Transgender Women Should Not Compete Against Biological Women
You could describe me as many things – talkative, outgoing, spontaneous or kind. However, one word that should not describe me is athletic. Growing up in musical theater, there was not an athletic bone in my body.
However, I’d like to believe that has changed.
Following controversy over a political article I wrote last summer, my military father encouraged learning self-defense in case this article, or future ones, were met with physical confrontation. That’s when he introduced Muay Thai.
Early June, I walked into Sammy’s Muay Thai, and it changed my life. It took less than two weeks for me to fall in love with the “art of eight limbs,” and next thing I knew I was training six days a week. Now, eight months later I’ve continued my training here in Lynchburg at The Edge Martial Arts and Tumbling.
I went from sitting out when my friends did anything remotely athletic to looking into fight camps and competing in a sport.
Learning this sport has only strengthened a fundamental belief: Transgender men should not, under any circumstance, compete against biological women.
University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, a transgender male who has tallied school records competing as a woman, has recently come to controversy. Before competing as a woman, Thomas spent three seasons on the men’s team. Thomas even underwent a year of testosterone suppressants to transition from male to female.
According to the New York Post, Thomas has been shattering women’s team records, and her teammates are furious at the NCAA for allowing Thomas to compete.
Even Caitlin Jenner, former male Olympian now transgender woman, has spoken out against Lia Thomas, according to Meidaite.
“I’ve said from the beginning, biological boys should not be playing in women’s sports. We need to protect women’s sports,” Jenner said on Fox News’ “America Reports.”
What surprises me the most is the complete acceptance society has taken to individuals like Lia Thomas. The same society that pushes for women’s liberation and preaches about the beauty of being a woman, allows for men to cheapen our experiences by transitioning and defeating us.
Despite the ability to transition, transgender women will never understand what it means to be a biological woman.
Being a woman in a combat sport has only furthered my belief that men do not belong in women’s sports.
If you are familiar with MMA, the name Fallon Fox probably rings a bell. She is known for, in 2014, fighting Tamikka Brents and fracturing her skull within the first two and a half minutes of the first round of the fight. Fox is a biological male who transitioned to female, after hitting puberty.
Here lies a deeper problem with transgender athletes competing against biological athletes. It’s no longer about fairness, but about safety. Men are at an astronomical physical advantage after their bodies go through puberty, which makes competing against women unfair and dangerous.
Transgender woman India Willoughby said on “Good Morning Britain” that there are 2,000 men in the world right now that run 100 meters faster than the greatest female sprinter of all time. Furthermore, Piers Morgan explained that 1,500 of the top male tennis players could beat Serena Williams. Willoughby elaborated that if a man goes through puberty, he will be taller, broader, his stride greater and his reach longer.
“If you go through puberty, you have all of the benefits of having a male body. Even if you transition and reduce your testosterone, you’re still going to have those benefits,” said Olympic medalist Sharon Davies. “The bone structure, the slightly bigger hearts, more red blood cells, you know the smaller pelvis – sitting on a cycle that makes quite a big difference, so therefore for a female athlete competing with a transgender female is always going to be at a disadvantage.”
The NCAA recently voted for a “sport by sport” approach to this issue. This was done to ensure transgenders are not being discriminated against, and biological athletes are ensured fairness. It is a battle between inclusion and safety.
According to their website, “Like the Olympics, the updated NCAA policy calls for transgender participation for each sport to be determined by the policy for the national governing body of that sport, subject to ongoing review and recommendation by the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports to the Board of Governors. If there is no NGB policy for a sport, that sport’s international federation policy would be followed. If there is no international federation policy, previously established IOC policy criteria would be followed.”
Being against transgenders competing against biological individuals does not make you transphobic. Women have the right to fairness and safety while competing in their sport, and currently they have neither. Women’s sports must be upheld.
mackenzie is the opinion editor. Follow her on Twitter