“Why should a Cisgender Women lose her place in the Olympic team to a Transgender Women”
Part 1 – the Current Position
This is now the all too familiar ‘Critical Gender’ war-cry we hear anytime there is mention of the inclusion of Laurel Hubbard in the New Zealand Olympics team, and for me there are two reasons why this statement is now becoming more widely used in the campaign against Laurel.
The first is their possibly unwitting acknowledgment that any claim that Laurel was ‘smashing all Women’s records’ was a bare faced lie and in realty there is only an outside chance she can even win a medal, let alone unfairly demolish all her cisgender female competitors. The facts are that Laurel currently has a world ranking of a lowly 15th in her weight division, and her current best combined lift of 280kg is a massive 55kg below the Women’s World Record set just a few months ago… by a Cisgender Women. So rather than acknowledge that Laurel clearly doesn’t have an unfair advantage enabling her to ‘dominate’ the sport, a different tact is required – oh yes, she is ‘stealing the place from Natal Women’.
This cry is then followed by the usual emotive rhetoric stating “how hard they have worked, the unbelievable dedication and the incredible sacrifices they have made to try to achieve the pinnacle of any athletes career just to compete in an Olympic Games…. (note again that this is now about just ‘competing’ in the Games and not ‘winning’ Gold Medals – another acknowledgment of their previous claim/lie as Trans Women are simply not winning) ….. and yet their dreams and aspirations have been cruelly stripped away from them by this despicable act of selfishness by someone who isn’t a Women……”etc, etc.
Okay. Can we first put aside the fact that no matter whether you are Cisgender or Transgender, both will have had to work ridiculously hard, shown unbelievable dedication and both made incredible sacrifices – this is what EVERY Olympic Athlete has had to commit to, so of course those that qualify will receive reward for all their efforts and commitment whilst those that just miss out will not – this is very essence of all competing in elite Sport. Why do we think that English Football fan base was so incensed over the creating of a European Super League which included guaranteed qualification for its priority teams?
We hold a fundamental belief that qualification is about earning your right for a seat at the top table – if you work hard and achieve the required results then you deserve your place. But the fact is that no matter how hard you work or how committed some will be, qualification may not automatically follow – as I said, this is the very essence of competitive sport and applies to everyone so it is simply not an valid point and it’s just using emotive phrases to paint a picture in an attempt to build unjustifiable sympathy. If hard work and commitment alone were the benchmark for qualification then surely every top competitor should qualify.
That’s not how competitive sport works.
It is also a fact that we have to compete for sporting honours with all those that are legally eligible at that time. If you are unlucky, you reach the panicle of your sporting prowess at the same time in history as a Michael Phelps or a Usain Bolt. If you were a world class swimmer or sprinter in their events during their periods of domination your chances of winning Gold would be practically zero. Andy Murray did manage to win three tennis Grand Slams, one Olympic Gold Medal, and was part of a Davis Cup winning team – plus earnt prize money in excess of $61m throughout his career, so no one is exactly crying for him – he’s had an amazing career.
But can you imagine what he could have achieved had he not been born and competing at exactly the same time that included three of the greatest tennis players of all time – Roger Federer (20 Grand Slams), Novak Djokovic (19 Grand Slams) and Rafael Nadal (20 Grand Slams).
So the point is that we have no control over who we compete against. Winners of Gold Medals at the 1980 Moscow Olympics are given no lesser sporting merit than other Olympic winners just because of the high number of big sporting nations (including the USA) who boycotted those games – they still received a Gold Medal and their names are in the record books as winners alongside every other winner.
So when we come back to those qualifying for this or any future Olympic Games the same applies and no matter how much effort and dedication you show, you will compete for the Olympic selection places against all those that fairly qualify within the rules to contest for those places. And the key words here being ‘fairly qualify’. No one is cheating, no places are ‘stolen’ as all qualify within the rules – rules as set by the sporting authorities, who by the way are all Cisgender.
Trans Women qualify for Women’s sport because they are Women
The whole ‘Gender Critical’ battleground is built on the one single and precariously fragile foundation of convincing the world that ‘Trans Women are Men’, that ‘biology matters’ and only by clinging onto outdated science and historical medical knowledge can they perpetuate this belief.
