We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

British pushback against the problem of transgender athletes competing in women’s events

News of interest on the Transgender Athletes front, from the BBC:

Dame Kelly Holmes, Paula Radcliffe and Sharron Davies say they are going to write to the International Olympic Committee asking for more research on the “residual benefits” of being a transgender athlete.

I don’t quite get why these transgender athletes bother. When all the medals in some “Women’s” athletic event go to transgender athletes, these athletes can bully us all into not calling them fake winners to their faces, but that’s what most of us will go on thinking. And I bet Martina Navratilova hasn’t changed what she actually thinks. Which may indeed be that “cheats” is not quite the right word. After all, these transgender athletes all played by the rules as currently written. It’s the rules that need updating. Maybe there should be a distinct athletic category of competitions for Transgender Athletes, distinct from regular women.

For athletes who transgender from male to female anyway. As the BBC notes drily:

Athletes who have transitioned from female to male can compete without restrictions.

But maybe they too need a separate category?

But what do I know about this ruckus? My basic point here is that some British women athletes of great renown have begun what looks like a significant pushback against something that seems to me and to many others to be a very silly sort of competition.

52 comments to British pushback against the problem of transgender athletes competing in women’s events

  • bob sykes

    Women’s sports has always been a kind of oxymoron, so its destruction by trannies is not entirely unwelcome. As a side benefit, the trannies are also destroying feminism. It’s all just too funny, and too richly deserved. GNF’s.

  • Which may indeed be that “cheats” is not quite the right word.

    Of course it is the right word. If doping is cheating then this is just a more convoluted way to do the same thing.

  • Women’s sports has always been a kind of oxymoron

    You truly do have your uses, bob, like a compass that always point south 😉

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I don’t quite get why these transgender athletes bother. When all the medals in some “Women’s” athletic event go to transgender athletes, these athletes can bully us all into not calling them fake winners to their faces, but that’s what most of us will go on thinking.”

    The same can be said of Kenyan and Ethiopian long-distance runners.

    Should we therefore have ‘Rift Valley’ and ‘non-Rift Valley’ categories of runners? I mean, we have ‘professionals’ and ‘amateurs’. In boxing we have categories by body weight. In football we have different divisions or leagues. We have ‘national’ and ‘international’ players. There is a huge spread of abilities in many sports, and lots of ways to split them into subgroups to try to make it a little less uneven. And for every way we can think of to divide people up into groups, there are always blurred lines and shades of grey and ways to ‘cheat’.

    So if we have a Southern England long-distance running race, and Mbeke shows up, and gives you his birth certificate proving he was born in London to East African parents, is he cheating? Should Kevin, born in the same month in the same hospital, feel agrieved?

    The Olympics used to do sex tests. But a small-but-significant percentage of the population are intersex, and have various conditions that blur the lines. So they tried refining the rules, to include people with some conditions and not others, but it all got very complicated, subject to legal challenges, and when asked to produce actual solid medical evidence to support their more complicated definitions, came up empty. Which is why they abandoned them.

    People in sport cheat all the time. They train at altitude. They take drugs and food suplements. They pay for expensive trainers, who refine their technique with computer analysis of their body mechanics. They use blood doping. They use ultra-expensive high-tech equipment. They rely on genetic talents that most other people don’t have – genes for blood oxygenation, or fast-twitch muscle, or glycogen-storage endurance, or whatever. Some simply have more opportunity to train. Is it ‘fair’ that someone forced to sit at a desk 40 hours a week to earn a living should face competition from someone who has the free time to train 7 hours a day? We can slice it a thousand different ways.

    So yes, it’s ‘unfair’, just as all sport is. If people really want, they could probably tweak the rules slightly to have categories ‘with-testosterone’ and ‘without-testosterone’ or something, although that’s not without difficulties too. TGs who transition male to female before puberty takes full effect don’t have the advantages of testosterone-driven body development. TGs who transition female to male do. But it’s not fundamentally different to any other sporting category controversy. And frankly, most TGs have far bigger problems than that, and couldn’t give a stuff if they’re excluded from certain sporting categories. Their main goal for TGs participating in sport would be not risking getting beaten up or accused and arrested if they go into the changing rooms.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    I’m not particularly into women’s sports, or indeed men’s sports. Both come into the very large category of “things that some of my fellow human beings do that I’m not interested in”.

    I quite get the point that all sporting competition is in a sense “unfair”: some body types are just better than others at certain sports and all the training in the world won’t overcome that inborn advantage. M to F transsexuals just have a more extreme advantage.

    But that’s not the point. The point is that those women – no, those people – who were interested in women’s sports were enjoying themselves as competitors and spectators and getting along just fine until along came various “lawmakers” and said that they couldn’t get together to enjoy themselves the way they wanted to any more. Never mind top-flight competition, there are thousands of women and girls who had a reasonable chance of doing well in county-level competitions but it’s gradually dawning on them that the way things are going the top places on the podium even at that level are nearly always going to be taken by former males.

