recent, Sport

Confronting a New Threat to Female Athletics

On 17 February, tennis legend Martina Navratilova published an article in the The Sunday Times wherein she voiced her concerns about men who “decide to be female” participating in women’s sports. The followup to this publication was met with Navratilova being subsequently dropped as an ambassador by Athlete Ally, an organisation which supports LGBT athletes, and she was removed from the advisory board of Trans Actualy, a non-profit U.S. organization. Here’s the back story.

In December, Navratilova responded to a tweet from one of her followers about female-identified biological males participating in women’s sport: “Clearly that can’t be right. You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.” Rachel McKinnon, a male-born Canadian philosophy professor who competes against women as a transgender athlete, weighed in with a lengthy social-media dissertation, in which McKinnon informed Navratilova that “people’s genitals are irrelevant to sports performance,” and called her comments “transphobic.”

In recent days, this fight has entered a new phase, with Navratilova’s article being reported in other media outlets as if what she were saying was not just unreasonable but bigoted. CNN’s coverage, for instance, declared: “Martina Navratilova criticized for comments about trans women in sport.” At the BBC, meanwhile, producers allegedly rescinded an invitation to a guest who sought to defend Navratilova, and instead gave the air time to McKinnon, who declared that having a debate on the issue was tantamount to “a black person [debating] a KKK member on civil rights.”

Navratilova’s flip claim that “there must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard” stood out not just because she is a tennis legend, but because she represents the constituency most significantly affected by these recent developments (even as activists seek to quash such voices through harassment and mobbing): female-born, female-identified athletes.

Amazingly, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the governing body for the Olympic Games, seems more disposed toward McKinnon’s position than Navratilova’s. As far as the IOC is concerned, it is indeed permissible for male-born athletes to compete against women. In 2016, the organization relaxed its guidelines for the inclusion of trans-identified athletes, removing the requirement that they undergo surgically administered anatomical changes. Under the new policy, female-to-male athletes can compete against males “without restriction,” while male-to-female athletes must demonstrate that their testosterone levels have been below a specified level for at least a year—at which point it is (falsely) assumed that any male physical advantages will have been suppressed.

The movement for trans inclusion now begins in youth sports, where many leagues have no restrictions beyond self-identification. Transathlete, a website founded by female-identified transgender athlete Chris Mosier, campaigns for “trans inclusion in athletics.” Mosier’s goal is to implement a universal policy across all public high schools in the United States allowing transgender-identified students to participate in sports under their affirmed gender in the name of “respect for personal dignity.” In 2016, Nattaphon “Ice” Wangyot, born a biological male, competed for a high school state track championship in Alaska, beating out almost every female in a 100m race. More recently, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, both natal males who identify as female, dominated the 2018 field in  Connecticut’s all-state high-school tournaments. Bianca Stanescu, the mother of a female runner, learned about the participation of the pair when her daughter competed against them at a track meet, at which Miller and Yearwood ultimately placed first and second respectively:

One of them switched [gender] right before high school…and it was a shocker…We watched the kids lining up at the start[ing] line and all of a sudden there is a one at the finish line and all the girls halfway down the track. All of the parents looked at each other and said, “What just happened?” So we went home and looked online at the stats on Terry Miller and there was no Terry Miller. So, we went through the male athletes list and there was his name on the boys’ events, for three seasons, where he had competed as a male.

One reason all this has happened is that protections contained in Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (a U.S. federal law known colloquially simply as “Tittle IX”) have been interpreted so as to prohibit disclosure of who is trans and who is not. And the states are pressured to take their cues from the federal standard. Legally, boys cannot compete with girls according to CIAC (Connecticut InterScholastic Conference) rules. But self-identified trans girls are allowed to compete with females simply by filling out a form.

High-school sports present a particularly charged environment when it comes to gender issues, because children’s bodies typically are undergoing rapid changes. Once male bodies begin puberty, they gain physical advantages that female bodies can never attain, no matter how much training girls do. Testosterone affects the body permanently during puberty, increasing height, augmenting the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood, making male bones denser and organs (including heart and lungs) larger than those of females. So it is no surprise that top high-school male sprinters fare better than almost every top-ranked Olympic female athlete. The top 10 times of New York state’s male high-school 100-meter dash runners since 2006, for instance, range from 10.48 to 10.79 seconds. For the world’s top females, on the other hand, the top three times at the last 10 Olympics ranged from 10.54 to 11.19 seconds.

Kate Hansen, a Canadian roller derby competitor, offers her own story as an illustration of what’s at risk for women who challenge the inclusion of natal men in women’s sport. In 2017, she received a number of friend requests on Facebook from a local transgender-identified skater named Kather Anne Bickford. When the two got into a disagreement over whether Bickford should be competing in a woman’s league, Bickford circulated Hansen’s message on social media. As a result, Hansen was targeted by a campaign of threats and harassment—which included people circulating her home address and the name of her children’s school. Even some of her former friends joined in the mob attack, she tells me.

Hansen’s strong reaction to Bickford did not come out of thin air. Hansen had only competed against one trans-identified natal male, who was around Hansen’s size. Then in 2013, she competed against two trans-identified natal male players whom she reports as being much larger—tall even by male standards. The players’ obvious size and strength advantage put her and the other women at increased physical risk. But Hansen says that she didn’t feel free to complain about these obvious facts, even if many women were complaining in private.

“I don’t have a problem with trans people in the sport of roller derby, if they play for co-ed teams,” she tells me. “I also feel that trans female-to-male players don’t have an appropriate venue. They’re officially unwelcome in women’s leagues even though they’re usually small, and they can’t really hold their own on men’s teams either. I’ve played with both trans-identified males and females, and the bio females are still built like women. Some consideration for biology and physical reality needs to be taken.”

After the social-media attacks, several women from the larger roller-derby community contacted Hansen to lend their support. Locally, however, Hansen was shunned by members of her own team. “While I am welcome to skate with any team, including the Rink Minx [Hansen’s former team], you are not welcome anywhere,” Katherine reportedly gloated in a message to Hansen.

We don’t know how many women are in Hansen’s position, because many simply keep their mouths shut, lest they be accused of contradicting the “correct” opinion about trans athletes. When women were fighting for the right to win inclusion in the sports world, their activism was celebrated by progressives. Now, ironically, those same progressives remain silent (or even partake in the mobbing) when women seek to protect the safe sporting spaces they have created.

Of course, roller derby isn’t regulated at the same level of professionalism as many more established sports. And, as noted above, the IOC has set guidelines for testosterone limits as a proxy for eligibility for competition as a female. However, the research supporting these guidelines is dubious, and recent moves have done little to quell controversy. Last year, for instance, the IOC came under fire due to New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard—who’d been competing internationally as a man under the name Gavin Hubbard until the age of 35. Hubbard’s inclusion in women’s competitions caused outrage among both male and female athletes, who called for a separate division for transgender athletes. (In January, USA Powerlifting, the American organization in charge of powerlifting competitions in the United States, finally had enough, and announced it would not permit transgender women to compete as women. This decision has been challenged by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who described USA Powerlifting’s policy as “discriminatory” and “unscientific.”)

Alison Heather, a professor of physiology at Otago University in New Zealand who has researched the science of transgender physiological changes, has concluded that professional male athletes who trained and competed before receiving gender-related medical interventions will always retain certain advantages, regardless of their testosterone levels or subsequent gender identification. Heather notes, for instance, that Hubbard’s years competing as a man served to increase the quantity of muscle fibres, which in turn allowed Hubbard‘s muscles to develop more effectively, even after transitioning. Heather also notes that questions remain as to how hormone therapy may or may not reduce muscle fibres. Available studies already suggest that most changes associated with male puberty present irreversible advantages vis-à-vis biological women, regardless of subsequent hormone regimens.

In part as a result of the Hubbard case (and others like it), the IOC issued new guidelines last year, aimed at 55 different sports, halving the maximum allowable testosterone level (from 10nmol/L to 5nmol/L) for women in certain competitions. But ironically, in setting lower testosterone limits for transgender women, the guidelines also made it harder for some natal women to establish their eligibility.

A little history is in order here. After a controversy in 2009 surrounding Caster Semenya, an athlete with a rare condition producing extremely high levels of testosterone, the IOC departed from the sex-determining DNA tests it had implemented in 1991 as its standard for sex-segregated competition. That standard was replaced with a physical exam and testosterone test. Athletes would be permitted to compete in women’s competition provided they physically resembled their claimed sex and had testosterone levels deemed appropriate for that sex.

The case of Semenya prompted the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) to introduce a policy regarding hyperandrogenism (high natural levels of testosterone for females) in 2011. The new rule limited the testosterone of female athletes to 10nmol/L. But the rule was subsequently suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in July, 2015 after an appeal by the Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, and remains a topic of active debate.

The IOC modified its policies again in November, 2015, at a Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism, which dropped the requirement for athletes to physically resemble the claimed sex, instead permitting transgender athletes to compete without having to undergo sex reassignment surgery. The only remaining requirement under IOC rules was the testosterone limit of 5nmol/L.

In a way, this standard is worse than no standard at all—because it can create both false negatives and false positives: The 5nmol/L limit prevents certain women from competing because of their naturally high testosterone levels, while also green-lighting trans women who pass the test despite enjoying locked-in physical advantages accrued over many years in a male body. (The IAAF’s rules on this are currently being challenged by Semenya at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.)

And it gets worse. In 2017, Stéphane Bermon and Pierre-Yves Garnier examined serum androgen levels in track and field performances of males and females in the 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, hammer throw, and pole vault competitions. They found that altering testosterone levels had a much stronger effect on female performance levels than they did for males. So by lowering the maximum allowable levels of testosterone from 10nmol/L to 5nmol/L, the IAAF disproportionately penalizes women with naturally occurring hyperandrogenism (i.e. excessive hormone levels) versus trans-identifying biological males who are required to reduce their own testosterone levels. (Moreover, even at their reduced level, trans athletes’ levels would still be higher than those for the average female athlete, which is about 0.7 nmol/L).

While I know of no single comprehensive study in this area that examines all components of strength (including bone density, muscle mass and muscle endurance), several published studies show how the bodies of male-born transgender-identified athletes retain physical advantages later in life. In 2015, for instance, researchers studied 49 “normally active” trans-identified natal males (with an average age of 33) over two years of testosterone suppression, before and after one- and two-year periods of cross-sex hormonal therapy. The results were compared to an age-matched control group of males. Evaluation consisted of measuring such indexes as grip strength, bone density, body fat and lean mass, and bone geometry. The study concluded that a man’s skeletal status is well preserved during hormonal treatment, despite substantial muscle loss.

