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. 

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Viewing 40 posts - 161 through 200 (of 460 total)
  • Singletrack World Response to Nadine Dorries’ Comments on Trans Athletes
  • benos
    Free Member

    Correct, any that’s exactly my point. It’s always about toilets, just like fishing cropped up again and again in the brexit debates.

    Perhaps you could remind me who was it that brought up toilets in this thread?

    vinnyeh
    Full Member

    No mention of Kate Weatherly? Interesting story, 2018 NZ women’s DH champion.

    A vastly complex issue, on which I ‘m still kind of undecided, but I think that STW hasn’t put any effort or thought at all into this article and certainly not into explaining the reasons behind what seems a pretty firm stance, albeit slightly tempered by Mark’s responses. Sorry folks.

    I’d rather not think of it as the clickbait that has been alluded to above, but I don’t think that the authors have written anything to explain their thinking behind, and justification for, trans competitors in disciplines that are strength, and possibly endurance, based or are contact sports.

    I would appreciate more, perhaps a short rationale from each of the article’s contributors (I assume since it’s byelined ‘Singletrack Magazine’ there were multiple contributors.)

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    @scotroutes I’m not sure how else to describe the people that chased Rachael off. Certainly not in polite terms. As for TERF it’s not exactly an inaccurate acronym for people who hold those beliefs.

    Proposing people only compete as their birth gender shows a lack of understanding of the issue that is ignorant at best and profoundly cruel at worst.

    As for anything else, Cougar summed it up nicely. People shouldn’t have rights at the expense of others, it’s a nuanced issue and should be treated that way. Yes, that goes both ways and obviously needs far more thought put into it than some folk here seem willing or capable to put in.

    Markie
    Full Member

    Proposing people only compete as their birth gender shows a lack of understanding of the issue that is ignorant at best and profoundly cruel at worst.

    Sex is not equal to gender.

    Women’s only spaces are necessary in society to confront sex based discrimination and in sport to allow for fair competition. Allowing males to compete as females denies women this right.

    Steve
    Full Member

    Allowing males to compete as females denies women this right.

    The issue being at what point does a “male” become a “female”, you know, the key thing for trans people….

    Hannah Dobson
    Full Member

    Someone way up there in the comments seemed to suggest this was written because it’s what I’d been told to write. One of the great pleasures of working for Singletrack World is that I don’t have to write anything I don’t believe in.

    It would likely have been easier for us to say nothing, but personally I believe that Nadine Dorries’ direction leaves out any possibility for inclusion of Trans athletes in competition, and that is – I think- a position too exclusionary and prejudicial to ignore.

    Much has been said in the comments in the name of defending women. As a woman, I thought I would add my personal perspective – and since I started drafting this comment someone has asked for it. So here goes.

    Personally, I am uncomfortable with the FINA position, in as much as I think it risks the policing of women’s bodies. Who is ‘woman enough?’ to avoid being subjected to tests and inspections because someone thinks a successful athlete looks a bit too tall/powerful/muscular/whatever to be allowed to compete without some form of certification? I have been quite regularly misgendered throughout my life, which is both mystifying and unpleasant when it happens. I hate to think what someone could be subjected to if people could demand you confirm ‘what’ you are. The science seems to me far from settled – it’s only fairly recently that the idea of ‘women’s specific geometry’ has been largely dropped from bike design. If we can spend years assuming women’s arms, legs and torsos are so differently proportioned that they need different bikes, only to rapidly drop such a premise, perhaps other ‘measurements’ of female-ness may also be revisited, or at least subject to more research?

    In addition, as women have broken down barriers to participation, there are an increasing number of sporting instances where they are challenging – and sometimes beating – male counterparts, over the same courses. Perhaps this demonstrates that the male/female divide is not necessarily that relevant – or perhaps these successful women are going to find themselves subjected to tests? I fear that the threat to women’s bodily autonomy and right to privacy is greater than the ‘threat to women’s sports’. Certainly, I think there are far greater threats to women’s sports – a lack of equal pay, for example – and to women’s liberties more generally.

    I can’t help but feel that stirring up division between those who might otherwise share common goals of overcoming barriers and oppression is exactly what those with power want – it’s a big dead cat that’s making us weak in the face of broader restrictions on liberties and human rights.

    Thank you for what are, by and large, reasonable and thoughtful responses to this article.

