Trans athletes make great gains, yet resentment still flares (1 Viewer)

Mr. Sparkle

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Across the U.S. and in many places abroad, transgender athletes are breaking barriers in high school, college and pro sports and being embraced by teammates and fans. But resentments can still flare when transgender women start winning and dominating their sport.

Exhibit A is a recent public exchange involving tennis great Martina Navratilova, who came out as a lesbian in 1981 and is a longtime gay-rights activist. She now stands accused of being “transphobic” after asserting that many transgender women — even if they’ve undergone hormone treatment — have an unfair advantage over other female competitors.

“A man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organization 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,” Navratilova wrote in a Feb. 17 op-ed for The Sunday Times of London. “It’s insane and it’s cheating.”

I find the headline and overall tone of the story to be a classic example of media bias but its an interesting phenomenon.

If my teenage daughter was competing against a teenage boy undergoing hormone therapy I'm not sure I'd consider that a fair competition. I consider that a good faith question that has to do with biology, not "transphobic resentment."

112352
 

guidomerkinsrules

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I understand the argument. I'm not sure why other people seem to be getting so confused with it.

If the argument starts with fairness (i.e. "We think sport has to be fair, therefore..."), it applies to every factor that affects fairness (which does not mean that every factor is literally the same; only that they all affect fairness).

And if the argument does not apply to every factor that affects fairness, then it's not really about fairness (i.e. it turns out we don't necessarily think sport has to be fair after all).

I'd also add that it would be good if we could discuss this topic without straying into ignorant and offensive prejudice. I don't know if we have any trans posters here, but I don't think they'd appreciate seeing their identity compared to someone pretending to be a dog.
Thank you
Obviously you said it better than I did, but I didn’t think my point was that confusing
 

Oye

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but I don't think they'd appreciate seeing their identity compared to someone pretending to be a dog.
yea, I think that there are potentially analogs that help and some that don't - I'm not sure we could ever really land on an 'equivalency' that's absolutely valid, but surely some are more illustratively constructive than this

I find this concept of 'fairness' interesting.

Is 'fairness' strictly a matter of physiology - even restricting it to human beings of the same size?

I'm 6'6" 220 lbs. I'm in decent shape. But there are a *lot* of 6'6", 220 lb NFLers who are absolute monsters. So, do we talk about 40 times? Do we talk about verticals? Do we talk about age? Do we talk about body fat percentages? Or is it merely enough to say: Both are Men and Both are Same Size, Therefore Equal.

That seems mightily reductive if we're talking 'fairness'

Another example.

I coach high school basketball. We are a pretty good team and have been for a few years. This year, we are 30-6 and looking at a top 2 seed at the provincial tournament. But we are a high school team - not a Prep team.

When we play a Prep team, we play much stronger players. One of the players we play against is the #1 or #2 ranked high school basketball player of the class of 2023 (Elijah Fisher - the other top 2 is LeBron James, Jr). He's had university offers since he was in middle school. He's on a team with other players who are going to NCAA Div-I schools.

Those scores in our games are typically of the 90-50 finish.

Those games aren't "fair" even though we have 13-15 players, same age, same gender, not quite the same size (they are bigger overall).

The concept of "fair" being championed here is more complex and I wonder if it's the right criterion. We still play the game. The outcome will always be the same. It certainly doesn't 'feel' like a 'fair' game.

So it leads me to believe that maybe there's something else here. As I've said before, I don't know what the answer is, but 'fair' doesn't strike me as the actual issue. Or maybe it is 'fairness' and we're actually okay with more arbitrariness re: fairness than we actually understand.
 

