November 26th, 2017

Mind over matter

If you think you’re a woman, and are taking the correct hormones, now you can even compete in weightlifting as a woman:

Laurel Hubbard has been named to the New Zealand women’s weightlifting team for the Commonwealth Games, sparking controversy in the sport.

Hubbard, 39, will be the first transgender sportsperson to represent New Zealand.

That seems completely wrong to me. I’m certainly not the only one:

Australian Weightlifting Federation chief executive Michael Keelan on Friday claimed Hubbard would have both a physiological and mental edge over her rivals.

Speaking to the Australian Associated Press, Keelan noted that: “If you’ve been a male and you’ve lifted certain weights and then you suddenly transition to a female, then psychologically you know you’ve lifted those weights before.

“I personally don’t think it’s a level playing field. That’s my personal view and I think it’s shared by a lot of people in the sporting world.”

“Personal view”? No, it’s a fact that is almost impossible to deny, although I assume that before Hubbard was approved by the committee, there were plenty of people who had to deny it:

…Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand said she met International Olympic Committee regulations related to acceptable testosterone levels.

A man can be taking testosterone-blocking hormones and yet that man still retains the male shoulder structure, as well as some of his muscular advantage. That’s not rocket science. A person can be in favor of non-discrimination against transgender people (as I generally am) while still retaining enough grasp of reality to understand that allowing Hubbard into a women’s competition is unfair to biological women.

Political correctness triumphs, however, and what used to be common sense—which banned someone like Hubbard in official competitions of this nature—has been overruled:

Previous rules banned trans and intersex people from taking part in sports unless they met a string of requirements.

However, in a bid to resolve some of the issues, the International Olympic Committee adopted a more relaxed policy.

Restrictions on trans men taking part in men’s events were largely lifted.

Trans women still face some obstacles to taking part in women’s events, requiring a consistent testosterone level “below 10 nmol/L” – but there is no longer a restriction relating to gender surgery.

I agree that the “gender surgery” part is quite irrelevant, unless there’s some sport of which I’m not aware where the genitalia come into play. But I disagree that testosterone level is all that matters and is the only thing worth measuring that might confer an advantage.

Female-to-male athletes are not the problem, because it’s quite obvious that genetic females have little to no advantage in sports over men (something like synchronized swimming excepted, and in which female-to-male athletes aren’t competing anyway because there is no male competition in synchronized swimming—although see this). The potential problem is the male-to-female transition:

The intense scrutiny of transgender athletes has focused on trans women because it is generally assumed that transitioning from a woman to a man would not confer a competitive advantage.

Sports organizations have sought a test for sex verification to ensure fairness across all sports. This began in the 1940s with ‘femininity certificates’ provided by a physician. In the 1960s, visual genital inspections were used to confirm gender, followed by chromosomal analysis to ensure that all athletes had an XX or XY chromosomal makeup. These tests were all designed to ensure that athletes were only allowed to compete as their sex, but mostly resulted in the exclusion of intersex athletes.

More recently,[when?] testosterone levels have become the focus and, at the same time, new guidelines have been sought that would allow successfully-transitioned athletes to compete…

…Eric Vilain, a professor of human genetics at UCLA and a consultant to the IOC medical commission, stated: “There is 10 to 12% difference between male and female athletic performance. We need to categorize with criteria that are relevant to performance. It is a very difficult situation with no easy solution.”

Actually, there is a very easy solution (“easy,” that is, except in the political sense): ban transgender athletes from official competition of this sort, in which the sexes are differentiated and there are male-only competitions and female-only competitions. This is not some arbitrary discrimination due to bigotry or prejudice. This is based on biology. If you’re going to divide sports into male and female you’ll have to limit them. A biological male cannot enter a woman’s race, so why should a male who has transitioned to being a transgender female?

