Transwomen in Sport

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mic
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PostTranswomen in Sport
by mic » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:12 pm

First of all, I believe that this discussion can be had without the need for automatic assumptions of prejudice and transphobia. None of this is intended to deny transwomen their right to respect, which they deserve as a fundamental human right.

During previous discussions here, I’ve learned a great deal about trans issues, identity politics and discrimination, although it was also made clear that the very discussion itself can be seen as oppressive. While I would hope that none here would want to deliberately cause anxiety to anyone else, I would appreciate as much precaution being taken as possible to ensure that no offence is caused. If the powers that be feel that the issue is too inflammatory for GRCade, I agree to accept whatever action is deemed appropriate, including topic title changes, special tags or even the removal of the thread entirely, though I trust it won’t come to that.

From a public perspective, there doesn’t seem to be any issue being taken with transmen competing with other men, the focus being entirely upon transwomen dominating some sports (thus far, at lower levels), with diverse news reports of cis-girls losing to their trans competition and thereby failing selection, for example, for interstate meetings. Such issues would seem to exemplify the fear some feminists have of transwomen in female spaces, highlighting the differences between male and female physiology (since generally, men are faster and stronger than women).

Further, there has been some comparison between the treatment of black, ciswoman athlete Caster Semenya and transwomen after her testosterone levels were deemed to be too high, requiring her use of blockers in order to be allowed to continue competing. Some argue that naturally occurring advantages are not inherently unfair (since people vary anyway in height and strength) and apply this logic to the inclusion of transwomen, while others insist that, in sport, trans inclusion is already leading to the replacement of ciswomen.

So, do female athletes have the right not to compete against transwomen and is this relevant to the bigger picture of social acceptance of trans issues?

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Moggy » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:15 pm

It’s pretty much a non-issue. Transwomen are not dominating athletics.

If/when they do then maybe it needs to be looked at, but at the moment it appears to me to be just another way to attack the trans community.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Ironhide » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:41 pm

I don't think it really matters in all honesty.

Most female athletes have unusually strong physiques anyway (compare someone like Venus Williams to the average woman for example) so even if Trans women are theoretically physically stronger they probably don't have much of an advantage (if any) at all as they're competing against people at the peak of human strength and endurance.

Besides that, as far as I'm aware the hormonal supplements trans women take can often adversely affect bone density so a trans athlete would potentially have a higher injury rate than others.

At the end of the day trans women are women and should be able to compete against other women without facing discrimination.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by mic » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:07 pm

The subject is increasingly coming up, this is from yesterday: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/injury-fears-over-rugbys-trans-women-drive-referees-off-pitch-877hjsfz0

And a couple months back: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2019/jul/22/current-impasse-transgender-athletes

I do not accept that this discussion must be framed as an attack.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Poser » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:24 pm

I'm not delving into the intricacies of this, but I will say this much: as a 100m/400m runner, I was a good club runner with a handful of regional titles.

My best times would have consistently put me among the top three women in the world at the time (just this year's rankings and I'd have been fourth for the 400m in 2019).

So I can see why people might have reservations. But beyond that I'm staying out of it.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by more heat than light » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:28 pm

Poser wrote:I'm not delving into the intricacies of this, but I will say this much: as a 100m/400m runner, I was a good club runner with a handful of regional titles.

My best times would have consistently put me among the top three women in the world at the time (just this year's rankings and I'd have been fourth for the 400m in 2019).

So I can see why people might have reservations. But beyond that I'm staying out of it.


But when you are on HRT at a level acceptable for athletic competition, you can't run as fast. It's not complicated.

Only people that have an issue with transgender people bring this up. No-one else gives a fool.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Poser » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:34 pm

more heat than light wrote:
But when you are on HRT at a level acceptable for athletic competition, you can't run as fast. It's not complicated.

Only people that have an issue with transgender people bring this up. No-one else gives a fool.


I genuinely didn't know that; I don't have a problem with trans people. I apologise for my ignorance on the specifics: it's not a subject I'd really dwelled on or looked into.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Rax » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:37 pm

mic wrote:The subject is increasingly coming up, this is from yesterday: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/injury-fears-over-rugbys-trans-women-drive-referees-off-pitch-877hjsfz0

I havent read the entire article as it is behind a paywall so apologies if some of my comments dont correlate with the article but the impression I got is that referees are being told not to challenge players based on physical appearance and instead have to trust the system in place and their fear is that this will lead to higher rates of injuries by allowing transwomen who dont meet the testosterone limit to play against other women. Again, this is my interpretation from the first couple of paragraphs.

