Author Topic: Statement

« on: April 01, 2022 »
At British Cycling we believe that women are men, just with less testosterone. Furthermore we are of the opinion that the only way to balance fairness and inclusivity is to redefine fairness to mean inclusivity. All are welcome in any category of the rainbow.

We are today calling for a coalition of those willing to take the brave step of agreeing with us or else maintain a dignified silence.

The challenge in elite sports is to embrace the inadvertently high value, low cost gift horse of the 10-15% difference that those with biologically bountiful but artificially suppressed testosterone can bring to the game, as opposed to settling for the tiny, marginal gains that add up to race winning differences of 0.5—1% that are the historical norm.

Within recent years, we've seen huge advancements in the science of making simple things complicated and in testing societal standards of good sportsmanship. This is a complex nuanced area. Resources are a pie that needs to be shared. Some will take bigger bites because they have bigger mouths. There's no shame in it.

We know that these conversations are difficult for those who naturally have less testosterone and generally fewer pockets, but we want to encourage them to continue to participate and find a better answer than expectations of winning and holding records.

Resistance is futile.

You know very well you're not real.

I am real! said Alice, and began to cry.

You won't make yourself a bit realer by crying, Tweedledee remarked: there's nothing to cry about.

If I wasn't real, Alice said – half laughing through her tears, it all seemed so ridiculous – I shouldn't be able to cry.

I hope you don't think those are real tears? Tweedledee interrupted in a tone of great contempt.

CREDIT (where I read it)
"less testosterone" – Emily Diamond
"gift horse" – EmbarrassingHadrosaurus
Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll
Tweedledee played with great eye-rolling by the former Rachel McKinnon

« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2022 »
Fine. If you people are going to throw a hissy fit.

Furiously fast forward to "Oh don't be ridiculous"

Boo who
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2022 »
None of the following mostly copied-n-pasted views of mine will be news to NACF regulars (bots, mostly, but I try not to hold that against them).

'Chandler Bing' is a reference taken from one of the comments, since expunged. Oh well.
Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges insists she has no advantage over rivals
Quote from: cykelsmurf
I think the root of problem can be seen in this article and its comment thread. People are calling him "her" and "she", out of politeness or peer pressure. That is a man wanting and pretending to be a woman. Playing along with that fantasy won't help him in the long run, and it leads to these absurd conversations where we argue whether a man should be allowed to compete in women's sport. If we were all just being honest we wouldn't even need to get into convoluted discussion about "hormone levels" and "bone density" and whatnot. And maybe then this Emily would some day accept himself for what he really is, and feel fine with being a man.

Quote from: brooksby
Hmm - could you be any more offensive, on your first post?

I'm assuming "pretending" and "fantasy" were the most pointed instruments of offence. Having scrutinised both

Quote from: dictionary
behave so as to make it appear that something is the case when in fact it is not
Quote from: dictionary
the faculty or activity of imagining impossible or improbable things.

and secure in the knowledge that men
1. aren't
2. can't become
women, and that

Quote from: vthejk
the gender binary (i.e., male and female) is widely recognised to be a product of modern patriarchal Western society too, wherein in pre-modern times gender fluidity was the norm:

the male and female sexes weren't in fact the invention of modern patriarchal Western society, I do not take issue with the vocabulary employed by Boo.

Quote from: AlsoSomniloquism
Boo just can't help signing up can they.
Quote from: nosferatu1001
Boo is back again

Quote from: cykelsmurf
Don't know who or what "Boo" is. Anyway, calling someone a bigot is not an argument. Nowadays it seems to be used mostly to silence people. But I can admit that if you're arguing against objective reality you cannot really play by the rules if you want to win.

Guess which bit I think merits highlighting.

Crybabies [this is a technical term, not a judgement] aren't comfortable with expanding the bandwidth of male, and would prefer women continue to budge up.

Quote from: IanMK
If we're going to get hung up about the simple and courteous use of a pronoun then there's no chance we're going to have reasoned debabate about whether a transgender athlete should be allowed to compete with other women.

This is something worth getting hung up about. My go-to link: Pronouns are Rohypnol

Quote from: nosferatu1001
Quote from: Aspeers
You may identify as a woman or man, but you cannot change the nature of your DNA, our species has two genders, they are fundamentally different in terms of Physiology.

Our species has more than two sexes (what you miscategorise as gender) and your gcse level biology is inadequate.

Can't wait to hear about this third sex.

Kudos to sparrowlegs and others who have now jumped in.

Hmmm. The opening quote seems to have disappeared.

And now all the comments are gone.

. . .

And they're back again - most of them, anyway; looks like the author of the story or somebody else with moderating powers agreed with brooksby.

Excellent reply to IanMK:

Quote from: Sriracha
That's a seductive argument; who can disagree that debate should be reasoned, and bounded by courtesy?