As for Hubbard:

[Last April], New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard set new masters world records while competing at the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand. Hubbard made a splash in March when she was the first transgender woman to represent New Zealand in weightlifting at the 2017 Australasian Championships. At that meet, Hubbard snatched 123kg/271lb and clean & jerked 145kg/319lb on her way to gold across the board and new New Zealand weightlifting records.

Do those golds and that record have asterisks beside them?

There’s another problem, one that’s highlighted in this video that’s mainly about Hubbard. It’s more or less the opposite problem. The younger female-to-male transitioning athlete—let’s say, in high school—is a woman who’s taking testosterone and would therefore tend have an advantage over other females. But she’s born female and ordinarily at that age still has the genitalia of a female, and competes as a female at the high school level:

34 Responses to “Mind over matter”

  1. Molly NH Says:

    so stupid, words fail

  2. Frog Says:

    Transgender is a fraud, dishonest. Gays and lesbians do not lie about themselves. Trannies live lies, as the NZ case shows all too well. They are all liars. (Of course Neo will disagree with me, as she often does!)
    Shortly after the Obama-era gender decision re restrooms was announced, Target said it would ‘proudly’ live by that. One day, not finding what I, an obvious XY, wanted at Target, I said to a middle-aged female floor walker “Which way to the restrooms? I feel ladylike and feminine today.” She replied that per corporate policy she would be fired if she said anything about restrooms other than their location. Added her regrets.

  3. Artfldgr Says:

    they are destroying what used to be womens sports (from the pre feminist oppressive past)..

    the classic example here is Fallon Fox
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSbTRm4OBYU

    and especially
    Fallon fox vs tamikka brents
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX3f3KnRvAk
    bout was the fifth straight first-round victory for the then-37-year old Fox, including his three amateur bouts, and his second victory as a professional fighter.

    the sad truth is that we have had 40plus years of indoctrination of anything you can do i can do better politics, in which the owmen in movies and all over go toe to toe with men..

    and it takes a transgender man to give a hint to the lie
    “I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life.”tamikka brents

    you will also see a refusal to believe WHY without a doctor to say so as without that, no one can assert equal ability in the way we do… (to our detriment and the poorer health of many women)

    “I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because [he] was born a man or not, because I’m not a doctor,” she stated. “I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right. ”tamikka brents

    His “grip was different,” she added. “I could usually move around in the clinch against…females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch.””tamikka brents

    well yeah… duh… any biology student can show you how a female arm is bent at other angles than the male arm. so when they try to do what male arms do, they get hurt or it doesn’t work the same or as well.

    thw way the feminists couched all this, a huge portion of their ideological construction and power assertion rides on our accepting this is ok, even at the expense of women as if doing it and waiting long enough “they will come”

    [the same wrong thinking behind building cities with no people in them no one moves to or lives in]

  4. Ymar Sakar Says:

    There’s no boundaries. We have all become nephiliim, the half hybrids between the gods and the daughters of Adam…

    Not going to end well.

  5. JFM Says:

    Question: Why don’t we eliminate separate competitive categories for men and women?

    Answer: Men would win most of the time.

  6. Michael Says:

    “Answer: Men would win most of the time.”

    I suspect they will continue to do so even after becoming ‘women’. I am sure the day will come when we have to create a new category. Perhaps it will be called ‘female-women’.

    And I will be the first to laugh.

  7. Patrick Says:

    There was this one last spring. I have to wonder what sort of man or boy would feel good about competing against girls and feel any sense of triumph over winning.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/apr/7/andraya-yearwood-transgender-athlete-stars-on-fema/

    and this –

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/06/07/transgender-boy-competes-in-girls-high-school-championship-races.html

  8. The Other Chuck Says:

    Kunstler says this on the subject of trans anything:

    I believe in behavioral boundaries and I regard the campaign to abolish sexual categories—or endlessly expand them into meaninglessness—as unhelpful to the human project.

