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Success of U.S. transgender woman swimmer sparks controversy

37 Comments
By Joseph Prezioso and Andrea Bambino

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It is really controversial topic and many people care about this problem. Basically, I believe people should be divided into groups what they desired in normal life in society. However, when it comes to sports, the situation will be reversed completely. If someone said I want you to call women and categorized as a woman, other people are confused and feel unfair. Man and women have huge differences, in particular body systems such as muscle and power. So women should appear in women's sections and men should take part in the man category as well. It is not discrimination, it should be called distinction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A similar issue has always been present in the category cut-off points used in many para sports, but it never hits the headlines.

There were also some 'hormonal' concerns in the 1970s with female East European athletes.

The ideal women's team would now seem to be as transgender as possible. Ideally, all born as blokes, tapering the hormone levels to stay within the rules. Make of that what you will.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A third (and maybe fourth) category need to be added. It's just not reasonable to have trans-women competing with cis-women. It defeats the idea of dividing by sex in the first place, as now we're trying to divide 4 sexes into two categories, with clear and obvious problems cropping up as a result.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Simple solution. Once you officially compete in a sport as one gender you can’t compete in the same sport at the same level as the other gender.

so you do a different sport or level up (like high school to college or college to pro) before you continue.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

And this time, Trump is right!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

From the article:

The debate has been complicated by an avalanche of right-wing outrage.

So the women athletes complaining about it are right wingers? And what the hell does Trump have to do with this?

It's not a news article, its an opinion piece. Let's put Trump's photo in it to elevate the blood pressure of readers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let’s approach this from the point of fairness and access.

LGBT championships are a good idea, but being Lesbian, Gay, or Bi doesn’t affect physical performance in a way that would disadvantage other athletes. Only in Trans do we have a definite disadvantages so I can’t really get along with this idea.

An OPEN division (all genders, no discriminating factors) is also good but opens the door for performance enhancing drugs / hormone abuse because of the different levels of transitioning that is possible between athletes. I like this option personally for morbid reasons to admit. PED science can be used to help and treat some disabilities, and athletics is a great testing ground, but not if it puts participants at a disadvantage). Another issues here is that we are discussing “Amateur Sports” (NCAA), and opening amateurs up to PED taints the whole well of fairness. So, I would support this option for professional leagues.

The issue with NCAA, and all amateur sports at the moment, is that their isn’t enough players to populate events. It’s like women’s wrestling, in high school we didn’t have a woman’s team but we had a woman on the team so she wrestled guys in her weight class. Eventually we had enough girls to populate a full team and the og moved into that program.

In order for our current situation to not be an issue, the NCAA should create divisions and rule sets that allow for Trans (Males and Females) to compete in their own distinct divisions. That creates a means of access and promotes fairness. Presently the NCAA is promoting access and the cost of fairness.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I believe transgender should only be allowed to compete in gender specific competition that they were biologically identified as by birth using biological science. Allowing people to compete in competitions based on what they identify as can give people extraordinary disadvantages like weight lifters and such. If person is naturally born with a high or low testosterone count then it is what it is. They still must compete in the gender category they were biologically born into.

A alternative is to have additional category like in jiujitsu competitions, in most tournaments there are gender, weight, rank, and age categories, but also there is category for anybody to let people mix it up and test themselves to see who is truly the best. Other sports should adopt that policy to be more inclusive of the transgender community.

If they simply allow transgender people with obvious physical advantages specifically associated with gender then I officially come out to the world as TRANSAGE. I identify as a young person!!! I am ready to compete in all those competition that I did and did not compete in when I was a child and teenager.

Suck it little Timmy from down the street. This my year!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Attilathehungry

The point was to compare 89kg men vs 55kg men. The same way as men are stronger than women, the 89kg men are stronger than 55kg men. Even among men only, there are some with natural advantage and others with natural disadvantage. Having categories/classes ensures fair competition for everyone.

And if the +87kg women's champion competes against the 55kg men's, then just by the numbers, the man is weaker than the woman. In this case it seems the greater weight of women in that category is enough to counter the testosterone advantage of lighter man, so a fair competition between them is possible.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Khaos' I compared like to like. Same race, just different gender. Can't be much more equal than that. But if you want to compare by weight, then let's look at weightlifting.