Science today is very clear – gone are the days when we relied on an identification made at birth based solely on our genital appearance. Science knows and accepts that this identification method will have no issue for up to 99% of the population, and they will go about their lives having been assigned their correct gender identity, but for around 1 in every 100 of us, recording our Sex as a matter of fact at a time when science now understands is not 100% correct will result in problems. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/06/24/opinions/attacking-transgender-people-is-attacking-science-turban-gill-peterson/index.html
And this admission of potential error has been legally recognised as we do have the ability to obtain a GRC that legally changes that Sex marker declaration on our Birth Certificate. This doesn’t alter history or change our birth sex, but there is no denying that the laws state from a legal perspective we can change our Sex.
In reality I maintain that we don’t change our Sex as anyone who is transgender has always been that way since birth – we don’t ‘become’ or ‘choose’ to be transgender at some arbitrary stage of our life – it will of course have taken time to discover our true identity, as our brains are not fully formed at birth and so this awareness, very much in the same way as our journey of discovery of our Sexuality, will only become fully known to us at some stage, but never at birth.
But for ‘Gender Critical’ Ideology to be fully adopted this is simply not a position they can afford to accept. Any acknowledgement that Trans Women are in fact Women completely removes any viable argument they have for removing Trans Rights to stop them from using Single Sex Spaces or from competing in Women’s Sport.
And this is therefore the crux of the whole issue and why they go to ridiculous lengths to fight for a definition of ‘Women’ that has no logical reasoning or is of any genuine importance to anyone in their everyday life. Trans Women ARE Women. That statement doesn’t ‘erase Women’ as we often hear claimed! What does that even mean? They desperately need to fight this illogical corner and this is the reason why; once you acknowledge this scientifically accepted reality there is no argument for whether they compete in Women’s sport because of course they should do as they are Women . The issue therefore shifts from not whether they compete in Women’s Sport, but to how we find the fairest way to ensure they compete whilst retaining the integrity of Sport.
In a previous article I have discussed whether Trans Women are subjected to the same degree and scrutiny of ‘fairness’ as all others in sport that may have had a natural (i.e. they were born) advantage (fyi – they are not! https://www.stephsplace.uk/caster-semenya-intersex-sport-transgender.cfm ), but regardless of this, we have to acknowledge that this has now become a high profile social issue that is not going to disappear. The issue has been brought to the consciousness of the public and a pro-‘Gender Critical’ media will keep fuelling the fire, so it is naïve to think it will disappear just because Trans Women (and those Intersex) are being treated differently to anyone else in sport.
There is a general acceptance that any advantages gained through Male puberty should be mitigated, but let us also be clear that this in turn doesn’t mean they should be subjected to measures that go too far and therefore end up handicapping Trans Women unfairly in sport.
If a Trans Women, pre transition, was competing in Men’s sport at World Record level, then it is only fair that if after transitioning they are capable of performing at a comparative World Record level in Women’s Sport. Caitlyn Jenner clearly was born with the required sporting ability, and with hard work and dedication was able to achieve a Decathlon Olympic Gold Medal pre transition, so being Transgender doesn’t preclude you from excelling in sport – once she transitioned, had she wanted to compete she would still have had her natural ability to be a Gold Medal competitor.
The issue therefore would have been ensuring that following the required treatment to reduce Testosterone levels, her post-transition performance level was then at the comparable standard for a Cisgender Gold Medal Winner. This is what should be considered as fair. Trans Women should not be permitted to ‘destroy’ Cisgender Women by retaining a Male puberty advantage, but likewise, a Trans Women’s hopes and aspirations of sporting achievement also shouldn’t be ‘destroyed’ by being forced to take drugs that give them a sporting disadvantage.
One unsubstantiated claim GC’s often throw around is that any Trans Women having any success at any level in Sport (not that there are many!) is simply a ‘man’ who never achieved anything in sport as a man – this we know is another lie. Laurel Hubbard was a performing at Men’s World Junior level, as did Kirsti Miller who represented Australia in two Commonwealth Games. For Kristi, the treatment she undertook completely robbed her of any chance she had of a maintaining a successful career in the events she had reached World Class level as a Man, and it even came close to taking her life. She paid a very high price for simply being who she truly is and wanting to still compete in sport. So why should Laurel also have that opportunity snatched unfairly away from her?
The bottom line is that competing should be all about fairness and finding the right levels of qualification requirements for all involved – and that means everyone, so no one loses their place unfairly. Places are awarded to those who deserve it and Laurel has earnt her place. She deserves it.
Coming up in Part 2 we continue from this point moving forward – why should a Transgender Women lose her place in the Olympic team to a Cisgender Women?