With regard to the impact of muscle loss on athletic performance, a 2004 study found that even the reduced muscle mass contained in trans-identifying natal males after one year of hormones remained significantly higher than in natal females. Researchers noted that trans-identifying males who have transitioned have no competitive advantage over other women in regard to androgen hormone levels, “but the effects of prior androgen exposure on muscle mass and strength do carry over, at least for a certain time period, while previous effects on height and the size of feet and hands are irreversible, and this may be a relevant consideration.” Which is to say: Even if the short-term effects of testosterone evaporate, it is impossible to negate the many long-term effects of testosterone that provide male bodies with myriad physical advantages from puberty onward.

Unfortunately, where science and politics meet, the former does not always get a fair hearing, as shown at an open lecture held at the University of Brighton last Spring under the title “Beyond Fairness: The biology of inclusion for transgender and intersex athletes.” Joanna Harper, a medical physicist at the Providence Portland Medical Center, and Professor Yannis Pitsiladis, Professor of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Brighton and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), were brought in to discuss “the implications of a third gender for elite sport, and present a roadmap to guide the implementation of rules for the inclusion for transgender and intersex athletes.” In reality, only Pitsiladis considered the option of a third category in sports. According to several audience members who attended the discussion, Harper seemed less interested in discussing the weight of evidence than in promoting the notion of “gender identity,” which Harper treated as settled science. Channeling a theme that has become strangely popular on social media of late, Harper suggested that it was physical biology—not gender identity—that is a social construct. Specifically, Harper suggested that it is stodgy “traditionalists” who push for biological categorization in sport competition, while “progressive” factions embrace the idea that one can simply self-identify out of one’s physical advantage.

Siddhartha Angadi, a cardiovascular physiologist at Arizona State, has been emphasizing a potentially more important aspect of research in this field—whose implications extend well beyond sport, and into the domain of life-and-death health considerations. Studies have long shown that hormone replacement therapy trials in post-menopausal women are associated with higher morbidity and mortality outcomes—as was the case with the 1970s-era estrogen-supplementation trials conducted under the long-term Coronary Drug Project (CDP). Under the auspices of the CDP, more than 8,000 men were given estrogen to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease. But the trials were shut down because patients were dying so fast. “So it’s plausible that transgender individuals could have worse health outcomes,” Angadi tells me. “But follow-up and phenotyping is currently lacking and urgently needed.” (Angadi and Harper are among a group of authors who recently published an article in Current Sports Medicine Reports in regard to the possibility of a new category for athletes who exhibit “specific differences of sex development,” which could provide unique opportunities for certain trans athletes to compete against one another without unfairly putting women’s sports at risk.)

* * *

Last October, Rachel McKinnon won the gold medal at the UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championship in Los Angeles, where, controversially, McKinnon competed in the women’s 35-44 age bracket. Following the victory, one of McKinnon’s most important critics was Jennifer Wagner-Assali, an orthopedic hand surgeon from Houston, Texas, who came in third that day. A racing specialist who has been competing since 2010, Wagner-Assali responded to one of the many tweets criticizing McKinnon for “cheating,” writing, “I was the third place rider. It’s definitely NOT fair.” But three days later, she tweeted, “After having some time to reflect, I realize my twitter comments earlier this week unintentionally fanned the flames on a controversial situation, and that I regret. I made the comments out of a feeling of frustration, but they weren’t productive or positive.”

“I felt really guilty,” Wagner-Assali told me when I asked her about the follow-up post. “I felt like I had to make some kinds of amends to show that I am not a bigot. In my mind, my second string of tweets was to show, ‘no hard feelings,’ and to start a conversation instead of a fight.”

McKinnon, on the other hand, took to Twitter daily to celebrate the victory, which McKinnon describes as one of historic proportions. As for the critics, McKinnon compared them to Nazis: “’Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, looking at Jesse Owens, and he says, you know, quite openly, I think it’s unfair, to have people like Jesse Owens competing, because you might as well have deer or gazelle on your team.’ Sound familiar, transphobes? Not a good look.”

Wagner-Assali and some other competitors from her circuit now are joining together to suggest a separate trans category as a fair solution. “We know that males who have gone through puberty do have a physical advantage to females,” she tells me. “So why are female athletes made to correspond to testosterone levels that would exclude actual females like Semenya and Chand?”

Along with six other cyclists, Wagner-Assali is in the process of drafting a letter to the IOC. “We understand and sympathize with the IOC having to create rules that deal with this issue that avoid discrimination on both sides,” she writes. “We feel like they have not heard this voice of female competitors and we want to make sure that our voices are heard. We are thinking of the future of the sport and the girls who come after.”

“We even toyed with the idea of having our own competition,” Wagner-Assali tells me. “When women weren’t allowed in the Olympics, one way they gained entry was to hold their own Olympics and the men saw that, ‘Hey, they can do sports too!’ [But] these days, people get fired for things they say. Everyone is afraid to lose their livelihood…I want to be inclusive, but this issue is one place where I [now] can’t shut up.”


Julian Vigo is a contributor to ForbesHuffPost UK, and The Ecologist. Her latest book is Earthquake in Haiti: The Pornography of Poverty and the Politics of Development (2015). She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @lubelluledotcom.

Featured image: Martina Navratilova at the 1985 US Open.


  1. Rendall says

    I like watching women compete in sports as much as I like watching men compete. I am not interested in watching transwomen slaughter bio women in sports, though, which is what is happening, but I would watch transwomen compete against other transwomen in sports. That would be amazingly fun.

    • Sydney says


      Very glad to see the term ‘bio women’ in your comment and in the piece. ‘Bio woman/female’ and ‘bio man/male’; and ‘natal female’ and ‘natal male’ are infinitely better ways to refer to biological gender facts than the bizarre and pejorative ‘cis’, which I will NEVER use in actual conversation or writing. Language matters!

    • Saw file says

      Haha…thx. I needed that.
      I have a pretty vivid imagination and warped sense of humour.
      I can’t stop laughing, thinking of all the various scenarios.

  2. Saw file says

    It’s ludicrous to cite fairness and inclusion to justify men competing against women in sports, when it is in fact the opposite. Whatever happened to the simple commitment to fair play?
    In individual competition the results are as obvious as they are predictable. In team sports the inherent diffence is even more striking.
    The Canadian women’s national hockey team (Olympics/World Cup) dominate other countries world class teams ( except USA). They practice against ‘AA’ and ‘AAA’ Canadian boy’s teams. Not all-star teams, but regular competative league teams. They rarely win a game. The score is usually pretty lopsided.
    The Australian Olympic women’s soccer team can’t beat a regional 15yoa select soccer team. Not even close.
    It doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to see how this is going to tilt when men start trying out for and playing for these various world caliber teams.
    The Canada Winter Games, currently happening in Red Deer, Alberta (shout out ?) is for the first time allowing men to compete as women by simply declared gender status. I don’t know how many of these types of competitors there are, but it will be interesting to see how they place.
    IMO…the various governing bodies of women’s sports need to take back control, before injury (or worse) lawsuits push them into oblivion.

    • TarsTarkas says

      In Pennsylvania, home of the best high school wrestling in the nation, there have been several junior world-class level girl wrestlers who competed on boy’s teams. They were able to compile winning records during the regular season, but none of them have ever come within sniffing distance of the individual state championships held annually in Hershey, PA. The difference in strength and reflexes between them and the boys is just too great. And the gap widens with age. People must not wait for authority to rein the madness in because in many cases authority has been enabling the madness in the name of virtue signalling. Females are females and males are males (except for the odd transsexual, who usually identify one way or the other), and calling oneself a different ‘gender’ doesn’t make one so.

      • Even beyond this, the worst example has to be MMA and combat sports. Most of us don’t even need to be taught that there’s something especially dark about (bio) men beating women. It’s seemingly an awareness we’re born with or at least one we adopt on our own in short order developmentally, and a value which is culturally reinforced anyway without much offense taken over inferred cynical misandry. So it’s especially disturbing that people can suddenly justify one of the very few (largely) irredeemable sins in a way that has no positive bearing on the fundamental cruelness of it. Granted, these are no average women, but few would have thought there would be ANY exceptions to the rule beyond the vanishingly rare legitimate threat to one’s life.

      • I wrestled in high school. There is no way for a boy to wrestle a girl without touching her private parts (boobs and vagina)–ie sexual assault. There is also an inherent taboo against hurting girls. It is not proper to mix them.

    • TarsTarkas says

      In Pennsylvania, home of the nation’s best high school wrestlers, there have been a number of junior world-class girls who competed on boy’s teams. They may have compiled winning records during the regular season, but none of them have gotten within sniffing distance of the individual state championships. The difference in strength and reflexes is just too great between them and the boys. And the gap only grows larger with age. Parents must not wait for authority to act, because in too many cases authorities are enablers of the madness in the name of social justice. Hit the organizations where it hurts, in the pocketbook, by boycotting, protesting, and making such a big stink they have to make a choice between the few trans wackos and the many normal dues-paying people.

    • Liza says

      If this continues, then there won’t be any women in women’s sports.

  3. This issue where we are expected to say “that man is a woman” is our real world version of 1984’s “2+2=5”.

  4. E. Olson says

    On average, men are much more interested in competitive sports as both participants and spectators than women. With rare exceptions, men also have physical and psychological advantages that make them better in sports that require speed, power, coordination, and intense concentration. Again, with rare exceptions, more male interest and better male performance means that men’s sports draw bigger crowds and TV audiences than female sports, which has driven feminists crazy for years. As is usually the case with Leftist (feminist) analysis of unequal outcomes, these differences in sports participation and audience size have been attributed almost solely to the usual suspects of patriarchy and sexist gender roles, and solutions have tended to ignore any inconvenient gender differences in interest, ability, and consequent economics. Thus title IX was supposed to fix the problem by forcing schools to offer equal athletic options to females as males proportional to their campus ratio. A consequence of lower female interest in sports has resulted in men being punished through the cancellation of many “lesser” male sports such as wrestling and gymnastics in order to maintain the required ratios. Similarly, feminist groups have lobbied major tournaments and leagues to offer equal pay for male and female competitions, even though male audiences are larger and more profitable, but many have relented and hence male competitors now subsidize female competitors.

    Thus much feminist effort to promote female sports opportunities has been based on the erroneous belief that there are no gender differences beyond obvious physical characteristics that require separation of the sexes to maintain equality of outcome (i.e. so women can win just as often as men). Only those that ignore innate gender differences will therefore be surprising to see that some mediocre male athletes are deciding to become female and crush the girls. After all, men tend to be the more competitive gender, and easy winning will be attractive to men who would otherwise never win. Further, given the PC environment of today they will be celebrated for their bravery in making their transition, and if things don’t work out they can always go back to being male since they can compete without any actual physical transitions in many outlets. The end result will be all “women’s” sports records will soon be held by women with a penis, and real women will be forced to adopt East German hormone and steroid regimes if they wish to have any chance at all.