  • Mark

    Nullus,

    Yes, there are all sort of advantages to be had in various sports but the physical disparity between men and women is typically so great that in physical contests, the chance of the woman winning are pretty remote.

    The Kenyan might have an advantages a white or a Chinese in distance running but by how much would a Kenyan man beat a Kenyan woman? A somewhat larger margin than the white man I would posit.

    What we are talking about here is when a man calls himself a woman and is able, legally to compete. Women know that if too many do this then they will win nothing.

    A farce, but the logical result of pretending that all differences are social constructs

  • Sam

    some British women athletes of great renown have begun what looks like a significant pushback

    But of course – it’s now affecting them personally. Thoughtless conformity to the latest SJW nonsense (and the requisite public signalling of those virtues) is only a net value if the cost is zero.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “The point is that those women – no, those people – who were interested in women’s sports were enjoying themselves as competitors and spectators and getting along just fine until along came various “lawmakers” and said that they couldn’t get together to enjoy themselves the way they wanted to any more.”

    It’s not about the right of a group to come together to enjoy themselves as they want – it’s about the right of a group to *exclude* others, to say “You can’t come in. You can’t do this. You can’t go where the others go, because you don’t look like they do.” That’s just the way it is. Some things will never change. The urge to divide the world into “us” and “them”, and then build walls and laws and barriers to keep them out, is one of them.

    And that’s fine – it’s your choice. The very fact that sport is still allowed to divide into men and women, contrary to sex equality laws that would be applicable in virtually any other field, is evidence of that. (Try advertising a job saying “male applicants only” and see what happens…) But if you do that, you have to come up with some precise definition of who you’re going to let in and who you exclude, and whatever definition you pick, you’re going to find some people on the blurred borders where it doesn’t work. Because the neat and binary picture you’ve got in your head never quite fits reality.

    It’s not that the lawmakers won’t let you divide the sporting world into “men” and “women”, it’s that “men” and “women” aren’t the categories you think they are. There are lots of different definitions, and they don’t match. Nowadays, the default choice for most social purposes is gender identity, but it’s perfectly true it’s probably not the best for sporting prowess. Sporting bodies *did* try to find a better one. However, it all got too complicated and too acrimonious, so they’ve fallen back on the default as the hardest to challenge legally. Any choice they make is always going to be arbitrary and wrong, so what the hell.

    The truth is that there are only three places on that podium, and if there are “thousands” vying for them, then for *almost all* those girls the top places are nearly always going to be taken by someone else. Someone with better genes, or better training, or bigger sponsors, or more supportive parents. There is an attitude prevalent nowadays that All must have prizes. However, the truth is that almost everybody is mediocre, not special. And that hurts.

  • -XC

    Nullius in Verba…

    The current woman’s world record holder is Paula Radcliffe at 2;17 and something. She’s something like 5 minutes faster, still, 15 years later, than the pro’s and olympians are doing. Amazing. I’m sure the rift valley ladies would like her competing elsewhere.

    The current men’s time of 2:01 and a bit is about 15 minutes faster than the ladies. Or about 30 seconds/mile faster. That’s a lot faster at any pace, and at the pace the women are running it’s proportionally even a greater gap than it appears.

    The biological ladies may have stalled, absent some odd female Usain Bolt popping up to demolish the record. Certainly this person won’t come close to the men though.

    I had to go look up this next bit, but it turns out an Welshman named Steve Jones (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jones_(runner)) held the world record briefly in 1984 with a 2:08. Amusingly it was his first timed marathon and apparently his first full 26.2 mile run.

    Running is a pretty pure sport, and you can compete in good courses (Berlin is known to be “fast” due to the layout) over a long career to have your fitness and health hit a good running day to set a PR.

    Seems pretty clear that transgender athletes will easily own women’s running records very quickly. Certainly the trophy ones will fall fast – 100M, 10K, ….

    -XC

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Yes, there are all sort of advantages to be had in various sports but the physical disparity between men and women is typically so great that in physical contests, the chance of the woman winning are pretty remote.”

    And the same is true of many of the other advantages.

    Does everyone have a *right* to a chance to win? Translate it into the competition for the best jobs. Do I have a right to a chance at a high-paid job? If we note that all the highest-paid jobs are held by men, should we set up a female-only recruitment process to get more women into those jobs? Because if you don’t, the chances of a woman winning a competition for one of those top jobs is pretty remote. Is that a problem you think we should have to do something about?

    But like I said, the anti-discrimination laws are not the issue here – if they were, you’d not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of sex either. The problem is that nobody has been able to come up with a definition of “men” and “women” that works in every case. The boundaries are always going to be blurred.

  • Sam

    The boundaries are always going to be blurred.

