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Singletrack World Response to Nadine Dorries’ Comments on Trans Athletes
Singletrack World takes the position that Trans women are women, and cannot support the recent statements by the UK Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries. …
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Support us from less than £0.06/day and help us keep the content flowing by becoming a full member.dangeourbrainFull Member
Trans women are women, Trans men are men, and sport is for all.
Odd isn’t it that in the name of fairness there seems to be a drive to the unfair and exclusionary treatment of people.Posted 7 months agobrantFree Member
I’ve just finished reading Richard Herring’s book “The Problem With Men”, and one of the areas he touches on which translates (no pun intended) quite well in this area was this:-
“Most logical people are sceptical about horoscopes. Surely you can’t really divide the whole human race into twelve (now thirteen apparently) personality types based on the month they’re born in? Yet people seem happy to divide the world into two kinds of people based on whether their genitalia is an inny or an outy. (Even though gender is much more complex than that.)”
I’ve always been very puzzled about any links between competitive sport and sport for recreation, and whilst I was just quite happy that I just got back from my run around the woods 1min faster than last time I did it, this was also probably due to the fact I didn’t bang my head on a tree, or stop because I got shouted at for jumping over a wall. More than anything I was glad to have just gone for a run, even after a big curry for lunch at Kebabish Original in Blackburn.
Bravo for posting something with some conviction. Great to read here.Posted 7 months agoBlackflagFree Member
I’ll put my hands up and admit i really struggle with this issue. I find i totally agree with the singletrack statement but then talk with some feminist friends who make a very strong argument that those born male (as sex not gender) will be genetically stronger and that this disadvantages those born as women (as sex not gender).
Will follow this thread with interest and an open mind.Posted 7 months agokimbersFull Member
Well said stw teamPosted 7 months agoscotroutesFull Member
Yet people seem happy to divide the world into two kinds of people based on whether their genitalia is an inny or an outy. (Even though gender is much more complex than that.)”
Which is an argument for only having one category for sport – let’s call it “Open”. Or perhaps categorising by gender. I think Ireland now recognises 7 genders (or is it 9 now?). It’s certainly a lot more than 2 which is all we currently have in most sports.Posted 7 months ago
I think this is an easy issue for an institution like STW. Recreational sport should, obviously, be a completely inclusive place for people – like wider society. Aside from probably a few bigots, I don’t think anyone is really doubting that.
Whilst I applaud STW for making this statement, it’s not like there’s much on the line for them. In this case, talk is cheap.
Competitive sport at elite level is a different thing, though. We covered most of the arguments in the recent FINA thread so there’s little point covering the same old ground. But suffice it to say it’s not as simple as saying we should just be more inclusive, since doing so will necessarily exclude others.Posted 7 months agosupernovaFull Member
It’s an almost impossible problem to solve at the elite level. If as a woman I’d trained for years in swimming say and suddenly one of my previously male team mates decides to become a competitor then I’m going to feel aggrieved, even if I support them in all other ways.Posted 7 months agomasterdabberFree Member
I support the FINA stance.Posted 7 months agodaveyopFull Member
Yup, fina have this rightPosted 7 months agoMackemFull Member
What superficial said.Posted 7 months ago
I’ll put my hands up and admit i really struggle with this issue.
Recreational sport should, obviously, be a completely inclusive place for people – like wider society.
Competitive sport at elite level is a different thing, though
Even talking with a trans friend, I’m never sure quite how this can be fairly – in terms of elite athletes – be resolved.
Posted 7 months ago
Will follow this thread with interest and an open mind.somafunkFull Member
I agree with fina on this, to argue there is no performance advantage is rather myopicPosted 7 months agorichmarsFull Member
I think this is one of few cases where it is not possible to be fair to everyone.Posted 7 months ago
I can’t agree with the magazine’s view, on the basis that it denies the rights of (born female) women to compete on a fair footing in respect of profesional sport. I am fully in support of inclusivity in all other aspects of life.Posted 7 months agohatterFull Member
Yeah, there’s no one truly ‘fair’ way of handling this, it’s a really tricky, knotty issue.
I’m not going to pretend I know what the solution is.Posted 7 months ago
I can’t agree either.Posted 7 months agoRubber_BuccaneerFull Member
Singletrack World supports inclusion, equality and diversity, not just when it comes to riding bikes, but in daily life.