    As for solutions, there are none except to ban trannies from female competition. Separate trannie competitions will rarely attract sufficient participation to be viable, nor likely attract a substantial audience or sponsorship attention once the initial novelty wears off. Separate trannie classes in female competitions will just mean real women will be competing for lower places and getting physically beat up in any contact sports, which will likely lower real female participation and interest even further. Separate classes within female competitions will also take away the rationale for separate gender classes of competition, because if real women are going to place last and get beat up against trannie competitors, they might as well run, jump, bump and lose in competition with real men.

    • E., you make many good points. However this:

      “A consequence of lower female interest in sports has resulted in men being punished through the cancellation of many “lesser” male sports such as wrestling and gymnastics in order to maintain the required ratios.”

      is something I’ve heard before and take some issue with, if only because it ignores that girls’ sports got no funding at all in many schools. Neither did many male sports. All the money went into football and basketball, and the only female role was to cheer. I remember when title 9 passed. At my school they could hardly fill a cheerleading squad afterwards. The girls were thrilled to have real sports.

      The purpose of title 9 was laudable, even if all the consequences were not ideal. What’s happening today is a sad and sick reversal, with girls once again being pushed aside in favor of boys. The saddest thing though is how few of them are protesting.

      • E. Olson says

        BC – you are absolutely correct that women should have had athletic opportunities, but title IX was based on the assumption of equal interest in sport, which had no basis in fact and quickly became apparent in practice, but has never been corrected. Now with women being near 60% of undergrad populations, it has become even more ridicules because that means 60% of the sports spots are supposed to be for women, and they practically have to beg to fill them.

      • Alice Darr says

        You describe my experience in high school (graduated in 1970) to a tee. Everything sports was for the boys and cheer was for the girls. It was shameful and demoralizing. Thanks for the reminder of how far we have come.

    • Chad Jessup says

      I hope the federal government takes the states which allow males to compete in female competitions to court over violations of Title IX. The entire rationale for allowing alleged females to compete with real females is patently ridiculous.

    • Chad Jessup says

      Allowing alleged females to compete against real females is patently absurd. I hope the federal government prosecutes the states which allow that to occur, as it is a violation of Title IX.

  5. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. The search for tolerance and inclusion has led to up being down and black being white. Having separate sports for men and women has been a great thing for women, but I guess that’s all done now. Sorry, ladies, it was fun while it lasted. Funny how we (in the U.S.) used to complain about some of the world’s women Olympic teams and doping. Now it’s totally cool.

  6. Walter says

    Anyone who disagrees with Martina on this is simply an attention seeker. Or, in the case of sports governance bodies, so fearful of “activists” that they accept blatant irrationality.

    This is a no-brainer. Men who take hormones are men taking hormones. They are not women. And it is silly to claim saying that is anything remotely wrong.

    • Another category are “true believers” and their unquestioning disciples who actually do believe Martina is wrong both scientifically and morally. The disciples often just don’t know any better but are subconsciously peer pressured into adopting the prevailing orthodoxy to avoid being cast out.

  7. Vivian Darkbloom says

    Reading this article, I kept picturing a Monty Python-esque skit where big hairy men put on blonde wigs with pigtails and insist in silly falsetto voices “You have to let us play, you bigots!”

    • Kristina says

      There is a hilarious sketch where the Pythons are in drag as some townswomen’s guild reenacting Pearl Harbor. They proceed to wrestle in mud, and during the wrestling it is hilariously obvious that they are men. And of course, the inherent humor of six-foot-six John Cleese donning wig and pigtails. Some of these trans athletes pass for female about as well as John Cleese could.

      • Vivian Darkbloom says

        Yes … love that Pearl Harbor skit. There’s a build-up as though they’re going to do something “theatrical” … and then they proceed to wrestle in the mud. LOL.

    • Vincent Vega says

      Vivian, you have that exactly right: we are living in a Monty Python sketch, one that is unfortunately not funny.

      • Kristina says

        Another example of life imitating Python: argument clinic sketch. Arguments are now no longer actual arguments, but simply contradiction. And of course, the post-truth world is exemplified by the parrot sketch, where no amount of evidence will convince someone he is factually incorrect.

    • DiamondLil says

      From now on we’ll call Stan Loretta and fight for his right to have babies . . . even though he can’t have them, which is no one’s fault. Not even the Romans.

    • DiamondLil says

      From now on we’ll call Stan Loretta and fight for his right to have babies, even though he can’t have them . . . which is no one’s fault . . . not even the Romans.

      • DivingnFlying says

        Watched Life of Brian again several months ago. It’s shocking how accurately Python nailed the SJW scene, all the way back in.. 1977?

        • Vivian Darkbloom says

          DivingnFlying … I feel like I think of LIFE OF BRIAN every day these days … especially the scene where they are siting in the stadium arguing about which group is which.

  8. Girls and boys aren’t roles or identities, they’re human children. Women and men are human adults.

    If “masculine” and “feminine” describe gendered behavior, then it’s far easier to accept that a man can do something feminine or a woman can do something masculine than it is to say that every single thing that is feminine is the domain of women and every single thing that is masculine is the domain of men.

    Which means that if aggressive physical competition is socially coded as “masculine,” the only way to draw a distinction in sports is through sex (men and women, biologically) rather than gender (masculine and feminine, socially) if you want to have any consistency in the lines of thought that come out of gender studies.

  9. Lightning Rose says

    Since we’ve now decided to allow 0.006% of the population to control our culture, the most equitable solution would be to give trans athletes “A League Of Their Own.” Just as we provide the Special Olympics for the developmentally disabled. It is simply too dangerous in many sports, not to mention the outcome a foregone conclusion, to have biological males competing with females. Sorry, kiddos, but biology is still a “thing.”

    BTW–I’ve lived near 60 years on this planet, in a large metro suburb, without ever having ONCE encountered one of these “unicorns.” Before this social-contagion outbreak started on campusus circa 2015, it wasn’t something that EVER entered the consciousness of most people. Just sayin’!

    Like imaginary “climate crisis,” “lynchings,” “rape culture,” etc. this is left-wing radicals making up problems to which only they have the solutions–a totalitarian grip on our lives, beliefs & culture.

    • Traps are gay says

      It’s just the cult of indoctrination, don’t worry about it. The kids get to college, the professors exhort them to work on their “identity” (which usually means having more or less a chip on your shoulder depending on how dark your skin is), and they see people getting victim points for wanting to cut their dicks off.

      The fact that men think it’s even remotely possible to become women is probably attributable to America’s longstanding obsession with surgery and quick medical fixes for nonexistent problems, and our equally longstanding genital cutting culture. If surgeons didn’t wield absolute power over male sexuality at birth, we might be less inclined to engage in the hubris that makes trannies believe they can “become” a woman by travelling to the third world to have their penis inverted into a gaping wound contaminated with fecal discharge.

      I wouldn’t worry about it. For every loudmouth tranny or “ally,” there’s a dozen people slowly getting fed up with walking on eggshells, just to facilitate the mentally disabled living out their autogynephilia fetish in public. The next tranny who pulls out some ontological gymnastics on me gets it simple and straight: “you’re not a woman.”

      • Brent says

        Exaltly every loner now claims to be bi, gay or trans so they have a group to be cool with….weird world we’ve created.

    • Micha Casazza says

      There really IS a climate crisis. though. Don’t be cranky/confused.(I’m 78)

  10. Morgan Foster says

    I try to sympathize but I keep coming up against the thought that the women asking for my help are the very same women who created this mess.

    Suppose I do help them, and by some miracle trans (beings?) are barred from women’s sports?

    What’s the payoff? What’s in it for me, a straight white man?

    Will Martina Navratilova campaign to do away with Title IX? Will she publicly disavow affirmative action?

    I think we all know the answer to that.

    • The payoff is that a mob of screeching intersectional feminists will call you a bigot, dox you on social media and try to get you fired from your job for being a ‘transphobe’.

      As toxic white males we need to stop our mansplaining. Strong independent women can handle their own (self-inflicted) problems. Just sit back and enjoy the show!

    • Dazza says


      While I agree with you that there is not much in it for men to care about, especially as there is not much threat from women wanting to compete in male physical sports.
      I fail to see how the problem is of womens making. I’d blame men for the problem, namely men who want to be women.
      Personally, I’ll be dissapointed if my granddaughter trains hard to win a race at school, only to be beaten by a boy. So there’s a little bit in it for us men.

    • Dazza says


      While I agree with you that there is not much in it for men, especially as there is not much threat from women wanting to compete in male physical sports.
      I fail to see how the problem is the fault of women.
      I’d blame men for the problem, namely men who want to be women.
      Personally I would be dissapointed if my granddaughter trains hard to win a race at school, only to be beaten by a boy.
      So I suppose there is a little bit in it for men.

    • D-Rex says

      Morgan, I’ve heard this rationale before but don’t think it a valid argument. Most of the women who set up this craziness don’t compete in sports and most young female competitors probably aren’t radical feminists. Regardless of the truth or not of all of that, this madness has to be countered or things will just get more insane and it will be our daughters and granddaughters who will suffer.

    • Miss Yellowbird says

      This is also where I am with this topic these days and with feminism in general. Trans issues have now started to affect feminists in ways they can’t ignore, but when they look around for allies they are surprised to find that many people don’t feel
      like helping a bunch of women whose entire political platform is based on insulting people who disagree with them.

      Honestly, today’s feminism offers nothing but a bunch of nagging about how I must care deeply at all times about people and fringe social issues that have nothing to do with me. My unfortunately extensive experience with radical feminists is that they claim to care about “women”, but really they mean “far leftist activists who agree with us” and “woke people who will self-flagellate on command”.

      I’m also very tired of being nagged about “white guilt” and reading op-ed’s about how terrible feminists think white women are for existing and not sublimating themselves on behalf of non-white others constantly and how we MUST “shut up” and “listen to marginalized people.”

      No, actually I don’t really want or need to play unpaid therapist and whipping post to every woman who has skin a shade darker than mine because of unjust things that happen to them in America, sorry not sorry.

      I don’t have white guilt, and I’m not faking it for feminists. That really makes them screech “racist” at me even though I really do not hate any other people or believe anyone is inferior because of their race – I just don’t have to bow to other people because of my skin or vex over historical inequality. To a feminist, me simply not wanting to engage with their hyperbolic, grievance mongering “anti-racist activism” makes me as bad as a deep-south plantation owner, which is rediculous and why I don’t take them seriously.

      Due to the incessant white bashing and race nagging on the left, I have decided to turn apolitical and will not vote again in the future, since I dislike social conservatism and leftists are becoming neo-Puritans. Embracing feminism for white women today is like going swimming with a rock to your ankle for no good reason to look like a “good person”. It’s alot easier to swim freely without all that dead weight.