    Unhelpful. Now there’s an understatement.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/an-interview-with-james-howard-kunstler/

  9. CV Says:

    As Patrick mentioned, there’s been a number of similar cases in high school sports:

    https://pjmedia.com/parenting/2017/06/07/male-transgender-sprinter-wins-girls-state-championship-as-a-freshman/

    It’s another example of what the Obama administration hath wrought with Title IX guidelines, transgender policies, etc.

    It’s outrageously unfair, particularly to female student athletes, many of whom are working toward athletic scholarships. I’m surprised that feminists are OK with this.

  10. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    An excellent posting and thoughtful opinions from the commentariat, as usual, on a topic that is more important that it may seem at first glance.

    This phenomenon sheds light on the one thing that is of real value in professional and representative sports and on the many things that aren’t.

    Although I enjoy playing sports and have lifted weights and boxed for the last 20 years, (never competitively – just for health and pleasure), I have no interest at all in watching the organised sports industry – even though the professionals and national representatives perform at a much higher technical level than I can ever aspire to.

    This is because, I like to think, I view competitive sports through the lens of perspective.

    Yes, Big Laurel will no doubt beat the women and will have her name written into the record books but what is there of surpassing value in any of that?

    Those who view sporting activity as only a mechanical exercise recording who can lift heaviest or run fastest or hit a fuzzy ball straightest miss the real point completely.

    Unless the mechanical exercise at the heart of their sport displays some higher, transcendent value, then sports are nothing more than mere childrens’ games played by grownups.

    The concept of “sportsmanship” is out of favour and athletes and audiences lose out accordingly.

    Unless performed in the spirit of sportsmanship, then even when performed at the highest level, an athletic achievement is just hitting a furry ball with accuracy or swimming really fast up and down a pool or heaving a heavy bar above one’s head. There is nothing innately valuable in any of that or anything worthy of the time and attention of thinking grownups.

    On the other hand: when an athlete approaches their sport with the intention of performing it fairly, honestly, in a way that demonstrates respect for their competitors and in the spirit of fair-play, (ie not just technically observant of the written rules of the competition, but committed to the honourable observance of its spirit), then a sporting display becomes something far, far greater.

    A sporting achievement that reflects fair-play and honours the ideal of sportsmanship thereby transcends mere games and illuminates something vital in the human spirit.That, apart from physical and emotional benefits to those participating, is the only real value of sporting competition.

    One of my favourite films is Chariots of Fire, (1981), a rare film devoted to exploring the concept of sportsmanship and the question of if and when and how a sporting achievement might surpass merely physical activity to achieve a transcendent value.

    I may be the only one to ever watch the film and lament the obsessive, (but ultimately technically successful), approach to running, adopted by Harold Abrahams to the exclusion of all else in life.

    Abrahams is shown in the film as saying: “if I can’t win, I won’t run”; he describes his running as ” …a compulsion with me, a weapon I can use”; and describes his Olympic experience as being nothing more than: “ten lonely seconds to justify my whole existence.” How very sad.

    Big Laurel Hubbard would no doubt agree with Harold. As would anyone who believes that winning is everything and that the way one does it is simply by the by.

    Yes, one can run really fast around an oval if one devotes ones life to that activity to the exclusion of everything else or win a weight lifting contest against women using one’s superior male musculature, but so what? Where is the abiding value in that?

    Reading about Big Laurel I was reminded of how, when growing up, it was huge news every couple of years when a yachting contest called the America’s Cup would take place off Rhode Island. The Americans were undefeated against all comers for over a century – the longest unbroken winning streak in international sporting history.

    Challenger nations would race off for the right to challenge and often an Australian yacht would win through for that right. It is no exaggeration to say that despite yachting being a rich man’s sport our entire nation, adults and children alike, paid rapt attention and genuinely cared about the outcome- for the qualifying races and the finals were clearly hard fought and depended upon skill, muscle, hardiness, fortitude. All the values we admired as a people and which good parents universally sought to instill in their children.

    In 1983, when Australian finally won the Cup, every single Australian over the age of about 10 stayed up through the night, paid attention and cared. Our Prime Minister at the time even got drunk while watching the race and cheerfully went on tv to recommend that we should all stay home nursing our hangovers and that any boss who disciplined any worker phoning in sick that day “is a bum”.

