Author Topic: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race  (Read 3514 times)

Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« on: October 15, 2018, 02:59:32 pm »
There's not alot of reporting on this, other than clickbaity 'news' sites reposting tweets.
So, here's the tweet from the victor and the ensuing debate underneath: https://twitter.com/rachelvmckinnon/status/1051495467979173888

I'm not really sure what the UCI 'Masters' is. Amateur event, I presume, with the UCI taking coins for use of their logo?

Anyway, I've always felt like I'm a 'let and let live' sort of chap, but this just seems... well, 'wrong'.

I'm sure this isn't the first example of it's kind, but where does this leave women's sport in general?

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 03:06:44 pm »

Wow, there's rather a lot of hate in those twitter replies.

This, coupled with Caster Semenya, and IAU, is going to make for interesting discussions. Shame it's likely to get side tracked in the media by TERFs and general transphobes.

*sigh*

J
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 03:11:18 pm »
Most sporting organisations have a set of medical criteria for trans women to be allowed to compete in women's events.  Usually requiring something to the effect that they've had a testosterone level below n for m years (at which point their ability to build muscle is the same as a typical cis woman).  The main issue is when cis or intersex women unwittingly fall foul of the gender police.

Best not to read the bottom half of the internet.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 08:10:11 pm »
Most sporting organisations have a set of medical criteria for trans women to be allowed to compete in women's events.  Usually requiring something to the effect that they've had a testosterone level below n for m years (at which point their ability to build muscle is the same as a typical cis woman).  The main issue is when cis or intersex women unwittingly fall foul of the gender police.

Best not to read the bottom half of the internet.

The bottom half seems to be closer to the top than is good...

J
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Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 08:09:58 am »
Most sporting organisations have a set of medical criteria for trans women to be allowed to compete in women's events.  Usually requiring something to the effect that they've had a testosterone level below n for m years (at which point their ability to build muscle is the same as a typical cis woman).  The main issue is when cis or intersex women unwittingly fall foul of the gender police.

Which, to me, says you can't have some arbitrary value determine your sex (in the eyes of a sporting body). It's far more nuanced, but are there really the resources at lower levels to go through this? I noticed the CTT has a trans policy as of this year, similar to what you have described, but wondered who would be enforcing it? I have never seen doping control in action - most events barely scrape by with enough volunteers as it is.

The relative size of the athletes doesn't bother me so much. Laura Trott is tiny and routinely thumps physically larger women. Another sport I used to follow was Skeleton Bobsleigh. It was very competitive for a while, but the arrival of Lizzie Yarnold and return of Pikus-Pace more of less killed it stone-dead (for me). Both physically taller, stronger women, towering over most of their rivals. They would win by a margin.

But physically growing up as a male and later transitioning has to bring with it certain advantages that can be measured. Why should the human rights of one person impinge upon the rights of another to compete in a fair contest?

It seems not even the trans-community is unilaterally onboard: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2018/01/11/these-transgender-cyclists-have-olympian-disagreement-how-define-fairness/995434001/

Cudzoziemiec

  • Dormant but requires tea
Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 09:14:44 am »
Perhaps, for those sports where physical bulk is a factor, there should be categories by weight or height, as there are for boxing and wrestling? Rather than by sex. Probably not applicable to most cycling though. But however you do it, it's sport; it has to have arbitrary rules and winners and losers. And it's only sport. Sure, fans get excited and upset, but beyond that, the effects of one person winning or losing are pretty negligible.
The unwilling rider and the one who leaves each control in turn without reluctance, with no desire to come back, obviously cannot be making the same journey, even though their brevets are identical.

Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2018, 06:48:25 am »
The Masters require no qualification, just enter your age group event and ride. I’m waiting till I’m 100 before having a go 😁. Anyway, she has won 1 event. Before condemning trans women for having an unfair advantage, let’s wait and see what happens.
I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

JennyB

  • Old enough to know better
Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2018, 10:18:15 am »
Perhaps, for those sports where physical bulk is a factor, there should be categories by weight or height, as there are for boxing and wrestling? Rather than by sex. Probably not applicable to most cycling though. But however you do it, it's sport; it has to have arbitrary rules and winners and losers. And it's only sport. Sure, fans get excited and upset, but beyond that, the effects of one person winning or losing are pretty negligible.