    Chris Bill
    Full Member

    Agree with zezaskar one hundred percent. And while we should all support a society that is diverse, inclusive and equal let’s not forget the problems still faced by the female half of the population such as the gender pay gap, casual sexism, and domestic abuse which are a much higher priority imo.

    mashr
    Full Member

    The issue being at what point does a “male” become a “female”, you know, the key thing for trans people….

    It’s not just that either though. Just imagine a 7’2” trans woman with hands like shovels turning up in the WNBA (as an extreme example). Yes she could well be female by all accounts, but fair…?

    Markie
    Full Member

    The issue being at what point does a “male” become a “female”, you know, the key thing for trans people…

    Sex does not change. A trans woman is an adult human male.

    Pyro
    Full Member

    This is an interesting thread for context on sex

    https://mobile.twitter.com/RebeccaRHelm/status/1207834357639139328

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    I don’t know why a statement needed to be made at all.

    As can be seen from the posts above it’s now another thread to fuel division and nastiness on this website.

    Add it to the Covid – Brexit – Boris – Kier – Indyref 2 – all threads full of hate.

    Steve
    Full Member

    Not seeing any hate on this thread, just different opinions.

    Markie
    Full Member

    This is an interesting thread for context on sex

    With this as a rebuttal to the initial argument, for those that just can’t get enough of reading stuff!

    https://quillette.com/2020/06/07/jk-rowling-is-right-sex-is-real-and-it-is-not-a-spectrum/

    tpbiker
    Free Member

    to avoid being subjected to tests and inspections because someone thinks a successful athlete looks a bit too tall/powerful/muscular/whatever to be allowed to compete without some form of certification

    But surely this is unavoidable, there needs to some kind of ‘rule’ surely, regardless of what that is.

    Currently we are debating woman who are trans, they’ve made a gender choice, they are undergoing transitioning. Whether they should be allowed to compete with females is up for debate, personally I don’t think they should at elite level

    But with no ‘tests and inspections’ as you put it in place, there would be nothing stopping a bloke who wasn’t trans, identifying as a lady simply to win. You honestly think there isn’t a chance someone languishing around 600 in the world in the mens tennis ranking wouldnt be remotely tempted to rock up and take home the 2 million quid woman’s Wimbledon prize if they could?

    thegreatape
    Free Member

    Not seeing any hate on this thread, just different opinions.

    +1

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Currently we are debating woman who are trans, they’ve made a gender choice, they are undergoing transitioning.

    I’d argue that for the vast majority of TG people it is not a choice, it’s a need. If you want to consider it a choice, I can’t give a definitive answer but my son would say the choice is between transitioning and ending his own life.

    Sure, they may be cases where people may in future transition ‘just enough’ to retain as much advantage as possible and as few of the disadvantages, but that needs a different analysis.

    benos
    Free Member

    Reading Mark and Hannah’s comments (thank you both) has clarified things a bit, but it seems to me that the STW and Dorries positions are not so very far apart.

    Dorries expressed clear support for the FINA policy, as did Mark with some reservations, and this does allow for the inclusion of both trans men and trans women.

    I realise that the FINA policy is controversial, and I have reservations about it too, but overall I think it offers an evidenced-based position which I can support because it allows for fair competition while including women with 46 XY DSDs who didn’t benefit from male puberty and trans women who transitioned before male puberty.

    the-pilot
    Free Member

    @stwhannah
    When I said journalists write what they are paid to write, I was responding to this:
    “…even most of the junior staff at the tabloids, have views so out of kilter with the majority of people in the UK”
    You know, as if those working at the Mail share the same views as Paul Dacre.

    Agree with much of what tpbiker says apart from the bit about trans people making a choice about their gender. It’s not a choice in any meaningful sense of the word. But it does mean, in my book, that trans women cannot compete in some professional sports.

    thegreatape
    Free Member

    I’d argue that for the vast majority of TG people it is not a choice, it’s a need. If you want to consider it a choice, I can’t give a definitive answer but my son would say the choice is between transitioning and ending his own life.

    Must be hard seeing your child experiencing that much distress – I hope things are improving. I don’t know if you’re happy to answer personal questions, but if you are I have a couple, and I don’t know anyone in real life in this situation who I could ask.

    I don’t know how old your son is, perhaps already an adult, but if not, do the experiences of people who have transitioned, particularly when including surgical procedures, and later regretted it and wishes they hadn’t done, does that worry you at all? Clearly transitioning is the solution for some people experiencing discomfort with their body, but perhaps not the answer in every case? How do you strike the balance between the immediate needs of your child, given the suicidal thoughts, and the risk of future regret?

