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sports governing bodies are failing women
and it's time they remembered what their role is supposed to be.
sports change lives. it’s true for boys and men. it’s true for girls and women.
they improve health, confidence, character, and correspond to a stunning number of positive life outcomes.
watch this ad from not so very long ago.
it’s right on the money. THIS is what inclusion is supposed to look like.
and this worked. women’s sports in the US have exploded and taken hold.
and this is a trend we should sustain.
once upon a time, i was a competitive athlete. it shaped my life for the better.
i have a lot of female friends who were and are athletes as well. it shaped their lives for the better too.
if i had had to compete on a rugby field against lions that were twice my size and speed, or fought in the ring against tigers and bears i would not have made teams. maybe i would not have even wanted to play.
and that would have been a great loss for me.
and this is why i watch with horror as the sports governing bodies that are supposed to be keeping the playing field level and the competition within reasonable bounds of fairness forget that this is their role and allow biological men to compete against women simply because they decided to “tuck and take some T suppressors.”
your identity is your business, but the integrity of sport is something else entirely.
and the inevitable result is this:
and this is not fair.
it undermines the purpose of women’s sports.
thomas, formerly number 400 and something as a men’s swimmer is now the number one “woman” in the NCAA and there is a lot of evidence of sandbagging to prevent the wins from being far wider.
trans is a controversial issue and one people can debate all they like (preferably somewhere else), but sports and sporting standards should not be.
sports are about a fair and level playing field and there is one simple fact:
undergoing male puberty is one of the most potent performance enhancing regimens known.
blocking testosterone later does not make that advantage go away. you’re bigger, stronger, faster, have higher bone and muscle density and you’re going to keep it.
biology is not optional nor is it a social construct.
this playing field is not fair.
note that you NEVER see this in reverse. you do not see a female athlete transition to male, up their testosterone levels, and suddenly become competitive with elite men.
this “transition to champion” only works in one direction.
this is because the athletic advantages of having undergone male puberty are vast and durable and they do not replicate by just “adding a little T.”
pretending it is otherwise is biological lysenkoism and a theft of the actual notion of sport from women.
these odd “allies” seem to be living in an oddly alternate reality.
people like sheree, who focuses on social justice and public health in sports (whatever that is), are just heckling from the bleachers and trying to find corner cases like skeet shooting or ultra endurance and to misrepresent them as general cases instead of hen’s teeth rarities and thereby imply that they should apply to swimming and track and boxing and basketball.
they seem to have no idea what sports are supposed to be.
this is not about “keeping women small.”
it’s about keeping sports fair.
catering to the demands of the few who, born and developed as males, seek to compete with women destroys the playing field for all the biological women.
and sports are great for women.
so this is a profoundly anti-woman stance.
will dr bekker explain to all the little girls who want to play basketball that they can never be champions because boys in dresses feel entitled to dunk on them?
will she tell the US women’s soccer team (one of the best in the world) to “just try harder next time and stop being so small” when they lose 5-2 to the under15 boys?
where is the place for girls and women in this hallucinatory world of hers? because it won’t be on the field.
the logical outcome if sheree is correct in her claims that the women can play with the men is simple: eliminate women’s sports and just have “sports.”
make every sport co-ed and open to all.
does ANYONE support this?
i’m left wondering if bekker ever asked the female athletes what they wanted. because i know quite a lot of them. and while i certainly know some elite ladies that will happily mix it up against some average or even quite athletic joes, i do not know any that want to compete, level for level, against the elite guys.
this is because that’s not sports nor sporting. female D1 NCAA athletes would be vanishingly rare if this was how sports were run.
under 18 boys can run a 5000m race in 12.56 vs 14.18 for the women’s all time world record.
i know a dozen guys around my age who can easily crush the women’s deadlift record.
the top female 40 yard dash in history is ~4.7. most of my college rugby team would have smoked her.
the women’s indoor 200m rowing record is 6.21. that’s not an even remotely competitive time for a collegiate male. it was beaten (6.16) by a 13-14 year old boy. the men’s record is 5.35. (that’s 50% higher wattage)
lia is sandbagging races and taking the NCAA in event after event (after being a mediocre at best male racer)
this goes on and on. these are the facts. they are not subjective or in any way unclear.
and the female athletes like gatopal™ and former volleyball player AJ kay know it.
because they have been out there playing.
and so do the trans athletes that used to compete as men.
