How Is It Fair When a Male Weightlifter Competes Against Women?

gender - weight liftingCharisma News 21 March 2017
Family First Comment: “But of course it’s unfair. Hubbard is a male, not a female, and even after months of hormone treatments, he still has unfair advantages over the other women, who sacrificed for years to make it to this elite level, only to lose to a man. How is that right? As one woman tweeted in response to this news, “Imagine training for this your whole life, as a woman, only to have a known leader in men’s weightlifting take your title.”

The performance was stunning, as New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard absolutely smoked the competition, beating her nearest competitor, a Samoan woman, by nearly 20 kilograms. The only problem is that Laurel is a biological male, born Gavin, which is why a number of the competitors felt the competition was unfair.

But of course it’s unfair. Hubbard is a male, not a female, and even after months of hormone treatments, he still has unfair advantages over the other women, who sacrificed for years to make it to this elite level, only to lose to a man. How is that right?

As one woman tweeted in response to this news, “Imagine training for this your whole life, as a woman, only to have a known leader in men’s weightlifting take your title.”

Gavin Hubbard had “previously competed at a national level in men’s weightlifting,” making it all the more absurd that he would now be competing against women, which is why his presence was “met with criticism from Australian competitors who believe a transgender athlete in the female weightlifting category was not an equal playing field.”

Not an equal playing field indeed—no more than it was an equal playing field when a female high school wrestler taking testosterone defeated all the other girls she wrestled against (she’s on hormone treatments as part of her “transitioning” to male) and no more than it was an equal playing field when a male-to-female mixed martial artist manhandled (literally) her female opponents.

After the wrestling competition, Patti Overstreet, the mother of another wrestler, said, “She’s standing there holding her head high like she’s the winner. She’s not winning. She’s cheating. It’s not equal. It’s never going to be equal.”

In response to this, cultural commentator Bill Muehlenberg wrote, “Nope, it sure ain’t equality, and it sure never will be. Trying to treat unequal things equally will always result in blatant, appalling inequality. And in the case of sports, it will result in more women being taken to hospital—if not the morgue.”

When it comes to the weightlifting competition, one of the other lifters said, “We all deserve to be on an even playing field. It’s difficult when you believe that you’re not. If it’s not even, why are we doing the sport?”

Exactly? Why compete at all? Why have men compete against men and women compete against women? Why have weight classes? Why not just throw everyone into the same competition and have the world’s strongest (or fastest) human—of either sex, in any weight class, at any distance, in any event? Why not blur all distinctions, if a man can now compete side by side with women?

Ridiculously, Phil Gifford, described as a prominent sports writer, “said Hubbard had every right to compete with the women after passing ‘straightforward’ hormone regulations.”

Specifically, he argued, “It’s testosterone levels which is a much more scientific way of measuring male gender, female gender than anything else that is currently known. And Lauren has passed all of those tests over the last 12 months.”

So, then, a man who had lowered testosterone levels but all the other physical advantages a male would have over other women should be allowed to compete with the ladies? Just a glance at the picture in the news report, in which Hubbard, the fourth from the left, dwarfs his competitors, would tell you something is not fair here.

But no, the whole world must revolve around the perceptions of those who identify as transgender, regardless of how it hurts others, regardless of how it inconveniences others, regardless of what new inequities it causes.

And that says it all: This man who identifies as a woman has more rights than the other women, and they have to leave to make room for him.

Can you join me in saying “Enough!”?

Let’s continue to look for ways to help those struggling with gender identity confusion while protecting the rights of the rest of society. If enough of us raise our voices, positive change will come.
READ MORE: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/63750-how-is-it-fair-when-a-male-weightlifter-competes-against-women

Sport: Samoa protest against transgender lifters competing in women’s grade
Radio NZ News 29 March 2017 
Samoa says it’s unfair for transgender weightlifters to compete in women’s divisions and plan to take their protest to the International Weightlifting Federation.

New Zealand lifter Laurel Hubbard won the over 90kg division at the Australian International event in Melbourne earlier this month.

The 39 year old lifted a combined total of 268kg, 19kg better than silver medallist Iuniarra Sipaia of Samoa.

The President of the Samoa Weightlifting Federation, Jerry Wallwork, said the move will discourage women from participating in the sport.

“I really don’t think it’s fair. I’ve seen it up in front, in person, and especially when you’ve got someone who was a champions male lifter and now competing with the women, against the women,” he said.

“I think it’s really unfair – I could probably almost class it as taking drugs.

“You meet the testosterone levels and you get it down to a certain level but you’ve still got the muscles and the bones of a man and of course you’ve still got the strength there – it doesn’t matter how low you go.

Jerry Wallwork said the fact Hubbard denied a Samoan lifter the gold medal was irrelevant and the main issue was one of fairness.

“I’ve been a coach for 25-30 years and I’ve seen it up front and it does not look fair,” he said.

“There’s a big advantage there to that side and I’m prepared to take it all the way up to the International Weightlifting Federation and I will raise it with them and argue with them that something [has to change].

“Maybe set up a new division – there’s nothing wrong with that, set up a new division but to go against women I still think it’s unfair.”

“I talked to other female athletes that were they – they’re actually saying to me what’s the point of training and competing, we will not be able to beat these lifters – transgenders – because they’re obviously much stronger, much bigger.”

Jerry Wallwork said it was important to make their voices heard but whatever the IWF Congress decides, he will accept the decision.
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/pacific/327725/sport-samoa-protest-against-transgender-lifters-competing-in-women’s-grade

‘A man is a man’ – Samoa protests New Zealand transgender weightlifter’s win
TVNZ One News 2 April 2017
Samoa is protesting to the International Weightlifting Federation after New Zealand’s first transgender competitior snatched gold from their lifter.

Laurel Hubbard made history as New Zealand’s first transgender weightlifter, but her big win resulted in Samoa’s loss, and they’re not happy.

Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork from the Samoa Weightlifting Federation said the competition was “unfair”.

“It doesn’t matter what you say… I still think a man is a man, still has the muscles and the bones and the strength of a man,” he said.

“I am very disappointed with this issue, because a woman’s strength is not the same as a man. I feel its very unfair,” she said.
READ MORE: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/man-samoa-protests-new-zealand-transgender-weightlifters-win

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