When America sneezes, the world catches a cold. Unfortunately this assessment has proven true of Ireland, which has always been hellbent on importing American culture. It seems over the past half decade, Ireland has decided to completely forego her own culture, opinions and thought processes, and instead parrot American ‘progressive’ values, for better or worse.
And as you can guess, it’s about to get worse.
After examining the Biden administration’s first month in power, a glimpse of our future import list can be caught. Biden’s first week in office witnessed the signing of an Executive Order that has progressed the transgender rights movement further than any legislation previously enacted in America. This executive order, titled “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation”, begins to facilitate men, who identify as women, to participate in female sporting divisions, and women, who identify as men to participate in male sporting divisions. This legislation signals the death of a female-only competitive space and should send a chill down the spines of those who profess to value the female sporting sector. Now, I am aware that the vast majority of people reading this may have never given the topic of transgender athletes a second thought, and may be wondering why this should be considered a serious blow to female athletes internationally. So, allow me to outline a number of reasons why transgender athletes pose a serious risk to the future of the female sporting sector, and why it should be opposed.
It seems silly to point this out, but of course it is necessary. Male and female bodies are anatomically different. Vastly different. To examine scientific averages, males display a larger quantity of muscle mass, a denser bone structure than females, a greater VO2 max due to larger lungs and also, longer limbs to accompany their greater height and weight. These are vital differences between the two genders, differences that play an important role in competitive sports, most notably field sports, combat sports and athletics.
For the sake of argument, let’s examine transgender athletes in rugby. Consider a 16 year old girl, weighing 60kg, playing prop-head in a scrum, compelled to play in the same match as that of a 16 year old, testosterone fulled male, weighing 100kg, who has recently began to identify as female. I’d say the scrums would be brutal.
Not only is she now playing with transgender women (born male) who are bigger, stronger and faster than she is, thereby undermining the likelihood of her being selected for top level teams or accolades, but her risk of injury has just increased exponentially. Thankfully, last October, World Rugby became the first international sports body to ban transgender women (men) from the women’s game following an eight-month review. However, these anatomical differences are being whitewashed over in the name of equality in many other sports, despite the physical risk that biological females are being exposed to. I wonder could the boxer Wladimir Klitschko (who stands at over 2 meters tall and weighs 250 pounds), identify as female and revive his career by fighting and beating Katie Taylor? I would say that every female fighter in Ireland would be rightly appalled at such an idea.
History of Abuse
Unfortunately this is something that is already taking place in the sporting community at large for quite some time, yet due to a multitude of reasons, these issues are dismissed and ignored.
Craig Telfer is a name that most people would understandably be unaware of. Mr. Telfor ranked as the 200th top male runner in 2016. And then dropped to the 390th top male runner in 2017. Not exactly Olympian material, however, in 2018 Telfer ‘transitioned’ and began to ‘identify’ as female. The following year, he became the national female champion, ranking as number 1. That must have come as quite a shock for his fellow female runners. Was this an oxymoron? Possibly. Evidently it was easier for Telfer to identify his way to the top of an alternate division than to win an accolade among his original male competitors.
To provide another example, in 2018, Rhys McKinnon, who changed his name first to Rachel McKinnon, and then to Veronica Ivy, won first place in the Women’s UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships. This is despite the fact that Rhys/Rachel/Veronica was born male and spent 29 years as a male, athletically benefitting from male puberty, male hormones, male bone density and male lungs.
But after an unsuccessful stint as a competitive cyclist in the male divisions, he found it was easier to identify as female and use his male body, and the athletic benefits that come with such a body, to claim first place. To add insult to injury, Rhys also won the 2019 title. Each of these victories came at the expense of a biological woman, forced to accept silver, and second best. Not exactly an ode to female empowerment, is it?
Finally, let’s examine Gavin Hubbard. Gavin was a junior weightlifter in New Zealand, earning himself a decent number of records nationally during the late 90s. However, as time progressed, his records and his position at the top of his weight category began to be eclipsed by better male athletes. A number of years later, aged 34, Gavin ‘transitioned’ to female and in 2017, competed in the heaviest female weightlifting division available to him, under the name Laurel. Weighing in at 131.83kg, naturally, Laurel smoked the competition.
Defining who is legitimate and who is illegitimate.
Of course, I am aware that critics will say that the 3 aforementioned athletes presented legitimate cases of gender dysphoria. However, in keeping with the need to discuss this topic openly, I would then ask, who could be considered a sufficiently authoritative voice to define what cases of alleged gender dysphoria in sport are legitimate and what cases are illegitimate? Who would decide what athletes are displaying genuine signs and what athletes are merely taking advantage of the ability to identify their way into a competitively preferential division, category or tournament?
Unopposed ideological inconsistencies
For the last hundred years, women globally have sought to carve out a much needed and much deserved space politically, socially and competitively. Yet, under the guise of ‘equality’, we now risk effectively destroying this female-only competitive space, which many thousands of women fought for many decades to create. Policies like this fly in the face of these women’s achievements and they should not go unopposed any longer. Female-only competitive spaces provide women with the opportunity to engage with their physical and mental health in a fair, safe and level environment. This is something that should be defended at all costs, yet many people are unwilling to express this opinion publicly for fear of being branded as a bigot and many other overused insults. To combat this apparent reluctance to publicly oppose such a vital matter, I leave you with what I consider to be a valuable quote from Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a leading figure of the U.S. suffragette movements during the mid nineteenth century. It is one that I think is quite fitting in this context:
‘The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls’.
Therefore, should the time arise when Ireland seeks to import this misguided form of ‘equality’, we should not to fear the opinions of others, and oppose it for the sake of women internationally.
Simon Griffin is an independent personal trainer in the fitness industry