Her quote, “Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport and being able to continue is very rewarding,” is spot on. Being trans most definitely would have made her no longer competitive in MEN’S swimming, but in women’s swimming, well, that’s a very different story.
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Coming from a competitive swimming family with both a son and daughter club swimmers, I feel sorry for all the girls. There’s just no chance.
I’ve always supported trans athletes to compete with the gender they identify with, because 99% of the time it won’t be an issue, consider the relatively small percentage of the population is trans, and a small percentage are athletes, and 50% will actually be at a disadvantage, and only a small amount left that will be left with an at atvantage at a competitive level. However, this is the level where I raise my eyebrows and feel sorry for the uneven playing field.
I’m torn about it. Trans women need social support, and I have a feeling that the cis women teams would be accepting of them, socially, because they realize this. But it’s not only about the top cis women who are losing medals, recruited athlete status, and athletic scholarships to trans women. It’s also about that cis girl in high school who misses getting onto the team, because of the trans woman who did. There is a reason why we have single sex teams - otherwise, most women would not be able to participate in competitive athletics. Allowing trans women to compete in women’s competitive athletics is akin to letting high schoolers compete on the middle school teams, or allowing older kids to compete for spots in the division several years younger than them. We separate in sports according to all sorts of criteria in order to “play fair”. Weight. Age. Sex. Disability. Even with the strictest enforcement of a year of complete testosterone blockade, there is no question that prior testosterone confers higher athletic performance.
Not to mention being taller, having a larger “wingspan” and bigger feet. D was a swimmer and was pretty good until she stopped growing before everyone else. At 5’ 1” and being petite overall, it was hard for to stay motivated. I’m all for inclusion but we’re talking about a sport where physical characteristics matter.
This thread is a little saddening. Honestly I wonder why it is even posted.
I wonder what other suggestions people have. Excluding trans people?
There are all kinds of advantages going on in a variety of fields, in the name of diversity and inclusion, which may be seen as fair if looked at from a longer term perspective.
All of these things mentioned by critics, “larger wingspans,” “height,” “bigger muscles” are all things that cisgender women can have as well. This is just one story about a transgender woman who beat her competitors; I’m sure there are countless stories of transgender athletes who come in dead last, but aren’t demonstrate low testosterone levels for a year before competing, so ultimately the only difference is their physical features, which as I mentioned before, could just as well be exhibited in cis women. Even if one finds these characteristics to be an unfair advantage, there is such a small amount of transgender people in sports that it should not be an issue for them. I have trouble believing that people are genuinely worried about unfair advantages, and that this is not just a guise to further criticizes transgender individuals. I believe that transgender people deserve to be treated equally as cisgendered individuals in all aspects.
This is very much the TERP argument. That supporting trans women is against women’s and girls rights. It is a frightening slippery slope and I am not sure that most of us really want to be on that side. As someone who is a feminist I include trans women (because they are women) and if one woman or girl misses out on the team because of a trans woman, well that is no different from them missing out because of a better cis woman.
Some of my comment was deleted, but you get the idea of what I was saying, that you obviously wouldn’t hear stories about transgender athletes failing to perform well.
If it matters to anyone, the NCAA’s policy on transgender athletes is described at NCAA.org - The Official Site of the NCAA .
From the policy linked above:
The NCAA’s transgender policy — available in the NCAA Inclusion of Transgender Student-Athletes handbook — clarifies participation of transgender student-athletes undergoing hormonal treatment for gender transition.
A trans female treated with testosterone suppression medication may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one year of testosterone suppression treatment.
A trans male who has received a medical exemption for treatment with testosterone is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing that team status to a mixed team.
The policy was established in 2010 after widespread input from the membership and subject-matter experts in science, medicine and inclusion. The policy was approved by the NCAA Board of Governors — called the NCAA Executive Committee at the time. Key groups providing input included the three divisions’ highest governing bodies, their Student-Athlete Advisory Committees, the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports and various committees focused on inclusion, as well as groups and subject-matter experts outside the NCAA.
“It’s an Association-wide policy,” Wilson said. “What it was trying to achieve was a balance between fairness and inclusion, between competitive equity and providing that pathway to opportunity.”
Paraphrasing what I said in a similar thread awhile back…. Participating in sports for pursing records, championships, or scholarships is the wrong reason. Too many leagues have been destroyed by this mentality.
Improving oneself, camaraderie, etc. are the benefits of every sport. If a competitive divide develops, separate into more competitive divisions. But we cannot exclude transgender men and women.
Clearly you never had a competitive athlete, nor
Know much about swimming. They train years, year round,twice a day, to shave one or two hundredths of a second off their time, as that is usually the margin of victory. And in this case, someone with 22 years of testosterone comes in and wins by 38 seconds. It makes a total mockery of women’s swimming, and the same would be true in running as well. There really is zero point in biological women competing with trans in these areas. Maybe there could be a 3rd category of competition for them.
The poor women swimmers. They were competitive, had been for years, and that is how they got to swim on a division one team to begin with. If it is all about the camaraderie and not winning, the trans swimmer didn’t need to compete to win in this race.
Trans women, especially those that transitioned after puberty, should not be allowed to compete in the women’s division in athletics. There is a reason that men and women compete in separate sports divisions (with a few exceptions). Taking hormones does not affect the physical advantages men possess.
For example, men are physically stronger than women, who have, on average, less total muscle mass, both in absolute terms and relative to total body mass. Men also have denser, stronger bones, tendons, and ligaments.
Men also have greater cardiovascular reserve, because of larger hearts, greater lung volume per body mass, a higher red blood cell count, and higher hemoglobin.
There should be additional athletic divisions created for trans women and trans men.
They also swam for the last 3 years on the UPenn Men’s team
Would be very interested to see how her teammates would feel about the potential records they could break as part of a relay team. Would they decline to participate and or view any records as tainted.