55kg class Men's record snatch is 135 kg. Women's is 102 kg.

89kg class Men's record is 175kg. Women's (87kg) is 132kg. Women's over 87kg is 148kg.

Or in other words, the men's 55kg champion can still lift more than the women's 87kg champion.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Everyone, except those with an ideological trans agenda or who just don’t care about equality in sport, knows that this situation is inherently and deeply unfair to female athletes forced to swim against Thomas. What I find hard to accept, apart from the purblind rulings of authorities too craven to acknowledge the injustices they’re perpetrating against female athletes, is the attitude of Thomas herself. How can she feel any pride in what she obviously feels to be genuine achievements, when this success has come at the cost of fellow athletes who may as well not get in the pool as try to beat her? And don’t talk about the natural advantages of someone like Usain Bolt. Bolt didn’t have to change a thing about himself to achieve what he did. Unlike Thomas, who seems to have found her identity but lost her conscience.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

hw about to make LGBT championships?

than we will have no dilemma if competing people are men,women or anything else.problem solved!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Khaos,

Wining gold in a light category is a greater achievement than bronze in heavier category, because the performance relative to body weight is greater.

So a male vs female boxing match is fine as long as he's a lower weight class?

It is also, pretty unfair for the females with naturally high testosterone, who get banned from women's sport unless they take medication to suppress it.

This is a little tougher topic, but its also known that high testosterone levels in women increase risks of cancer, diabetes, infertility and a few other things. So it might be better for them to drop the levels (not sure what it is) that are approved. But they are actual women.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Maybe take a look at this study, to realize how broken and unfair the current division by sex is:

https://www.ese-hormones.org/media/1882/femaleathletes_hirschberg_pr_final.pdf

It is also, pretty unfair for the females with naturally high testosterone, who get banned from women's sport unless they take medication to suppress it.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

A third category is necessary.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@Attilathehungry

You are missing the point. Comparing WRs between men's and women's division is like comparing WRs between weight classes. For example, in weightlifting, of course lightweight athletes would lift less than heavier athletes.

Wining gold in a light category is a greater achievement than bronze in heavier category, because the performance relative to body weight is greater.

It's not just about who's the strongest, but who's the strongest in their category.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The people who let him swim are just as bad.

But hey, there are also men beating up women in UFC.

Basically they should hold a vote among the actual female participants, if they ALL agree to let a trans athlete compete then there's no problem.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Simple fix, TF division for the women’s team, TM division for men’s team for individually based team sports (track, swimming, tennis, golf). Have the trans compete dispersed among the other athletes and judge them against other trans athletes. Best TM swimmer is the best swimmer among other TM swimmers based on time.

Harder fix for team based sports. Additional roster spots to be added to teams dedicated to TM for men’s teams and TF for women’s teams limited to a composition of 15% of a team or less. This means for example an NCAA basketball ball team would go from 15 players to 17 players with two spots dedicated to trans and only one of those spots being an competition spot.

Finally here is the kicker;

The roster allotments would only exist until a school could fill a team with willing available students. So if in our basketball example; UConn women have 2 TF players and 10 TF players apply to the basketball program, UConn must make create and maintain A UConn TF Basketball program that competes against other TF basketball programs within a year of application. Eventually leagues will form and this mess will fix itself.

Trans will not be happy they have their own league, non trans will not be happy to have to include people, but their is a way to promote the sport to create something self-sustainable.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Khaos, yes that is true but also irrelevant. We are talking about at elite levels of competition. That is why gender categories exist at any competitive level. Just compare the world records in virtually any sport and you will see that the differences are significant.

eg 100 metre sprint mens world record is 9.58, womens 10.49 seconds. The womens record is slower than the mens High School record in the US.

1500 metres mens record is 3:26, womens 3:50. Again, the womens record is not even at par with the best male high school runners.

I don't mean to disparage women's athletics, but to show the vast differences that exist between the genders.