This. Do we need special sprint events for tall blokes because Usain Bolt?
Jennifer - walker of hills



Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2018, 04:17:50 pm »
The Masters require no qualification, just enter your age group event and ride. I’m waiting till I’m 100 before having a go 😁. Anyway, she has won 1 event. Before condemning trans women for having an unfair advantage, let’s wait and see what happens.

A well known Masters world competition winner I knew once told me that winning the titles got easier, you just had to outlive the rest , :-)

Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2018, 08:20:32 am »
I think it's a tricky issue. Look at Laurel Hubbard (weightlifting) and Fallon Fox (UFC). Both of these women are clearly stronger than their peers and I don't think they should have been allowed to compete. (UFC will do anything for money, though).

Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2018, 05:02:32 pm »
There's a 16 page thread on the time trial forum about Dr McKinnon. As you can imagine, it's mostly older guys with contradictory views talking past each other. ;)
I believe it comes down to the rights of an individual (to self declare + to compete) with the rights of the group to some form of protected status (in order to create a somewhat level playing field). How you balance these rights is too complex for me! The UCI has had a go with their T restriction - I guess it'll end up in court at some point.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2018, 05:26:30 pm »
I worked with a female colleague who is a talented 800m runner.  Not at Olympic level but at national club level.  Her views on Caster Semenya was that she had an unfair advantage.  I suspect they would be the same with a transgender athlete.  The argument went along the lines of, in order not to discriminate against one group we are discriminating against another.   That's not about hate or phobia but about trying to find the right definition to get a level playing field.  However the line is drawn there will be losers.
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Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2018, 09:16:50 pm »
Is it about the right to practise a sport and participate in competition or about the right to beat everyone when you know you are not on the same playing field. Reading Dr McKinnon's arguements she makes it sound like the former but her actual performances would appear to put her in the latter category.
If the former and if you accept that there is no acceptable test (which would appear to be her arguement) then the only solution is totally open sport without gender categories. Otherwise you have the situation of athletes competing in whichever gender category they think appropriate, regardless of the other competitors.
The other solution is to have genuine trans category competition (a bit like handisport), which I presume would give rise to claims of discrimination against trans athletes because they were being stopped from using whatever advantage they might have.

Of course if Dr McKinnon wanted simply to participate in PBP all these problems wouldn't arise (in her case at least).

Cudzoziemiec

  • Dormant but requires tea
Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2018, 12:27:26 pm »
Never mind gender, how about age? "I might have been born 20 years ago but I identify as a 70-year old, so I'm competing in the Veterans section."
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/man-change-age-netherlands-emile-ratelband-court-arnhmen-gelderland-a8623421.html
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/08/dutch-man-69-starts-legal-fight-to-identify-as-20-years-younger
Funny how the two reports have used somewhat different photos of him. (I expect the case will be thrown out, but who knows?)
The unwilling rider and the one who leaves each control in turn without reluctance, with no desire to come back, obviously cannot be making the same journey, even though their brevets are identical.

fd3

Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2019, 10:19:01 pm »
This is the sort of situation where our "intuition" will probably lead to "common sense" answers that disagree with "logic" and "scientific argument".  However there are too few cases for us to form a logical argument yet and there is not enough data to work with.
[/I could be wrong]

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2019, 10:28:04 pm »
'Unfair advantage' is hokum. Serena Williams, Usain Bolt, or any other elite performer, have 'unfair advantages' by merit of winning the genetic lottery. It's just code talk for 'I don't want trans people included in sport.'
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2019, 11:02:42 pm »
The hypothesis has been quite well tested, with trans women having been allowed to compete in the Olympics for years without a single one ever winning anything.  If they have an unfair advantage, it's clearly not an effective one.  (Or at least not sufficient to overcome whatever unfair disadvantages they experience on account of being trans, which amounts to the same thing.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2019, 07:04:32 am »
It's only ever a problem when they win....which they never have in the Olympics, and rarely in amateur sports, which leads me to wonder whether the debate is really about trans women being women, rather than trans women entering sports with an advantage. Nobody seems bothered about trans men in sports.

Pedal Castro

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Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2019, 08:06:03 am »
It's only ever a problem when they win....which they never have in the Olympics, and rarely in amateur sports, which leads me to wonder whether the debate is really about trans women being women, rather than trans women entering sports with an advantage. Nobody seems bothered about trans men in sports.

As you say, nobody seems bothered unless they win so it's not anti-trans per se, a bit like nobody is bothered if doped riders don't win races. Or it it because unless a win occurs it isn't newsworthy and the folks that would get upset about it just aren't aware?

Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2019, 01:39:39 pm »
As you say, nobody seems bothered unless they win so it's not anti-trans per se, a bit like nobody is bothered if doped riders don't win races. Or it it because unless a win occurs it isn't newsworthy and the folks that would get upset about it just aren't aware?

I'd assume that the "unfair advantage" argument only works when they win. Other arguments, or other trans people that are an easier target, get the focus at other times. So I'd read it as anti-trans.

Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2019, 08:44:54 pm »
As you say, nobody seems bothered unless they win so it's not anti-trans per se, a bit like nobody is bothered if doped riders don't win races. Or it it because unless a win occurs it isn't newsworthy and the folks that would get upset about it just aren't aware?

I'd assume that the "unfair advantage" argument only works when they win. Other arguments, or other trans people that are an easier target, get the focus at other times. So I'd read it as anti-trans.

The issue only seems to be trans versus cis females. Why are we not talking about all trans versus cis in sport, male and female? It shouldn't just be about winning. If it is all decided by hormone levels are trans males allowed to use hormones that cis males would not be allowed to use on the grounds that their female counterparts are being tested for their levels of the same hormones (thinking, a bit simply, about testorone, but it can't be the only one). Would/should riders be allowed to technically cheat in order to level the playing field? What goes on one side of the arguement should apply equally on the other.

Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2019, 09:40:36 pm »
'Unfair advantage' is hokum. Serena Williams, Usain Bolt, or any other elite performer, have 'unfair advantages' by merit of winning the genetic lottery. It's just code talk for 'I don't want trans people included in sport.'

Perhaps some of the 'unfair advantage' relates to disciplines where genetically influenced sex differences, such as lung capacity and larger skeletal frame, may be a factor?  e.g. on average, male 'genetic outliers' on a cycling podium would probably have a higher lung capacity than the female podium.  Musculature, however, as mentioned, apparently responds and changes over time, according to different hormone levels. 
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

fd3

Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2019, 12:50:21 am »
The hypothesis has been quite well tested, with trans women having been allowed to compete in the Olympics for years without a single one ever winning anything.  If they have an unfair advantage, it's clearly not an effective one.  (Or at least not sufficient to overcome whatever unfair disadvantages they experience on account of being trans, which amounts to the same thing.)
I am assuming here (which we all know has a high correlation with talking bollox) but I would be interested in numbers of participants and not number of years.  Trans are a very small minority, so even if they have been allowed to participate in the Olympics I would guess that not many have and that we don't have sufficient stats to comment from that sample.
[/I could be wrong]

Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2019, 12:51:26 am »
The hypothesis has been quite well tested, with trans women having been allowed to compete in the Olympics for years without a single one ever winning anything.  If they have an unfair advantage, it's clearly not an effective one.  (Or at least not sufficient to overcome whatever unfair disadvantages they experience on account of being trans, which amounts to the same thing.)

Laurel Hubbard, as mentioned above, lifted higher as a male junior, than she did as a female world record breaker...and his junior record was still a good ~90kg (25%) below the world record. A top male lifter transitioning would, even with a 20% loss in strength, obliterate the field.

Re: Transgender woman wins UCI sanctioned race
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2019, 10:38:10 am »
The hypothesis has been quite well tested, with trans women having been allowed to compete in the Olympics for years without a single one ever winning anything.  If they have an unfair advantage, it's clearly not an effective one.  (Or at least not sufficient to overcome whatever unfair disadvantages they experience on account of being trans, which amounts to the same thing.)

Laurel Hubbard, as mentioned above, lifted higher as a male junior, than she did as a female world record breaker...and his junior record was still a good ~90kg (25%) below the world record. A top male lifter transitioning would, even with a 20% loss in strength, obliterate the field.
There's a good blog post from Ross Tucker on how good you would have to be pre-transition, in order to be world class after transition, given the performance impediment that transition brings. I know nothing of the weight lifting world, so I can't speak to that, but I guess it comes down to how much better (if at all) than the current top women are the men who are next level down (or further) from the top? If the #10,000 in the world is 20% better than the top women, then there are a large number of men who could transition and perform better than the current top women, even accounting for the performance loss of transition. If you have to be among the top 10 men in the world to have that sort of performance gap, then the numbers suggest it is unlikely that a man with that level of ability will transition.