To refer to an adult as "she" is to recognise them as woman. But that is the issue at the heart of the debate. That is asking one party to concede as a pre-condition of the debate.

This is not some dry procedural matter. Language colours thinking; only allowing expression of thought in language that leans towards one view exerts a powerful influence on the debate. Where none is given, crying offence as a means to invoke the bounds of courtesy is a time worn ploy. As a tactic it may well carry the day, but it will leave the issue unresolved.

. . .

One of the vipers at Mumsnet weighs in:

Quote from: viques
Emily Bridges was a promising young cyclist tipped for gold at the Paris Olympics. Emily was on the male elite squad, offered training camps, physio, equipment, psychological support, nutritional advice etc etc, only a limited number of cyclists, male or female, get places on this programme. Emily got injured, which was sad, but let’s face it, lots of athletes get injuries career damaging, comes with the job, and for most it sadly means early retirement from the sport they love. But luckily Emily had a get out of jail card!

Historically Emily is on record as saying they had already wanted to transition but had decided to postpone transition until after Paris (so Emily had been perfectly prepared to continue to race as a male, and to receive funding and support on the male elite squad in order to qualify and compete as a male in Paris) but post injury Emily’s times and performance meant they were dropped from the male elite squad. So tadaaa! Emily played her trump card and brought forward their transition, thus, potentially, bumping a female squad member from the elite squad. Emily still wants that medal don’t they?

Emily is sturdy, well over six foot tall, and is rarely photographed with female cyclists. I see Emily has decided that a bit of make up and soft focus photography is going to support their claim that having been through male puberty is no advantage whatsoever and that denying Emily her chance of success is just mean. Sorry Emily, hiding behind expertly applied makeup doesn’t make you any less of a cheat.

So as soon as Emily was dropped by the male squad, Emily brought forward their "transition" and sped over to the women's squad enabled by the useful idiots in British Cycling who are now having to dig themselves out of the havoc they've inflicted on women's cycling.

The FINA frontier
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2022 »
Quote from: Sean Ingle
[The UCI] accepts that the science shows that trans women have an advantage. But it says some unfairness to females in sport is acceptable in exchange for being inclusive.

We could've done something like this, but fairness* is so passé.

The policy that rocked the sporting world
Swimming has made headlines around the world this week and not because of the action at the world championships in Budapest but for the historic decision handed down on Monday which banned transgender athletes from competing against women. Julian Linden sat down with FINA’s chief executive director Brent Nowicki for the full story.

Of all the misconceptions about FINA’s game-changing policy for transgender athletes, the most deceitful is why swimming’s leaders took the plunge while other sports were content to sit back and wait for someone else.

The popular narrative is that FINA panicked because of the storm that erupted when University of Pennsylvania trans swimmer Lia Thomas won a national title at the American College championships.

Because that happened just three months ago, and FINA’s bombshell new policy was only made public when delegates were asked to vote on it at the Congress in Budapest last weekend, the simple but wrong assumption was that it was a hit job aimed squarely at Thomas.

The critics - and there are plenty of them - accused FINA of rushing through with a half-baked policy just to block Thomas from competing at the next Olympics, taking place in Paris in 2024.

But the FINA executive who engineered and helped draft and oversee the development of the entire policy from start to finish, says that notion is a total fallacy.

“It’s easy to say Lia Thomas was the lightning rod but that’s not the case,” FINA’s chief executive director Brent Nowicki told News Corp. “These issues, health and safety, welfare issues, competition, fairness issues, these are issues that have been in international sport for years now.”

In his one and only tell-all interview on the policy that has rocked the sporting world, Nowicki has lifted the lid on the true inside story on exactly how the policy that has divided the world came to fruition. Critically, he reveals that it started much earlier than people think - in 2021, not 2022 - and, contrary to popular belief, there was never any intention to exclude anyone. Rather, the starting point for the project was to find a way to include everyone in a fair way.

It was only after FINA received the detailed report it commissioned from independent scientists and medical experts that it felt compelled to come up with a policy that effectively banned transgender women from competing in elite female competitions.

“We didn’t start with the goal posts in front of us. We weren’t trying to kick that ball through those goalposts,” Nowicki said. “We were trying to move the ball down the field methodically, correctly, and that was the approach we had always taken.“

The starting point for the policy actually stems from FINA’s dark past, and the current push to finally clean it all up.

For much of its 114 years, FINA has been run primarily by men, who spent millions of the sport’s fortune on their own lavish lifestyles instead of competitors struggling to make ends meet. But that all changed last year after FINA elected a new president - Husain Al-Musallam - on a platform to reform the organisation after its dirty secrets were exposed by a two-year investigation by News Corp.

Nowicki, a top American lawyer who had worked for years at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and has a reputation for meticulous planning, got straight to work the first day he sat down at his new desk - June 8, 2021.

