World Athletics trans ruling is a watershed moment
The decision will have ripple effects across the world of sport
The decision yesterday by World Athletics to exclude trans women from female competition is hugely significant. It marks the end of the road for a particular set of proposals — that reducing testosterone levels might be a way to make it fair for trans women to compete in female sport.
The discussion about this approach has been going on for nearly two decades. But it was scientifically implausible and conceptually confused from the start. Testosterone suppression does not remove male advantage — for example, the skeletal advantages of males or the cardiovascular advantages that kick in at puberty still persist. That is why identifying male advantage, rather than a specific level of circulating testosterone, is the route to a fair policy.
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Some of the reasons for the incongruity between this fairly simple argument and the huge struggle to make it heard can be seen in the details of the decision outlined by World Athletics president Lord Coe yesterday. Beyond the decision itself, Coe announced the establishment of a Working Group to judge how the inclusion of trans athletes could best be facilitated, specifying that this would be led by a trans athlete. But why not a sports scientist, an independent regulator, an ethicist, or a female athlete?
The ‘inclusion of trans athletes’ is presented as a simple emancipatory project for trans people that has no important implications for anyone else. The discourse behind it says that it’s a matter of people ‘being their true selves’. J.S. Mill made a distinction between ‘self-regarding’ and ‘other-regarding’ actions, and the argument of some trans advocates — “just let me live my life” — presents inclusion as self-regarding, downplaying the harm to others. They aim to show that the costs are small, but this is a mistake.
Earlier this week Hannah Arensman, a US cyclist, announced that she was leaving the sport. “My sister and family sobbed as they watched a man finish in front of me, having witnessed several physical interactions with him throughout the race,” she said, referring to an incident where she was barged off her line. She added that it “has become increasingly discouraging to train as hard as I do only to have to lose to a man with the unfair advantage of an androgenised body that intrinsically gives him an obvious advantage over me, no matter how hard I train.”
The decision from World Athletics has come too late for her — or for Riley Gaines, an American swimmer who competed against trans athlete Lia Thomas and who has since been vocal on the issue. The process was started by World Rugby in 2020, while the English Schools Athletic Association released a statement yesterday evening reaffirming its sex-based policy. We can expect further ripples across the world of sport.
World Athletics now joins World Rugby and World Aquatics as governing bodies with a fair policy based on male advantage and male puberty. Meanwhile, International Cycling permits the involvement of trans competitors, allowing for a two-year transition period and a maximum plasma testosterone level of 2.5 nmol/L. World Triathlon and World Rowing observe similar policies. Smaller sports are still finding their way, though some may well take their lead from the athletics board.
So this decision will no doubt pave the way for change within those international federations still pursuing the discredited T-level approach — one which allows for the unfair participation of male-bodied athletes in female sport. It is important more widely, too, because it shows that — in some contexts — sex rather than gender identity is what matters.
The public’s view of trans people has been irrecoverably harmed by this women’s sports nonsense, the men in female prisons and the pronouns. Only a half dozen years ago people were sympathetic to their desire to live their lives as if they were the opposite sex. Live and let live was the general attitude.
Not so now. They are largely seen as perverts, sports cheats or stroppy left-wing activists. Just about the three least popular categories to be in.
What a shame for those who just wanted to get on with their lives.
But a salutary lesson in the dangers of overreach.
I may be bigoted, nay, I am sure I am bigot, but that’s what I think too.
In the early fifties when David Patrick Maxwell Fyfe, (later 1st Earl of Kilmuir) was Home Secretary, he launched a Blitzkrieg against sodomites.
Few then would’ve believed that it would be legalised within twenty years, but it was.
I suspect we shall see this happen again, and in the not too distant future.
Other, currently unmentionable activities will inevitably follow in due course.
Wasn’t Churchill still PM at that point? Considering he knew the Royal Navy ruled the waves with the inclusion of rum and the lash, perhaps he decided it was more politic to waive the rules.
Yes WSC was indeed, although very much on the final furlong.
As off course were the halcyon days of “ rum, bum and bacci “ for the Royal Navy.
I agree with you but I’m starting to think, do I care? If people want to be stupid, deliberately stupid, then let them get on with it. Women will suffer from this more than men. Women can stop it. But they won’t even bother.
I can imagine that all sorts of government offices, police, fire service will be advised to give preference to employment of trans people. They will get the best jobs. More and more will get on the bandwagon. It is obvious.
Exactly! The Ancient Romans wouldn’t have given a toss about it! ( Until people like that weirdo St Augustine turned up.).
Incidentally it has been alleged that the Ancient Olympic Games were performed naked (Gymnos) because a clothed women won the foot race in the inaugural games!
“Women can stop it. But they won’t even bother.”
I wonder if you have any idea how insulting that is: as clearly you know nothing about the efforts of women to protest against the invasion of trans-identified males into women’s sports, women’s prisons, women’s refuges from domestic violence, women’s changing rooms, women’s toilets.