I agree with this but what is the Singletrack World position on competitive sport categories? That is what I’m struggling to see an answer to and if you’ve stated the mag’s position in there somewhere I missed itPosted 7 months ago
I think the only fair way in profesional sport is for transgender men or women to compete in a class of their own.Posted 7 months ago
“I agree with this but what is the Singletrack World position on competitive sport categories? That is what I’m struggling to see an answer to and if you’ve stated the mag’s position in there somewhere I missed it”
Those are the difficult questions to which we don’t have the answers. To be distinguished from the position that trans women are women and trans men are men. Which in of itself is not to be conflated with a position of believing all trans women and men should blanket be allowed to enter their gender categories without any policies and rules in place.
As many have said they support the Fina stance – personally I also support it from a pragmatic pov but reluctantly so as I believe it is not without it’s own issues. But the Fina position defacto makes clear that they also believe that trans women are women and trans men are men. If you allow some trans women to enter womens races albeit under strict conditions then you can’t logically believe trans women are not women – that makes no sense.
The FINA position therefor stands in opposition of the Dorries position, as do we at Singletrack.Posted 7 months agomiketuallyFree Member
Thank you for posting this STW.
For anyone unsure on the issue of trans-inclusive pro sport, this interview with Pippa York is a must watch: https://youtu.be/5abgXEWQPlIPosted 7 months agokelvinFull Member
There are ways to address “fairness” without calling for a knee jerk blanket ban on trans athletes across whole swathes of elite sports. Taking that kind of absolute approach towards elite athletes will result in exclusion at other levels as well, including for school kids.
Anyway, this has been discussed again and again on other threads. Including many that ended up locked. I fear the “simple” answer will win out in the end, especially when pushed by a UK government who like “simple” answers, no matter the damage they cause.Posted 7 months agoBruceFull Member
Well said Singletrack.Posted 7 months ago
For some reason I feel quite emotional about this, not something I was expecting. I have known two people who have transitioned and I can’t imagine anybody undertaking gender reassignment to compete in sport. The personal cost of transitioning can be very high, sometimes families do not understand and people loose contact with partners and children. My paddling partner’s nephew transitioned at 17 and was disowned by their family.
Sport is unfair, I have never won any sporting event, some people are bigger stronger better co ordinated, richer, better equiped.
Get a grip and give transgender people space to be who they really are. I am not trans, but resent the narrow minded discrimination of the current government. It’s time to stand together and support and cellibrate diversity.zippykonaFull Member
I have no real thoughts on this but if a Tory scumbag says something I’m more than likely to disagree with them.Posted 7 months ago
Agree with a lot of what you say, @Bruce and yet… I can’t go along with trans women competing in female born women’s sport sorry. Women have had to fight really hard to be able to compete in sport at all and to throw this at them seems unfair. I am not at all unsympathetic to trans people and have know a few who have transitioned and know a little at least of what they go through.
And this has nothing to do with competitive sport but seeing as you broadened the debate, I’ll leave this here:Posted 7 months ago
I’m not opening anything from LGF they are, to put it bluntly, a bunch of inhumane bastards masquerading as a concerned group. Many lesbians and Stonewall have labelled them as TERFs.Posted 7 months ago
Re the cotton ceiling thing. That logic would suggest that any man who proclaims that transwomen are women is a liar unless they would also date them.Posted 7 months agozezaskarFull Member
First of all, people like to play semantics games on this, so lets be clear to use the clear terms for all parties where it concerns to competitive sports: trans women are not females.
I fully support the right of every individual to do whatever they want with their bodies and their lives, while being treated with the respect they deserve by society. I fully support that sports in general should be fully welcoming to every single person. I also fully support STW’s right to publish their opinion on the topic, they are fully entitled to it.
I just can’t stand attacks on basic science and biology. I can’t stand unfairness. Competitive sports are not recreational sports. The livelihoods of females who want to succeed and have a sports career are put in jeopardy.
I’m the father of a little female girl who I want to live in a fair society. Should she want to pursue a competitive sports endeavor, I don’t want it to be cut short because a male , with all the inherent biological differences, decided to jump into her competition lineup.
Again, trans women should be treated with respect, but they are not females.
To everyone reading this that happen to agree, don’t ever feel like you shouldn’t speak your mind.
I have been a loyal reader and forum participant at STW for many years. But as a parent, a husband and a friend of many females, this is a touchy subject to me personally. Not that this bothers STW the minimum, but this is my last post here and I will carry my clicks somewhere else.Posted 7 months ago
Over and out
I don’t know anything about LGF but came across it while surfing about trans people in sport.
The appropriate paragraphs read:
In 2012 Planned Parenthood featured a workshop run by Morgan Page, a trans identified male who has since been hired by Stonewall, entitled “Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling: Breaking Down Sexual Barriers for Queer Trans Women.”
