by Debbie Hayton
Wednesday, 30
March 2022
Reaction
14:15

Emily Bridges has no place in women’s cycling

The cyclist's inclusion in the championship is unfair to women everywhere
by Debbie Hayton
Emily Bridges, formerly Zach Bridges, is set to race against Laura Kenny on Saturday. Credit: Getty

This weekend, Emily Bridges is set to compete against some of Britain’s finest female cyclists at the National Omnium Championships in Derby. Only last month, Bridges won the men’s points race at the British Universities’ championship.

To be competitive at elite level in both men’s and women’s sport, of course, is the prerogative of transwomen. Bridges only began hormone therapy last year and has been competing in men’s competitions — rather successfully it seems — while the clock ticked down on the 12-month qualification period during which Bridges’ blood testosterone needed to stay below 5 nmol/litre.

What happens in Derby on Saturday remains to be seen. But even if Bridges finishes last — which seems unlikely — at least one woman will already have been displaced from the line-up. Let’s be clear: inclusion here is a zero-sum game. When a transwoman is included, a woman is excluded. Appallingly, this travesty is taking place at sporting events women thought were their own.

Nor is this a one off. Two weeks ago, Lia Thomas, another transwoman, stole victory in the Women’s NCAA Swimming finals in Atlanta. The debate has clearly moved on from 43-year old Laurel Hubbard who in the end failed to complete a lift in Tokyo. Neither Thomas nor Bridges are ageing veterans. Both are in their early 20s and in their prime.

The unfairness is obvious, but sports governing bodies have been captured by trans activists. Blind to the consequences, they have lapped up the dogma that if a man claims to ‘feel like a woman’ then he is a woman. The legacy of male puberty lasts for life: longer bones, larger lungs, bigger hearts, and much else. In fact, researchers Emma Hilton and Tommy Lundberg found that ‘the performance gap between males and females becomes significant at puberty and often amounts to 10–50% depending on sport’ and — crucially — ‘the muscular advantage enjoyed by transgender women is only minimally reduced when testosterone is suppressed.’

It stands to reason that transwomen will keep beating women until these rules are changed. Even once is once too often for the women who lose out, but the trickle may become a flood. From this, women have everything to lose.

Transwomen are not women — we are the other sex — and in sport especially that truth is plain to see. Taking places and prizes that are not ours to claim will likely lose us many friends. If governing bodies fail to protect women’s sports, it is in our interest not to take advantage.

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Lesley Keay
Lesley Keay
4 months ago

Debbie, thank you for your consistent and sensible views on the trans/women debate. I just wish that you didn’t have to keep doing this. It is not fair to you and the many other trans people who just want to get on with their lives. Why are a very small minority of people being pandered to, such that I am now a cis-woman, instead of just a woman.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
4 months ago

Debbie Hayton and Caitlyn Jenner speak I suspect the the great majority – whatever their gender. It is idiotic that Sports Authorities pander to the aggressive ideological minority. It is clearly evident that men who present as women have a significant advantage in many sports and should not be allowed to compete against women.
As Debbie and Caitlyn show you don’t need to be transphobic to see that.
PS It looks as if on this occasion the International Cycling Union has said Emily Bridges is not eligible so she will not race. But no reason seems to have been given.

Last edited 4 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Vince B
Vince B
4 months ago

I hope Emily Bridges crushes every competitor in her wake and takes every title and record possible. Only when reality forces us to face it, will the collective trans ideology fever break.

Hersch Schneider
Hersch Schneider
4 months ago
Reply to  Vince B

Exactly. I hope this happens more and more, I enjoy reading these stories. That’s what it’ll take for the cowards (the Left and ‘progressives’, in general) to no longer be able to keep their heads in the sand or just point-blank deny biological reality and the most basic common sense

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
4 months ago

Some of the Left are not progressives and recognise gender ideology for what it is!

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
4 months ago
Reply to  Vince B

Indeed it may only be when a significant number of women are shut out of the podium places they deserve and official records are crushed in international sport that the non-woke nations will force the woke- nations to reappraise this absurd policy.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Russia would be what many consider to be a “non-woke” nation. Once they hear that putting men into women’s competitions is a great way to hoover up more medals at the Olympics, they will surely add this ruse to their already extensive playbook of cheating techniques.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
4 months ago

Pretty much what the East Germans used to do.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
4 months ago
Reply to  Vince B

I thought the same – the embarrassment of such easy success might create a reaction if shame.
But her entry to the race has been invalidated, which I think is a pity. Her destruction of the Olympic champion Laura Kenny would have been such a great video to play to people who claim trans women are woman.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

*But his entry to the race has been invalidated, which I think is a pity. His destruction of the Olympic champion Laura Kenny would have been such a great video to play to people who claim trans women are woman.

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
4 months ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Ha! ..a riposte worthy of a Grammar icon; thank you for correction most of us can only dream of.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
4 months ago
Reply to  Vince B

The guy’s name is Zach. He is not a she, and this “trans ideology” will never break as long as we continue to use this language and defend the lie.

Vince B
Vince B
3 months ago

I am not ready to go there, Allison. If a fellow human being sincerely feels and wishes to represent her/hisself as particular gender, I’m not going to go out of my way to offend that person.
What I won’t do is bend the knee and pretend that biology, in the final analysis, isn’t real, or be told I’m hateful to acknowlege that “trans” itself refers to the reality of biology.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
4 months ago
Reply to  Vince B

I hope Zach Bridges crushes every competitor in his wake and takes every title and record possible. Only when reality forces us to face it, will the collective trans ideology fever break.

Kathryn Allegro
Kathryn Allegro
4 months ago

Always sensible – thank you, Debbie.