  11. Orion Buttigieg says

    I’ve just come to realize I have a phobia … I’m an “idiotphobe”.
    All these progressives who either are or supporting the “new think” really need to start coming out with better critiques than “you’re a nazi” … Hint – You look like the twits the rest of the rest of us not suffering from a mental issue think you are.

    I’m disgusted to hear how in the roller derby scenario, one of them started doxxing the woman who dared to call out the insanity. If you brought harm to my family through your idiocy it won’t be my lawyer calling yours if you get my drift.

  12. Farris says

    Two of my favorite women’s sports are basketball and softball. The tempo, strategies and plays are very different from men’s basketball and baseball. These differences make spectating the aforementioned sports more interesting. The same could be said with women’s tennis (longer rallies or volleys I’m unsure of the correct terminology).
    Inclusion of natal men (in my opinion, men) in women’s sports is a death knell. If the trend continues as is there will be a Men’s division and a Women with Penises division. This does not support diversity of inclusion. In future Olympiads the only natal females may be in Women’s Gymnastics. I failed to see how denying women opportunities can be heralded as progress.

  13. peanut gallery says

    2020 is going to be AMAZING. I’ve never been interested in watching the Olympics until now AND we’ll watch Trump run for/win? re-election. Sure, Western Civilization is crumbing around us, but at least I have a front row seat. Lets get this shit-show started.

  14. Vincent Vega says

    The more I hear from trans-weirdos like this McKinnon guy (with that smug grin after beating two women-what a hero) the more I recent the loony left.I abhor the Republican Party and I’ll never vote for them, but this endless gender-bullshit must be deleterious to the American Left as a political force.

  15. Skallagrimsen says

    Rachel McKinnon is right. Genitals ARE irrelevant to sports performance. It’s other aspects of bodily architecture that human evolution welded to genital configurations–musculature, bone density, stamina, reflexes and so on–that are relevant.

    • david of Kirkland says

      Not true. With testicles, a cup is needed and certain gymnastic moves are unlikely to be performed. Also, larger breasts clearly can cause performance issues.

  16. “On 17 February, tennis legend Martina Navratilova published an article on 17 February in the The Sunday Times wherein she voiced her concerns about men who “decide to be female” participating in women’s sports.”

    Dude, gotta edit the first sentence.

  17. Somewoman says

    I would like to hear the explanation for how sex can be a social construct. Honestly, I would. Does this mean that society just assigns genders to people at birth and raises them in a certain way, which then enables only the female assigned to give birth?

    • No one’s talking about biological sex being social construct ( not for now at least ) but that’s the idea is that the “gender”, as a sum of social roles, is a social construct.
      Which it partly is , of course, but the common claim these days is that gender has nothing to do with the biological sex. So having a vagina or high-level testosterone are entirely irrelevant to the person’s proclivities, preferences and daily choices.

      • DNY says

        And the same people who tell us this then assert that divisions all of us had heretofore regarded as being made on the basis of biological sex (which public toilet to use, which athletic division to compete in, etc.) are not based on sex, but on the “social construct” “gender”. Who decided that? For that matter who decided that gender was something other than a grammatical concept or a Victorian euphemism for sex (as the biological classification, not the act)? And why are so many of the rest of us going along with this?

      • Peter Schaeffer says

        @geokus, “No one’s talking about biological sex being social construct ( not for now at least’. Wow is that far off. See “University of Toronto historian: Biological sex a ‘very popular misconception'”. Quote

        “A lecturer at the University of Toronto says the notion of “biological sex” — that humans are born either male or female — is a “very popular misconception.”

        Nick Matte, an historian who teaches a class on transgender studies as a part of the university’s Sexual Diversity Studies program, said the science has long been settled on the matter, reported Red Alert Politics.

        “Basically, it’s not correct that there is such a thing as biological sex,” Mr. Matte said last month on “The Agenda,” a Canadian talk show, adding that “for over 50 years scientists have shown that that’s not true.””

        For better or worse, his ideas are mainstream these days. In a saner era he would directed to seek psychiatric help.

    • Heike says

      It’s just a battering ram to force our culture to change in ways that satisfy the far left. In 1960, only a handful of low status people were arguing that “sodomy laws” should be repealed, and they were all insisting that c’mon, obviously it would never go as far as *gay marriage*, we’re just saying you shouldn’t be put in jail for it. Meanwhile, fifty years later people are enforcing a rule that if you’re not on board with gay marriage, you are a subhuman.

      After gay marriage, this trans nonsense. Next up if they succeed: pedophilia. It’s an inborn impulse, an immutable characteristic, people can’t choose what they’re attracted to. All the elements are there. Children can’t consent? Their parents can consent for them, just like they do in all other facets of life: moving countries, choosing schools, changing their child’s gender with hormones and irreversible surgery.

      • George G says

        @ Heike.

        I think your horrible premonition is probably all too correct. All the pro paedophile groups arguments are pre-lined up , precedent has been set, they will call it their inalienable human right.

        “changing their child’s gender with hormones and irreversible surgery.”

        This really baffles me about the current “Trans” mania is that parents are indulging (instigating?) delusional children in irreversible medical experimentation, like modern day Dr Mengele’s. I don’t understand why, did the parents get a boy and wanted a girl so off comes his cock ? is it just conforming to this Trans trend? answers on a postcard please

        • Traps are gay says

          Irreversibly modifying your children’s genitals with ill-advised surgery is a time-honored tradition in America. Why else would the loudest transgender proponents be Jews and corrupted Protestants? It’s part and parcel of the same hubris, and the transgender and Jewish questions can’t be solved without first addressing the circumcision question.

          • You do realize that other cultures besides Judaism practice circumcisions. Also, I doubt most circumcised males are inclined to undergoing sex reassignment surgery. You seem to have an axe to grind and are trying to blame something completed uncorrelated with the given subject. I would actually argue as a former nurse who worked labor and delivery, that the sudden need to classify male circumcision as some barbaric act began to gain steam at about the same time that the transsexual issues began to gain steam and from my experience among the same groups. These groups also tended to believe organic is healthier and other such nonsense, including anti-vaccines and holistic medicine. Of course this is anecdotal, but I doubt many of those who practice male circumcision are the ones transitioning their children. And, above you made the untrue statement that American physicians have some decision over sexuality at birth. Circumcision is cosmetic and has little impact on sexual performance or sexual preference, and it is entirely elective. You seem fixated on circumcision, you may want to do some self reflection as to why. Most males, including myself, who were circumcised as infants don’t even give it a second thought. We aren’t bitter.

          • Traps are gay says

            Yes, I’m well aware that Jews aren’t the only people who practice circumcision. I’m an American Protestant, after all, and ours has also been a genital cutting culture since the mid-Victorian era. The fact remains that Rabbinic/American circumcision is the most extreme form of male genital mutilation practiced today except for penile subincision (confined to a few Polynesian cannibal tribes).

            Maybe you should try not conflating anti-circumcision, anti-vaccination, and organic food. The fact that these topics are logically connected to you, and that you think circumcision is somehow merely “cosmetic” or “elective,” is totally irrelevant except to underscore your ignorance and denial (or use of pilpul).

            I’m fixated on it because it’s a human rights abuse shielded by a proxy of religious tolerance, and I’m also a victim of it and virtually everyone is some variant of you, i.e., ignorant and/or in denial. If you’re not bitter, you are either unable or unwilling to understand the significance of what was done to you.

            I’m sorry to decimate your cozy little worldview with all its rationalized inadequacy, but it has to be done. Men are screaming bloody murder in the streets and they’ll only get louder.

            Try reading “Marked in Your Flesh,” “Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma,” “A Surgical Temptation,” or any number of other legitimate works of scholarship; the literature is endless. If you still don’t get it, sorry, you’re just deficient and belong in the lethal chamber.

          • Stephanie says

            Traps, you haven’t decimated anything, maybe just creeped people out with your Holocaust threat to put people who practice or defend circumcision in the “lethal chamber.”

            I’m going with this circumcision-obsessed guy (I think he’s used different names on other article comments treads) being a troll. Or a dangerously crazy person. In either case, I suggest we ignore.

  18. There are differences in the way men and women are built physically that give men the advantage in most sports regardless of testosterone levels. This is yet another area where the people that claim to love science igonore it or pervert it to there whims. Also, in many cases these trans athletes are allow to compete with no restrictions not even the ridiculous hormone level test. Just look at those two black boys, yes I said boys, that won the track championsip in Connecticut. I doubt they are even on hormones to look at them.

    • david of Kirkland says

      Trans people can flood their bodies with hormones to aid in their delusion, but others are thrown out for life and their records taken away because of performance enhancing drugs.

  19. Another Former Lefty says

    “a U.S. federal law known colloquially simply as ‘Tittle IX'”

    Hmm. Are you _sure_ that’s how it’s known?

  20. david of Kirkland says

    It seems that having sports separated by gender should no longer be supported. Just sport. After all, what does men’s vs. women’s sports mean if male and female have only the meaning assigned to the speaker?

  21. ga gamba says

    Though I mostly agree with Ms Navratilova, I think this statement is a bit imprecise. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.

    As much as I would enjoy the absurdity of a female dick measuring contest and rhythmic penile helicoptering, I think we have to also acknowledge the existence of those who have completed their transitions and no longer have penises and, more importantly, testicles and thus don’t produce testosterone anywhere near what men produce. A more accurate statement would be something like this: There must be some standards, and having male physiology – skeletal and muscle advantages as well as much higher levels of testosterone – whilst competing as a woman would not fit that standard.

    This article will have us believe, falsely, there are two camps: women and men disguised as women. An analysis will find there are many other groups too. There are trans women undergoing transitions but who have not undergone any type of hormonal therapies that add female hormone oestrogen and testosterone-blockers. They certainly are beneficiaries of testosterone. To put it crudely, but accurately, they are what the TERFs call (physiological) man in a dress. There are trans women undergoing transitions, who use hormonal therapies, but have not had bottom surgery. Their testosterone is suppressed. There are those who completed their bottom surgeries, but did so post puberty. Their skeletal structure features broader shoulders, larger hands, wider fists, etc. Lastly, with children now having puberty blocked, there will emerge a group of trans women whose bodies masculinised very little and by completing their bottom surgeries have no testosterone advantage over women. There may be other groups, and I’m happy to learn of them, but these are the main four I’ve identified.

