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March 6 2019

New Hurdle in Women's Sports: Physically More Powerful Transgenders

by Charlotte Hays

Quote of the Day:

In sports, the supposed fluidity of gender runs up against the ineluctability of sex.

--Rich Lowry

 

The rise of women's sports has been justly celebrated.

Will we soon be lamenting the decline of women's sports, as women are forced to compete with transgender athletes who are physically more powerful and thus almost inevitably beat them?

If so, it will be because of a blind ideology (or just plain trendiness) that denies that men and women are physically different, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. 

Tennis great Martina Navratilova wrote a column for the London Sunday Times arguing that it is "cheating" for transgenders to compete against women because they enjoy physical advantage:

Navratilova wrote: "A man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires."

She added: "It's insane and it's cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair."

 LGBTQ groups and all right thinking people mercilessly attacked Navratilova, who is gay.

She was quickly forced to apologize and backtrack.

But the fact remains: transgenders do have unfair advantages in competing with women.

Piers Morgan, who defended Navratilova's original column, probably offended even more people by saying that that Serena Williams, while one of the best female athletes in history, could not beat most top male tennis players. Morgan wrote:

(John McEnroe said 18 months ago that he thought Serena would rank 700th in men’s tennis, but other experts said he was being very generous)

This has got nothing to do with her incredible talent, and everything to do with her physiology.

Male tennis players are just bigger, stronger, faster than her.

What if Serena were forced to go up against a transgender?

Now imagine a scenario where a 25-year-old male player ranked say, No200 in the world, and earning around $100,000 a year, suddenly decides he wants to identify as female – either for genuine transgender reasons or for duplicitous, fraudulent, cynically commercial reasons – and now wishes to compete against women.

That player, if he underwent hormonal treatment to reduce his testosterone levels to the required levels, could spend the next 3/4 years playing as a woman on the women’s tour.

He, now she, would instantly be the best female tennis player that’s ever lived.

She would destroy Serena Williams, and every other woman player.

She would win every major tournament, break every women’s tennis record, and win tens, potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.

And she would kill women’s tennis forever.

Oh, and if she then wished to, she could retire, and announce she was now identifying as male again.

That is the potentially ruinous scenario tennis legend Martina Navratilova recently articulated in a newspaper op-ed that promptly made her the most hated LGBTQ woman in America.

Rich Lowry has taken the issue down to a different level: state track competitions for . . . I almost said for girls!

In recent competitions in Connecticut, the winners for the girls' 55-meter dash were Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, first and second, respectively. Indeed, Miller set a record and went on to win the 300-meter.

Both are biological males who identify as female.

They had also beaten the women the previous year, when they came first and second in the 100-meter outdoor contest. Please, don't be so uncouth as to point out that they were people with male bodies competing with people with female bodies. Lowry writes:

Everyone is supposed to ignore the madness of it. In sports, the supposed fluidity of gender runs up against the ineluctability of sex.

Testosterone, which males get massive doses of beginning at ­puberty, is the original performance-enhancing drug. It makes men bigger, stronger and faster. It is easier for them to add muscle mass. They have bigger hearts (physically, not metaphorically, of course) and greater lung capacity, among other physical advantages.

This accounts for the considerable male-female gap in athletic performance. “This differential isn’t the result of boys and men having a male identity, more ­resources, better training or superior discipline,” Doriane Lambelet Coleman and Wickliffe Shreve of Duke Law School have written. “It’s because they have an androgenized body.”

Lowry points out that Florence Griffith-Joyner's 1988 Olympic women’s record of 10.49 seconds for the 100-meter dash has never been bested. By a woman. But a lot of men have surpassed it.

Physical differences are the reason we had separate competitions for men and women.

The Olympic committee doesn't even require that transgenders have undergone surgery to compete with women. They merely have to have to keep their testosterone levels in check:

The Olympic committee has dropped a requirement for sex-reassignment surgery for transgender athletes, and it has set a maximum level of testosterone for transgendered women that’s still high for biological females. Even if biologically male athletes get their testosterone levels down, their bodies are still different.

Some years ago, the success of women athletes, especially on the Olympic level, was attributed to Title IX.

We are critical of the way Title IX was sometimes interpreted.  We contended that it was often applied in a way that harmed athletic programs for young men (it almost killed wrestling on campus, for example).

But we rejoiced in the success of female athletes.

And now some of the same people who rightly rejoiced in the rise of women's sports are willing to kill this success in the name of ideology that refuses to accept the reality of inherent male-female differences.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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