Thinking about Feagaiga Stowers

Mata’afa Keni Lesa in The Samoa Observer:

The truth is this. We just cannot stop thinking about Feagaiga Stowers.

Having been chosen as Samoa’s flag bearer, this Pacific Games was supposed to have been her moment.

This is a young woman who has had to endure tremendous difficulties in her childhood, where she eventually entered the Samoa Victims Support Group, to end up where she is today. It’s an incredible story.

Indeed, Stowers meteoric rise has proven there is hope for everyone. And she’s done everything possible to be on top of her game, where she deserves to be.

This was until she stepped up on the weightlifting platform on Saturday where her hopes of clinching a Pacific Games gold – and that of a proud nation – were crushed by a fellow competitor, Laurel Hubbard.

Who, as we all know, is a man. This is cheating.

Hubbard does not belong in the women’s competition. As a transgender, there are only two ways Hubbard should continue to compete. Hubbard could either step up against the men or the organisers of the Pacific Games, or any competition Hubbard enters, should introduce a new division for transgenders.

We are talking about sports here. One of the values of sport is fairness. We cannot say that allowing a transgender to compete against women is fair. It is grossly unfair for women like Stowers, or all women, for that matter.

This is why we cannot stop thinking about Stowers and how gutted she must have been, at being denied the gold medal in the women’s 87kgs division by Hubbard, who lifted a total of 268kgs. Stowers lagged behind by seven kilos. Imagine that? Given Hubbard’s genes, think of how hard Stowers had to work to try and keep up. And she did. It’s an amazing achievement, still she lost the gold medal by seven kilos to a competitor who [is] technically a man.

Technically, factually, physically, literally a man. He’s a man who “identifies as a woman” but that’s not the same thing as literally being a woman, and pretending otherwise has a number of drawbacks, as we’ve been noticing for some time now.

Ironically when the kiwi athlete was asked about competing against women, Hubbard responded: “I think you have to be true to yourself.”

Really? Well why cannot Hubbard do us all a favour then, be “true to yourself” and compete in the division where Hubbard rightfully belongs? What do you think?

I’ll tell you what I think. I think that’s absolutely typical of the self-centered greedy smug indifference to the needs and desires of not-self that is so typical of this loathsome “movement.” You know what would be nice? It would be nice if people like Hubbard started “identifying as” decent people with an awareness of other people’s needs, and acting accordingly.

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