JayCee Cooper’s court victory is a loss for USA Powerlifting
Now the sport must allow trans athletes to compete with women
Powerlifting is surely one sport where sex matters. Male bodies tend to lift heavier weights than female bodies. To ensure fair competition, therefore, the sport needs separate categories for men and women. Once upon a time, everyone knew this and accepted it.
To its credit USA Powerlifting has maintained a transgender policy that respects the differences between the sexes. Crucially the organisation insists that male advantages “are not eliminated by reduction of serum androgens such as testosterone yielding a potential advantage in strength sports such as powerlifting.” Male transsexuals (like me) are not banned from the sport, but we are expected to compete within our own sex class.
Like what you’re reading? Get the free UnHerd daily email
Already registered? Sign in
I would argue for records to be kept for the best performance by a male transsexual with hormone levels in the normal female range. Maybe — if numbers permitted — there could be specific competitions restricted to that group. Neither development would impact on anyone else’s rights.
But that was not good enough for JayCee Cooper, a transgender competitor. Two years ago, Cooper filed a lawsuit against USA Powerlifting for discrimination. “I was fed up with the way that I was being treated; I was fed up with the way that my community was being treated, and enough was enough,” Cooper told US TV.
Now it has emerged that the court has sided with Cooper. The ruling also mandated that USA Powerlifting must “cease and desist from all unfair discriminatory practices” because of sexual orientation and gender identity and that it revises its policy within two weeks.
This is an outrage. In such a physical sport as powerlifting, females are at a disadvantage to males as the erstwhile policy made clear. For a court to overrule that indicates to me that feelings are being put over facts. The oft-cited analogy of age comes to mind. If someone feels like they are seventy years old they should not have the right to enter and potentially win an event for seniors. So why should “sexual orientation and gender identity” be seen any differently?
Firstly, I wonder why sexual orientation was tagged in at all. Homosexual men compete against heterosexual men — they are all equally male. But secondly, what is this thing called gender identity, and why does it trump biological sex? It can neither be proven nor falsified.
Cooper’s response? “I feel mostly relief … I think we needed a win here, and it feels good to get that”. I disagree completely. Yet again, the male sex has trampled over the rights of the female sex. Whatever the law might say, it is no victory to steal the property of others, nor is it a win to take the medals of another group.
Debbie, you’re normally spot on and I find very little, if anything, that you write as something I could whole heartedly endorse, but please don’t say “ Once again men’s rights have trampled over women’s rights”. It isn’t ‘men’, it is ‘some’ narcissistic people, confused about their identity, who have no consideration for anyone but themselves. Most men, I would imagine, have as little time for these people as the female of the species.
…. It is men. Every single case of these are men, white males specifically. One already stole a weightlifting title from a Maori woman, others are entering women’s skateboarding, surfing, swimming leagues, nottomention rape shetlers, psych wards, and worst of all prisons. These are objectively “men’s right” and they are absolutely destroying women’s rights to organize and access public life.
You say most men have little time for these people, perhaps y’all should make time. Gather as much men as possible and for the first time in US history, men en masse should stand up for women/girls’ rights.
They are objectively not “men’s rights”, they are misguided “trans rights”.
No trans rights activist (in between screaming at us that we should go away be raped or killed) has EVER been able to tell me what these supposed trans rights actually are. They have the human rights the rest of us do plus protection from eg eviction or sacking because they have undergone “gender reassignment “, a similarly ill defined concept. Apart from that it seems to be the “right” to invade all female spaces and competitions. And therefore removing women’s rights wholesale……..
Most men have an instinctive revulsion to essentially all of this. You’re ignoring the fact that most trans are ‘female to male’, not ‘male to female’. The men are just far more successful at taking political measures aimed at entrenching their social supremacy supremacy and humiliating their (usually female) rivals.
By, “The men..” I assume you mean those who want to compete against women in sports where body strength is crucial. Well, they would do that wouldn’t they?
What is harder to grasp is that a court agreed to this.
Agree that most men have an instinctive aversion to competing with females.
Think you might be wrong re sex percentage of so-called transitions. Today, a majority of MINORS seeking gender “treatment” are bio females. But historically and today, the vast majority of adult individuals transitioning have been bio males. And the vast majority of those adult males (90%) retain their male genitals—they are intact.
We are talking about an infinitesimal percentage of delusional people here. Besides, when we put “feelings over facts”, this is the result.
The entire premise of a biological male believing he is a female, and the culture supporting his belief, is an insult to humanity.
We can’t accept him as a female and then prevent him from being a female. Why can’t people understand this?
No. It is not “men” because the term “men” has not been particularised and as such refers to the category of “men” and its members.
Hence your 2nd sentence now particularises “men” as these men.
To make the 2nd sentence follow coherently from the 1st, the 1st sentence IMO should have said … It is some men.
As for the final sentiment, I am of the view that men should stand up for men/boy’s rights and that entails conveying the truth of the reality of sex and sex differences.
Both men and women I think have a duty 1st and foremost to conveying the truth of the reality of sex and sex differences.
…. It is men.
Aided by mainstream ‘feminists’ I might add. You seem to be one of those people who drip with hate for men but ironically the loudest voices pushing this trans bullshit are your sisters and they would cancel you for being a TERF. Meanwhile, sane men would like to team up with sane women to stop this nonsense but the TERFs are still so overflowing with their hatred of men (as you demonstrate) that an alliance is not possible.
Took the words right out of my mouth!
Um, you quote Hayton; “… but please don’t say “ Once again men’s rights have trampled over women’s rights.””
Looking up that phrase in Hayton’s column I find “… Yet again, the male sex has trampled over the rights of the female sex.”