    Compare that spirit to just a few years later when a syndicate, (I think it might have been the dread New Zealanders), after paying its lawyers to peruse the deed setting out the rules of the contest entered a catamaran in the race.

    They did so because they could. Because the rules didn’t say they couldn’t. They won – and in record time – but few cared and I can’t even recall the name of the catamaran or the syndicate name or even the country that sent it over (although it sounds like the work of New Zealand).

    No vote was taken amongst the public but we all seemed to sense the same thing: setting a catamaran against a yacht, although technically allowed, just wasn’t fair-play and therefore diminished the exercise to just a game for some overgrown children.

    Same for setting women with mens’ bodies against women lacking that power.

    The owners of the winning catamaran may have won the very same cup but in a real way it was not the same cup that it was before. It was sullied and cheapened.

    To again cite Chariots of Fire, the syndicate that set one type of competitor against a different type may have won the race but failed to see what Eric Liddell saw when he said that the whole point is “…to run a straight race.”

    Big Laurel and the other former men will probably win a lot of medals but they won’t win them in a way that rises above mere sport. Their names will go in the record books, I suppose, but will “the world stand back in wonder” as they did at Liddell’s performance? Me thinks not.

  11. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Here is an example of true sportsmanship – and something that Big Laurel, her like and their boosters, will simply never understand.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozZyfM5l9ws

    The important point cuts in at the 54 second mark.

    People either get it or they don’t.

    Ron Clarke was once the mayor of the city in which I now live. I once had the honour to meet him briefly in the line at a cinema and mentioned this incident as one of the few sublime things that I have ever seen on film. (I wasn’t born at the time).

    He agreed and said that he is still often asked about it. Not bad when one considers it occurred in 1956.

  12. Frog Says:

    “In 1983, when Australian finally won the Cup, every single Australian over the age of about 10 stayed up through the night, paid attention and cared.” Cared enough to get rotten drunk, as Aussies are wont to do. Even when yachts were yachts, a race was excuse enough for excess lubrication.

  13. Matt_SE Says:

    “A person can be in favor of non-discrimination against transgender people (as I generally am)…”

    I’m not. They are a disruptive force in society, and their effect is to degrade the rest of the social fabric. They are the BIG LIE that Theodore Dalrymple referred to about communist countries: to support them you have to buy into a whole raft of other lies and distortions, and it ends up corrupting you in the process; making you a more pliant serf.

    There are many things that a good society ought not tolerate.

  14. The Other Chuck Says:

    Frog says that transgender is a fraud and dishonest. We’re talking sports here. Dr. Frog must know about doping and steroids. I also wonder how a man who is taking estrogen to become a woman isn’t at the same time diminishing his strength and stamina. Or does he suspend or switch meds while competing?

    As to the sportsmanship extolled by Mr. Ippolito, it sounds nice but the reality is often quite different.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doping_at_the_Tour_de_France

  15. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Nice point, Frog.

    But thinking back to it, I suspect that most households were like ours that night – fueled mainly by tea and coffee.

    There were drinking parties I’m sure but not for most households. It was mid-week as I recall and the race ended at about 5 am here.

    I seem to remember the American yacht deliberately heading into the spectator craft at that point – as a tactic – which signalled to us it was all over.

    Our PM at the time, Bob Hawke, who was a notorious boozer, (which nobody ever held against him), remains our most personally beloved PM to this day.

    I think Mr Hawke was probably “projecting” when he assumed that most of us were drunk or hungover.

    But it’s a matter of public record that workers took him up on the advice in record numbers.

  16. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Frog says: “(Australia)… cared enough to get rotten drunk, as Aussies are wont to do…”

    Frog, you prompted me to go back and look at the footage.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8mdHO2_Zo8

    Based on the above, you win that point, Frog.

