Starting Strength Radio: A Lie Agreed Upon: Trans-women in Women's Sports Starting Strength Radio: A Lie Agreed Upon: Trans-women in Women's Sports

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Thread: Starting Strength Radio: A Lie Agreed Upon: Trans-women in Women's Sports

  1. #1
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    Default Starting Strength Radio: A Lie Agreed Upon: Trans-women in Women's Sports

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    This whole phenomenon and how far it's been allowed to go amazes me. I got into an argument with my family recently over political stuff and the transgender issue came up. My brother (and the rest of my family) was taking the progressive stance that gender is fluid and a person can be a gender that is different than their biological markers suggest and it's just as valid as a person who was born with ambiguous sexual markers.

    The irony of the whole thing is that his wife was 9 months pregnant at the time and raising the kid as genderless, or waiting until the kid was old enough to pick its own gender was never a consideration for them.

    This is why I think so many people promote these ideas because they are fashionable. It's not because they believe they are true, it's repeated as a way to signal their virtue. If my brother really believed that stuff he would have told the doctor to shove it when they told him what gender his kid was.
    The kid is born now and I haven't seen it yet, I don't think I'll be able to see him without raising these questions and I know it will just lead to another family fight.

    I hate that this nonsense divides everyone but I do have a feeling though that something is going to change really fast as soon as the first lawsuits start cropping up. Doctors giving 8 year olds hormone blockers because the kid thinks they need them cannot be good medicine... Here in Canada they can take your kid from you if you don't indulge these confused kids.

    So thank you for speaking up about this issue. One of the problems I ran into when arguing with my family is that every single source they've ever been exposed to regarding this debate has been from 'progressive' sources. Dig into the topic and you'll quickly find that scientific papers that don't push the progressive ideology are obliterated either through public shaming of the author or straight up academic assassination.

    My family had never heard of people like Dr. Soh and thus they had never heard of things like rapid onset gender dysphoria or autogynephilia. They have also never heard the experiences of people who 'detransitioned' after finding that transitioning was not a solution to their problems.

    To me it seems pretty obvious this is a political movement, not one supported by science. We can see this with examples like the female US soccer team who are campaigning to have equal pay to the men but do not want the same contractual agreements as them such as giving up their income when they are injured and unable to play. Their reasoning? Because women and men have different circumstances!!! You can't make this stuff up.

  3. #3
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    I enjoyed the podcast. And agree wholeheartedly. Politicians have no business pushing their agenda onto athletics.
    I hope that people take that message for what it is and don’t just consider Rip a “trans bashing homophobe.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corrie View Post
    Here in Canada they can take your kid from you if you don't indulge these confused kids.
    Citation please? Did a quick Google search and didn't find any incidences of this actually happening. Emphasis on quick, though. Easily could have missed something. All I found was a pretty questionable decision by one BC judge that was going to appeal, and a whole bunch of fear mongering about how recent legislation could open the door to such things from some sources with pretty clear agendas.

    If that's actually ever happened, I'd be curious to know the circumstances around it.

  5. #5
    Brodie Butland is offline Starting Strength Coach
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harlon Muncy View Post
    I hope that people take that message for what it is and don’t just consider Rip a “trans bashing homophobe.”
    I’m sure that will still be the narrative in some circles, especially those who have turned assailing Rip and Starting Strength into a cottage industry.

    The unfortunate reality is that a lot of people (on both “sides”) don’t see the transgender issue in shades of gray. There is a significant difference between saying that transgender people should be treated with the same dignity and respect as if they weren’t transgendered, or that they shouldn’t be discriminated against in employment or housing* because they’re transgendered, and saying that transgender people should be able to compete in chosen divisions of a sport. The same issues in the first two cases aren’t involved in the latter case, but a very vocal minority treat those scenarios as though they’re identical.

    Divisions in sports are created based on notions of competitive fairness. A woman’s division exists because otherwise no woman would ever win, at least at any reasonably competitive level. There is a very strong argument based on observed biology that people who undergo a MTF transition retain a biological advantage by being born male (and developing as a male) that can’t be eradicated even with surgery and years of hormone therapy. If that is true, it is inherently unfair to allow a MTF to compete against people who were born and went through puberty as females (ie congenital females). That’s not making a comment on the humanity of a transgender person any more than not allowing a 25 year old to compete as a Master is making a comment on the 25 year old’s humanity.

    tl;dr - It is entirely possible to treat transgendered individuals with love, respect, and fairness while still maintaining that only congenital females should be allowed to compete in a female division.