    How about “born with male junk” and “born with female junk”? Anyone born with both or neither can choose.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “How about “born with male junk” and “born with female junk”?”

    And how would that rule categorise the Guevedoces?

  • Ellen

    Sam
    March 19, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    The boundaries are always going to be blurred.

    How about “born with male junk” and “born with female junk”? Anyone born with both or neither can choose.

    I’ve known one XY woman – one of those borderline cases with AIS. She was born with “female junk” but I suspect her size would put her in with the athletes born with “male junk”.

    All manner of people, with all kinds of axes to grind, have raised a fuss about the need for a strict, stark way of telling men/males from women/females. As Nullius in Verba said,

    The problem is that nobody has been able to come up with a definition of “men” and “women” that works in every case. The boundaries are always going to be blurred.

  • Ellen

    Nullius –

    Guevedoces? Oh, that’s a good question to ask. I’d, personally, put them in with the werewolves.

  • Rob

    In a way it’s sad, but things really have to get much, much worse before it can even begin to be turned around. The more people who get sucked into this insanity the better. When it is no longer just crusty old farts in men-only golf clubs who are targets, but people who never dreamed they would ever be on “the wrong side”, there’s a chance.

  • Paul Marks

    I remember, some decades ago now, reading how the Emperor Hadrian supposedly had a boy altered in some ways to make the boy appear like a girl – I wondered how that was even possible with the medical methods of the period, but I also remember thinking that such things showed the vast divide in ethics between the Pagan Ancient World and the modern Christian World.

    Of course now the West is no longer Christian – so we can expect all sorts of things, for example infanticide (the Governor of New York thinks this is something to be CELEBRATED).

    As someone who (unfortunately) very much has a dark side, I can understand some of this – for example WHY people went to see other human beings thrown to wild animals, or made to fight each other to the death. I understand it – but I still think it was wrong. Contra David Hume reason (moral reason) must NOT be the slave of the passions. We should RESIST the base passions we have – the desire to do terrible things, to inflict suffering and death. We have free will (the “I” exists – we are agents and have agency) we can resist.

    The modern world is returning to ancient practices – and this is not a good thing, we should not do this.

  • Mark

    Nullus,

    Use a bit of common sense!

    In physical competition, the disparity is often stark. Of course, there will be a few extreme Amazon types who can genuinely compete but in most sports, the vast majority of women are nowhere. This is simple biological fact.

    I believe a few years ago the Australian national women’s football team played a match against a mid range team of 15 year old boys in a fairly mundane school league. They got beat 7-1! If they played the Australian national men’s team, would even get a single kick?

  • Runcie Balspune

    There are already rules about the level of testosterone in female athletics, several female-born athletes have already been suspended or banned, and perhaps reinstated, as a result. If a transgender can pass the testosterone limit check then there is no reason why they cannot complete.

    Perhaps rather than have male/female athletics, just have a division by testosterone level in the same way as boxers do with weight.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Guevedoces? Oh, that’s a good question to ask. I’d, personally, put them in with the werewolves.”

    Like Annie Jones?

    “I remember, some decades ago now, reading how the Emperor Hadrian supposedly had a boy altered in some ways to make the boy appear like a girl – I wondered how that was even possible with the medical methods of the period, but I also remember thinking that such things showed the vast divide in ethics between the Pagan Ancient World and the modern Christian World.”

    They certainly had a more tolerant attitude to it! A more notable example was the Emperor Elagabalus.

    The ethical divide here may also (anachronistically) be seen as an application of the Harm Principle. “Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.” That wasn’t a view Moses subscribed to.

    “If they played the Australian national men’s team, would even get a single kick?”

    If most *men* played the Australian national men’s team, they’d not get a single kick. If the Australian national team played Brazil at football, they’d likely not get a kick! (I believe the last five times they played, Brazil won six-nil, one-nil, two-nil, six-nil, four-nil. That’s a cumulative score of nineteen-nil!)

    Should we exclude Brazilians too? Does everone have a right to win?

    “There are already rules about the level of testosterone in female athletics, several female-born athletes have already been suspended or banned, and perhaps reinstated, as a result.”

    There used to be. But it was found in tests that 2% of male competitors had testosterone levels in the typical female range.

  • Kevin B

    Get governments out of sport and get taxpayers’ money out of sport and let whoever wants to play games, play with and against whoever they like. And if they want to turn pro, let them attract the punters and sponsors and television channels.

    But do not blame me if I don’t want to watch a lady tennis player being badly beaten by a man in a dress.