    Further, not all sports are the same. Most trans women will not enjoy any competitive advantage over women in gymnastics, for example. A study by the International Association of Athletics Federations, which govern track and field, shows that the biggest effects of testosterone are in the hammer and pole vault. Moreover, we find many examples of women defeating trans women in sport. Rachel McKinnon, a trans women who won the 2017 world cycling championship, had been defeated by Jen Wagner-Assali, a woman, in 10 of their 12 previous matches. The sport of cycling relies on physical power, which ought to always advantage McKinnon, yet she lost 77% of the time. Clearly, there are other attributes that are at play, even in a sport where physical power is quite important. The media amplifies when trans women win, but rarely reports when trans women lose, which creates the perception trans women are always winning. Objectively, they aren’t.

    If we like, we can fractionate sport and its athletes. Sports that have weight classes have long done so, which is why we don’t have 49 kg light flyweight boxers battle 91 kg cruiser weights. Clearly basketball favours the abnormally tall – the average height of an NBA player is 6’7″ (nearly 210 cm), which is the 99.952 percentile of US males, 3.3 standard deviations from average. We don’t see calls for a separate basketball division for those under 6′ tall (183 cm), but, for example, the Korean Basketball League limits the height of foreign players signed by its teams.

    Should trans athletes be separated to their own events like women and men are split? Should we limit female participation to a certain level of testosterone? If so, what are we to do about athletes such as Caster Semenya and Dutee Chand, female sprinters with hyperandrogenism? Perhaps the martial sports and weight lifting provide a model with their heavyweight divisions. Any women and trans women over x measure of testosterone would compete in this division for sports where testosterone is the determining factor, or they could be required to take testosterone suppressants. That said, I can see flaws with such accommodations because it further emboldens those with their own special pleading. Why not differentiate too by access to high-calibre training which favours those from nations that invest a lot in sports programmes? Yet, the whole point about sport is that it’s not a level playing field. It selects individuals with advantages. It’s no more surprising that elite women athletes may have elevated testosterone levels, higher than non athletes as well as less competive ones, than that female basketball players are taller.

    Many radfems, in particular the TERFs, are absolutists, segregationists – well beyond the latrine -and even supremacists. If you’re born with XY chromosomes, you’re a male no matter what full stop. I understand their views, but I think their objection to trans female participation are based not on the ideas of fair play, which can be addressed through a variety of measures, but on their dislike of men.

    Based on her writing here I don’t include Ms Vigo in this group, and I don’t want to cast aspersions. “This off-label brand of radical feminism has driven away women because of its very internalized hatred of men—women who are polluted by their physical proximity to males, reproduction, and their male children. Such political narratives fracture any sense of solidarity and ultimately prevent any type of revolutionary action. We’ve seen this story before–and it isn’t a political narrative. It’s a religion.

    It’s a fantastic essay and well worth the read – I say so as a person who’s not in favour of the revolutionary action she wishes for. It’s interesting to see how people can take very nuanced position in one area but much less so in others. I think an essay by her examining this would make for an excellent contribution here.

    • Aerth says

      ” Rachel McKinnon, a trans women who won the 2017 world cycling championship, had been defeated by Jen Wagner-Assali, a woman, in 10 of their 12 previous matches. The sport of cycling relies on physical power, which ought to always advantage McKinnon, yet she lost 77% of the time.”

      But in this case it should be checked if Assali and McKinnon started competing at the same time. Can trans woman just wake up one day, decide she wants to compete and start winning out of the blue? Well, of course not, it does not work that way. But she will have natural advantage over natal woman assuming both went through similar training regime at the same time. If Assali started training and competing earlier then it is not surprising she hold initial advantage and won several times.

    • Saw file says


      I do agree with you about certain categories of trans-males being able to compete in women’s sports. This used to be decided on a case by case basis though. Now (outside of elite International competitions (world record eligible)) the barn door is fully open. Self declared…good enough. No one will ever convince me that that is fair play.

      I respect your comments and sincerely thank you for them. I have learned quite a bit from you. I know that you are a kindred searcher of knowledge and opinions. And a sharp wit, to boot.

      When I read about testosterone being an advantage in hammer throw, my eyebrows went up. I was a serious amateur competitor in all four throwing events. Without stating my creds, I was four years serious. Trained year round and even held a record in shotput for awhile. I am in my 50’s, and I still follow the International competitions (yes, I realize how weird that is).

      Anyhoo…yes, a testosterone advantage is huge in such power sports. In sports where millimeters count, a 4.5% advantage in testosterone (for athletes at equal technique) is the difference between 1st place and placing in the top 20.

      World record distances in all four event are basically comparable between men and women (except javelin).

      Shot put: men [16lb]; women [8.8lb]
      Discuss: men [2kg]; women [1kg] + diameter diff.
      Hammer: men [16lb]; women [8.8lb]
      Javelin: [800g x 2.7m]; women [600g x 2.3m]

      Even though I could easily do the math (too lazy today), it’s obvious that even a mid to top competition level male who went trans would crush the elite women’s distances. A 4.5% testosterone advantage in a female would be negligible at that point.

      As an aside: we males and females trained together. We where the ‘strange’ T&F athletes. Every now and then we would do switch compete, and use the other genders ‘implements’ . Was always hilarious.
      200g (1/3) difference is quite a bit. Damn near double or half, is quite a bit is more than a bit.


        • Stephanie says

          Ga gamba, another important factor on top of what Aerth pointed out is whether Rachel McKinnon would be a good athletes at all if competing against men. If a male who could never compete professionally, or would be mediocre at best, goes up against a top-tier female, what would be their statistical chances of winning? Certainly more than a middling female. As the article discusses, the benefits of male puberty are irreversible, even through recent suppression of testosterone.

          A bad male competitor can radically increase his chances by competing against a woman, but just because that doesn’t mean victory every time, doesn’t mean the unfair advantage isn’t there.

    • Rick Phillips says

      As a person with some familiarity with human genetics, I am taken by all of the discussion about biological differences between men and women. In my view these are real. There are of course some who do not support the idea that sex is biological. Well I realize the position is contested, I quote for example a passage from the new Encyclopedia Britannica (Wikipedia)….

      “Rather than viewing sex as a biological construct, there are feminists who accept both sex and gender as a social construct. According to the Intersex Society of North America, “nature doesn’t decide where the category of ‘male’ ends and the category of ‘intersex’ begins, or where the category of ‘intersex’ ends and the category of ‘female’ begins. Humans decide. Humans (today, typically doctors) decide how small a penis has to be, or how unusual a combination of parts has to be, before it counts as intersex.” Fausto-Sterling believes that sex is socially constructed because nature does not decide on who is seen as a male or female physically. Rather, doctors decide what seems to be a “natural” sex for the inhabitants of society. In addition, the gender, behavior, actions, and appearance of males/females is also seen as socially constructed because codes of femininity and masculinity are chosen and deemed fit by society for societal usage.” (Refer: Wikipedia – Sex and gender distinction)

      If there is to be a solution to the issues raised in this article it could indeed follow the lines alluded to by @ ga gamma namely “If we like, we can fractionate sport and its athletes. Sports that have weight classes have long done so”. So one option would be to define categories of competition on the basis on size, for example, as opposed to chromosomes or genitals….. Cue outrage.

    • Victoria says

      Thank you for injecting some good faith analysis. Vigo seems more likely though to have stepped back from misandry because of having a son, i.e. it impacts her personally, rather than some higher principle prevailing. I clicked her Twitter and her bio opens “Person not born male.” Generally I find that people who define themselves against something tend to be bigots and fanatics.

  22. V 2.0 says

    I’m actually kind of ok with men and women competing against each other. Sure women will probably never get medals for sprinting, weightlifting or boxing but they will still excel (and get lot’s of attention and lucrative endorsement contracts) for things like gymnastics. Also, maybe if the bar is higher we may, while not closing the gap completely, come closer than we have ever come before. It was less than a hundred years ago that we were told we couldn’t run marathons because our uterus would fall out. It turned out science was wrong on that one. The biggest enemy women face seems to always be lowered expectations.

    Anecdotally, I (a woman) wrestled my drunk boyfriend to the ground on several occasions when he was being obnoxious. He was 5’7″ to my 5’6″. I outweighed him by a good 25 lbs at the time (yeah, not proud) but he worked in construction while I worked in retail so it probably kind of evened out. We were about the same number of drinks in.

    I say let’s remove the restrictions and let the chips fall where they may :D.

    • Alice says

      Rubbish. Women and men of similar size are miles apart in upper body strength.If we don’t have segregation in sport there will never be a female superstar in any sport where height , strength or speed give an advantage. Which is nearly all of them.

      • ga gamba says

        I’m not opposed to female athletics, but if we decide the goal of female superstar is a worthwhile one, why then not by any other immutable (or not) characteristic?

        The SE Asians win almost nothing in international sport. Other than Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, I’m struggling to think of another athlete from any of the ASEAN countries.

        India does well in cricket, as do two of its South Asian neighbours, and all are abysmal in just about every other sport.

        If you take a look at the countries that over perform, winning a disproportionate number of Olympic medals, World Championships, and World Cups (in a variety of sports) it’s Australia, Germany, and Norway that are over represented. Still, name a Norwegian superstar, male or female.

        Other than women’s tennis and golf, and perhaps figure skating, pretty much all women’s athletics are commercial flops. Men’s professional teams were pressured to subsidise the WNBA and the Women’s Premier League Football, and after many years they still aren’t financially viable. Near empty stadiums and low TV viewership tell the tale. Yet, we find many women attending men’s sporting events.

        I think it’s time we conclude that most women aren’t very interested in the majority of women’s professional athletics and that additional support is simply feeding the money pit. You personally may want to see female athletic superstars, but unless you’re willing to open your purse, buy a team. pay their salaries, and watch your investment drain your own wealth, I find the claim women want to see female superstars to be empty words. Aside from the two sports I mentioned (and women’s professional golf has only recently enjoyed an upswing after a decade of declines), it’s not proved by ticket sales, attendance, TV viewership, or any other objective measure that demonstrates women genuinely want this.

        • Skallagrimsen says

          As I recall, the women’s World Cup in soccer is said to have drawn an American viewership comparable to a World Series game when the U.S. team made the final.

  23. V 2.0 says

    I’m kind of ok with just removing these restrictions and letting women compete against men. Sure, we won’t be getting any medals in sprinting, boxing or weightlifting but we’ll still kick ass in gymnastics and figure skating. Height and weight should be enough to group people in sports where injury is an issue (if you’re seven feet tall and two hundred and some pounds of pure muscle you will most likely still have to compete against men regardless of who you identify as. Ha!). Maybe throw bone density and body fat/muscle mass percentage into the mix as an extra precaution. And who knows, we may be able to close the gap more than we ever thought possible. After all, it was less than a hundred years ago that we were told we couldn’t run marathons because our uterus would fall out. Science was wrong on that one. The biggest threat to our success is not discrimination but lowered expectations.

