Female Athletes Are Forfeiting Rather Than Compete Against Trans-Identified Men

News Image By Jonathon Van Maren/ May 10, 2024
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Female sporting events remain one of the key conflicts in the transgender culture war touching nearly every aspect of public life.

On May 4, a trans-identified male won two National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) events at the Liberty League track and field championships, the 400 meters in 55.07 seconds and the 200 meters in 24.14 seconds. Sadie Schreiner, a male who previously went by the name Camden, earlier in the season set the "women's school record" in the 300 meters at Nazareth Alumni Opener Invitational with a time of 41.80 seconds.

Schreiner was representing the Rochester Institute of Technology. Both of his times would have put him dead last in the men's events at the same meet but instead were women's school records, with the 200 time becoming a Liberty League women's record, exceeding only Schreiner's previous time of 24.50 from this same season. Schreiner previously competed against fellow males.

Schreiner insists, however, that he has no advantage over female competitors, posting that "Out of all the hate that's been shared of me 'cheater' is the most common word used... In my eyes, the discussion of trans inclusion in athletics shouldn't even be a debate... As more research is done the more evident this becomes. There's a reason I'm only as fast as I was in middle school, and the only variable that's changed over my 9 years of running is my medication."

"Even as Olympic studies prove the disadvantages of trans athletes, it's not enough," he continued. "Policies are being changed before research is done and the only way to stay educated in this process is to talk to the few trans athletes that are competing and hear their stories, bring them into the conversation. The only way to make an educated decision on a small handful of athletes is to hear their voice, not speak for them."

Plenty of female athletes are making their voices heard, although Schreiner likely doesn't care for their perspective on his participation. In West Virginia recently, five female students at a high school track meet declined to compete against a trans-identified male in Harrison Country's middle school shot put event. Each girl stepped up to the circle and then refused to throw. All five girls have since been banned from future track meets.

Taking a stand may mean the end of your athletic career for both players and coaches.

Vermont high school girls basketball coach Chris Goowin was banned from state athletics after forfeiting a game against a squad with a trans player. Goodwin defended the decision -- stressing the danger of a biological male playing against girls.

"I've got four daughters. I've coached them all at one point in their careers playing high school basketball".

"I've also filled in for the boys' coach when he can't make a practice, and I run those practices, and boys just play at a different speed, a different force ... than the girls play. It's a different game," he said, adding that it would be "irresponsible" and "asking for an injury" to a smaller female athlete.

"After discussions with the administration and our players and parents, we decided that instead of going against our religious beliefs that ... there are differences between male and female, we are created differently, we decided to forfeit that game and withdraw from the tournament," he said.

"And at that point, the state of Vermont governing body kicked us out of all athletic competitions in the state," the coach added.

Across the pond, 64-year-old British darts star Deta Hedman forfeited her opportunity to win the Denmark Open after refusing to play against a trans-identified male. Hedman, described by the Daily Mail as "one of the most well-known figures in the women's darts scene," has previously called on organizational governing bodies to restrict participation to women only. 

"I'm not playing against a man in a women's event," Hedman told the German newspaper Bild. The stand attracted praise from Lynne Pinches, who recently forfeited her winning spot during the pool competition Ladies Champions of Champions for also refusing to play a trans-identified male.

The latter events, of course, have less to do with the physical advantages that males have in competitions such as running and throwing and more to do with the principle of the thing. Increasingly, well-known female competitors are simply opting out of tournaments in which they are asked to compete against males. 

They want their own spaces; they are not using the language of "transgender women"; they are not debating testosterone levels or engaging in arguments about specific physiological points. They are just opting out entirely, and they are willing to sacrifice money, prizes, and prestige to do so.

This is precisely the sort of pushback that is necessary -- and this is precisely the moment to do it. The consensus is crumbling.

Originally published at The Bridgehead

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