    Also, what do you think about the debate over conversion therapy for trans people? Some people argue that anything that isn’t entirely affirming amounts to conversion therapy, whereas others argue that exploratory/talking therapies are an important safety net and a way of getting to the bottom of someone’s distress over their sex/gender, and for a lot of kids who feel like they may need to transition it turns out not to be the right solution for them. Obviously out and out attempts to “cure” trans people are as offensive as efforts to “cure” gay folk, but exploring the possibility that other issues may be a factor seems sensible and reasonable to me. I’d be interested to hear what you think? I hope nothing there causes offence, it’s certainly not meant to.

    robertajobb
    Full Member

    I wait to see the carnage and injury on the rugby field when a 6ft9″ 18 stone 2nd rower transitions and then plays women’s rugby. Even after Testosterone reduction etc There will be major injury and the risk of death even for the born-female opposition that get in the way.
    Then maybe some may realise it is not a level playing field.

    Jamie Callis
    Full Member

    I wait to see the carnage and injury on the rugby field when a 6ft9″ 18 stone 2nd rower transitions and then plays women’s rugby. Even after Testosterone reduction etc There will be major injury and the risk of death even for the born-female opposition that get in the way.
    Then maybe some may realise it is not a level playing field.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    And now patient confidentiality and the requirement for consent to access medical records to be removed for children who have transitioned…

    …pretty clear that ministers think they have a wedge issue to try and claw back some approval.

    onegearnoidea
    Free Member

    I wait to see the carnage and injury on the rugby field when a 6ft9″ 18 stone 2nd rower transitions and then plays women’s rugby

    World Rugby have already issued a policy regarding this about 18 months ago. Banning transwomen from international rugby and issuing guidance to rugby unions although many unions have not put this into practice and are leaving it to clubs to police themselves. I believe this is the case in all of the home nations at the moment.

    https://www.world.rugby/the-game/player-welfare/guidelines/transgender/women

    They were possibly the first sports governing to ban transwomen but the difference here is the safety element, FINA is I think the first to ban purely on athletic performance.

    Superficial
    Free Member

    I’d argue that for the vast majority of TG people it is not a choice, it’s a need.

    I suspect you’re right for now (and obviously I bow to your greater experience on the matter).

    But I think it logically follows that as society becomes (rightly) increasingly tolerant of trans people, more people will view it as a choice. Perhaps those with a lesser degree of gender dysphoria (compared to your son). If we continue to see a reduction in stigma around transitioning, those individuals might see transitioning as a viable choice to reduce milder gender dysphoria symptoms.

    i_scoff_cake
    Free Member

    …pretty clear that ministers think they have a wedge issue to try and claw back some approval.

    The number of children (especially girls) being referred for so-called gender dysphoria has grown by orders of magnitude in recent years. With many anecdotes of affirmative treatment being a total disaster, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to investigate.

    This is especially salient in light of social media and certain pedagogical models bombarding children with the message that they could be trans or gay or 101 other identities. Some kids are very vulnerable to this.

    lamp
    Free Member

    @i_scoff_cake – i don’t know why children have to be educated in this at all. Why can’t the ‘authorities’ just let them be kids for a decade or so? My nephew who is 7 is completely bamboozled by it all.

    Superficial
    Free Member

    This is especially salient in light of social media and certain pedagogical models bombarding children with the message…

    Do you talk like that IRL? Must be exhausting.

    alanclarke
    Full Member

    I feel that the hard right would like trans rights to be wedge issue and have probably been working hard on it on social media for a while – turning feminists against liberals – what’s not to like?

    My view, which I think recent survey showed is pretty typical, is to understand that being trans is real and deserve support and empathy, trans people are not scary (although trans rights activists can be)…however fairness is really important to people and we don’t like thinks that are clearly not fair, such as competing against female sports people with a male body. Anyone who follows cycle sport or even just looks at their strava knows there’s a big difference between the sexes.

    Of course no one transitions to win races but if you have transitioned from an adult male and are a sportsperson then it’s clearly not fair to race against females. Hopefully you could still race against men – even if not so fast as before, though you probably weren’t winning races then either.

    There just isn’t a clear answer that makes everyone happy, but I feel trans people giving way on competitive sport will win more support and understanding compared with insisting on trans rights over ruling everything, and do sometimes wonder if the TR activists are really there to support trans people or are just culture warriors.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    Why is there never any discussion out spent controversy over female to male athletes in elite sports? Is it because there are none or it’s it because they don’t really have a meaningful impact on the pointy end of the results table? I genuinely don’t know

    I wonder if this issue is further complicated due to the age an individual transitions?