    *This idea is irrespective of your particular position on anti discrimination laws. Even if you take the pure libertarian position that a business should legally be able to deny service or fire someone based on a single characteristic (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), that doesn’t mean said business isn’t an asshole for doing so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corrie View Post
    To me it seems pretty obvious this is a political movement, not one supported by science.
    More than a few of the left's herd of sacred cattle are. This is because the "science" supporting their latest marketing campaign to deconstruct the culture they were born into and want to destroy generally resort to situational ethics in their soft research methodologies with a thumb on the scale.

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    Enjoyed that a lot. Biological Men's, Biological women's and open class is the way to go. There might be a temptation to remove the men's class and make it open, but I suspect that would lead to the slippery 'quota' slope as it has in every other kind of occupation.

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    This is mostly a solution in search of a problem. Trans athletes have been allowed to compete in the olympics since 2003. No trans athlete has medaled yet. In 2016, no openly trans athletes competed.

    If anyone is interested in hearing from a trans person or a woman on the topic (as Mark suggests, this should be left to the people most impacted) I found this article well written: Why It’s Fair for Trans Athletes to Compete Against Women

    Rip and the Starting Strength Brand have come out strong saying that trans woman athletes aren't welcome to compete against women. Will Rip and the Starting Strength Brand make it clear where they believe trans athletes are welcome?

    Does the Starting Strength affiliate program have a policy towards trans athletes? If this video is the only policy available, reasonable people could draw the conclusion that trans people might have problems at a starting strength affiliate gym.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkbmiller View Post
    This is mostly a solution in search of a problem. Trans athletes have been allowed to compete in the olympics since 2003. No trans athlete has medaled yet. In 2016, no openly trans athletes competed.
    Had you actually watched or listened to the podcast you would have had no trouble discerning that my concerns are not for the Olympics, which should be abolished anyway (The Olympic Games: Time to Stop | Mark Rippetoe), but for your wives and daughters and cousins and aunts and friends and trainees that would like to compete for fun and have an opportunity to do so without getting involved in the politics of those who advocate on behalf of the transgender community. My position on the facts was discussed at length in the podcast which you neither watched or listened to. I am not concerned with your feelings.

    If anyone is interested in hearing from a trans person or a woman on the topic (as Mark suggests, this should be left to the people most impacted) I found this article well written: Why It’s Fair for Trans Athletes to Compete Against Women
    I read this article for preparation for the podcast. It is linked on the podcast post. I found it unpersuasive, since I explicitly stated in the podcast that you did not watch or listen to that I was not referring to intersex athletes.

    Rip and the Starting Strength Brand have come out strong saying that trans woman athletes aren't welcome to compete against women. Will Rip and the Starting Strength Brand make it clear where they believe trans athletes are welcome?
    Are you speaking to gyms, or competition? I made it clear in the podcast that you neither watched nor listened to that transgendered people are welcome to compete in any sport that adopts the rules we created for the US Strengthlifting Federation, which are inclusive, fair, and welcoming to all. I shall repeat them here for your convenience:

    Divisions:
    a. Open: Congenital male, transgender, non-binary, and intersex lifters
    b. Women: Congenital females
    c. Masters: Lifters who turn 40 years or older during the calendar year in which the
    event is held
    d. Juniors: Lifters who turn between the ages of 14 and 20 years old during the
    calendar year in which the event is held. Lifters under the age of 14 may guest lift in
    a USSF sanctioned event, with a parent or guardian singed waiver form, and preapproval from the Event Director.
    Lifters must choose Division a or b, and may add c or d: Open, Open Masters, Open Juniors,
    Women, Women Masters, or Women Juniors. Any lifter may opt to lift in the Open Division
    instead of their alternative division.


    Does the Starting Strength affiliate program have a policy towards trans athletes? If this video is the only policy available, reasonable people could draw the conclusion that trans people might have problems at a starting strength affiliate gym.
    This video is not a policy statement. It is a podcast that includes my analysis. The Starting Strength Affiliate Program has no policy about any aspect of the business conduct of any of the Affiliate Gyms, since this is an affiliate program and we do not own or control the gyms that are affiliated with us. Starting Strength Affiliate Gyms are owned by their owners, and they are absolutely free -- and in fact encouraged -- to formulate their own policies based on their own values, decisions, and reasoning. We would not under any circumstances dis-affiliate any gym based on their decision to allow a transgendered person to join or to not join, since it is none of our business.

    Wonderful first post.

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