Forgive the pun but let’s get one thing straight re trans-sexual athletes. There are only two sexes,; male and female. That is an indisputable biological fact. “Feeling” you’ve been born in the wrong body doesn’t make that biologically true. Asylums are notorious for inmates believing they are Napoleon.
There’s a fairly rare mental derangement condition called lycanthropy, being the delusion one is an animal. I had fun using it in my 1999 novel Full Circle.
New Zealand weightlifter Gavin Hubbard, did not become a woman by changing his Christian name to Laurel over the last eight of his forty three years of life to date.
No amount of surgery, name changing, adopting female attire or feeling he’s been born in the wrong body changes that fact. Gavin’s selection to compete in the women’s weightlifting at the Olympics has caused a justifiable storm of outrage world-wide, predominantly by woman athletes and critics. Weightlifting is an event based solely on physical strength.
Currently there’s a row in England over the women’s violent offence statistics being distorted by the inclusion of numerous blokes who “identify” as women.
Senior Economist journalist Helen Joyce, has written a book, one of a spate of similar publications, on the screamingly wrong assumptions underlying the IOC’s decision to allow men who self-identify as women, to compete in the Olympics’ women’s events. Some quotes;
“The fastest time ever run by a woman over 400 metres is beaten more than 15,000 times each year by men and boys”.
“The average adult man has 41 percent more non-fat mass (blood, bones, muscles etc) than the average woman, plus 50% more muscle mass in his legs and 75% more in his arms”.
There are some sports where men and women could jointly compete because they’re based solely on skill. Lawn bowls is an obvious one. And as a keen viewer of the LPGA, women’s golf is close, always mindful of the old adage that you drive for show and putt for dough.
In some, such as diving and solo ice-skating women may well have an advantage. But most sports, no matter their skill content, involve degrees of physicality and to pretend otherwise is silly.
I am a libertarian. I believe our lives belong to us and subject to the laws, we can live them as we please, whether believing we’re in the wrong body or are really an emu.
If blokes want to cohabit only with their fellow-men, that’s solely their affair, so too with lesbianism. If people believe they’re born in the wrong bodies and act accordingly with name-changes, clothing etc, so too, it’s their decision and no-one else’s business. But there are limits. For example, it’s understandable why women who may share those liberal sentiments, draw a line at sharing bathrooms with a hulking brute, simply because he’s wearing a dress and wig and “feels” a woman. He’s not.
The IOC has form for its shallow decision-making on a host of issues and is up there with the WHO as one of the more inept international organisations.
If Gavin picks up a medal in Tokyo the row will intensify. But sadly, if he doesn’t, doubtless some supporters will argue this is proof of his having no physical advantage.