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Byron Shire
August 16, 2022

Sport and gender

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Olympic golden girl Cate Campbell claims to have wrestled long and hard with herself before passionately promoting a ban on trans women in elite swimming to the FINA delegates.  Perhaps she could have asked a transgender person what it was like to wrestle with themselves over their life-changing decision? Perhaps Campbell thought trans women made a decision to transition in order to gain an unfair advantage in sport?

Campbell and her ilk bleat ‘It’s unfair!’. It exposes their fear. An irrational fear of being beaten in the pool by someone with a perceived unfair advantage. Would an androgynous Amazonian 200cm tall cisgender woman competitor not have an unfair advantage? [It’s just] fear of the unknown. It seems difficult for elite swimmers and others to grasp the concept that trans women are women.

Currently there are no elite transgender women swimmers, but FINA wants to make sure there never will be. When it came to the vote, apparently 71 per cent of the FINA member nations voted against human rights.

Now it seems other sporting bodies are following suit, taking steps backwards, choosing discrimination instead of considering smarter decisions about how to accommodate a small, marginalised, sector of society in sport. 

Next, unfortunately, this transphobic fear could infect community sport, affecting the young and truly vulnerable and threatening lives. It’s obvious some successful professional athletes and opinionated conservative politicians and shock jocks don’t have empathy for inclusivity. There is prejudicial fear masquerading as false concern about transgender women competing unfairly with cisgender women. How about being kind instead of worrying?  Everyone should be able to enjoy sporting activities without fear, prejudice and discrimination.

Gregory McKay, Ballina


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12 COMMENTS

  1. No-one is afraid of them. No-one is hating on them.
    If somebody thinks they are Napoleon, I’m not afraid of them. I don’t hate them for it. But what would you call someone who encourages them to think they are Napoleon? What about someone who would give this ‘Napoleon’ an army?
    They most definitely need help. You all do.

    • Analogies have their limitations but this one is a shocker. Transgender people, as I understand it, feel uncomfortable in the gender they were born with and prefer to adopt another gender identity. Some wish to identify as neither. They are fully aware of all the relevant facts of their situation so who is to say they are out of touch with reality?

      Who knows why gender dysphoria occurs? Least of all me who tends to see others as fellow humans first and their gender as a secondary issue lagging well behind. If however, people find their life distressing and want to take steps to enhance their happiness, all power to them as far as I’m concerned.

      People can be deluded about all sorts of things – like greatly overestimating their attractiveness, talent or extraordinary genius. I see trans gender people as neither deluded nor insane. They don’t think they are Napoleon and no one is proposing either to tell them they are or give them an army.

      None of this is to say there aren’t genuine issues to be examined and resolved about fairness in competitive sport at the elite level and that Cate Campbell, having worked so hard in her career, isn’t entitled to express her view.

      • The guy who thinks he is Napoleon is simply uncomfortable with the identity he was born with.
        If that one shocks you, the next one will awe you!

        Schizophrenics get uncomfortable when you tell them the voices aren’t real, even when they know logically the voices can’t be real. Who knows why Schizophrenia occurs? Let’s take them off their meds and encourage their delusions, that will give them quality of life. Their suicide rate couldn’t possibly get higher than the 10 year post op rate for transgenders.

        And if you make any laws that say others have to go along with their delusions, you are effectively giving them an army made up of the police and military that they can sic on people that refuse to be forced to perform the behaviors they demand (i.e. enslavement)

        “Who knows why gender dysphoria occurs?” well apart from propagandising children and teenagers to developmentally stunt them, how about xenoestrogens, particularly phytoestrogens such as insane amounts of soy in the food supply. People are upset about Bisphenol A for good reason.

        I treat all other creatures as dangerous and insane until they prove otherwise. every sane creature on the planet has evolved to do that. Trust is earned, stupidity is free.

        And people do get the Dunning-Kruger Effect, but that’s mostly because they are jealous of how pretty and talented I am. They should just listen to the retired microbiologist that don’t have to worry about loosing funding nor their medical license.

  2. This might be triggering for some but if you have a dick and balls swim in the mens events and if you have a gina line up for the womens

    • A great little piece of Aussie plain speakin’ but what if you have a mixture?

      We all love certainty and simplicity so it may be equally triggering to learn that not all things in life are straightforward and not all situations fit into neat little boxes.

      The mayoclinic.org contains the following explanation: “Ambiguous genitalia is a rare condition in which an infant’s external genitals don’t appear to be clearly either male or female. In a baby with ambiguous genitalia, the genitals may be incompletely developed or the baby may have characteristics of both sexes. The external sex organs may not match the internal sex organs or genetic sex.”

      isna.org tells us that: “ Total number of people whose bodies differ from standard male or female one in 100 births ” including “ Not XX and not XY one in 1,666 births.”

    • I agree with Liz, it’s no about if you have a rudder or not.
      I suggest you educate yourself with a video called ‘The Best Female Swimmer in the World!’ on youtube and have a black 10 years old woman explain it to you.

  3. Thats not the topic under discussion.Intersex is a different ball game if youll excuse the pun and one i dont have a stance on

    • I know and agree phil. I just let them go when they do things like conflate a genetic dis-order with a psychological one. Try explaining that viruses that target the same receptor have to produce similar protein keys, so the anti-body for one will try to attach to the other one and cause you to get really sick. Doesn’t seem that complex, apparently it is. Pretty sure the aptitude for STEM is hidden somewhere on the Y chromosome. Check out that video I recommended, it’s well worth it.

    • I agree, intersex is a different issue. I was just replying to your reductionist comment and gender ambiguity poses every bit as much of a dilemma for elite sport as the trans gender one does.

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