Overseeing the reforms - which promised to put the interests of athletes first - he soon discovered a whole range of issues that were not properly covered by the existing policies, including inclusion and fairness.

So he decided to take a deeper look, especially into the transgender debate, which had come up in other sports, so began assembling top international experts with no ties to the sport’s murky past. “There was no preconceived notion. If anything, there was a desire to learn as much as we possibly could and figure out what does science say, what does it mean?” he said.

“I wanted to know what it was. What is being transgender mean? What does it mean scientifically? What does it mean, chromosomally? What does it mean socially? What does it mean mentally? It’s not just being transgender that makes you transgender. There’s more to it than just the label you put on somebody. It was our duty to figure that out, educate ourselves.”

By November last year, the first group had already been chosen. Comprising medical and science experts, it included Dr Sandra Hunter, an Australian-born professor at the Department of Athletic and Human Performance at Marquette University. In early 2022, the science group had finished its report and handed it to Nowicki.

The full report has not been published but the architects addressed the Congress before the vote, explaining how competitions between male and female athletes are no longer fair once puberty kicks in because of the differences in testosterone values.

What’s more, the scientists showed how biological and physical changes can’t be undone, which was one of the decisive factors that convinced FINA to prevent transgender women from competiting in elite women’s events if they had gone through puberty - essential rejecting the idea that level playing fields can be created through testosterone reduction.

“In a very simplistic look on the street approach…where we drew the line was where the impact of testosterone meets between girls and boys,” Nowicki said. “At that point, it’s arguable that the legacy effects of testosterone start to develop and you can’t undo that or you can’t undo all of that.”

Once it became clear what the science was saying, Nowicki set up a second working group, comprising legal and human rights experts, to look at how to frame the policy.

The five members included former Federal Court of Australia judge Annabelle Bennett and James Drake, an Australian barrister and CAS Arbitrator, now based in London.

Nowicki also began talking to athletes, sending out questionnaires to over 300 athletes around the world, to find out what they wanted. The response was overwhelming.

More than 83% said eligibility for events should be decided by birth sex. And over 63% said they wanted to see an additional ‘open’ category created to ensure everyone can compete. A separate taskforce, yet to be decided, will begin work on that soon, and is expected to report back at the end of the year.

Nowicki also held one-on-one interviews with a smaller number of elite athletes, whose identities remain confidential, other than Australia’s Cate Campbell and American Summer Sanders.”

“Presented with the scientific report, they both agreed to speak at the Congress before the vote was taken, and urged delegates to support what the science was saying. Women, who have fought long and hard to be included and seen as equals in sport can only do so because of the gender category distinction,” Campbell said. “To remove that distinction would be to the detriment of female athletes everywhere.”

Almost a year in the making, the policy draft was completed in time for the Congress, but was kept secret to all but a handful of people, because of the high sensitivity around the issue.

“Obviously as we went on, it was very important for me to protect the conversations I was having,” Nowicki said. “I didn’t want anyone to have pressure put on them because it was leaked.”

The covert operation largely succeeded. It was only on the eve of the vote that the news of what was coming was leaked to an unsuspecting sports world.

When the Congress voted 71% in favour of adopting the new policy, it lit a fuse that exploded all around the world.

FINA’s decision - the most comprehensive of any major sporting body on the planet - has been widely applauded but also criticised. Other sporting bodies are now scrambling to play catch up, facing increasing pressure to follow FINA although Nowicki said that was never the intention.

“The media has said it was a very aggressive policy,” Nowicki said. “But we went as far as we needed to go to meet the legitimate objectives we felt were necessary for competitive balance, for fairness in our sport.

“We had such a sound body of evidence, we had a sound body of voice, we felt comfortable in our legal skin and we were prepared to go forward. We weren’t worried or concerned about what impact it would have on other federations. We’re taking the best decision we can take based on the evidence that’s presented by us, by our chosen people.

“It’s probably safe to say the policy’s never going to be complete. It’s a living document, it’s going to evolve with scientists and evolve with time. I can’t sit here and tell you that we got it 100% right. I can (just) say we got 100% right based on the science today.”

Naughtily retrieved from behind a paywall by LunaLights at Mumsnet

* Having two categories dominated by men is fair, right?

Duty calls
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2022 »
If it wasn't clear by now, I wear quite a few hats.

British Cycling Balls Up its Transgender Policy caught my attention, as it was destined to. Dipped my toes in earlier then left the thread alone. Checked in the other day and realised I couldn't any longer, because you know. Vexation,* thy name is Cugel (who can be an entertaining enough writer).

Was fully expecting a battle – a smoke grenade about intersex conditions at the very least – but so far, so quiet; and he's still active in other threads. Is that how all this will end, not with a bang but with a whimper? If only.

Every little helps.

In much bigger news –
Allison Bailey wins her case!

* on edit: vexation has a new name