    Could it be the younger the individual the greater the potential to reduce or inhibit a lot of the oft cited advantages?

    I have tried google-fu but not coming up with any clear arguments either way.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    @thegreatape

    No, I don’t find it particularly intrusive and don’t mind answering. And although I find some posters on here quite dog whistley in the way they phrase their questions, making it sound quite clear to me they have a particular position, I think some of their concerns are valid. I hope people will read my answers and think rather than kneejerking responses back; this might be quite rambly, and a lot of quoting, but you asked so here goes

    I don’t know how old your son is, perhaps already an adult, but if not, do the experiences of people who have transitioned, particularly when including surgical procedures, and later regretted it and wishes they hadn’t done, does that worry you at all?

    He’s 16 now. He has always been a tomboy, expressed significant dysphoria at about 12, basically when puberty started which of course in his body means some very obvious changes, that we have to deal with now on a daily (binding) or monthly basis. He socially transitioned at 13 and some, basically we discussed at length and in conjunction with the school decided that he would end the Christmas term in his old identity and return in his new. That was Dec 19/Jan 20.

    It was hard, the school was supportive as were many friends but some were not. Some kids were absolute C***’s about it. The misuse of names, pronouns (that’s why a poster on the other thread pissed me off so royally the other day. It is a HUGE thing to some TG people and it’s a tiny accommodation really), deliberate misgendering / ‘oh look, here “it” comes’ comments …. but he was dealing with it and facing up to it.

    Then Covid and he was isolated from facing up to the bullies, and also his supporters. They were bleak times. Some days we couldn’t get him out of bed, let alone on line to do school work. My wife and I would go to work when we had to and worried sick until we got back whether he’d do something stupid while we were away.

    And yes, I do worry about choices, but it is absolute Hobson’s right now and has been for some time. I worry about all their choices though, that’s what parents do. Are they mixing with the wrong friends, has my daughter made the right Uni choices, etc. Sure, this one has lower reversibility and bigger implications, and who knows, maybe it will be a regret in future but I don’t know what the alternative is. But we are now on a (private) path to transition, including counselling, hormone blockers to try to stop periods, and T to start the bodily transitions. He wants top surgery as soon as he can; wearing binders for all his public time is very uncomfortable, and doing GCSE’s in 30 degrees with restricted breathing because you’re wearing a tight as you can bear canvas vest has been hideous, So yes, we are looking at it, if anyone has a spare ten grand.

    On that point – my big regret right now is NOT acting sooner – back at 12/13 when we did the classic parenting thing of ‘hoping’ it was a phase and sought counselling (CAHMS were utterly useless, not blaming the counsellors themselves, rather chronic underfunding and lack of resource / waiting times) We should have called time out and sorted puberty blockers then; I know people will say 12’s too young but him going through puberty has made the situation significantly worse. Waiting for a referral to GIDS / Tavistock is pointless.

    Also, what do you think about the debate over conversion therapy for trans people? Some people argue that anything that isn’t entirely affirming amounts to conversion therapy, whereas others argue that exploratory/talking therapies are an important safety net and a way of getting to the bottom of someone’s distress over their sex/gender, and for a lot of kids who feel like they may need to transition it turns out not to be the right solution for them. Obviously out and out attempts to “cure” trans people are as offensive as efforts to “cure” gay folk, but exploring the possibility that other issues may be a factor seems sensible and reasonable to me.

    All fair points and asked sensitively. As above we have sought counselling because getting to understand why he has this distress is important. Although we have not got far with CAHMS, if you do have counselling with them there seems to me to be a Catch 22 approach. They won’t in general start onward referrals for an unhappy teen for the fear unhappy teens are clutching at straws, so you need to be mentally in a good place before they will make referrals. But the issue you can’t get the referral for is the very issue that prevents you being in a good place, and the longer it takes the bigger the issue to be dealt with. Hence as I say why we have had to dig into savings – I’m lucky in the sense I have savings to dig into. YMMV. OTOH, I don’t think referrals and treatments should be handed out without an appropriate level of discussion, understanding of risks / implications, and can a child really understand that? Gillick, etc. – should a parent make a decision on their behalf? I agonise, but as i say in the end I feel we either have no choice, or the choice we have is very lesser of two evils.