because they have been out there playing
and it’s time we framed this issue correctly:
this is not about gender politics. this is about making the competitive categories make sense.
all sporting categories other than “open” are, by definition, somewhat arbitrary. maybe it’s weight class, age, elite status, category classification, etc. maybe it’s biological sex. but they exist to render the contest interesting and fair within such bounds as we determine.
we do not let the alamaba crimson tide football team play against the poughkeepsie tigers under 7’s pop warner team because doing so would be madness. what under 7 would even play? and where would be the sport in such a mismatch?
letting the men play against the women was not a thing for the same reason.
i played for a top national collegiate rugby team. our women’s team was also a top team. both trained hard and were good at what they did. but we had no business being on the same playing field.
these new “aussie rules” simply make no sense.
someone is going to get hurt.
human capabilities vary. this is part of what makes athletes athletes.
the purpose of sport is keeping that variance within acceptable and safe bounds.
arguments like the one below are just vapid posturing by false analogy.
perhaps they think they are being female allies, but they are not.
this is cleating up against women in sports.
it’s fascinating to me that it’s almost always people who were never athletes doing this.
i wonder if it’s not the sublimation of some kind of long simmering resentment.
this argument is simply senseless.
apply this take to age groups. should NBA players play against 10 year olds? is that sporting? after all, it’s just “biological advantages” from being older and bigger.
of course it’s not. having gone through puberty and becoming full grown is a gigantic change. we do not let men play against children because it’s grossly unfair and undermines the purpose of sport.
identifying as a 9 year old does not make it reasonable for me to compete against one.
it’s really this simple:
allowing gross mismatches is “not sporting.”
that’s the definition.
and it’s time we remembered it.
there is nothing sporting about letting duke basketball play against even a top D3 team.
it’s why we have sporting regulatory bodies.
some athletes will always seek to find unfair advantage. kids fake birth certificates to appear a year younger and make the top little league teams. it’s often the difference between being unremarkable or being a top player. we justly revile them as cheaters. cyclists dope, people take steroids, and we deem this unfair. it’s a standard. we apply it to keep sport safe and the playing field level. we apply it to protect the athletes and the integrity of the contest.
and so we need to decide what we value here.
it’s time we asked “what is the point of sports?” and “what is the point of women’s sports?”
do we really want a world where simply taking suppressants to get your testosterone below 5 or 10 nanomoles per liter qualifies you as female as though this would erase all other variance from having undergone male puberty?
is that what women’s sports are supposed to be about?
is that how we make them “sporting” for those born biologically female?
because it does not seem like it to me.
we’re going to need to choose to whom we wish to be “fair” and i see no reasonable or reasoned choice other than, in the context of women’s sports, to choose biological women.
the point of girl’s sports is to let girls play.
sacrificing the entire structure of women’s sports, a culture that has THRIVED in the last 30 years to the benefit of an incredible number of people, upon the altar of fabulist wokesterism represents a terrible choice.
if people feel they are trans, so be it. identify as you see fit. it’s your life. you decide.
but sports are about more than that.
sports need to be sporting.
a biological male saying “i identify as a girl so i should get to compete against the girls” is no more valid from a sporting perspective than a college athlete saying “i identify as 13 and should be allowed to run in the junior high track meet” or a heavyweight boxer identifying as a “bantam.”
that’s not what sports are supposed to be about.
the role of sports governing bodies is to oversee competition and to keep it “sporting” for if we value sports then we must value sportsmanship and sportsmanship is about having fair contests.
this idea that “professed identity” should stand over biology as inclusion criteria is anathema to such aims.
your personal life is your personal life, but the playing field is for sports.
a simple solution:
we can have “biological women” and “open.”
everyone should have to compete in the most advantageous category they have ever inhabited. period.
you can cat up, but nobody gets to cat down.
the great part about this structure is that we can put the claims of people like sheree to the test. all women are free to compete in “open” if they so choose.
in the end, this is simple:
women’s sports have thrived in the US.
and that is a good thing.
undoing 25 years of stunning progress in female athletic participation and all the benefits that have accrued therefrom because some former men want to play on an unlevel field seems a serious departure from the mission of sports bodies.
it’s what they should be preventing.
they should protect women’s athletics and women athletes, not undermine them.
if we are to have women’s sports (and we should) then we must define “woman” in such contests in a manner that makes them fair and sporting for biological women.
that was, after all, the point.
if they want to play the men, make it their choice.
forcing it on them is wrong.