This workshop’s goals were to help the participants (trans males) “identify barriers” and “strategize ways to overcome them.” The barriers spoken of are the boundaries and sexual orientation of lesbians, who by very definition are not attracted to males; the “ways to overcome them” being strategies to break down the boundaries and resilience of young lesbians by socially pressuring and coercing them to consider males that identify as trans as sexual partners.
Good point i_scoff_cake and yet it feels like trans bashing which I don’t want to do.
Anyhow, this is about competitive sport and I’ve derailed so apologies.Posted 7 months agoconvertFull Member
I welcome STW making its position on this, and Mark’s follow up.
Clearly competitive sport is going to be tricky to resolve. The absolute essential here though is to ensure that discussion of this does not cloud the waters about the situation for the vast majority of us regardless of gender – that recreational participation in physical activity is a brilliant thing. And that it is beholden on those currently doing it to make it as welcoming and accepting as possible for newcomers, or those currently involved who fear rejection. It is all too easy for the narrative to be consumed by the conundrums faced by a frighteningly small elite concern. The bigger issue is not at that level.
This is where personally I think the catch all word ‘sport’ can do a lot of harm and is easily misinterpreted. I ride a bike – I used to do it competitively as a sport. Now I do it for the joy of it. To rip off Alpkit’s slogan – to go nice places and do good things. I’m not sure that what I do now is sport. See also my swimming. I’d hate to think someone would be put off doing my version of biking or swimming because of the UCI and FINA’s stance at elite level and thinking what I do is the same ‘sport’ and they are not welcome.Posted 7 months agosimianFree Member
I’m afraid that I’m also with Fina on this. I’m totally for equal opportunities, but have to admit that this is a lose -lose situation in my head, and only has potential to drive a stake into the heart of equality.Posted 7 months ago
Should she want to pursue a competitive sports endeavor, I don’t want it to be cut short because a male , with all the inherent biological differences, decided to jump into her competition lineup.
Of course it’s as easy as just jumping across.
While accepting the potential for someone’s birth gender to give them an advantage if they transition, no one transitions just to win a bloody trophy.Posted 7 months agotheotherjonvFull Member
at the risk of rehashing the fina thread, on balance I also support their stance, I think on balance being born male and going through puberty does provide sufficient advantage such that cis-women are at a disadvantage.
But just because I think fina are right does not mean all sports taking the same position is correct. It is more complex, and more understanding and study is needed.
And yes, watch that Pippa York cafe ride interview.Posted 7 months ago
This is where personally I think the catch all word ‘sport’ can do a lot of harm and is easily misinterpreted. I ride a bike – I used to do it competitively as a sport. Now I do it for the joy of it. To rip off Alpkit’s slogan – to go nice places and do good things. I’m not sure that what I do now is sport. See also my swimming. I’d hate to think someone would be put off doing my version of biking or swimming because of the UCI and FINA’s stance at elite level and thinking what I do is the same ‘sport’ and they are not welcome.
Hear hear. I actually really like this. Accepting that elite sport is ‘difficult’ perhaps we all just need to make an effort to make it clear that what 99% of us do for sport is just for fun. In that context, all this stuff is actually not all that difficult and we’d welcome anyone who wants to enjoy it in the same way.Posted 7 months agoebygommFree Member
Not at all surprising to see another male dominated site throw women under the bus.Posted 7 months ago
You realise our Managing editor, who wrote that story is a woman. As is our art director and subs manager.
Posted 7 months agotrail_ratFree Member
Open question as I’ve not researched it…
How many born women who have transitioned to male have gone on to compete at elite level ?Posted 7 months ago
Singletrack World takes the position that Trans women are women
What definition of ‘woman’ is Singletrack using then?Posted 7 months ago
In reply to SuperficialPosted 7 months ago
But even there, there’s a problem. Women and girls have long been excluded from sport and have excluded themselves usually because of societal pressures and expectations. So while trans women mtbers would of course be welcomed by most riders riding for fun, there’s a barrier to them participating. As there is women. Things are changing but it’s a long slow process. It’s a tricky one alright!tomdFull Member
This feels like taking Mad Nad’s bait hook line and sinker.
It’s is a fairly niche culture war issue to keep us all stuck in while they crack on with really wrecking the country. There are no clean tidy answers to this issue, and the STW opinion seems just as guilty as mad nad of bringing slogans and absolutes to a nuanced issue.Posted 7 months ago
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