    Anecdotally, I (a woman) wrestled my drunk boyfriend to the ground on several occasions when he was being obnoxious. I was 5’6″ to his 5’7″. I outweighed him by a good twenty five pounds of flab (yeah, not proud) but he worked in construction while I worked in retail so it kind of evened out. We were about the same number of drinks in.

    Just sayin’ let’s get rid of the restrictions and let the chips fall where they may. At least it will throw a wrench into the plans of the annoying whiners who want to take the easy road to athletic fame and fortune 😀

    • Aerth says

      You won’t be having any chances in most sports. Pretty much every athletics competition will be out of the window. so will be tennis, so will be most of team sports.

    • Doug F says

      At the time I suggested this as an answer (rather tongue in cheek) to the Title IX legislation. It eliminates all forms of sexism – ranking is strictly determined by performance. It was the obvious logical conclusion to the complaints raised although it would have been devastating to women sports in general with a few exceptions. Of course the people pushing the Title IX agenda were quite comfortable with the obvious logical inconsistencies of supporting the sexism of separate programs while screaming about the sexism of non-equal outcomes.

      I find it sadly amusing that those people have now been out-social-justiced by a tiny fraction of the population, and are not sure how to defend themselves given the moral approach they have accepted.

  24. John Ashton says

    Virilization is not a completely reversible process dependent on maintenance by levels of testosterone, but a developmental process. Exposure to testosterone in utero and during puberty are extremely important for the proportions of the skeleton and muscle attachments. There are other “boy hormones” such as anti-mullerian hormone that spikes in boys (and only boys, not in females or grown men) that no-one seems to talk about. Experiments with androgen analogues have shown that muscle gains (including myonuclear gains) on androgens are not fully reversed after cessation of use (important not only for testosterone suppressing athletes, but also for former drug cheats continuing advantages.)

    How is this in any way, shape, or form, controversial? It’s controversial in the same way flat-earth theories are controversial, that’s all. It’s as if people in positions of authority have been bamboozled by flat-earthers.

  25. Testing says

    What just happened? Wrote a scientific post under my real name and address, and it didn’t come up when I hit post comment. Testing now with a pseudonym.

  26. The World is Mad says

    When I was young boys that were afraid to compete with boys and wanted to instead go in the girls competition were called cowards. Now they are called heroes.

  27. Julia says

    I don’t know why gender dysphoria isn’t viewed as what it is – a disorder. Sports are not “fair” towards health conditions. There are health conditions and treatments that prevent males from being competitive in male sports, including those causing low testosterone and low muscle. But they are not placed on all female teams or lumped into a “third gender”. Humans are sexually dimorphic,no third gender exists.

    Not to mention all boys and men who would “identify” as females just in order to win. Painfully obvious.

    Athletes with gender dysphoria receiving hormone treatments can compete as their own paralympic category, sure. But why should we pretend they are “females”, not “people with a health problem”?

    • Jan de Jong says

      Yes – sports are not “fair” towards health conditions. Men with a health condition should not expect to compete as women. Not the end of the world either.

  28. Aerth says

    One does not need to even be interested in sports nor watch any competition. All it takes to learn how ridiculous trans claims are is to compare results in several sports between men and women. Pole vault? Women world record is 5.06 meters. Men do not even start that low. 100 meters dash? Women can’t get below 10 seconds, while men are not going above it. High Jump? Women: 2.09 meters, men: 2.45. Even if trans women never get near best men results, they would still crush natal women. Believing that there is no physical advantage is pure idiocy. McKinnon lacks basic knowledge about human biology, but again, what you expect from someone with philosophy PHD?

    Creating trans category would not hurt anyone, or take anything from anyone, but trans activist would never want to hear about this. Their religion has no place for “meeting somewhere between”. They are all shouting for respect and understanding, but they have none of it to offer back. If world continue to cave in to their ridiculous demands, women sports competition will be over before long.

  29. Rick G. says

    Why not create a separate competition for trans-athletes? It is not fair to have ex-women compete with men, or ex-men to compete with women at a professional level.

    • Alice says

      A separate category for trans athletes would be a more fair solution. Natural born females should compete with other natural born females (as their DNA would indicate) and the same goes for natural born males. A separate category for trans athletes would restore fairness in competition. It seems with all of this trans stuff, natural born women loose out on privacy rights (to the locker room and bathroom) and now loose out on fair competition with their peers (other natural born females) and the satisfaction that comes with success in sports as well as the opportunities for renumeration and recognition. There seems to be no end to male attempts to put females at a disadvantage on every front.

  30. It’s amusing to only see any real discussion of transgender ideology when it affects women. Children? No problem. Men? We don’t care.

    But WOMEN! My goodness.

  31. Rick Phillips says

    As a person with some familiarity with human genetics I am taken by all of the discussion about biological differences between men and women. In my view these are real. There are of course some who do not support the idea that sex is biological. Well I realize the position is contested, I quote for example a passage from the new Encyclopedia Britannica (Wikipedia.. sorry for length).

    “Rather than viewing sex as a biological construct, there are feminists who accept both sex and gender as a social construct. According to the Intersex Society of America, “nature doesn’t decide where the category of ‘male’ ends and the category of ‘intersex’ begins, or where the category of ‘intersex’ ends and the category of ‘female’ begins. Humans decide. Humans (today, typically doctors) decide how small a penis has to be, or how unusual a combination of parts has to be, before it counts as intersex.” Fausto-Sterling believes that sex is socially constructed because nature does not decide on who is seen as a male or female physically. Rather, doctors decide what seems to be a “natural” sex for the inhabitants of society. In addition, the gender, behavior, actions, and appearance of males/females is also seen as socially constructed because codes of femininity and masculinity are chosen and deemed fit by society for societal usage.” (Refer: Wikipedia – Sex and gender distinction)

    If there is to be a solution to the issues raised in this article it could indeed follow the lines alluded to by @ ga gamma namely “If we like, we can fractionate sport and its athletes. Sports that have weight classes have long done so”. So one option would be to define categories of competition on the basis of size and weight or height only, for example, as opposed to chromosomes or genitals….. Cue outrage?

  32. Rick Phillips says

    Why not follow the option alluded to by @ga gamma? “If we like, we can fractionate sport and its athletes”

    So one option would be to define categories of competition on the basis on size or weight or height or whatever might be appropriate criteria; as opposed to chromosomes or genitals.

    • Sorry for the duplication in posts….. I hope it was the site and not me.

    • TarsTarkas says

      Wrestling and boxing already do that. However sexual dimorphism trumps that.

    • Alice says

      Which would result in no woman ever winning in any sport where strength and speed matter ever again.

  33. Good by Me says

    Sorry female athletes, you are collateral damage. This is a beautiful combination of feminism eating itself (it’s feminism that told us sex differences are socially constructed) and a male (umm, sorry, “transwoman”) fifth column beating them at their own game (men have been sexistly excluded from prizes, awards, and benefits of all sorts for a long time.

    So you go guy-girls!

    • George G says

      @ Good by Me

      I agree it’s fun to watch the snake eat its tails but the only people hurt by this will be real women / girls, not the radfems who will soon have another imaginary enemy in the trans-matri/patriarchy to spit their misandry at. But my friends daughter being forced to compete against boys in sports is ludicrous and honestly just sad for women and girls.

  34. Farris says

    How can a man sincerely claim to identify as a woman and retain his penis?

  35. Gordon Smirh says

    Just a note of interest- there is a tennis arena in Australia named after Margaret Court for her achievements in tennis used in the Australian open.
    Martina Navratilova called for her name to be removed from the arena after Court campaigned against SSM.
    I am OK with SSM and agree with Navratilova om this issue but after calling Court a bigot and now being called a bigot herself I wonder if she will reflect on where this all ends.

  36. jimhaz says

    [Testosterone affects the body permanently during puberty, increasing height, augmenting the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood, making male bones denser and organs (including heart and lungs) larger than those of females]

    This is the same reason I use for drug cheats. I believe cheats should be outed from the sport for life. Drugs taken early on or during training phases, allows them to push the body further and for the body to settle at a higher level.

  37. Skallagrimsen says

    Rachel McKinnon is right. Genitals ARE irrelevant to sports performance. It’s other aspects of bodily architecture–musculature, bone density, stamina, reflexes–that human evolution has differentiated between men and women that are relevant. The contention that trans-women on hormones enjoy no competitive advantage over biological females in athletics seems dubious. I’m willing to be convinced otherwise, but I’ll need statistics demonstrating trans-women perform no better, on average, than biological females. It does seem telling that first AND second place at a “girls” state sprinting championship went to biological males. How many trans athletes were even competing at the championship? How many are there in the entire state of Connecticut, vs. how many thousands of girls? It also seems telling that trans-activists such as McKinnon feel the need to stigmatize anyone who so much as questions the validity of such competitions as having a mental disorder (a “-phobia”).

    To me, all this raises an interesting question. Why sexually segregate sports at all? Given the physical differences between men and women, it might seem intuitively obvious that we should. But athletic ability isn’t equally distributed between ancestral populations anymore than it is between men and women. There are those who might deny it, but the weight of the evidence is overwhelming. Jamaica won many more medals at the 2016 summer Olympics than India (11 to 2) despite the fact that there are well over 1,000 Indians for every Jamaican. African Americans are only about 13% of the U.S, population, but comprise an overwhelming majority of players in the NBA and NFL. Persons of Black African descent have won every single Olympic sprinting medal for the past several decades. There are few or no men of east Asian descent in the NFL, but many Samoans, an infinitesimally smaller population. And so on, and on, and on. And yet, no-one argues that we ought to segregate sports according to “race.” True, there’s plenty of overlap. African Americans may dominate basketball, for example, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great white and Asian players. But the same holds true for the sexes. Most men, even if they had devoted themselves to tennis from the time they could walk, couldn’t hope to defeat Serena Williams at her prime. Most men of her size, or larger, wouldn’t stand a chance in the ring against Ronda Rousey . Most men could never be close to as physically strong as Becca Swanson. So, why sexual, but not “racial” athletic segregation?

    I’m not actually arguing for a change in the status quo on this point. I’m just compelled to admit, on reflection, that the double standard is arbitrary. I’m comfortable with that; life is impossible without a certain degree of arbitrariness. But I can see a reasonable case to be made to the contrary.

    • Skallagrimsen says

      (I blush: it’s actually closer to 500 Indians for every Jamaican. I flubbed the arithmetic. But my point still stands.)

    • Alice says

      Rubbish. Women and men of similar size are miles apart in upper body strength.If we don’t have segregation in sport there will never be a female superstar in any sport where height , strength or speed give an advantage. Which is nearly all of them. Serena Williams would be unheard of it tennis wasn’t separated by sex. And Ronda Rousey and Becca Swanson would be thrashed by plenty of men. Male and female bodies are different , it’s not all about size.