And apparently you know nothing about the efforts of women in challenging the legislation on which all this is based: globally orchestrated and paid for mainly by US $billionaires, with a prestigious international law firm Dentons advising transactivist lobbyists to capture governments and institutions in 47 countries with prewritten legislative proposals, kept out of the press to keep the public in the dark until it was too late to protest.
Transactivists’ standard responses to women’s protests include placards at demonstrations saying not just KILL TERFS but now DECAPITATE TERFS, taking a cue from Islamic terrorists.
Any woman who defends single sex safe spaces is automatically defamed as a “bigot”, a “transphobe” and a “TERF” ie “trans-exclusionary radical feminist”, out to commit genocide against this “vulnerable, marginalised” population of vindictively angry, misogynist narcissists dressed in women’s clothes to revile and abuse women for defending ourselves. Their characteristic pattern of psychological projection is DARVO: Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender (a classic narcissist ploy).
You wouldn’t think that 99% of sex offenders are male, and 88% of victims are female. That male pattern sex offending does not change with transition. That trans-identified males are five times as likely to be convicted of sex offences than males generally. That over 50% of trans-identified male prisoners are convicted sex offenders.
And, of course, that sex offenders will do almost anything to get access to their victims: so that giving ALL male sex predators (if they don’t mind cross-dressing — of course not) an open invitation to using spaces intended for women and girls, is simply asking for trouble.
And why should they worry about getting caught? Given that rape is virtually legalised anyway: with barely 1% of reported cases resulting in a conviction, and with half of sexual assaults not even reported to the police anyway (only to the Crime Survey for England Wales), because women don’t expect to be believed or taken seriously. Female rape victims are even afraid of being blamed themselves for being raped (more DARVO): by a police force riddled with institutional misogyny (and racism and homophobia) and already captured by Stonewall as “Champions of Diversity”.
This predatory gender cult is also busy indoctrinating children at school, harvesting new patients-for-life for the $multi-billion gender medicine industry, to be given damaging hormones (resulting in osteoporosis, infertility etc) and mutilating surgery. Its main victims tend to be autistic or gay or neglected: from children’s homes, fostered or adopted, from families with physical and sexual abuse and/or problems of alcohol or drug addiction.
But transactvists demonise and try to outlaw counselling for these disturbed children as “conversion therapy”: dishonestly drawing a parallel with conversion therapy formerly used on gay people when same-sex attraction was illegal. Transactivists prey on this population too by riding on its coat-tails for “LGBTQ+ Rights” while denying the reality of biological sex, and aiding homophobic parents by “transing away the gay” in their children.
The core of this cult remains autogynephiles (AGPs): male sexual fetishists for whom wearing women’s clothes is sexually arousing. The clinical psychologist Ray Blanchard (who coined the term “autogynephilia” to amplify and replace transvestism) regards the misogyny of AGPs as arising from their narcissism, rather than from systemic patriarchy. Their envy of women and desire to “be” women turns into hatred when they are not recognised as women, by women. And for narcissists, the world revolves around themselves: no-one else’s views, concerns, safety or rights counts for anything.
This is very different from the tiny proportion (0.02% or 2 in 10,000) of the population with genetic Disorders of Sexual Development (DSDs), which transactivists often falsely assert is much larger than it is. DSDs include Complete Androgen Insensitivity: with resulting failure to develop male genitalia or any other male characteristics, and the appearance of being a women.
Such people are characterised by an older generation of “transsexuals” who, by and large, strongly disapprove of aggressive transactivist tactics, feel very disserved by them and want nothing to do with them.
And many LGB people feel exploited and misrepresented by transactivists: who deny the reality of biological sex — whereas LGB rights are based on same-sex attraction.
The lesbian barrister Allison Bailey set up LGB Alliance (deemed a “hate group” by transactivists) after Stonewall had been annexed by transactivists. She is just one woman who is fighting transactivists through the courts.
Others include Maya Forstater who also set up sex-matters.org to challenge her dismissal from employment for expressing “gender critical” views, as a protected characteristic under Equality legislation.
Kathleen Stock, who was hounded out of her job as Prof. of Philosophy at Sussex University, blames her Union colleagues more than her students. She’s now doing a great job writing articles — for UnHerd among other publications — to dissect the absurdities of gender cult ideology and educate the public.
Other women fighting transactivism are equally well known: eg the detransitioner Keira Bell who brought a case against the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Clinic (about to close, partly for that reason).
JKRowling (who has said she could paper her house with death threats) has set up a female-only refuge Beira in Edinburgh for victims of rape and domestic violence, as other Rape Crisis centres now oblige women to accept the presence of trans-identified males: which deters abused women from seeking help at all.
Kelly-Jay Keane of “Let Women Speak” who has held open public meetings for women in parks etc around the UK, was assaulted by an angry mob in New Zealand last week.