  • Sam

    All manner of people, with all kinds of axes to grind, have raised a fuss about the need for a strict [male/female defintion]

    Sure, but here we’re talking about athletic event organizers who need to maintain competitive entertainment regardless of blunt axes. My rule at least attempts to help them.

    nobody has been able to come up with a definition of “men” and “women” that works in every case

    Is that not what I did? I covered the tiny minority of exceptions even. If the struggle is finding the irreducible minimum requirements I would think, as a dimorphic species, using the default plumbing goes a hell of a long way to solving that issue.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Nullius in Verba writes,

    It’s not about the right of a group to come together to enjoy themselves as they want – it’s about the right of a group to *exclude* others, to say “You can’t come in. You can’t do this. You can’t go where the others go, because you don’t look like they do.” That’s just the way it is. Some things will never change. The urge to divide the world into “us” and “them”, and then build walls and laws and barriers to keep them out, is one of them.

    If you want to phrase it that way, sure, the group in question want to exclude some people. It makes no difference to my argument whether it’s phrased as inclusion or exclusion. Nor does it make any difference whether their grounds for who saying who they want to associate with for the purpose of competing are rational or irrational, or morally good or bad. I support freedom of association – which includes freedom not to associate – for everyone.

  • pete

    The intolerant ‘liberal’ types who are usually so quick to pounce demanding action and even criminal sanctions whenever anyone else dares to suggest that sex change people are not ‘real’ men or women, or who inadvertently uses the ‘wrong’ pronoun when referring to them, are very quiet about all this.

    As with the Rotherham affair and FGM where they mysteriously dropped their usual alleged concern about the oppression of women, they face a situation where they have to choose to prioritise one hobby horse over another.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Nor does it make any difference whether their grounds for who saying who they want to associate with for the purpose of competing are rational or irrational, or morally good or bad. I support freedom of association – which includes freedom not to associate – for everyone.”

    Me too! Which is why if the International Olympic Committee says they welcome the transgender to women’s Olympic sports (which they do), then I’m not going to object.

  • Ellen

    Nullius –

    I write the occasional werewolf story. http://washuu.net/dances.htm Wouldn’t want you to think I was prejudiced against Weres.

  • Mark

    Nullus,

    You’re being wilfully obtuse and you know it. If Brazilians played Australians at Aussie rules I imagine they wouldn’t get much of a look in either.

    The issue here is sport where male/female differences are manifest.

    And for other fields, why do you concentrate on high paying jobs? Should we have female only recruitment to ensure that the requisite number of women go down sewers or put up scaffold? (the answer of course, is “how can you not?”)

  • Itellyounothing

    And if anyone thought the International Olympic Committee was appointed fairly and free of bribes and corruption, they might have a role spreading acceptance of Transgender athletes in women’s sports.

    However they are just more SJ Nazis spewing bile for power instead.

    Luckily as a white straight male, this one can’t be my fault. 😃

    So I can only look forward to femifacist vs traninazi combat.

    Sounds like Japanese specialty porn, so I am told.

  • Runcie Balspune

    I write the occasional werewolf story. http://washuu.net/dances.htm Wouldn’t want you to think I was prejudiced against Weres.

    Technically isn’t it a wifwolf?

    The old english were and wife were for adult male and female, thus werewolf is “man-wolf” (male), this is further confusing as the suffix -man was applied to both as it originally meant what we’d term “human” or “person”, thus wereman and wifeman, the latter became woman.

    The “-man” suffix is unfairly abrogated when applied to words like chairman, when in fact this was referring a unspecific gender rather than assuming the position was male. Thus we go full circle and meet at the final battle between the historically ignorant obliterating “man” and the sexually confused trying to support and subvert it, just park up a deckchair and grab the popcorn.

  • Bobby b

    Used to be, when looking at this issue, I’d grunt, scratch myself in impolite places, and cry for a return to simpler times when men were men and . . .

    Problem is, I’ve met (and sometimes liked) too many people who were the detritus of those “simpler times” because we kept things simple by excluding them from consideration.

    Like NiV said, every one of us differs in some way from every other one of us, and so if you want the multi-faceted world of categories, you’re always going to have troublesome margins. We don’t live in a world of binary sexes – we live in a continuum of differences.

    Maybe the left called this one correctly when they moved to participation trophies, with each one of us always winning because we’re the only people in our own divisions

  • If the struggle is finding the irreducible minimum requirements I would think, as a dimorphic species, using the default plumbing goes a hell of a long way to solving that issue.

    I agree with Sam. That said, I have no objection whatsoever to a transgender category for pretty much any sport that feels the need to differentiate.

  • Eric

    It’s not about the right of a group to come together to enjoy themselves as they want – it’s about the right of a group to *exclude* others, to say “You can’t come in. You can’t do this.

    What is the right to free association but the right to exclude people with whom you do not wish to associate?

  • It’s not about the right of a group to come together to enjoy themselves as they want – it’s about the right of a group to *exclude* others, to say “You can’t come in. You can’t do this.

    What is the right to free association but the right to exclude people with whom you do not wish to associate?

    Many years ago, a woman was very interested in associating with me. I was not interested in her desires.