      • Skallagrimsen says

        My apologies if I didn’t make myself clear. I agree with you: there are few sports (any?) at which the best women will excel relative to the best men. I agree that sexually desegregated sports would mean the end of female superstars, and pretty much the end of female professional athletes. I agree that plenty of men (although not MOST men) could defeat Rousey or Swanson. I didn’t say it’s “all about size;” I enumerated SEVERAL physical differences that give men, on average, a relative advantage.

        I don’t support sexual integration in athletics. I’m against it. In fact, I also strongly lean towards prohibiting trans-women from competing against biological females; whether they’re on hormones or not. I’d change the designations from “men’s” and women’s” sports to “males” and “females,” if necessary; however they Rachel McKinnon and Fallon Fox are males, as every cell in their bodies would attest under a forensic scientist’s microscope.

        My point was simply that it does nevertheless seem arbitrary to have separate running competitions for, say, men and women, because women don’t run as fast, but not separate running competitions for, say, Kenyans and Inuits, because…

        • Skallagrimsen says

          *…however they identify, Rachel McKinnon and Fallon Fox are males…

  38. Num num says

    “As for the critics, McKinnon compared them to Nazis: ‘Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, looking at Jesse Owens, and he says, you know, quite openly, I think it’s unfair, to have people like Jesse Owens competing, because you might as well have deer or gazelle on your team.’ Sound familiar, transphobes? Not a good look.'”

    Yet never in my life have I heard anyone suggest blacks ought to be excluded from sports with whites. That’s because there has not been an established tradition of racial segregation in sports as there had been wrt the sexes. And that segregation is founded on a sense of fairness — women having almost no chance vs men — just as junior leagues segregate younger athletes from pros. How is that Nazism?!

    But if it’s Nazism to believe it’s unfair for trans-women to compete with women, why aren’t sex or age segregated leagues per se also Nazism? And so I guess that means Nazism is a sense of fairplay. Um, no! McKinnon’s argument sucks!

  39. Tom More says

    The insanity of the west. Our sex organs and sexual identities are no different from our other organs. Hearts don’t just happen to pump blood. Eyes don’t just happen to see. Reproductive sex organs are for reproduction between the two sexes. And yes it really is exactly that simple. Unless you want to argue eyes are not for seeing. Stop the charade. Accepting people does not necessitate accepting their behavior or delusions and it is not “loving” to ignore real life.

  40. For some sports at the Olympics the ‘men’s’ events are actually ‘open’ ie. men or women can compete. The women’s events are for women only. I feel like extending this to other sports and enforcing women’s events for biological females could solve almost all the issue (besides SJW activist outrage). Trans or intersex need to compete in the open events.

  41. Kay Preston says

    Trans women Competing against biowomen is comparable to a male athlete using steroids in competition against other male athletes. It is unfair and wrong.

    • Shatterface says

      It’s more like an adult man competing with a 13 year old boy.

  42. TheJudgeABCand123 says

    The often overlooked idea that is unintentionally acknowledged but rarely, if ever, directly acknowledged is the fact that women’s sports are effectively another special olympics in sports. At the highest level of sport and athleticism, the transgender issue does not exist. It is only in these leagues of restricted categories for groups that would not, on any large scale, be able to participate in the most elite leagues. It has become common for these elite leagues to be called men’s leagues, but that is just a reaction to the reality that almost all elite athletic competitions requiring levels of qualifying will result in an almost unanimous make up of men. Elite professional leagues do not exclude women and this can be seen in multiple sports, such as when Annika Sorenstam participated in a small number of PGA events (she was unable to make the cut to progress in any of these tournaments after the opening days).

    McKinnon makes an example by drawing the comparison to a Nazi who said that a Black athlete should not compete against others as they were intrinsically better, comparing this to McKinnon’s own critics (I would argue the Nazi was effectively stating they wanted a special olympics group or a subcategory for lesser athletes to compete). However, McKinnon is not competing in the most elite league; McKinnon is competing in a special olympics. Just as there have been people later disqualified and shamed for participating in the special olympics without a disability, people who do not meet the restricted category for the women’s sports should not be allowed to compete.

  43. Sarah Allsop says

    At the risk of being controversial, I would like to see all segregation in sports between men and women stopped. Let everyone compete together, even if that means the women no longer have a chance of winning a medal. Isn’t it odd in this day and age, when women/girls can become firefighters, join the boy scouts, be drafted into the army, and basically compete with men as equals in all professions, that we still segregate sports into men’s and women’s events. Isn’t that sexist? After all, we do not segregate sports by race even though some races dominate over others?

    • I’m not scared or triggered by your “controversial” opinion. 😉

      But DO disagree. Men and women differ biologically. The “race” (I prefer ethnicity) is more a result of history/culture/evolution in certain parts of the world. But even though the best marathon runners are from East Africa and sprinters from Western Africa/Caribbean, non-blacks certain can still be competitive on the world stage….even if it is only Top 50.

      • Skallagrimsen says

        “Races,” or ethnicities, if you prefer, can differ in their biology, just as the sexes do. Not as much, I’ll grant, but enough to make a difference in average athletic performance. No Inuit, for example, ever has or will be competitive in sprinting on the world stage, any more than a woman could be (without sexually exclusive contests). Certainly no representative from either group will ever be anywhere near the top 50 fastest human beings. In fact, it’s doubtful that any of the world’s 50 fastest sprinters is anyone other than a black male. Even nations with very small black minorities, such as Canada, tend to be represented by black men at international sprinting events. Yet we don’t have separate events for relatively slow ethnicities, just for sexes. Why? It still seems arbitrary to segregate the one and not the other.

    • Alice says

      Your view isn’t controversial it’s a view held by all who dislike women being lauded for their athleticism.

  44. Pingback: Feb 28 Links – Small Liberties

  45. R Henry says

    There is no such thing as “transgender.” He is a man wearing a costume.

    At the moment of conception, the zygote’s sex is established as either male or female. This reality is entirely unchangeable and remains such throughout the developing human’s lifetime.

    When a tiny minority of people grow to become uncomfortable with their sex, that condition is an illness generally known as gender dysphoria. Like all other psychotherapy, treatment for gender dysphoria must have as its objective helping the patient develop healthy self-awareness and self-acceptance.

    The contemporary fad of enabling and encouraging “transition” is nothing but an unwillingness to face and accept the reality of human biology. It is anti-science and anti-reality. Western mental health and medical communities have abandoned their historical roles as healers and instead become enablers of illness. Their enablement brings great sadness, and often death, to their patients. Donning a costume, a new hairstyle, and making efforts to deceive others is NOT a cure for mental illness.

    This moment in cultural history cannot end soon enough.

  46. Jason Cooper says

    How must a ‘victory’ feel knowing you had an unfair advantage? ….Seems to me that conscience has transitioned.

    • Asenath Waite says

      @Jason Cooper

      Well these are the same people who champion affirmative action to an extreme degree, so I suppose they are accustomed to the concept that an unearned victory is still a victory.

  47. Gorgias says

    Many years ago, Serena Williams and Venus Williams boasted that they could beat any 200-ranked male tennis player. So, one guy ranked about 208 in the world took them up on their challenge, and he defeated them something like 6-1 and 6-0. And this was after he had played a round of golf and had a few beers.

    What’s fascinating about tennis is that women’s prize money is the same as men’s for the major tournaments, partially as a result of the activism of the William’s sisters, who thought it was sexist to have differences in prize money.

    So, then, I wonder what an enterprising 200-ranked man in the world today may be thinking. I mean, if you’re 200-ranked, you make almost no money. In fact, you may even lose money, with the high cost of traveling to tennis tournaments around the world.

    But if you suddenly feel like a women (a la Shania Twain), then you could really have some fun or at least make some serious funds.

    It’s obvious that the end result is no bio-women in women’s sports, if there’s no push back. Strangely, it seems difficult to thwart the trans offensive. But what if a bio-man kills a bio-woman in an MMA fight? Would that put a stop to it? I really don’t know. I’m just totally baffled that men are being allowed participate in women’s sports. It just seems like a no-brainer that men should not be allowed.

    • Vivian Darkbloom says

      What if a 5-11 male who was 250 pounds told everyone that he “felt” like a lightweight. Don’t oppress me. I IDENTIFY as lightweight … and this MATTERS to me. You HAVE to let me fight shorter guys who weigh about 150 pounds.

    • D-Rex says

      That is a really good point. I bet that if a bio-male tennis player ranked around 100 decided to transition and proceeded to thrash the Williams sisters and every other female tennis player, the shit would finally hit the fan and something would be done about it.

  48. AlphaBeta says

    Note that the controversy only goes in one direction: MtF athletes competing with women. The fact that there are no stories or complaints about FtM athletes dominating men’s sports should be evidence enough that being born male confers an advantage.

  49. John Craigton says

    There are clearly different opinions about this topic. While this article and many comments argue for segregation based on sex, with good rationale, you can also come up with reasons to accept it. For example:

    1) Even though male2female transgender top athletes have a physical advantage, they are in a tiny minority, so it is a minimal risk (the few that there are get a lot of attention, which might make it a bigger issue than it really is).

    2) There is a general acceptance and wide support for transgenders participating as their preferred gender — if many people want it, it is the Zeitgeist and it will happen (sure, some people are afraid to speak openly, but even so, my feeling is that there is very broad support for it in society). Majority wants it, so it will happen.

    3) In many ways, top athletes are always “unusual”, including women with naturally high testosteron — in that way, I have heard the argument that you cannot really speak about unfair competition anyway (I am not sure how good this argument it, but I heard it on the radio).

    4) If society accepts that male2female transgender folk are “really” women, as is the case in law, then society also needs to accept all the consequences of that, including full participation in sports as people with. You cannot accept transwomen just where it is convenient.

    I bring those arguments up here to see what people think.

  50. Hi John, I’d like to challenge your opinions. bear with me:

    For a tiny minority, Trans women are sweeping and dominating women’s sports even though the new Transgender rules changed by the IOC, and most sporting bodies have only been in effect for 2 years. The Trans women athletes I’m speaking of can be googled;

    – Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller. Both are biological male runners who have won state championships in the female divisions for 2 years in a row. The female students have gone to the press ( though only right wing press will let them speak), and express how demoralizing it is for them, to have worked so hard only to know the outcome of the races before they even start. Both Yearwood and Miller are not taking any hormones. They merely “identify” as girls, and by state law, must be allowed to race according to their gender identity. This also means that helpful athletic scholarships will be awarded to them, as on paper for submissions, colleges are not informed if an athlete is Trans or bio-female.
    Neither male runner would have placed at ALL if they had run against other males.