This is off for a number of reason, they have to trusts the system anyway to ensure payers are registered correctly, that players are playing under the right name etc etc so trusting a system will enforce a rule relating to transwomen specifically would not be much of an ask. If they have fears that the system is inadequate to ensure a player is who they claim to be then that is a different discussion and one that can be raised without bringing transwomen into the discussion.

Second, the assumption that injury rates will increase is just bad science. Injury rates are not hugely influenced by player size, at least not at the amateur level, they are more down to the condition of the athlete, if someone is fitter and in better shape then they are more likely to avoid injury, their body will just be able to handle the physical extertion a little bit better. This applies to pretty much all kinds of injuries, skeletal, soft tissue and head injury, the fear that a transwoman will injury other players is scaremongering and not based on anything other than fear and prejudice.

Edit: Reading back my last paragraph it might be a little unclear, when I say injury rates are not influenced by physical size what I mean to say is the size of the opposition is not a huge factor, and the condition of a player is a bigger factor in preventing them from getting injured. So a player is more likely to get hurt if their own physical conditioning is lower than if their opposition is faster or stronger than them.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by mic » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:04 pm

Rax wrote:...So a player is more likely to get hurt if their own physical conditioning is lower than if their opposition is faster or stronger than them.


Sorry about the pay wall, I'm sure it let me read the whole thing and, indeed, I don't think there was any sort of scientific or researched justification for the concerns of referees. The point I wanted to make with the article was that the issue is being discussed.

Also, it isn't just a matter of personal safety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1a4H3KJ-fk. Here, pro-swimmer Sharron Davies denies being transphobic in her activism for a level playing field, as did tennis star Martina Navratilova, with the subject set to become more contentious in the build-up to the 2020 Olympics.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Rax » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:19 pm

So if we accept that injury is not a valid concern we should look at unfair competitive advantage.

From the video you posted: "No transgender women have qualified for the olympics"

Kinda puts a pin in that argument doesnt it?

Davies does mention that a couple of teenage mma athletes were injured in the US, and refers back to it later. The only transgender mma fighter injuring an opponent I could find was Fallon Fox in the pro ranks and 1 freak injury is not statistically significant enough to merit discussion.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Tafdolphin » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:22 pm

mic wrote:
Rax wrote:...So a player is more likely to get hurt if their own physical conditioning is lower than if their opposition is faster or stronger than them.


Sorry about the pay wall, I'm sure it let me read the whole thing and, indeed, I don't think there was any sort of scientific or researched justification for the concerns of referees. The point I wanted to make with the article was that the issue is being discussed.

Also, it isn't just a matter of personal safety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1a4H3KJ-fk. Here, pro-swimmer Sharron Davies denies being transphobic in her activism for a level playing field, as did tennis star Martina Navratilova, with the subject set to become more contentious in the build-up to the 2020 Olympics.


I'm not going to wade into the argument proper (I imagine people can divine which way I swing on this) but I did want to mention that both Davies and Navratilova were widely condemned, both inside their sports and out, after these comments which were generally considered transphobic and ignorant, in the truest sense of that word. In that video for example Davies doesn't back up any of her claims at all, she just repeats a bunch of pseudo-science, including "muscle memory from testosterone" bizarrely, and her counter argument of "I'm just standing up for the rights of women*" is classic TERF rhetoric (see; Graham Linehan's descent into bigotry).

*which is fantastic as there's a clear differentiation made in that phrase between women and transgender women, and Davies had just said she's for transgender rights. Lovely bit of double-think.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Moggy » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:37 pm

Poser wrote:I'm not delving into the intricacies of this, but I will say this much: as a 100m/400m runner, I was a good club runner with a handful of regional titles.

My best times would have consistently put me among the top three women in the world at the time (just this year's rankings and I'd have been fourth for the 400m in 2019).

So I can see why people might have reservations. But beyond that I'm staying out of it.