Oye

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Some of us need to read a book to help us get woke.
I don't think that's a helpful way to frame this, at least not for me. I can't stand the term 'woke' and my questions aren't about being 'woke'

I think things that are used as unqualified pejoratives, like "woke" or "SJW" or "SQW" aren't really helpful in these conversations - I think they have become lazy terms and didn't really have much meaning in the first place, pro- or con-. I think it does a disservice of posters who are engaging meaningfully and putting time into the topic beyond whatever "woke" is supposed to connote.. that somehow, someone arrives at a question or conclusion as part of some weaponized social agenda rather than careful consideration of their own thoughts
 

DaveXA

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I honestly have no idea on this subject. Just kind of along for the ride. At first blush, it seems to me trans should have their own category, or there are no categories. I'm just not seeing how trans can win competitions without most people thinking it should come with an asterisk. It's just hard to get past the fact that even though a man has transitioned to a woman, their bodies are effectively still men's bodies in many respects. So I'm not sure what the right answer is here. I see good points made by both points of view. But ultimately I'm pretty much...:shrug:
 

rajncajn

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Can you elaborate? I’m really not sure how you got to that conclusion from what I wrote
Sure. I'll elaborate:
I think the other issue is us trying to operate under a idea of ‘fairness’ and ‘level playing field’ - no such thing exists. Someone always has a competitive advantage
If it doesn't exist then why have gender designations at all? Why not just let the sport dictate who is good enough to compete? You're not tall enough, strong enough, fast enough, developed enough? Too bad. In my mind, allowing mixed gender sports is akin to pitting a professional athlete against high school kids. Sure, there will be a few that can compete, but the vast majority won't stand a chance.
Now our impulse is have sports competitive - BUT we don’t make them competitive as possible
We don’t make usain bolt start 2 ft behind the other racers
We don’t change the outfield fence depending on who’s batting
We don’t give disadvantaged schools more money so they can complete with rich schools
And mostly we’re fine with a level of advantage/disadvantage
"Change" is a key word here. You can change the starting line to put Bolt at a disadvantage, you can change the fence line to allow weaker batters to hit more home runs, they do change the tee box for women golfers and so on. What you can't change is your genetic make-up. You're pre-dispositioned to be taller or have faster reflexes or more natural muscle mass or bone density and so-forth and while yes, those natural traits give some advantages over others, I don't see it as fair to change the rules so to put them at a disadvantage in order to level the playing field simply because of their natural, inherent traits. That change is the problem I have with transgenders competing against natural genders, because then you are changing the rules and putting the rest of the field at a natural disadvantage for the sake of fairness. That's not fairness to me, that's sympathy.
But now we’re planting a flag on some statistically tiny disadvantageous events and making them way more important than someone being able to self-identify
And I’m not sure if fairness in sports is our driving concern here
I think most of us here on the opposite end of the discussion are speaking a lot in the hypothetical and using the situations that have presented themselves as examples, so while you see these as statistically tiny occurrences, we're looking at the overall picture in general. Furthermore, not allowing someone to compete outside of their natural gender is by no means not allowing them to self-identify. It simply means that exceptions aren't being made and choice advantages ignored for a few at the sacrifice of others.
 

tomwaits

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I think everyone should have the right to claim they are a different sex/race/whatever than they were born, and call themselves whatever pronoun they want and wear and act how they want as long as they don't hurt anyone else or take anyone's stuff. Do what you want, but don't expect everyone to go along with your fantasy.

I firmly believe nobody has the right to compel or restrict speech of others if they don't want to play along with someone's delusion. They also don't have to treat you as your newly chosen identity including competing in women's sports when you were born male or vice versa.

Look a "woman" power lifter set records. Yeah, because its a man.

Personally, I wouldn't ridicule someone and would call someone whatever they want to keep things peaceful, but I will never think someone born a man is now a woman or vice versa. Nobody has the right to force people to buy in to their make-believe.
"Woke" people disagree and I think it is fine to ridicule that. The good thing is that woke people eat themselves because the line of absurdity is always pushing out and if you don't keep up you are apparently a Nazi.
 

rajncajn

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I'm 6'6" 220 lbs. I'm in decent shape. But there are a *lot* of 6'6", 220 lb NFLers who are absolute monsters. So, do we talk about 40 times? Do we talk about verticals? Do we talk about age? Do we talk about body fat percentages? Or is it merely enough to say: Both are Men and Both are Same Size, Therefore Equal.
But you are equal in that you both have the same naturally occurring potential. Assume that you are the same age. If you have the dedication and training it's possible to put yourself on an equal playing field with the NFL player, but could a woman of the same size and height do that? It would take many more extenuating circumstances to allow her to be able to complete at that level. In fact, it's never been done and it would take her much more dedication and training than it would you. So that's what you're asking of other women when making them compete against a trans athlete. They have to work and train harder in order to even make it a level playing field.
 