    Who gets to choose?

    I have a low opinion of anyone who says I can’t say ‘no’.

  • Ellen

    Runcie – I give up on English when it gets earlier than Chaucer. Unless it’s your profession, that’s the only reasonable thing to do. Let the translators sort things out, and giggle helplessly over their arguments in the foreword and the appendices.

  • NickM

    I have recently visited Flanders (specifically Gent – lovely city) where I first heard of the sport of “finch-sitting”. This truly bizarre contest involves lining-up male chaffinches in seperate boxes and recording how many mating/territory cries each makes in an hour. The highest number of calls wins. This goes back to the late C16.

    From wikipedia…

    As with other sports, vinkensport has had its cheating scandals, as well as accusations of artificial enhancement. One finch sang a record 1,278 susk-e-weits in one hour, and the owner was later accused of doping the bird with testosterone.[1] After one contestant sang exactly the same number of calls in two rounds, the box was opened and a mini CD player was discovered within.[1]

    My point is that people will do anything to cheat at sport even if it is something as trivial as a sport practically no-one has heard of outside of a part of Belgium. So… What might they do if Olympic medals are at stake? I guess in the case of the finches the testosterone doping is specifically relevant to the original post.

    They even used to blind the little birdies with hot needles. This stopped around 1920 largely due to protests organised by blinded WWI veterans.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Paul Marks – March 19, 2019 at 4:47 pm:

    I remember, some decades ago now, reading how the Emperor Hadrian supposedly had a boy altered in some ways to make the boy appear like a girl

    Hadrian was an “ordinary” homosexual, not interested in girls. The case you are thinking of was Nero, who tried to feminize his catamite boy Sporus by castration, and then “married” him. (Nero played both sides, and went through a similar “marriage” with a freedman, Doryphorus, but as the bride, and imitated the shrieks of a girl being deflowered.)

  • Julie near Chicago

    Runcie, thanks for the etymological info.

    First, it’s interesting in its own right.

    And knowing where we started from and how we got to where we are is useful, although I don’t know that many people take it all that seriously.

    In general, “there is no such thing as useless knowledge.” Although like most blanket rules, this one isn’t. To suddenly learn that the bomb or the asteroid is unavoidably going to hit you probably really is useless knowledge … unless you’re able to use your remaining time to make peace with yourself or the Great Frog.

    .

    Ellen: You laugh??? Surely the etymologists now have absolutely everything properly sorted out now, and for all time. 😆
    .

    I didn’t realize that Hippos can be so accurate in hitting targets with dough balls. 😆

    .

    Kevin: Excellent point at the end there. 😆

    .

    Dishman, one might leap to the conclusion that you have learned from the various feminine misfortunes that have come to Bertie W. onaccounta his difficulty in saying “No” — and sticking to it. :>)

    .

    Ellen, again: Thanks for the entertaining story. 😀 And the pun. I’m fond of puns. 😀

  • Nullius in Verba

    “You’re being wilfully obtuse and you know it. If Brazilians played Australians at Aussie rules I imagine they wouldn’t get much of a look in either. The issue here is sport where male/female differences are manifest.”

    The issue here is sport where there are *many* categories where differences are manifest, including male/female, fatty lardbuckets/slim gymbunnies and Aussie/Brazilian. My question is why are you picking only one category as something we must do something about and yet dismissing all the others where the manifest performance differences are just as stark with a shrug?

    “And for other fields, why do you concentrate on high paying jobs?”

    Because they’re analogous to winning at sport. In sport, nobody is arguing about who has a chance to come last!

    “What is the right to free association but the right to exclude people with whom you do not wish to associate?”

    My point is that when it’s about the right to exclude, you have to be extra careful that you’re really talking about a case of voluntary association, requiring mutual cooperation. Otherwise, there are no limits to my personal power over you. I can follow you around telling you what you can and cannot do, ordering where you can and cannot go, on the grounds that I’m there doing that and I don’t want to associate with you while doing it.

    Suppose the transgender person says they don’t want to associate in sporting events with transphobes. Can they have all the people who complained excluded from sporting events in which they take part? And assuming your answer to that would be “No, if they don’t like it they ought to withdraw from the association themselves”, isn’t that then what Navratilova and Co. ought to do?

    I’m not saying you’re wrong in this case. I’m just saying that cases of forcible exclusion mean there is reason to be extra careful.

  • Mr Ed

    I have a proposal to break down gender barriers in sport, it’s mixed rugby union, with 7 men, 7 women and 1 transitioned player per team.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  • Mark

    Nullus

    Sorry, you are being wilfully obtuse. I am not saying “we” should do anything other than acknowledge that people are different and let them find their own level.

    It was you who asked about women only recruitment for high paying jobs and I merely said why only high paying jobs? And not all high paying jobs are dominated by men.

