- Transsexual sprinters placed first and second at a Connecticut high school indoors event.
- Martina Navratilova hit a fabulous return shot about transsexuals competing in womens' categories and took heat for it. I have asked her for the basis of her Times piece.
- The IOC is okay with transsexuals competing in womens' events, but their own guidelines permit "females" with penises — highly suggestive of their political aims.
- At bottom of a lot of the claims that trans women should be competitive with biological women is a 2004 study in the European Journal of Endocrinology by Louis J. G. Gooren and Mathijs C. M. Bunck studying muscle mass in n=19 transwomen, and concluding that after a year, muscle mass had diminished to the point where "it is justifiable that reassigned M-F compete with other women", while ignoring height, size, and bone differences.
- Update 2019-02-26: A pretty good article at Velo News on the post-Rachel McKinnon landscape on M2F transsexuals competing in women's events. Something I didn't know, and seems to have been missed in the fracas over McKinnon's victory: the reigning women's cycling champion, Sarah Fader (née Caravella), resigned in protest minutes before the races were to begin, despite the fact that she beat McKinnon in both the 200m and 500m preliminary time trials.
Track racer Sarah Fader believes the IOC’s rules create an unfair situation for cis women (cisgender refers to individuals whose gender identity matches their birth gender).
Known by some cycling fans for her maiden name, Caravella, Fader raced in the U.S. professional road scene from 2006-2015. Fader was set to race against Dr. McKinnon in the masters finals in Los Angeles. She was the defending masters world champion in the event, and she set the fastest time in the qualifying heats. She beat Dr. McKinnon in both a 200- and 500-meter time trial during the weekend.
Fader, however, told me that she felt that racing against Dr. McKinnon was simply not fair. Dr. McKinnon stands six feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. Fader, by contrast, is 5-foot-5 and weighs 135 pounds. So minutes before the finals were set to start, she pulled out of the competition entirely.
“I thought that doing it this way was my own form of protest,” Fader said. “I knew that I personally did not agree with the situation. I don’t want to compete in a sport where the rules are unfair.”
- Included in that Velo News piece is a good link to a Stuff (New Zealand) article interviewing Otego University physiology professor Alison Heather, who says "She is adamant international sporting regulation bodies such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have rushed a decision to include transgender athletes in male and female categories, as there has not been enough research."
- Update 2019-02-27: More linky goodness: the IOC's policy (PDF) has no mention of any studies of the situation, and neither USA Cycling's policy.
- The American Spectator has a fine essay on the subject:
A transgender training expert says this later in the same article:
“The gender identity doesn’t matter, it’s the testosterone levels,” said Harper, who studies transgender athletes. “Trans girls should have the right to compete in sports. But cisgender girls should have the right to compete and succeed, too. How do you balance that? That’s the question.”Harper is wrong. Biology matters. The DNA. The sex of the baby, child, teen, adult matters. The hormones make a difference but they are secondary.
Think of it this way. Lance Armstrong and the rest of the doping cyclists (which is about all of them, at this point) have extraordinary biology before they doped. A woman with similar testosterone levels could not even come close to the last place male finisher in the Tour de France and cycling is a lower body-focused sport where men and women have more muscle strength/per size parity. The biology of the males before the doping is already an advantage. The extra hormones are a boost.
Madeleine Kerns at National Review:
In December, Navratilova tweeted: “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.”What an appalling state of affairs.
McKinnon was not pleased by this and began a tirade against Navratilova. In her Sunday Times essay, Navratilova describes this behavior as bullyish and argues that, while she feels able to take a stand, she worries that other women will be “cowed into silence or submission.”
Likewise, when a spokesperson for the organization Fair Play for Women (FPFW) was invited by the BBC to discuss Navratilova’s comments about trans participation in female sport, McKinnon wrote on Twitter: “I will not participate in a discussion panel that takes them [FPFW] seriously and gives them a platform.”
FPFW were then disinvited by the BBC, and McKinnon boasted about having the platform to himself.
- Speaking of Fair Play for Women, their website is chock-full of resources, including, especially, their science links. I highly recommend following their Twitter account, @fairplaywomen.
- Something FPFW tweeted recently, an excellent summary of the scientific landscape at Medium by Dr. Antonia Lee, including an incredible call for the retraction of a widely-cited paper purporting to justify M2F trans inclusion in sports on evidentiary quality grounds.
- Update 2019-03-02: This keeps trickling on: A M2F transsexual hit the automatic NCAA qualifying time in the 60m hurdles in New Hampshire.
- A M2F transgender woman won a 54 km Dutch beach cycling race (English Google Translate version).
Monday, February 25, 2019
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Comes now the news that Colorado has joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a mechanism to defeat the Electoral College, handing a state's votes over to whoever wins the popular vote. The current list of such states — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington — all are generally very reliable Democratic-voting states. Except when they aren't. Based on the Wikipedia state-by-state results of the US elections since 1980, these state totals would have switched a state vote for the Democratic candidate to a Republican twenty-three out of twenty-five times. That is to say, it amounts to a bet these states will henceforth and forever vote Democratic, and that the popular vote winner will likewise always be a Democrat. I'm not sure that's a bet I'd be willing to take.