And there all the other women who write and blog about the aggressive gender cult and its victims: Helen Joyce, Abigail Shreier, Julie Bindel, Hannah Barnes, and many more.
And not least are all the groups of angry parents, mainly mothers, now trying to get schools to reverse their policies of “inclusive” toilets where 11 year-old girls are being assaulted by 18 year-old males. While gangs of boys are kicking down the doors to toilet cubicles to break the locks and photograph girls inside. Some girls are too scared to use mixed toilets: so are refusing to drink liquids and getting dehydrated — waiting to get home at 4pm to use a toilet in safety.
Even some boys refuse to use these mixed school toilets — to avoid being blamed for destruction and assault.
You say “Women can stop this”. I bloody hope you’re right. If we fail, it certainly won’t be for lack of trying.
Expect normalization of pedophilia next. The scientific work has already been done — Google “Minor Attracted Person” but not at work. The philosophical and legal work is well underway — if a child can consent to altering their sexual organs, surely they can consent to using them.
CS that a lot of down votes (6 as I type.) I wonder if there’s a covey of PIEs lurking in this parish?
Yes, I think you maybe correct!
Perhaps I hit a ‘sore’ spot?
Just what I was thinking!
Sodomites??? Crawl back to your cave.
What an ignorant fellow you are! American perhaps?
If ignorance were solely–or even primarily–an American vice, the world would be a lot better off than it is.
There will always be people who try to game the system for advantage. It’s up to us if we let them get away with it. Trans athletes trying to cheat hasn’t changed my attitude of live and let live. If someone wants to live as a girl, have at it. It doesn’t actually make them a girl. And it doesn’t mean we allow children to undergo life altering medical procedures.
I worked in theatre when I was much younger. The stereotypes are accurate: lots of gay men (and maybe women — I don’t know.) I The one transsexual I ever worked with was about a 40 year old (gay) man who’s greatest desire in the world was to pass as female. He couldn’t. Surgery wasn’t that great in the 80’s, nor could he couldn’t afford it. But that was his desire: to live as a woman with essentially no one being wiser.
It was one show (La Cage Au Faux) so I didn’t stay in touch. But I can’t help wondering what he would think of Jazz Jennings or of the trans lunacy being peddled today. I don’t know for sure, but I believe he would be appalled.
Absolutely true. I acknowledge the shift from empathy to antipathy in myself.
C’est le nouveau trahison des clercs.
The average male Olympic swimmer is 5 inches taller than the average female Olympian, with proportionate advantage in the length of limbs to propel them and disproportionate advantage in the size of hands and feet. No hormonal or surgical intervention will remove this benefit. The Olympic weight lifting records for men are 30% higher than for women in the same weight class. No tinkering with hormones will eliminate this advantage either.
I still have the live and let live attitude, I’m just no longer willing to deny reality in order to protect feelings.
It’s good news, but can we say male transsexuals, not trans women?
Men impersonating women.
Lia Thomas, who is mentioned in the article, still has all his tackle – together with complaints lodged about him exposing himself in the locker room (which of course UPenn dutifully ignored).
Cannot imagine how it must feel if it were your daughter, competing in that comparatively short sporting prime of her life, not only being beaten unfairly by a six foot plus dude but also having to make uncomfortable accusations about him as well.
All of us here know this is patently absurd. We must remain patient and also grateful to every high-profile oddball reminding everyone else just how absurd this has got.
Reality is slowly catching up.
Your description (men impersonating women) and Matt’s (male transvestites) might be perfectly correct in many (most) cases, but they’re loaded terms. As is ‘trans women’, which was my point. Male transsexuals is purely descriptive, and better (I think).
Trans-identified males (TiMs). “Transsexuals” tends to refer to older generations and to people with genetic Disorders of Sexual Development (DSDs) affecting 2 in 10,000 of the population (0.02%).
Joyful news, women’s boundaries need to be protected and celebrated. The inclusion of trans people into sport and other areas of the female domain is nothing short of vile and predatory.
“the discredited T-level approach — one which allows for the unfair participation of male-bodied athletes in female sport.”
*the discredited T-level approach — one which allows for the unfair participation of men in female sport.
This is incredibly important, and i feel it has implications far wider than sports other than athletics, along with swimming and rugby.
If the principle of differentiation between male and female can be given the kind of sex-based basis which trans activists insist it doesn’t have, the precedent will, or should, encourage other organisations to do what humanity has done previously.
The current position is egregiously unfair to women, but also to men. Denial of sex-based spaces does neither any favours, but sensible compromises are possible. One example would be the admission of women to golf clubs, whilst maintaining the principle in professional sport of separate sex-based competition. Or, in tennis, where each sex has its own competitions and also the mixed doubles, which provides for much enjoyable sport.
Accommodation for trans athletes also need to be fair, although there remains the thorny problem of male-to-female having an advantage over female-to-male. It’ll be interesting to see if the latter remain happy to compete with the former, and where self-ID will fit into any competitive environment.
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