    A quick Google. To resume.com which I believe is American. Veterinarians, 81% female, median pay $87590. How about some men only recruitment there?

    We can see precisely where this is leading in in the real world. Don’t bother applying to the BBC if you’re white. Will Smith, undeniably a black man can’t play a black man because he isn’t black enough!!

    Why not just have Wimbledon this year. Let the top prize for a woman be a thousand times that for a man. What would be the chance of a woman winning?

    Don’t think this can’t happen to you. It might be your dream job/career but what if somebody else decides that your “type” – whatever that may be – is over represented?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Nullius–

    Well…Hadassah, the Junior League, and the Women’s Clubs in any number of small American towns are women-only: Men are excluded. On the other hand, women are excluded from membership in such men’s clubs as the Moose and the Oddfellows and the Shriners (in America anyway) and, in London, the Drones. Also, I think, from the Knights of Columbus (a U.S. Catholic fraternal order), Jeanne d’Arc notwithstanding.

    Just part of the clubs’ rules. Don’t see how “forcible,” at least in any meaningful sense, enters into it.

    And, of course, if you wander around on my property, I have the right to “forcibly exclude” you by calling the cops or private security to remove you, whether you voluntarily agree or not.

    So I’m not sure I understand your point.

  • 1) The modern ultra-PC trend to insist we all keep silent while they demonstrate that men make the best women, is not confined to sport. I’ve known PC tech-ers boast of the increased female percentage of software engineers in their team – because one of their colleagues trans-ed. The obvious conflict between last decade’s feminism and this decade’s tendency for aggressive trans-activism to present as “men are best at being women” is one of the many internal contradictions of political correctness.

    2) Did I miss something in the thread above or am I the first to point out this is the second time round for this scam? During the cold war, the various People’s Republics did this to get medals. Before the current craze started some 4 years ago, there were sad documentaries and books about how some were warned in time to get out of the programme by the whispers of courageous doctors, while others were lauded as champions in their teens and later discovered how fundamental and irreversible were the changes their ‘sports training’ had made to them. (These of course were mostly women unwittingly trans-ing.) I suspect the beeb will not soon re-show a compassionate documentary I recall seeing shortly after the wall fell and the victims could talk – it would not be nearly woke-enough today.

    (‘Am I the first’ – I note that Perry called it ‘doping’, which is spot on: doping with an ideology, as communism is murder and theft with an ideology.)

    3) Although the clarity of my own understanding has benefited from addressing NiV’s comments in other threads, it hardly seems worth commenting on the poor-quality arguments they offer in this thread. This is a standard case of an activity being gutted by the ‘get woke, go broke’ (one can hope) PC demand that we think, speak and act as they direct. Enough people are interested in watching a contest answer the question, “Which woman can run fastest?”. Along come the PC and say, “We will tell you what the word ‘woman’ means. Do not dare argue?” The only question they will let be asked is, “Which of the male competitors can run fastest while presenting as a woman?” This is not a question the crowd finds interesting, because it is merely a specialisation of “Do men make the best women?” In many sports the boring answer is, “Well, yeah, we knew that – that’s why the two groups were in separate sporting contests in the first place! If you don’t exclude trans, why on earth would you exclude men?”

  • Mr Ed

    (These of course were mostly women unwittingly trans-ing.) I suspect the beeb will not soon re-show a compassionate documentary I recall seeing shortly after the wall fell and the victims could talk – it would not be nearly woke-enough today.

    You could sell it to the BBC, as showing how wonderfully progressive the German Democratic Republic was, blurring gender identity before it was fashionable. If you did a spoof on that basis, who would notice that it was a spoof now?

    Funny how the combined Germanies weren’t nearly so good in sport as the two parts.

  • llamas

    It’s times like these that make me glad that I have absolutely no interest in sports and GZF about who competes in them or what the outcomes are. I can just pour me another Elijah Craig (23yo for preference) and sit back and watch the various identity-politics tribes batter each other about. Fun for all the family.

    On a more serious note, when all is said and done – why do all of you, or any of you, give a damn about this? These are sports. Games. Diversions. Entertainments. And (in case we have lost the plot entirely) big business. Leave it be for long enough and the market will decide who plays these games and who doesn’t. If the market decides it wants to watch men in women’s clothing winning every single coed sporting contest, then that’s what will happen. If not, then not. If this means the end of competitive sports, amateur or professional – oh, well. Life goes on. Bear-baiting, public hangings and gladiation-to-the-death are no longer considered acceptable ‘sports’ or ‘entertainment’, either.

    llater,

    llamas

  • why do all of you, or any of you, give a damn about this? (llamas, March 20, 2019 at 11:39 am)

    First, they came for the sports commentators. And I did nothing, because I was not a sports commentator, or a fan. Then they came … … … (you know the rest).