Has the wording in the column been subsequently altered?
But I understand the sentiment in your comment. Even Hayton’s wording can be boiled down to ‘males have trampled over the rights of females’, since the male and female sexes, by definition, consist of males and females.
The problem with such language is that it can read as implicating all members of a group in some kind of negative behaviour based on the actions inherent to some members of that group where those members have not been carefully delineated.
Just leave men out of this altogether. This has nothing to do with us.
Thanks for your comment. Maybe it would have been clearer if I I had said, “Yet again, the a member of the male sex has trampled over the rights of the female sex.”
If the US courts wish to play games with semantics surely the answer is for women to withdraw from the existing women’s competition and establish one for “persons assigned as female at birth” or some other definition that effectively excludes men who claim to be women. They could then close down the previous competition and leave women to compete against women.
The female competitors mustn’t mumble and grumble about this, they need to have a co-ordinated protest otherwise one will become two, then many, and they will be pushed out. All sports too.
I’ve often believed that if female athletes don’t care enough to protest these males in their competitions, then why should I care? I don’t care about sports, but I do care about fairness. No woman should stick her neck out on behalf of female athletes if they are too cowardly to stand up for themselves. If that means female sports become trans sports, that’s the fault of spineless female athletes. Stand up or be erased. Full stop.
Amen to that! If I were a woman athlete, I would simply chose not to compete in the same arena as a man, who is double my size. Let all the transexuals raise their trophies and celebrate their so called victory all alone on the pedestal. Things would change overnight.
Hm. Cowardly and spineless?
Perhaps female athletes are at a disadvantage from the personality trait of agreeableness and its aspects of compassion and politeness?
You are asking the young women in America to give up their sponsorships college places and their careers if they do this. It’s a big ask when they may still hope that these men will show some respect for them and not be in their particular sport.
Very much agree. I was pleased by the three female US swimmers who stood apart from the ‘winner’ of a race several months ago. However, I do recall that one of them had previously defended the rights of Thomas to compete – until the consequences of these opinions became apparent.
This decision is disgraceful. As a young laddie, I competed in this sport and while reasonably good, never quite made the podium. Much of the pleasure came from the camaraderie of your team mates, all cheering you on to do your best; even opposing teams would cheer on the other lifters. The level of sportsmanship was excellent and, in the UK at least, remains so. But even as a journeyman in the middleweight divisions, I could lift at least half as much again if not twice as much as even the strongest girls. As for ever wanting to go head to head with them, I simply have too much respect for fellow athletes to behave in such a crass and unsporting manner.
It’s just that they can’t win anyother way so they set themselves up against the less strong competition. You don’t see any “trans-women” trying to compete in female gymnastics, or at least I haven’t seen any.
At least not yet. Very good point though, that gymnastics is a sport where agility and strength to weight ratio matters more than brute strength. One consideration clearly missing from the assorted weightlifters, cricketers, cyclists, swimmers, etc. is that they lack any understanding of how women experience the world (hardly surprising being male) and have no empathy whatsoever with women. As you say, they think they can win.
Still waiting for trans-men to enter male power lifting….
Exactly. The issue is ALWAYS men invading women’s spaces not vice versa.
Perhaps that fat, middle-aged Scandinavian guy dressed as a woman kerplopping in ice skates put them off?
‘Laddie’… Is this yet another new self-identification label to add to the growing list? Somewhere between a lad and a lady? I have to say that I quite like it. Adds a touch of humour to an increasingly humourless topic…
It’s common parlance in Scotchland.
When it comes to rankings, just ignore these people and take the natal female who comes first as the winner. I know that the official rankings will state something different, but there needs to be an unofficial (i.e. real ranking) made and kept separately so that when all this nonsense is behind us we can reinstate the true scoring.
You mean “the *female* that comes first”. The word”natal” doesn’t add anything, unless you are in South Africa.
You’re absolutely correct. I’m starting to fall for all this guff – I’ll need to take more care.
Ah. The narcissism of the minor differences.
If men like this are going to call themselves ‘women’ then the rest of us need to start calling women something else.
I’m just looking at the photo of this disgusting creature ludicrously pretending to be female. He’s a thug aided and abetted by delusional ideologues.
Expect eviscerating commentary from the powerlifting community. Those that participate in strength sports are unusually aware of just how much testosterone and other androgens contribute to strength given the prevalence of doping among competitors and the non-competitive lifters alike.
In such a physical sport as powerlifting, females are at a disadvantage to males as the erstwhile policy made clear. For a court to overrule that indicates to me that feelings are being put over facts.
Rather than reaching an indicative conclusion of feelings before facts, perhaps a discussion of the reasoning involved in reaching the court ruling would have been apropos?
We none of us get everything we want in life. If living as a female is so important to a male’s identity, then fine, let him do that. If sport is so important to his identity, then fine, let him do that, competing in the male category.
But he can’t have both—pretend to be a woman and also compete against women. He has to choose, as all the rest of us do when faced with incompatible life choices.
Can a separate body (e.g. the North American Powerlifting Association) be set up with proper rules in place? It seems that the problems in this case came partly from the current association trying to cater reasonably for trans people but then getting their own rules twisted in court.
What seems unclear is where this applies. It might only be in one state.
who cares a jot?
The female record of powerlifting are all held by British rapper and Twitter influencer Zuby, who briefly identified as female during his short powelifting career.
While I disapprove of this judgmeent, and of the constitutional perjury that these political legislative issues are today decided by courts rather than elected parliaments, in the end people like activist Jaycee Cooper are far less toxic to society than misandrist and Unherd author Julie Bindel.
No those records are not held by Zuby. That’s complete and utter nonsense.
Join the discussion
To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.
Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.Subscribe