The requirements struck a balance

Another sport buckles to the pressure.

Cricket Australia entered the fraught debate about gender identity and sport yesterday, releasing­ separate policies for the inclusion of transgender players in elite and community cricket.

The policy for elite cricket, consistent with the approach taken by the International Cricket Council, requires transgender players to keep their testosterone levels below a prescribed concentration for a 12-month period, sign a statutory declaration committing to their gender identity and to have their cases assessed by an expert panel.

The policy provides a pathway for a transgender woman to one day represent Australia in an Ashes series or World Cup.

That is, the policy provides a pathway for a man who identifies as a woman to displace a woman in an Ashes series or World Cup.

Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said the requirements struck a balance between letting transgender players participate and preserving the integrity of women’s competitions.

A balance. In other words, women’s competitions have to give up the “women’s” part for the sake of letting transgender players participate as the sex they are physically not. Must balance the two. Can’t just say no, men cannot play on women’s teams because it would be grossly unfair to women who have only just recently even been allowed to have teams. No no, must “balance” the two.

The policy also advises local clubs and competitions to “give consideration” to players who are transitioning during a season. This means that a cricketer could start a summer playing as a male and end the season as a female.

It makes clear that any club or competition that fails to follow the policy could face prosecution.

Too bad, girls and women; sucks to be you.

The twin policy was welcomed by transgender cricketer Erica James, who didn’t play for many years because she felt uncomfortable sharing a field with men. She now plays for the Universities Women’s Cricket Club in Sydney.

“I think the hardest thing is my own fear about what could possibly happen,’’ she told The Australian. “I have to say my experience has been entirely positive.”

Well, that’s the important thing – that this one guy who wants to live as a woman has had a positive experience displacing a woman from the Universities Women’s Cricket Club in Sydney.

Kirsti Miller, a transgender footballer who plays with NSW country club Broken Hill, said allowing­ transgender players into local cricket clubs would ease the isolation felt by gender diverse people. “We lose our families, we lose our jobs, we lose our houses and quite often our only family left is a sporting family,” she said.

And what about women? What about any isolation a woman might feel when she loses her place on a team to a man who identifies as a woman? What about any frustration and despair at the injustice a woman might feel when a man pushes her out of a women’s team? Does that not count at all? Are women that privileged now?

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