To fight for the right

His “right”?

Transgender footballer Hannah Mouncey has slammed the AFL’s gender diversity policy and is preparing to take the league to court to fight for the right to play in Canberra’s first-grade women’s competition.

Above that lede is the familiar photo of Mouncey in action, twice the size of the woman next to him.

Mouncey, who was prevented from entering the AFLW draft in 2017 based on her “strength, stamina or physique”, is now unable to play in the ACT’s top female comp unless she meets certain criteria outlined in a new AFL policy released in October last year.

The 31-year-old said she had met with the AFL’s legal department since the release of the policy but has been left unsatisfied, prompting her to consider legal action.

“This is not a step I take lightly and not one which I have had any desire to take if it could be avoided, however I believe at this point I have no other option if I want to play football in the AFL Canberra First Grade Competition in 2021,” Mouncey wrote in a lengthy statement she posted to social media.

But he does have another option: he could seek to play on a men’s team instead of a women’s. He might not be good enough but that applies to a lot of people, and it’s not something a lawsuit can change. Trying to play against people who are significantly smaller than he is, with smaller bones that break more easily, is not really a justifiable way to guarantee he’ll be good enough to be chosen for the team.

That doesn’t get enough attention in these reports that focus on purported rights and their denial: men who are determined to compete against women are trying to give themselves a massive physical advantage, and it’s not at all certain that that’s not why they’re doing it. It’s framed as a matter of trans rights but it may be just a straight up cheat. My view is that that’s more likely than not, because if it were just a matter of “rights” or validation, they would surely be put off by the obvious unfairness, and decide to defend their rights in other ways.

From a community football standpoint, the new policy states that “transgender women may play in women‘s competitions, transgender men can play in men’s competitions and non-binary people can choose which competition to play in.”

Also at community level, the statement notes that “Gender diverse players may not be excluded for reasons of relevant competitive advantage over cisgender players in the competition.”

In other words “tough shit women, you lose.” Thanks a lot.

H/t Roj Blake

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