One thing that is not often mentioned is that when ‘transwomen’ get into women’s sports, their teammates – biological women – are thereby forced to share locker rooms with people who have male bodies. This is grossly unfair to women who have been sexually abused by people with male bodies, women who are modest for religious or other reasons, and women in general who do not want naked male bodies in their midst. And what about girls? Do even the wokest of parents think it’s okay for their daughters to be in locker rooms with transwomen (i.e. men)?

Bruce Metzger
Bruce Metzger
4 months ago

It is a travesty what these pretend women are doing to real women’s sports, and all because pretend leadership is without leadership. I think it is sick, if not outright evil.

JP Martin
JP Martin
4 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Metzger

Yes, in France we would call this a travestie too 🙂

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
4 months ago

Another cheater.

Andrea X
Andrea X
4 months ago

I have just read that he/she won’t be taking part in the race as the UCI (union cycliste internationale) says he/she is ineligible.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

While British Cycling itself continues to be controlled by the transgender lobby.
Worth remembering it reports more to Sport England than it does to its members. Sport England and a political establishment that can’t/won’t answer the question of “what is a woman?”.

N Forster
N Forster
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

He.

Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
4 months ago

I’m wondering if what is needed is a collective refusal by women to take part in events in which trans women have been allowed to compete. Just say no!

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
4 months ago

Just say – what!! ‘No’. Really? Is that even possible? Quelle horeur – then we would be that which shall not be spoken of in today’s fetish-laden culture.

Graeme Laws
Graeme Laws
4 months ago

As someone else has said, you can have fairness or inclusion, but not both. I’ll vote fairness every time. Nothing to stop this person continuing to compete. Just not with women.

Yvonne Aston
Yvonne Aston
4 months ago

It is unfair and even worse, unsporting. It is no longer a competition between almost equals, it has been usurped by male strengths. The only way to really stop this is for women, yes, you know, those born with a vagina and internals capable of creating a living human being, to cease to compete. It would be devastating for the world of sport, but maybe it might teach the organisers a lesson. Why are we as a society always overwhelmed by the stridency and defensiveness of whatever new thing is deemed to be right and true? We wonder why the Russian people are governed by Putin when most of them detest him. We are governed by ideologies that are inimical to our beliefs and common sense, yet we cower beneath their insurgence because they have occupied the palace of unreason. We are all now afraid of it being a case of “Off with their heads” if we raise ours above this parapet of untruth.

Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
4 months ago

I’m so glad to read a sensible, rather than emotion-driven item about gender in sport. The undeniable truth is that in most cases whatever gender we want to be, or think we are, our physical make-up is determined by birth gender. That includes our life-expectancy, strength and range of vision just to mention three. As a society we need to adjust to people who feel their gender to be different to their birth gender, or “assigned gender”. Many countries have made good progress on this, however there are parts of the world where it may never happen.

Mirax Path
Mirax Path
4 months ago
Reply to  Lee Clarke

What is birth gender?

N Forster
N Forster
4 months ago
Reply to  Lee Clarke

Sex is observed at birth, although activists have rewritten this as “gender assigned at birth.” It may be that in a tiny number of cases where intersex babies are operated upon shortly after birth can we say anything is “assigned.”
Biological sex is observed at birth. Gender, which used to mean the same thing as biological sex has come to mean something quite different thanks to academics, activists and those who pay little attention to the implications of reassigning the meaning of words.

JP Martin
JP Martin
4 months ago
Reply to  N Forster

In most cases, biological sex is observed before birth (ultrasounds, PGD, etc). It can also be observed after death (skeletal examination).

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
4 months ago
Reply to  N Forster

Yes, far too many play fast and loose with language in general and words in particular in today’s fetish-driven culture. If words are to mean anything, gay means happy; woman means adult female; sex is an activity; gender is the pre-ordained gamete-level assignment of male or female etc.

Peter McLaughlin
Peter McLaughlin
4 months ago
Reply to  Lee Clarke

‘As a society we need to adjust to people who feel their gender to be different to their birth gender’

The other way round surely.
You are suggesting that the whole of society plays make believe to accomodate people who suffer form a particular mental illness.

Jordan Flower
Jordan Flower
4 months ago

I hope Emily kicks the living shit out of the competition. Let’s get this nonsense out of our system nice and quick.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
4 months ago

Great article! On one point, though, I must disagree with you, Debbie. I see you as a woman – you may be genetically male, but you are a woman to me, and a brave compassionate sister.
Trans women are not genetic women, but they can be amazing women none the less. Sending hugs.

jules Ritchie
jules Ritchie
4 months ago

It would be wonderful if every female entrant in a race/match/game where a transwoman has gained entry simply withdrew and the let the sporting bodies answer for the problem they have caused. It would be so difficult to ask women to do this after years of competing and training to reach elite level but there needs to be strong statement made. Glad it’s not my decision.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
4 months ago

This is what happens when men are turned into second-class citizens and women are held up as paragons of virtue and bravery. It’s only natural for some men to want to join their ranks.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
4 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Why go through life as a mediocre man when you can shine as a woman? Is this not the thinking behind transgender ideology?

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
4 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Nothing wrong with being a mediocre man or woman – it’s the lot of most of us.
It is the galling, bare-faced lack of any sign of natural embarressment on the part of the erstwhile ‘other gendered’ athlete that gets up my nose. They/he/she/wen/wx/whatevernext appear too entitled for words.

Karen Mosley
Karen Mosley
4 months ago
Reply to  Marcia McGrail

I find it very interesting that the demands for rights in the transgender community come from men transitioning as women. Speaks volumes about patriarchy.