    Of course, it wasn’t quite first that the PC came for sports. 🙂 And it probably won’t be quite last that they come for us.

  • bloke in spain

    Jeez, you poor sods. You’ve got an NiV infestation. Geezers in frocks all over your nice clean blog.
    Look, there’s a simple, nay even libertarian, way to trump this (surplus of) bollocks.
    There’s a convention we have in society & language. It’s the namers do the naming, not the named. Cats do not get to call themselves dogs & compete in the small breeds section at Crufts. A thing is what you decide it is, not what it claims it is. You wouldn’t want someone claiming to be an airline pilot flying you off on your next holiday, simply on the basis of his/her claims, would you?
    So in true libertarian manner, NiV’s geezers in frocks are free to call themselves whatever they like. And in true libertarian manner, you’re entitled to call them what you think they are. If this is a point of difference you win the argument by majority democratic vote.
    Which is what sensible people should have been doing all along.

  • TJ

    I think the problem will solve itself, girls are not especially interested in sport, and if the ‘boys’ are winning all the prizes why bother? My daughter has heard about the boys pretending to be girls and is less interested in sport as a result.

    Many of the girls I teach also have the same view.

    Perhaps in a few years time we will only have Male and Male in skirt categories in elite sport.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Sorry, you are being wilfully obtuse. I am not saying “we” should do anything other than acknowledge that people are different and let them find their own level.”

    Me too. Only I was saying it about *every* way that people are different, not just picking out the men/women thing and ignoring all the others.

    “Just part of the clubs’ rules. Don’t see how “forcible,” at least in any meaningful sense, enters into it. And, of course, if you wander around on my property, I have the right to “forcibly exclude” you by calling the cops or private security to remove you, whether you voluntarily agree or not. So I’m not sure I understand your point.”

    My point is that I can be walking in the park, you try to walk in the same park, and I say “Get out, I don’t want to be walking in this park with you.” I can be sat on the bus, you try to get on the same bus, and I say “Get off, I don’t want to be sat on the same bus with you.” I can be working for a company, you work for the same company, and reveal your beliefs, and I say “Get out. I don’t want to be working for the same company as you.” I live in a country, you immigrate, and I say “Get out, I don’t want to share a nationality with you.”

    A bunch of people voluntarily join a voluntary association, but some of them suddenly don’t want to associate with certain others. Who has to leave? The people who object, or the people objected to?

    When it’s a question of allowing people to associate, it’s simple. Such issues don’t arise. When it’s a question of forbidding people from doing as they choose, you can potentially run into JS Mill’s dictum about society’s right to constrain the liberty of an individual. It just means you have to be more careful.

    In this case, by the agreed to rules of the association the decision is made by the organising committee of the sporting body. And after a long history of trying to find some satisfactory solution, they have fallen back on allowing transgender people to compete. It’s their property – it’s their decision.

    But now other people have come along, and said that’s wrong, we don’t want them in the association, you’ve got to throw them out. You’re trying to forbid certain athletes associating freely in a certain way with the athletics body. How does Freedom of Association work in such a case?

    Do you see my point now?

    “Did I miss something in the thread above or am I the first to point out this is the second time round for this scam? During the cold war, the various People’s Republics did this to get medals.”

    Maybe you missed my link to the history of sex verification in sport?

    “Although the clarity of my own understanding has benefited from addressing NiV’s comments in other threads, it hardly seems worth commenting on the poor-quality arguments they offer in this thread.”

    It might help if you showed any sign of understanding what point I was arguing? Then maybe you could present some evidence of their poor quality!

    “On a more serious note, when all is said and done – why do all of you, or any of you, give a damn about this?”

    Nobody gives a damn about the sport. Like I said, exactly same issue of a wide disparity of sporting skills exists due to many different causes in a multitude of different ways – almost all which nobody here sees any need to do anything about. They don’t even understand why I mentioned them.

    The reason people give a damn is that it’s a change in social norms. People have grown up with certain traditional rules and roles, which society did not allow you to break. (Mill’s ‘Tyranny of the Majority’.) Prominent among them were rules on what each sex was and was not allowed to do. Suddenly the enforced norms have changed, and all those who have internalised the old ways as “the way things are supposed to be” find that distressing.

    They did just the same when society abandoned mainstream racism, sexism, and homophobia. They did when they allowed pornography, swearing on TV, miniskirts, and women in trousers, women at work, women being the boss. Women driving cars!! They did when Elvis Presley gyrated his hips to that dreadful ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ music. They do every time society changes.

    And human nature being what it is, the authoritarians of the new world order are as zealous about enforcing the new norms as the authoritarians of the old order ever were. Sexists and homophobes are persecuted today like uppity women and homosexuals were persecuted under the old regime. I agree with people here, absolutely, that the new authoritarians are bad. But I disagree with people here when I say that the old authoritarians were just as bad.