Men are usually faster than women, nobody doubts that.

Transwomen are not taking over female sports though, which suggests that there is not (currently) a problem. Usain Bolt isn’t wearing a wig and getting Gold in the women’s 100m, the rules are far more complex and onerous.

If in the future every female event is being won by transwomen then we might need to look at things. But there’s zero issue at the moment, and still wouldn’t be if one event was won by a transwoman in a “normal female” time.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Cuttooth » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:23 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
mic wrote:
Rax wrote:...So a player is more likely to get hurt if their own physical conditioning is lower than if their opposition is faster or stronger than them.


Sorry about the pay wall, I'm sure it let me read the whole thing and, indeed, I don't think there was any sort of scientific or researched justification for the concerns of referees. The point I wanted to make with the article was that the issue is being discussed.

Also, it isn't just a matter of personal safety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1a4H3KJ-fk. Here, pro-swimmer Sharron Davies denies being transphobic in her activism for a level playing field, as did tennis star Martina Navratilova, with the subject set to become more contentious in the build-up to the 2020 Olympics.


I'm not going to wade into the argument proper (I imagine people can divine which way I swing on this) but I did want to mention that both Davies and Navratilova were widely condemned, both inside their sports and out, after these comments which were generally considered transphobic and ignorant, in the truest sense of that word. In that video for example Davies doesn't back up any of her claims at all, she just repeats a bunch of pseudo-science, including "muscle memory from testosterone" bizarrely, and her counter argument of "I'm just standing up for the rights of women*" is classic TERF rhetoric (see; Graham Linehan's descent into bigotry).

*which is fantastic as there's a clear differentiation made in that phrase between women and transgender women, and Davies had just said she's for transgender rights. Lovely bit of double-think.


In Navratilova's defence, she appeared to make her comments out of ignorance rather than the malice we might expect, going on to make a documentary that this particular trans writer ultimately welcomed.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Rocsteady » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:34 pm

Whoever runs WOS is a transphobic banana split. They post shite all the time.

Oh, the post above was deleted.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by pjbetman » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:38 pm

Moggy wrote:It’s pretty much a non-issue. Transwomen are not dominating athletics.

If/when they do then maybe it needs to be looked at, but at the moment it appears to me to be just another way to attack the trans community.



I think their is a transwoman who is dominating their sport....cant remember who or what sport though. That was off Talksport so probably a load of bollocks.

What about those women athletes that are kept out of the olympic games due to a transwoman? (are trans allowed in the olympics?)

EDIT:- Just seen the comment above about no transwoman has qualified for the olympics.

Last edited by pjbetman on Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Mini E » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:42 pm

Rocsteady wrote:Whoever runs WOS is a transphobic banana split. They post shite all the time.

Oh, the post above was deleted.


Aye - I mis-read the context of the post so got rid.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Karl_ » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:08 pm

It's just a transphobic talking point, it's not a real issue.

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Mommy » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:09 pm

So whats the definition of a transwoman?
A man that wants to be recognised as a woman?

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by mic » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:31 pm

Moggy wrote:…Transwomen are not taking over female sports though, which suggests that there is not (currently) a problem...


I’m reluctant to post this video because it's obviously biased but, from the girl’s perspective, is she not being disadvantaged?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIlq85dL0C4

Basically, she placed out of the running for state championships because two transgirls placed first and second. Her contention is that, were they not competing, she would have qualified. Davies also mentioned some US states not requiring hormonal treatment for trans inclusion in college-level sports. Does this only become an issue at Olympic level?

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PostRe: Transwomen in Sport
by Moggy » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:40 pm

mic wrote:
Moggy wrote:…Transwomen are not taking over female sports though, which suggests that there is not (currently) a problem...


I’m reluctant to post this video because it's obviously biased but, from the girl’s perspective, is she not being disadvantaged?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIlq85dL0C4

Basically, she placed out of the running for state championships because two transgirls placed first and second. Her contention is that, were they not competing, she would have qualified. Davies also mentioned some US states not requiring hormonal treatment for trans inclusion in college-level sports. Does this only become an issue at Olympic level?


Can’t be arsed to watch, but is that the girl who finished 8th, so would have been 6th?

One story about a 8th/6th placed college athlete does not make this a huge issue.


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