  17. PunchCardProcessing Says:

    All performance-enhancing is equal except some is more equal than others. So, doping will still be banned, but a male competing as a female is okay. Women competitors ought to boycott until an end is put to this malarky.

  18. R.C. Says:

    This whole problem is, at its core, a problem of our culture having embraced bad philosophy. (Most current problems in Western Civilization are.)

    Humans are a sexually dimorphic species, where the dimorphism is integral to reproduction.

    Thus Men are Men; Women are Women. This is an observable truth about humans qua humans.

    The idea that there is such a thing as a “woman trapped in a man’s body” is a holdover from Cartesian Dualism in which is, itself, bad philosophy.

    The uncomfortable truth is that human persons frequently have problems integrating their sexuality. The type and severity of these problems varies from person to person.

    Healthy human sexuality is that in which a human person has learned what it means to be male or female, according to his/her physiology; and, given what he/she is, to exercise his/her sexual powers in accord with reality and right reason.

    Doing this is near-automatic in some folks, but more frequently it involves adjustment and “settling in.” It often requires commitment and ongoing challenges. The heterosexual woman who commits himself to focus her sexual interest on her husband exclusively is one example. The man who recognizes his addictive masturbation to pornography as disordered and resolves to stop, is another example. And the man who “feels female” and recognizes this mental state as out-of-accord with reality is a third example.

    No one doubts that there is genuine difficulty in achieving sexual integrity, for many people. No one doubts that challenges in this area can be lifelong and extremely frustrating. And no one doubts that some people experience problems in this area more intensely than others.

    However, that’s life. Nobody said it was fair.

    Our civilization’s current insanity — and that’s what it is — on this topic originates in a willingness to lie about reality in order to “be nice” to persons who have unusually complicated or distressing mental challenges.

    This dishonesty seems to be the compassionate thing to do, at first.

    But in the end, lies always multiply our difficulties, and when you try to live in a fantasy-world, reality eventually comes up and smacks you in the face.

    That’s what’s happening here.

  19. DNW Says:

    What R.C. said with then proviso that Gnosticism once produced some of the same deleterious social effects as the ghost in the machine philosophy.

  20. DNW Says:

    “With the proviso …”

    Coffee … more coffee

  21. AesopFan Says:

    Stephen Ippolito Says:
    November 26th, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    and

    R.C. Says:
    November 27th, 2017 at 10:10 am

    * * *
    Bravo to all points made.
    AND
    PunchCardProcessing Says:
    November 27th, 2017 at 5:02 am
    All performance-enhancing is equal except some is more equal than others. So, doping will still be banned, but a male competing as a female is okay. Women competitors ought to boycott until an end is put to this malarky.
    * * *
    I don’t look forward to seeing the attempts to work out this confusion. The Left is already tremendously and sometimes disastrously muddled about which Victim Class outranks another, and this will be more of the same. Notice, however, that women (real ones) are almost always on the losing side of the fracas.

    However, as it really is impossible to implement contradictory fantasies simultaneously, they brought it on themselves. Sadly, they also brought it on many innocents as well (where have we seen that story before?) — although the parents who acquiesce in the insanity could have objected (and I suppose some did), no one seems to be ready to stake out a “Jordan Peterson” line against the tyranny.

  22. Gordon Says:

    “Why don’t feminists….” They do, but not out loud. Here’s the deal about TGs: most are MtoF who want to be lesbians. This is a fetish. The mental makeup of these guys is very different from other TGs. Most of them never get the whack. And they are aggressive, the way men are. This first showed up at the Lillith Fair concerts back in the late 90s. These all-gal music fests attracted a lot of lesbians. And believe me, they all hated it when the MtoF lesbians showed up and started hitting on them.

    Another place it happens is in Wicca. There are certain rituals reserved for women only. But MtoF lesbian TGs wanna do the spiral dance, too. The genetic women absolutely do not like this. They have come up with all kinds of rules like “you have to be born with a vag” to prevent what they think of as pervs intruding.