    – Hannah Mouncey is 6’3 and 250lbs, played for the Aussie rules full contact football team as a male. He came out as Transgender, and wanted to play on the women’s the next year. He has already broken a woman’s leg. Hannah is now said to be their “star player”, and his thigh is larger than most of the female’s waists. I urge you to google Hannah and tell me it’s safe to have him in women’s full contact sports.

    – Laurel Hubbard dominated Women’s weight lifting in Oceania. At 37 years old, after competing as a male lifter his whole life, he “transitioned”, and immediately started breaking records. Some of the female lifters had to extreme diet to drop a weight class because they knew there was no hope for them to win. Meanwhile, a Samoan woman who placed third against Hubbard was kicked out of the league because her cough syrup set off the “doping” detector.
    Hubbard *never placed* anywhere near the podium in the Men’s.

    – Rachel McKinnon has won the World cycling championship (Women’s). He has cycled for a fraction of the time the female athletes have. he is 6’2, 230lbs, and towers over the females. The third place winner stated it was unfair, and McKinnon tried to get her kicked out of the league for violating the cycling federations rules on “discrimination”.
    McKinnon never competed nor placed against males.

    – Jaycee Cooper, Trans woman, has won the Minnesota women’s state power lifting championship. He took up weightlifting only about one year ago after he transitioned, and now dominates female events. Most female power lifters train for years to get to that level. Some even start in highschool.
    Jaycee never competed nor placed against males.

    – Kate Weatherly didn’t even wait a year until he competed in women’s mountain biking in NZ. Won gold during his first race against the females.
    He raced against males, but never placed.

    – Trans woman cyclist Natalie Van Gogh just won the women’s cycling championship in Holland. He is 44 years old, When the average age of the female competitors is 24.
    How many sports see a 44 year old beating out all the 20 year olds?

    – CeCe Telfer is a 21 year old biological male, recently identifying as a woman. Last year Telfer was racing against biological males. This year he has won the “Women’s Most Outstanding Performer” award.
    He takes no hormones at all. He’s a woman, because he says so and grew his hair long.

    This is getting eye-bleedingly long, so I’ll just name a few more;

    Tiffany Abreu, Lauren Jeska (who stabbed 3 people when he was asked for a testosterone test after winning many women’s medals), Gabriel Ludwig (6’8, 50 years old and playing on a women’s college basketball team).
    -8 of the players on the Iranian female soccer team are now males.

    I mean i don’t know how much proof you need, and there are more I can’t remember, but the fact is, this is only 2 years in,and for a supposed negligible minority, it makes you wonder why they are shattering women’s records and bones all over the place, doesn’t it?

    Not to mention, there is to date, not a single female to male Trans man who has ever placed on the podium, nor dominated a male sports/athletics event. Not one.

    Because biology actually matters. Lowering testosterone does not turn a male into a female. And when it comes to female athletes with high T, that is incredibly rare. At the elite levels, anti-doping agencies check female athletes at any time- day or night, randomly multiple times a year to check to see if they’re taking performance enhancers. meanwhile, Transwomen are allowed by the rules to have 3+ times the level of testosterone a normal female athlete has.

    – No one truly thinks Trans women are women. Society has not accepted this. Society is told that we must be polite and pretend they are women, which most of us do not have a problem doing. But they are not female. Girls and women deserve fairness and equality in their sports.

    Sorry again for the length!

    • John Craigton says

      Thanks for the extensive list of examples. I thought lowering testosterone was required? Really interesting that that is apparently not always the case?! I agree these are good arguments against transgender atheletes; the strongest seems that female2male never win (i.e., it is not just about testosterone).

      That said, even when accepting those things, there is still a good arguments for transgender athletes as well and I am curious about your response, just to get all views in the debate:

      Argument: “If society accepts transwomen as women, then society needs to be consistent. You cannot have it both ways (i.e., on the one hand accepting transwomen in all aspects and even allowing to change birth certificate and yet on the other hand putting up restrictions in sport — to me that seems difficult to do).”

      It seems to me that the only way out of this is not to accept transgender women as women in the first place. But who decides on that? There is no public vote on these sort of things, and even if there were, there is always the issue that it is unfair if a majority can downvote the rights of a small minority — a fair and just society gives rights to minority groups, especially if such minority groups are vulnerable in the sense that they have to cope with many disadvantages. Is the fact that a few high-profile transgender women win sports contests unacceptable in that larger context? That is the question to answer, and for me, it is not so easy to answer as some of the commentators suggest.

      To be honest, I am completely undecided on the topic, and I ‘d like to hear more arguments on both sides. Maybe Quilette can provide such opinions in the form of an article.

    • D-Rex says

      No need to apologize, that was very informative. It also leads to a conclusion that a probable reason for declaring their womanhood was for the express purpose of gaining a unfair advantage and winning in a sport that they had no chance at winning in before. Many athletes cheat to get the upper hand, transitioning may well be just another form of cheating.

  51. Rich Dilorenzo says

    Can you imagine Caitlyn Jenner competing against women in the pole vault even now? Or perhaps any of the other 9 skills of the decathlon? The absurdity of the reasoning for allowing transgender athletes who identify as female to complete against normal females is absurd. It is just beyond belief

  52. Mike van Lammeren says

    From the article: Rachel McKinnon “declared that having a debate on the issue was tantamount to ‘a black person [debating] a KKK member on civil rights.'” Why is that bad? That sounds like exactly the sort of debate we need.

  53. Andrew says

    @skallagrimsen Regarding race in sport, don’t forget about swimming or the Winter Olympics. Some say the Winter Olympics are racist since Nordic errr Scandinavian countries dominate

    • Skallagrimsen says

      @Andrew They do indeed. However, I’m less confident that, for example, Norwegians dominate skiing for genetic reasons than for cultural ones. Norway is basically a cliff overlooking the Arctic Ocean…

  54. Chris_zzz says

    How ironic that once women achieve a measure of equality with men in American society, some men (transwomen) find a way to appropriate female spaces. I can see how some women detest men.

    I’m trying to keep an open mind on trans issues, but it’s hard to endorse bio males infiltrating girls’ locker rooms and women’s sports. The thing that makes it hardest, though, is having to listen to trans-bullies like McKinnon berate anyone who doesn’t conform to the minority view that gender preference ought to always trump bio sex.

  55. Rockne Hughes says

    As a mediocre 200 meter sprinter in high school back in the 50’s I could run in the high 22 secs. The Best Olympic women sprinters we have today, and I love to watch them run. run in the 22’s. It is ridiculous to think that if it were today and I was 16 that I would not only be competitive with the cream of female sprinters but might even be able to win an Olympic medal. The biological facts are that there is no such thing as a transgender. No matter how a person thinks, feels,dresses, mutates their body, and ingests the many drugs, they can never change the sexual chromosomes from what was present when they were born. Mr. McKinnon is correct that genitals have nothing to do with gender but chromosomes do and is incorrect when advocating athletes who are one gender should be able to equitably compete with those of another. On the whole a male athlete has at least a 15% advantage or more over a female athlete. It has nothing to do with how they are raised or their testosterone It comes from their genes. As a track and field coach of some 18 years experience I am an avid watcher of the Olympics but if the IOC changes it standards to allow XY’s to compete against XX’s I will not be watching in 2020 and will forever rue the demise of the OLymipic movement.

    • Justina says

      This is what upsets me the most about people like Laurel Hubbard or Rachel McKinnon: these are not top athletes, but they get easy entry via sex change into the leagues of the absolute top female athletes. Those women they compete against worked their butts off on top of having incredible talent. And these often over the hill, Mediocre men just waltz in. The only reason the lid hasn’t been blown off this farce already is that you don’t see Mike Tyson or Michael Phelps tier top one percent male athletes changing sex. The illusion of parity persists only because Eachel McKinnon and co are very mediocre.

      The day a top male athlete decides he’s a woman, the farce with be over. It will be so obvious that these are just mediocre men banking on an unfair advantage

  56. Rick Phillips says

    I trust that everyone recognizes the internal inconsistencies in some of the arguments presented here. In particular the one that biological sex differences between men and women require special consideration in sports but on the other hand play no role in the differences in representational outcomes we see in some occupations.

    • You're right. says

      The sexes not only differ in personality but in physical and intellectual capacity. Male IQ and achievement superiority is evident across the intellectual spectrum.

      At the IQ mean, the lowest cited male advantage is +3.6 IQ points. Irving & Lynn’s meta-analysis found the male advantage at about +4.6 IQ; Jackson & Rushton show +5.0 IQ. Nyborg cites +6.90 IQ points; Strumpf & Jackson measure +8.4 IQ.

      Scores on the SAT, GRE, LSAT and similar ability tests show a significant male advantage on verbal and wider on mathematics tests. That advantage persists despite over thirty years of ‘gender-norming’ of test questions (founded in the testers’ presumption of equal intelligence) to inflate female scores.

      In “Why g Matters,” Linda Gottfredson estimates that a minimum of IQ 120 is needed to be competitive in “high-level” jobs “… [and] the probability is that only 37% of the workforce at that level will be female”. At IQ 130 (+2SD), males comprise 82%; IQ 145 (+3SD), 88% and at IQ 160 (+4SD), associated with genius, males comprise 97%.

      We disenfranchise boys and men at our civilizational peril.

  57. Brent says

    There is no way a true female athlete can compete with a pretend female athlete…this will be the end of women’s sports.

  58. jay says

    when I was in school, yes, fifty years ago, Y chromosome meant male, no Y meant female.
    Did something happen?

  59. Mark says

    I am honestly asking here, so if someone has a good reply I would be very glad to read it. My question is whatever happened to personal grace and responsibility. If it is that important to change gender, go ahead. But, shouldn’t that individual then set priorities? Maybe changing genders means giving up competitive sports as a personal decision, rather than as a matter of rules or laws?

  60. Hex says

    Men should not be permitted to compete in women’s sports. Even if they have had surgery and taken hormones. Sorry.

    • Alice Darr says

      Agreed. Their DNA will always identify them as male, no matter their hormones or sex reassignment surgery.

  61. Victoria says

    The determinate factor should not be trans or intersex status, but whether the person has virilized. I don’t see any basis for prohibiting trans girls/women who did not go through puberty as boys or those XY persons with androgen disorders (as in non-response to).

    Any virilization, even if natural in the case of intersex persons, is identical in impact to deliberate steroid use. Female sports are generally an artificially sequestered phenomenon to begin with since top female athletes are not competitive in most sports with men.

    That said, Quilette continues to be a forum for people who a justly described as anti-trans bigots. I scanned Vigo’s twitter feed and this is apparently the dominant issue in her world view. A recent tweet where she compares voluntary, indicated, medically-supervised surgical treatments re: transitioning to the primitive practice of ‘breast ironing’ shows that fairness, consideration of agency, etc. have little place in her assessment.

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