    We also joined a TG charity and then left it again, because it felt too much like becoming someone’s ‘project’ to support transitioning. Can’t put my finger on why but yes, what others have suggested did feel a real threat to us. Another catch 22 – moving through processes at pace is advantageous for physical reasons as much as anything, but decisions need to be discussed and thought through rather than rushed. Are puberty blockers to buy time ‘the’ answer? I don’t know; I’m not convinced there’s sufficient knowledge about reversibility or long term effects, yet I’m paying for them monthly.

    So there – answers as best as i can give them, although I’ll admit as a parent my short answer to most is actually ‘I don’t know’. I don’t think anyone really does right now In the end I’m trying to do the best I can, because that’s all I can do.

    kerley
    Free Member

    Why is there never any discussion out spent controversy over female to male athletes in elite sports? Is it because there are none or it’s it because they don’t really have a meaningful impact on the pointy end of the results table?

    I would guess the latter. Can’t think any elite sports where females post better results than males so they would be far down the field and nobody would notice. May not even be at a high enough level where they could enter/compete in male events as we are not even talking the best females in the world we are talking the absolutely tiny amount who are TG.

    The thing is with sport is that it is not a level playing field. If my VO2 max is 70, as a male, I am never going to be able to fairly compete with riders whose VO2 max is 85 no matter what I do. Who is decrying those 70 VO2 max riders as having an unfair advantage?
    Maybe in that example we need groupings based on VO2 max and remove male/female aspect all together.

    hels
    Free Member

    I have never understood why people feel so fearful of and threatened by trans people.

    I am also intrigued that so many groups that never gave a shit are now so concerned about women’s rights (in areas that won’t actually help many of us like public toilets and elite sport) Thanks people! Can we keep the momentum going and get to something helpful now like pay equity?

    Even the far right are getting onside defending us women I won’t link to it but Wings Over Scotland website is a good example. Again, cheers.

    crossed
    Free Member

    @theotherjonv

    Thanks for posting on here.
    It’s really interesting to hear the viewpoint from your position. It sounds like an incredibly difficult situation, not only for your son but also for you as a parent.

    Steve
    Full Member

    Agree, very honest and brave @theotherjonv – as if teens and their parents don’t have enough worries, what you are all dealing with is incredible.


    @hels
    makes an excellent point as well about selective support for women’s rights.

    Josh
    Free Member

    6ft9″ 18 stone 2nd rower transitions and then plays women’s rugby. Even after Testosterone reduction etc There will be major injury and the risk of death even for the born-female opposition that get in the way.
    Then maybe some may realise it is not a level playing field.

    HAve you seen womans rugby? The rower wouldn’t last a minute. They’re hard as nails. And they’re vicious.

    I say this as the brother of an ex scotland womans rugbyist.

    I struggle with all this, I just don’t know enough about it.

    I think perhaps making all sports amateur would be the answer. because its nonsense

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    HAve you seen womans rugby? The rower wouldn’t last a minute. They’re hard as nails. And they’re vicious

    Was that humour ? Hard to tell.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    @Cougar

    “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.”

    Oh, I like that. Where’s it from?

    It’s HL Mencken who has a lot of other pithy one-liners.

    But <devils advocate> isn’t that the point of sport? Tall people have a biological advantage in Basketball. Clever people have a biological advantage in Chess. Is sport’s sole existence not to prove that you’re better than someone else?

    More or less, yes, but the existence of restricted classes is to provide opportunity for meaningful competition for those who are never plausibly going to compete at the open level. Many sports have classes for age and weight, for example, as well as gender. These all require a boundary to be defined and policed in order to be meaningful.

    I’m entirely comfortable with Caster Semenya being a woman in her daily life etc, but she’s a woman with testes, and in a situation where such abnormalities dominate middle distance women’s running, I think it’s reasonable to have a class which could be roughly defined as “women without testes”. A typical female amateur will see themselves on a continuum with Laura Muir, even if they will never achieve the musculature and cardiovascular system to reach her level, they can try to see how close they might get. They can’t try to grow a pair of testes and neither can they go through male puberty which may be necessary to challenge a trans athlete.

    (If you’ve followed womens’ athletics, you’ll know that CS is by no means a unique example, there’s a whole bunch of similar intersex/dsd athletes who would plausibly clean up the olympic medals in a number of events if the rules permitted.)

    thegreatape
    Free Member

    @theotherjonv

    Thank you for taking the time to type all that. It’s very helpful to hear first hand accounts of regular people (as opposed to social media dogmatic shout everyone down people, on either side of the debate) who are going through this.

    In the end I’m trying to do the best I can, because that’s all I can do.

    I don’t think you can ask for any more than that from a parent.

Viewing 40 posts - 161 through 200 (of 460 total)

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