Right to trample

A tweet yesterday:

What proposal? You may think they said what proposal in a preceding tweet but they didn’t. Maybe they deleted something, maybe they’re just sloppy. I searched and found a BBC story from July 20.

World Rugby could ban transgender athletes from playing women’s rugby because of safety concerns.

It would be the first international sports federation to prohibit transgender women from competing.

World Rugby said it had undertaken a review of its “rugby-specific transgender guidelines” in light of the “latest peer reviewed research”.

It said it was committed to “ensuring a safe and inclusive playing environment at all levels of the game”.

You know, it shouldn’t be just safety. There should be zero argument about the safety aspect but safety is not the only reason men should not be allowed to play on women’s teams or compete against women. It should be about fairness as well as safety.

In a statement to BBC Sport, it added: “The latest peer reviewed research confirms that a reduction of testosterone does not lead to a proportionate reduction in mass, muscle mass, strength or power. These important determinants of injury risk and performance remain significantly elevated after testosterone suppression.”

Which is exactly why it should be about fairness as well as safety, but apparently that’s too much to ask.

A World Rugby transgender workshop in February sought a “comprehensive review” for the sport, bringing together experts from across the globe to look at a “rugby-specific framework for all, prioritising athlete welfare, inclusion and fairness”.

One of the experts to attend the workshop was Dr Nicola Williams, director of women’s rights advocacy group Fair Play for Women, who described World Rugby’s position as “trailblazing” if it goes ahead with the decision.

“The sensitivity around this issue around transgender issues, and the fear that people would be called transphobic for raising concerns has meant that most sporting bodies have buried their head in the sand on this,” she told BBC Sport.

In other words it’s not necessarily genuine agreement with the view that trans women should be “included” in everything related to women no matter what, but rather a desire not to be bullied and demonized, that causes so many organizations to jump when trans women say jump.

However, Loughborough University medical physicist and transgender woman Joanna Harper, who also attended the workshop, said she doesn’t feel a ban would be right.

Well it’s not Harper’s safety that’s at stake, is it, just as it’s not Harper’s right to fair competition that’s at stake.

“I certainly understand all of that and I think putting restrictions on trans-women is a reasonable thing to do but I certainly don’t agree with this idea of an outright ban,” she told BBC Sport.

Because hey it’s only the safety of women, and that obviously doesn’t matter enough.

So, International Gay Rugby says it “stands with our Trans & Non-Binary players in solidarity to protect their #RightToPlay” and the hell with women’s right to safety and fairness. Stonewall UK is right there in solidarity with them.

Proud. Stonewall is proud. Stonewall is proud to stand with International Gay Rugby to say fuck women’s safety, fuck fairness to women, let the men trample them into the mud if that’s what they want. Funny thing to be proud of.

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