On teams consistent with their gender identity

This is nuts.

The Vancouver Sun reports:

A new policy allowing Canadian transgender student-athletes to compete on teams consistent with their gender identity and without hormone therapy is a welcome change, but more can still be done to make athletics inclusive of gender diversity, says a Vancouver trans athlete and consultant.

U Sports, which governs university athletics in Canada, put its new policy into effect Thursday and says it affects student-athletes at all 56 of its member institutions. Athletes can only compete on teams of one gender during a given academic year, and the policy doesn’t require them to undertake hormone therapy. They must also comply with the Canadian Anti-Doping Program.

In other words people with male bodies can compete on women’s teams.

Ok, but then what will they do when the women’s teams become entirely filled up with people whose “gender identity” doesn’t match their sex? They’ll have to start all over, but with what team? Maybe they could try children’s teams?

In other words: people with male bodies have a huge advantage over people with female bodies in athletic competitions. The Sun article never even bothers to spell that out, all it can manage is mention of testosterone here and there.

“For me, it’s a step in the right direction,” said Kai Scott, a principal partner at TransFocus Consulting, which works with organizations addressing gender inclusion issues.

“I think these kinds of policies are really important. This one, in particular, is great for certain transgender student-athletes in that they can select the team or division that aligns with their gender identity. These kinds of policies are important declarations of support and assurance of inclusivity.”

They may be important declarations of support and assurance of inclusivity, but they’re also declarations of total indifference to women’s ability to compete on teams with people who don’t have the male body’s advantages over the female body. “Inclusivity” is not invariably and in all circumstances a good thing. There are many situations in which we need to be able to choose our company, and that need overrides any need to be “inclusive.” Women’s sport is definitely one of them.

Levels of testosterone, linked to muscle mass and increased strength, have been a key issue in debate over allowing trans athletes to compete in events consistent with their gender identity.

That’s the closest the article gets to admitting the difficulty, but look how careful it is not to spell it out – that this will mean a big advantage for male-bodied people and a big disadvantage for women, and that that seems pretty weird and unfair and anti-feminist given the fact that men are already dominant over women and we’ve been trying to level that out for quite a few decades now.

U Sports member institutions in B.C. include the University of B.C., University of Victoria, University of the Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers University, University of Northern British Columbia, and Trinity Western University.

UBC released a statement saying it supports the policy.

“We are aware of other institutions where transgender athletes have wanted to play on the team that aligned with their gender identity, and we recognize that the situation could arise here,” said Gord Hopper, director of performance and team support for UBC Athletics.

“UBC supports inclusive and safe environments along with equal opportunities for all student-athletes.”

Well, then UBC has a problem, because this new policy is obviously in tension with equal opportunities for all student-athletes.

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