    It was just as nasty. Just as evil. Just as anti-libertarian.

    And that’s why people give a damn about this issue, and why I keep getting into fights over it. Because a lot of us are only libertarian when it’s convenient. Most people are only in favour of the freedom for people to do what *we* think is right.

    “A thing is what you decide it is, not what it claims it is.”

    OK. In that case, I decide you are wrong. Does that settle it? You are what I decide you are, right? 🙂

    A thing is what it *is*. Not whatever you, with no direct and personal knowledge of the subject, based purely on traditional prejudices dating back to the iron age, ‘decide’ it is.

  • Disillusionist

    The problem is not necessarily the negligible number of actual M-F transgenders (whatever one chooses that to mean); the problem is with the large number of biological males who will quickly decide to game the system by proclaiming themselves transgenders. You can already see it happening in the state of Connecticut, where women’s track and field has been dominated the last two years by a couple of guys who claim they are thinking of transitioning (i.e., they haven’t done anything else). They are non-competitive male athletes who wouldn’t even place competing as boys, but they are crushing the female competition. Biological females are simply non-competitive with biological males in just about any contest where speed and strength are concerned, which is why women’s world records in just about every athletic event are pretty well lined up with the world records for 13-year old boys.
    For reasons not clear to anyone, Spain has recently decided to have age 16-18 basketball teams compete in one class, without distinction by gender. The utterly predictable result – last years’ girls’ championship team lost 50-4 to a boys’ team, and girls are quitting in droves. If you want do destroy women’s sport as an entity, for whatever your motivation, go right ahead. Just don’t pretend that the result will be surprising.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Nullius,

    You write,

    ‘In this case, by the agreed to rules of the association the decision is made by the organising committee of the sporting body. And after a long history of trying to find some satisfactory solution, they have fallen back on allowing transgender people to compete. It’s their property – it’s their decision.

    ‘But now other people have come along, and said that’s wrong, we don’t want them in the association, you’ve got to throw them out. You’re trying to forbid certain athletes associating freely in a certain way with the athletics body. How does Freedom of Association work in such a case?

    Do you see my point now?’

    First, I still don’t see what your paragraphs preceding the excerpt (and which are pretty much what you said before) have to do with your point in the excerpt. Call me obtuse, but there we are. (Or, call me obtuse and I’ll call you obscure, and there we’ll be. *g*)

    But in response to the explanation I quoted, I will say that the situation now is probably not as it was when the Olympic Committee wrote the rules; and that whether it is or not, persons have come forward to suggest that the rules should be rethought, and then rewritten so as to clarify the issue of how persons should be categorized so as to keep the competitions as much on a level playing field as possible. And maintaining a level playing field is of the essence in the sports.

    It isn’t at all a matter of summarily throwing people out, and it certainly isn’t in any way similar to “following people around and telling them what they can’t do.”

    People have every right to urge other people to see and understand what they think about Situation X, including lobbying the public (so to speak). And they also have every right to lobby for a change in the Rules as written or as enforced.

    It happens every day.

  • Add to this the thorny (and increasing) issue of Muslim parents demanding exemption from sex education lessons in schools.

    The usual suspects seem to have all taken a vow of silence…

  • Nullius in Verba

    “People have every right to urge other people to see and understand what they think about Situation X, including lobbying the public (so to speak). And they also have every right to lobby for a change in the Rules as written or as enforced.”

    Sure. But “the Rules as written or as enforced” today are an expression of their freedom of association, not a violation of it. People lobbying to allow TGs into sport are “urg[ing] other people to see and understand what they think about Situation X, including lobbying the public (so to speak)” too.

    The comment I was responding to said “The point is that those women – no, those people – who were interested in women’s sports were enjoying themselves as competitors and spectators and getting along just fine until along came various “lawmakers” and said that they couldn’t get together to enjoy themselves the way they wanted to any more.” But it was the sporting organisation itself that made the rules, expressing their freedom of association. It’s other people coming along now and lobbying them (and the public) not to allow it.

    Which they have every right to do. Like the Twitter mob have every right to ask Twitter to deplatform conservatives, and student mobs can ask universities to deplatform conservative speakers, and to ban conservatives from their ‘safe spaces’. Activists can lobby companies to fire conservative employees who speak up. That’s all private property, of course. It should be legal, but that doesn’t always mean it’s moral. Demanding that people be banned from associating with the rest of us carries risks.

    “Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development, and, if possible, prevent the formation, of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own. There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence; and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs, as protection against political despotism.”

  • Mr Ed

    Which they have every right to do. Like… …student mobs can ask universities to deplatform conservative speakers, and to ban conservatives from their ‘safe spaces’.

    Where in the given Universit’s rules is the right to form a mob and determine who comes onto the University’s property? It doesn’t sound like a right to me. It may be permitted in some Universities, but that should be made clear to all students and employees.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>