    As one might imagine, there is some serious cognitive dissonance going on. “I believe in peace and love and harmony and sisterhood and inclusiveness and diversity! Except for those guys.”

    As both sides can be seriously obnoxious, the solution is to bring popcorn and a comfortable chair.

  23. R.C. Says:

    Homer Nods:

    When I said, above, “The heterosexual woman who commits himself…” I obviously meant to say herself.

    Argh. Of all the threads in which to make THAT typo!

  24. ed in texas Says:

    So…
    Are they going to go back and award Olympic Medals to the East German women that were disqualified for having male hormones in their blood tests back in the ’70’s?
    Just wondering…

  25. BrianE Says:

    The East Germans were just 30 years ahead of their time.

    ______

    My son-in-law coached the local high school girl’s volleyball team for several years. They were fairly successful, making it midway in the regional championships each year and improving.

    The volleyball coach position at the local community college opened up and he took that job– fortunately for him.

    Because a boy identifying as a girl decided he wanted to play volleyball on the high school team. Needless to say, the team was in turmoil. They didn’t win a game this year.

    I don’t know the details as to where the boy showered, how many of the returning players didn’t play, etc. but it was a mess.

  26. Chris Says:

    You mentioned sports in which genitalia come into play:

    Uneven bars in women’s gymnastics and, to a lesser extent, the balance beam. Men cannot do these events due to external genitalia.

  27. parker Says:

    This ‘transgendered’ BS is tedious…

    With extremely rare cases, people are born XX or XY. Gender dysporia is a mental health issue, not something to applaud. Sisck people need therapy, not hormons/surgery. They need help. When the LGBTXWYZ monsters want to promote confused children it is simply child abuse.

    Tar and feathers and a rail are the cure.

  28. AesopFan Says:

    parker Says:
    November 27th, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Tar and feathers and a rail are the cure.

    * * *
    Might have to be a modified rail …because

    Chris Says:
    November 27th, 2017 at 4:01 pm
    You mentioned sports in which genitalia come into play:

    Uneven bars in women’s gymnastics and, to a lesser extent, the balance beam. Men cannot do these events due to external genitalia.

  29. Steve57 Says:

    neo said:

    I agree that the “gender surgery” part is quite irrelevant, unless there’s some sport of which I’m not aware where the genitalia come into play.

    Well, there is this. I used to see it on TV when I lived in Japan.

    You see a lot of weird stuff on Japanese TV.

    http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/PFX7MvTZUHw/maxresdefault.jpg

    I doubt it will ever become an Olympic event, but who knows these days.

  30. Yancey Ward Says:

    This is, of course, sheer idiocy on the part of the New Zealanders. I would hope sanity eventually reasserts itself, but things like this will destroy women’s sports in short order if sanity doesn’t return. If such transgenders must be allowed to compete, then set up a third division of competition- is blatantly unfair for genetically born women to have to compete against transgender athletes.

  31. miklos000rosza Says:

    Renee Richards was a M2F professional tennis player who had some success for a while. Back in the late 1970s, I think.

    There’s often a weird exhibitionism that seems part of the kick for many M2Fs. If they just kept themselves to themselves that would be a different matter than all this pushiness.

    What’s funny then is how, sexually, they’re generally inclined to be extreme masochists. They’re really not very useful to anyone — outside of those customers (johns) of prostitutes who reach such an apex of perversion they want to use “shemales” or “chicks with dicks.”

  32. GRA Says:

    As I said before (somewhere) once you normalized same-sex attraction you let the rest of the LGBT+ dominoes fall. And as my social work professor said, “It never ends.”

  33. n.n Says:

    Transgender transvestites and crossovers. This wouldn’t affect transgender homosexuals and bisexuals who only exhibit mental transgender characteristics (e.g. sexual orientation), and do not seek to physically distinguish themselves from others of their sex.

  34. Julia Says:

    With so many progressive ideas, we have to deny reality in order to play along.

    The emperor has no clothes, it would seem.

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