Saturday 25 March 2023

Male bodies in women's sport is cheating


I have never heard of a trans man, i.e., a person who was born a girl who later decided she was a boy or a man, trying to compete at even the lowest level in men’s sport. There is a reason for that. Such a person with a female body would not be able to compete against men, even if she thought she was a man. In a hundred metres race she would come last. In a rugby match she would be battered if not maimed or killed.

I have likewise never heard of a trans man wishing to go to a men’s prison or even wanting to go to a men’s sauna where everyone sits in a towel or sometimes completely naked. Trans men do not wish to enter men’s spaces for a very good reason. A trans man in a men’s prison would be vulnerable because she would be smaller and weaker than any of the other inmates and would be subject to physical or sexual assault. It’s tough enough being a man in a man’s prison, it would be still worse if you had a female body. So trans men don’t choose to do this.

It's always the other way round. Trans women want to take part in women’s sport. Trans women want access to women’s spaces. Why the disparity? While there are no trans men trying to play men’s rugby there are lots of trans women. While there are no trans men trying to beat men in swimming races or weightlifting contests, there are lots of trans women trying to do the reverse. While there are no trans men in men’s prisons there are lots of trans women trying to go to women’s prisons and trying to go to rape crisis centres, women’s changing rooms at swimming pools and Marks and Spencer. But why?

I think oddly enough the SNP came closest to giving us the reason. While Nicola Sturgeon and Humza Yousaf struggled to tell us whether the various rapists in women’s prisons were “he” “she” “it” “they” or the “the individual”, they did hint that these rapists might have been less than honest in their claims to be women.

Where would a rapist prefer to be? In a men’s prison where he might be mistreated because he’s a sex offender and where he might himself become a victim of rape, or in a woman’s prison where he is likely to be stronger than any of the guards and all of the other inmates and where if he is lucky, he might be able to continue his raping.

So, all you need to do if you are a rapist in Scotland is to say that you are really a woman, call yourself “she” and insist that everyone else does. To make this more convincing you might wear a wig, add some chest padding and wear a pink outfit.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that these rapists are not really trans women, they are chancers. They are using deceit to gain an advantage. People are not always honest. Who knew? This is why we have courts to test whether someone is telling the truth or not.

But just as the trans women trying to go to a women’s prison are being deceitful, might it be possible to suggest that some of the people with male bodies who want to take part in women’s sport are also being deceitful?

An American swimmer who is about a foot taller than his fellow competitors wins every race against women by hundreds of yards. He also gets to share a changing room with women even though he has an intact male body and is attracted to women, goes on dates with them and presumably if he gets the chance uses that intact male body in the usual way that has been creating babies since time began.

Now it could be that this American swimmer is completely sincere, but it could be just like the trans woman in the women’s jail that he sees an advantage and takes it. If you are not quite good enough to be an elite men’s swimmer, why not be an elite woman’s swimmer? All you need to do is say that you are a woman, that you want to be called “she” and perhaps take some hormones for a while.  No one is allowed to question your honesty. No one is allowed to say that trans women are not women and that there is a crucial difference between a trans woman (male body) and a woman (female body). But if no one is allowed to question the honesty of these athletes, why are we surprised that some of them might turn out to be dishonest?

But if the Scottish Gender legislation, which would have allowed men to become legally women just by saying so and waiting three months, was brought down because it would put rapists in women’s prison, wouldn’t it be equally subject to being challenged on the grounds that it puts some dishonest athletes into women’s races? The point is the same. It may be more dangerous to a woman to have a trans woman in a rugby scrum than a rapist in a woman’s prison.

It is this that makes the ban on trans women in athletics so devastating for the trans argument. It not merely says that it is unfair for trans women to compete against women. It calls into question the idea that trans women are literally women. For if that were true, there would be no problem in their competing against women. It also calls into question the idea that self-identification is a safe method of determining whether someone is a woman or not.

But if self-identification, i.e., a man saying I am a woman and waiting three months for his certificate, is not a sensible way of determining who is and who is not a woman, then the whole trans argument collapses.

What we are left with is determining that a man is a man, and a woman is a woman by observing their bodies. Female bodies are women, male bodies are men. This leaves us to conclude that trans women are men with gender dysphoria or else dishonesty, so we need doctors to diagnose this to sort out the wheat from chaff.

After diagnosis, the doctor will then decide the best way for the individual to deal with his or her dysphoria. He may choose to accept the sex he was born with or else live like a woman, and he may try to make his body as similar to a woman’s body as possible. The rest of us will treat him as kindly as possible use whatever name and pronouns he wishes, but the truth will be that he will remain male, will still be a man and if he commits a crime he will still go to the men’s prison and if he wants to play sport, he will do it against the men.

And that solves the problem and prevents all cheating