JakkDup

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One is personal preference.

The category you compete in sport with other humans, is not.
 

SystemShock

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I'm 6'6" 220 lbs. I'm in decent shape. But there are a *lot* of 6'6", 220 lb NFLers who are absolute monsters. So, do we talk about 40 times? Do we talk about verticals? Do we talk about age? Do we talk about body fat percentages? Or is it merely enough to say: Both are Men and Both are Same Size, Therefore Equal.
You can draw those silly comparisons and wax poetic about what's "fair" in your mind and convince yourself with false equivalencies, but it is a fallacy to think that you being XY 6'6" 220lb and not being able to compete in the NFL with other XY's who are 6'6" 220lb compares to an XY 6'6" 220lb going against an XX 6'6" 220lbs. It doesn't.

Again, I am pretty sure Amanda Nunes can kick my arse and your arse. But put her in the octagon with Max Holloway, and Holloway destroys her. They both fight at 145lbs (featherweight) . So what makes the difference? One has a penis, the other a vagina.
 

Dago

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look! science!


Transgender women’s performances generally decline as their testosterone does. But not every male advantage dissipates when testosterone drops. Some advantages, such as their bigger bone structure, greater lung capacity, and larger heart size remain, says Alison Heather, a physiologist at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Testosterone also promotes muscle memory—an ability to regain muscle mass after a period of detraining—by increasing the number of nuclei in muscles, and these added nuclei don’t go away. So transgender women have a heightened ability to build strength even after they transition, Heather says.
 

SystemShock

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I understand the argument. I'm not sure why other people seem to be getting so confused with it.

If the argument starts with fairness (i.e. "We think sport has to be fair, therefore..."), it applies to every factor that affects fairness (which does not mean that every factor is literally the same; only that they all affect fairness).

And if the argument does not apply to every factor that affects fairness, then it's not really about fairness (i.e. it turns out we don't necessarily think sport has to be fair after all).

I'd also add that it would be good if we could discuss this topic without straying into ignorant and offensive prejudice. I don't know if we have any trans posters here, but I don't think they'd appreciate seeing their identity compared to someone pretending to be a dog.
No one is getting confused about anything. You just don't want to accept real life factors, choosing instead to go with social justice.

As for pretending to be a dog, yes, it was silly hyperbole to stress a point.

But if you want something more serious, how about Rachel Dolezal? She identified as an African American. But, could she ever BE African American? Would you think it would be fair if she was able to take advantage of programs that benefit African Americans?
 

rajncajn

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Take 10 women and put them in a golf tournament, 9 of them have to play from the men's tee and one does not. Why? 'Well she's gotten a bad shake in life, she's been treated poorly, like an outcast so we want her to feel like she belongs and fits in. She deserves to be able feel like she fits in with her peers.'

Yes, you are right in that it's unfair that this one woman has been treated differently than the others & yes, she deserves to be looked upon with respect as the person she is, but it shouldn't be at the sacrifice of those other 9 women whom had nothing to do with the way she's been treated. That's not fairness, that's pity.
 

Dago

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No one is getting confused about anything. You just don't want to accept real life factors, choosing instead to go with social justice.

As for pretending to be a dog, yes, it was silly hyperbole to stress a point.

But if you want something more serious, how about Rachel Dolezal? She identified as an African American. But, could she ever BE African American? Would you think it would be fair if she was able to take advantage of programs that benefit African Americans?
I don't know what the difference is. We are saying that people are allowed to identify as whatever gender they wish or no gender at all
Why not do the same with race or ethnicity?

Asking for answers based on facts and science. Please and thank you.
 

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