A recent case is of the New Zealand weightlifter, Laurel Hubbard, who bested the second place finisher, in the clean and jerk, by 19 kg (41 pounds.) Zounds. How’d she do that at the Australian International weightlifting event? Could it be due to natural ability, better technical skills, superior coaching, and great dedication? Probably all these were factors but could the biggest factor be that Laurel used to be a man, Gavin – who competed in weightlifting prior to becoming Laurel in his/her/their mid-thirties? Men, generally, have more muscle mass and lung capacity, to name but two athletic advantages.
Look, it’s not the first time observers have been accused of being cold-hearted or hard headed. Remember Tom Dempsey, field goal kicker for the Saints? When he kicked a 63-yarder many felt his right-foot boot gave him an unfair advantage; it had a flat, larger surface. True, he only wore this one-of-a-kind boot because he had no toes on that foot, but still, even a handicap turning out to be a perceived advantage, is fodder for analysis and angst. So boys transitioning to girls, who then participate in a sport they played as the prior gender, are going to be rightfully submitted to Monday morning arm chair quarterbacking as well.
Gotta deadname for a minute. Don’t know what deadnaming is? Well, it’s almost a crime according to politically correct types. And I’m about to commit it by referring to the long gone, Bruce Jenner, 1976 Olympics gold medal winner in the decathlete. Now, Bruce (oops I did it again) is now Caitlyn – because she’s a she who used to be a he. NEVER say Bruce when referring to Caitlyn.
Anyway, – ok, if Caitlyn was as good as she was when she was a he, the best in the world back in ’76 – what’s she going to do competing against girls in any of these ten disciplines? She’d murdelized them, especially so because ladies only compete in the 7-event Heptathlon...but you get the point...
Gender identity is all the rage right now. It’s a target from all sides of the political spectrum. Sports aren’t immune – but there are 2 possible solutions to the controversy of having boys now girls, matching up and beating the pants off girls, who were originally girls. The first answer, speaking of target – is to follow the retailer Target’s approach to gender: let any gender identity use any facility, and participate in any forum, at any time. Thus boys, girls, and transgender athletes would compete against each other at any time. That way, the possible advantages that transgender boys to girls would be negated, because the boys-remaining-boys would, in many sports, have it over the transgendered. True, the girls would still be getting screwed over, but one can’t have everything – at least with this approach.
The second approach would ensure that no gender has an advantage over another. Let’s call it the Facebook approach. That social media platform, in the UK, lists 71 genders. Instead of lumping all genders together like Target does, it separates them. So! Let’s have sports competitions carefully separated and segregated by gender! True, it will be a logistical, bureaucratic, and financial nightmare, but it is the only way to make sure no gender is cheated out of their just desserts.
Actually the second approach, in its complexities, may not be that tough a row to hoe. Consider how far science and understanding have come in determining who is a man, or a woman, or a somewhat in betweener. And this relates to Laurel Hubbard and others who have transitioned. She can compete in the Olympics.
Furthermore, and this relates to some who are transitioning - but have not yet had body parts changed “sex reassignment surgery” - The International Olympic Committee has weighed in on matters-trans and has decided that the best way to determine whether he is a he, or a she, or she is a she, or a he – is NOT to sneak a peek under their underwear-unmentionables at body parts, but is, rather, to conduct hormonal tests to determine if requisite minimums or maximums of this or that hormone make one a guy, gal, or trans. (Best to stick with 3 gender types rather than delve into another 68 or so, huh?)
Because the IOC is a busy-body bureaucratic organization run by cads in the worse sense of the word, and because gender matters are as complicated as all of this world, the language they use is inscrutable to the layman, epitomized by this summarial declaration of the: "Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism" - so we will have to trust this group with the hugest leap of faith ever known to sport or mankind, in figuring that they know what they are doing.
.6% or 1.4 million. These are the estimated percentage and count of trans adult people in America. For simplicity’ sake, assume the percentage holds for the world at large. Given that the 1.4 million, according to the New York Times, is quite a bit bigger than previously thought, it’s safe to say that more MTF athletes will be faced with accusations of new medically manufactured athletic advantages. For FTM athletes: less so.