In the last few months there have been a bunch of gripes related to competitive sports for those of the female persuasion. A lot of this is due to the way that “trans-women” seem to beat more traditional women at every level of competition.

This should not be a surprise to anyone who actually takes part in or watches any competitive sport regularly. For example I used to be a marathon runner and I competed in the Boston Marathon three years in a row. In order to qualify (in my mid forties) I had to run marathons in the 3h15m range. Looking at the current qualifications page I see that this hasn’t changed much if at all for the 2020 event. What you also see when you look there is that any woman who can run faster than 3h30 will qualify. That’s slower than the time required for a 50 year old man.

Age GroupMENWOMEN
18-343hrs 00min 00sec3hrs 30min 00sec
35-393hrs 05min 00sec3hrs 35min 00sec
40-443hrs 10min 00sec3hrs 40min 00sec
45-493hrs 20min 00sec3hrs 50min 00sec
50-543hrs 25min 00sec3hrs 55min 00sec
55-593hrs 35min 00sec4hrs 05min 00sec

In other words a man in his late fifties is assumed to be roughly equal to a woman in her late thirties (20 years his junior). On the whole that seems about accurate and applies to many other sports. In cycling, for example, I recently met a former pro or semi-pro lady cyclist who is still highly competitive and about a decade younger than me. I can still go up hills faster than her even on a heavier bike.

If you look at professional women’s tennis or soccer you can see that the matches are played at a slower tempo and less power, in much the same way that “veteran” men’s sports are played. I think an over 45 mens team would probably be about the same level as a team of women in their twenties.

To me it seems obvious that anyone who has gone through puberty as a male is going to be able to beat just about any woman of a similar age at any sport so long as he puts in the required practice and has some basic level of ability and fitness. I’m clearly not alone in this viewpoint but it seems that people who say this in public are immediately judged to be guilty of transphobia and therefore deserve a twitter pile on and, if famous, lots of other attacks in the media etc.

If this continues, the end result is going to be that, as Ms Navratilova points out, competitive women’s sports will be dominated by trans athletes who will take all the prizes, break all the records etc. I’m pretty sure this will be the case even if the various sporting bodies rule something along the lines of “must not have a penis to compete as a woman”, but it will certainly be the case if self-identifying transwomen are allowed to compete as women while still in possession of all their male reproductive equipment. The only reason the “snip snip” rule might help is that I suspect it will drastically cut down on the number of would be transwomen athletes as my understanding is that a relatively small proportion of transwomen actually go under the knife.

Also I should note, as with Ms Navratilove, I’m not against transwomen doing sport, I’m against them competing with obvious advantages against the standard sort of woman. Recently three fairly well-known British female athletes wrote a letter to the IOC about the problem:

Dame Kelly Holmes, Paula Radcliffe and Sharron Davies say they are going to write to the International Olympic Committee asking for more research on the “residual benefits” of being a transgender athlete.

Under IOC guidelines, athletes who have transitioned from male to female are required to have kept their levels of testosterone – a hormone that increases muscle mass – below a certain level for at least 12 months.

Former swimmer Davies said: “We all need a safe and fair place to compete.”

The 1980 Olympic silver medallist said the private letter had gained support from “loads” of elite athletes but asked for more to back her, Radcliffe and ex-athlete Holmes, who won 800m and 1500m gold at the 2004 Olympics.

Marathon world record holder Radcliffe has said elite sport could be “manipulated” and also questioned whether it was “fair for a biological man to compete alongside women”.

Sharron Davies was also interviewed by the Wapping Liar Times where she pointed out (amongst other things) that this is an obvious way for some modern day version on East Germany to get lots of Olympic medals:

One argument is that the number of trans women who want to compete in elite sport is so tiny that they should be encouraged. But Davies says that it is a matter of time before a country decides to exploit the rules. She points out that in 17 American states, teenagers only need to identify as a girl to take part in female races, something that could lead to lucrative college scholarships.

“It is about the potential for the abuse of the system which has not been looked at,” she says. “We have countries in the world that don’t care quite how they earn their medals, we know that from history and from what the Russians did at Sochi in 2014. So, if you have a rule that says people don’t have to have surgery any more, only have to self-identify and have reduced testosterone for one year — and who is monitoring that? — they can turn up at the Olympics and compete in a women’s event.

“If I was Vladimir Putin I would be picking out my tenth and 12th-best male athletes and saying, ‘Right, you can go and bring back a big old sack of medals from women’s sport and you wouldn’t be breaking any rules’. We know from East Germany the lengths people will go to. Their athletes were put on these terrible drugs through puberty which has given them some terrible health issues now. They were victims as well, as they were probably given little choice.”

She also makes a reasonable suggestion about where best for trans athletes to compete:

“In terms of competition, perhaps you have an open class for everyone with XY chromosomes, and a protected class for XX. Maybe the pride games [the Gay Games, a multi-sport event held every four years] needs to grow and the transgender community looked after more there. I have no problem with people being transgender and I want to help them participate in sport, but as a mum and a former athlete I also want to protect sport for young women.”

Of course all this is far too sensible for trans-activists and they will undoubtedly attempt to trash the reputations of all the current and former athletes who try to make this point. That, to be honest, is going to backfire on them because they simply look like men and the 99% of the world that cares about (female) sport is going to see this as bollocks because everyone knows, instinctively, that real women are weaker and slower than men.

I found it ironic however that Dr Rachel McKinnon, an academic and transgender cyclist who won a masters world championship race last year (and who is one of the people in the picture at the top – guess which) is reported to have called labelled Davies a “transphobe” and posted a picture saying that “a lot of people would be calling her a man”. I’m sorry Dr Rachel but you look like a man, even more than those 1980s era East Germans. Sharron Davies does not and never has, not even when she was a competitor in the 1980 Olympics.

Schneider, centre, beat Davies, left, to gold in the 400m medley at the 1980 Moscow Olympics – UPI