And also who you don't hear of trans men trying to compete in men's sports- there is a disadvantage in terms of performance.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Like, based on hormone levels, height, weight, and even body shape if it matters.

The shape of a human female pelvis is very different from a male human pelvis.

The male human pelvis is optimized for running and stability, the human female is optimized for childbirth.

Males have an inherent advantage with their skeletal structure that can not be changed, altered or mitigated by hormone levels.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

And just to mention, there are many sports where division based on sex makes absolutely no sense. Like, for example, archery.

Darts, pool, cross stitching. Gardening.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@Garthgoyle

What I'm saying is some women are naturally faster and stronger than some men. And some men are naturally weaker. The point is, to get rid of such unfair advantages and make a level playing field for everyone, by introducing categories.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Sport should be about athletics, not about sex, gender

Men are physically stronger, faster than women. That's a fact no one in this world can deny. It's got nothing to do personal views.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

And just to mention, there are many sports where division based on sex makes absolutely no sense. Like, for example, archery.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Just make sport more fair by introducing competitive categories based on body constraints. Like, based on hormone levels, height, weight, and even body shape if it matters.

This 'outrage' right now, is only caused by the insufficient divide based on sex, and somehow everyone closes their eyes to the fact that most top athletes have some form of advantage coded in their DNA (just look at volleyball players).

Sport should be about athletics, not about sex, gender or personal views.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

And what is it with the picture of Trump at the end of the story? Is he claiming he was the greatest female swimmer ever? Wouldn't put it pass him.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

And if he won 20 gold medals would we say r

the greatest female swimmer ever?

9 ( +13 / -4 )

In a woman's swimsuit. A man.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

And if in doubt, look again at the picture. That is a man.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

"I didn't know what I would be able to do or (if I would) be able to keep swimming," she told SwimSwam magazine's podcast. "That caused a lot of distress to me. I was struggling. (…)

Oh, かわいそうね。Poor soul. Must have been so bad. So in order to feel better, he now destroys women in their sports.

At least he... she's happy. After all, that's all that matters. Right?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

This has to stop. By removing your penis you do not magically become a woman. You might identify as a woman but biologically you are not. You are bigger and stronger than a female athlete standing alongside you. If this politically correct farce must continue, then let us have a class of competitor called "females previously male". At least that would level the playing field for those who change their gender by choice. You cannot be a champion female swimmer if you were born a man. Regardless of how you identify. Biologically, you are male. Does anyone else notice the dearth of females wanting to compete as men? The reason is obvious. Due to body strength they would fail. And yet the reverse is considered OK? I think not.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

The reality is that when men and women compete, especially at anything approaching an elite level, the women will lose. It has been that way for time immemorial. I have nothing against Lia on a personal level- people are free to live as they wish. But there are myriad examples of women trying to compete against men and losing.

Famous example in tennis. The #203 ranked male player in the world handily defeated BOTH Williams sisters in the same afternoon. After playing golf in the morning and enjoying several adult beverages at lunch and not even trying really hard.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

The debate has been complicated by an avalanche of right-wing outrage.

Not only right-wing outrage...anyone with common sense can see this is at best silly.

I feel sorry for women trying to compete. They need to be more vocal to stamp out this nonsense.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

I'm not outraged, but I don't think it is fair for women to compete against me in swimming either.

We don't have a measure that can prove 2 humans are of similar capabilities and should compete regardless of anything else. We only have what history has decided as a reasonable split - male and female. In club swimming, it doesn't matter, but in higher level High School, College, Olympics and Professional sports, there is opportunities and money on the line. Should Lia get a scholarship?

Should this 1 person's situation harm all the other women without the same genetic advantage, effectively knocking out 1 biological women in each race?

I don't know the answer.

I do know that she wasn't competitive against male swimmers.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

It doesn't matter what this person feels they are and it doesn't matter which bits have been chopped off, he has a male body. In the past athletes were disqualified for saying they were female when they were actually male.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Here's a crazy idea. Stop letting men compete in women's sports.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Lia Thomas has made a splash in U.S. collegiate women's swimming

What is the definition of the word "woman" in the sport's title?

Does there exist a human who can not be called a woman?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

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