Recently, a Swiss-based court ruled that the level of testosterone in a person would be the deciding factor on if a person could compete against women or not. This ruling came as a result of transgender females who competed against biological women in high stake competitions like the Olympics.
Needless to say, it’s hard to believe that a court had to step up to protect women in sports against unfair advantages that are attempting to creep into the league of women competitors.
The ruling was an upset for transgender women like Caster Semenya who attempted to fight the courts on her being able to continue competing in the Olympics as a woman in the 800-meter race.
She continued to argue that she had the right to compete because she was now a ‘woman’ who should be able to race due to her human rights, not her biological state.
This sounds great, and there were many people who agreed with her on this point. The biggest problem was that although Semenya changed her body biologically, much like most transgender females, she could not change the fact that she had elevated levels of testosterone in her body…something that would give her an unfair advantage over the other women who, biologically, had lower levels.
Whether a person considers someone to be a woman simply because they want to be a woman is something that can be argued on many levels. Human rights advocates have a field day with this one because it provides them with an opportunity to push the envelope on ‘human’ rights. What they fail to see, on a continual basis, is that human rights have nothing to do with biological realities.
The reason they have a male competition and a separate female competition is because men are biologically stronger and faster, thanks to their elevated levels of testosterone. Women, on the other hand, have testosterone hormones as well but on a much smaller level.
When a man transitions to become a woman, he still maintains his testosterone—which is typically between 7.7 to 29.4 nanomoles per liter—whereas a woman’s testosterone levels range 0.12 to 1.79! This is a major difference which leads to major advantages.
Women’s sports need to continue strict guidelines to protect it. This is no different from enforcing rules that prohibit women from taking steroids to enhance their ability to compete. This is an unfair advantage and is strictly prohibited for being such.
If this is so, then why should the Olympics — or any other sport — allow transgender females to compete against women who fail to have the hormones that give that extra boost? It is seemingly a no brainer, but unfortunately, there are still those who argue that anyone who claims to be a woman should be able to compete against other women.
There is always a place for human rights and the protection of those who need it. Every human has the right to be treated fairly and just…this includes biological women. To protect transgender women without considering how that treatment might violate the rights of biological women is unjust to the fullest extent.
We can’t ignore that benefiting one group will somehow lessen the advancement of another. However, we also can’t ignore that biological women have fought for years for the few benefits they have received. Now is not the time to trample over those benefits by broadening the scope of what it means to be a woman.