of whining then we’d probably have come up with a solution by now

    The only person I’ve seen do that, is you. It may have been a ‘joke’, but you literally said ‘help I’m being cancelled’. Just to establish an actual fact. I don’t believe you are at all interested in having a genuine discussion, you seem far more concerned with putting your stuff an opinion forward as the definitive argument. You still seem to want to portray certain Feminist groups as ‘transphobic’ despite no evidence of such, and are still ignoring male violence towards women. Yours is typical of the kind of ignorant and misguided stance taken by some people regarding these issues, a stance which is toxifying the debate to the point where others with more nuanced and thoughtful viewpoints just can’t be bothered wasting their time. I get that you want your voice heard, by God you make a hell of a lot of effort in that regard, on this forum, but for the sake of others, why not just take a step back for a while and let others voices be heard for a change. Just a polite suggestion. It’s not all about you.

    configuration
    Free Member

    Regarding the issue of sexual consent; Lesbian organisations such as Lesbian Strength and Get The L out are objecting to being ‘erased’ by a tiny minority of so called trans activists who accuse Lesbians of transphobia if they say they don’t want to have sex with biological males, regardless of gender status. Because they will only consent to having sex with women, biological women. Because Lesbianism is all about female sexual attraction to other females. As a heterosexual man, I only consent to having sex with women, biological females. I do not subscribe to the view that ‘trans women are women’. That does not make me a ‘transphobe’ as some people might cry, as I am not actually erasing or denying anyone else’s humanity. I am fully supportive of Lesbians who want to protect their sexuality, and of women who want to protect their own status of womanhood and sex based rights. As are many trans people.

    I think a lot of people need to actually learn the distinction between sex and gender. One is biological fact, the other is a human social construct. I have no problem with accepting someone within whatever gender they choose, be it masculine, feminine, or a more ‘fluid’ form.

    https://www.feministcurrent.com/2018/08/29/many-lgbt-organizations-caving-trans-activists-losing-lesbians/

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    I think a lot of people need to actually learn the distinction between sex and gender.

    And we’re back to page 2.

    And this particular circle of Hell continues.

    If I were you I would go back and read the thread from the start. You might actually learn something.

    Personally, I’m not going to type out the same thing over and over again only for people to completely ignore it and just repeat the same half truths and outright falsehoods over and over and over again.

    If you can’t be bothered to even read the thread I really don’t see why anyone has to respond to you.

    configuration
    Free Member

    If you can’t be bothered to even read the thread I really don’t see why anyone has to respond to you.

    I’ve read through the thread. I have the same opinions and views, and knowledge of the distinction between sex and gender that I started with. Sorry if you find that unsatisfactory. If you’d like to convince me your argument is the right one, you’re kind of going about it the wrong way…

    kelvin
    Full Member

    As a heterosexual man, I only consent to having sex with women, biological females. I do not subscribe to the view that ‘trans women are women’.

    Women don’t need you to consent to have sex with them in order to be women.

    configuration
    Free Member

    I think you’ve missed the point, Kelvin.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    The point is that you want to define people in a way that aligns with your own sexual choices. Sleep with who you want, as long as they want to sleep with you. That has nothing to do with whether someone should be misgendered.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    I have the same opinions and views, and knowledge of the distinction between sex and gender that I started with.

    And yet you still find the need to state your opinions as if they are fact and tell the rest of us we simply don’t know these facts.

    I’m never going to convince you of anything. You refuse to engage in any kind of dialogue and just continue to spout the same opinions as if they are facts with no effort to actual prove that your opinions have any basis in reality.

    I’m never going to convince you because all you’re here to do is troll and I don’t really feel like playing this game with you anymore.

    But yes, you’re going to come up with another blatant falsehood soon that others are going to repeat as facts and then I’m going to get drawn in again so I guess ultimately you win.

    This place **** sucks, sometimes.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    As a heterosexual man, I only consent to having sex with women, biological females

    Having been happily married for 20 years, it’s not an issue I’ve had to face, but if I was single and dating a woman who turned out to be trans, I’m not sure I could make such an emphatic statement. You love who you love.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    and are still ignoring male violence towards women.

    And by the way, you are also ignoring violence by men against women.

    https://www.vox.com/2016/5/18/11690234/women-bathrooms-harassment

    https://www.advocate.com/business/2015/06/17/detroit-woman-kicked-out-restaurant-bathroom-looking-man-sues

    Cougar
    Full Member

    The only person I’ve seen do that, is you. It may have been a ‘joke’, but you literally said ‘help I’m being cancelled’.

    Of course it was a joke, good grief. There was even a smiley at the end.

    Multiple people have complained about being shut down.

    imnotverygood
    Full Member

    Having been happily married for 20 years, it’s not an issue I’ve had to face, but if I was single and dating a woman who turned out to be trans, I’m not sure I could make such an emphatic statement. You love who you love

    I rather think that if I met someone who was trans I would expect them to tell me at an early stage of the relationship. It’s something the other person has a right to know.

Viewing 20 posts - 441 through 460 (of 460 total)

The topic ‘Singletrack World Response to Nadine Dorries’ Comments on Trans Athletes’ is closed to new replies.