Alleging competitive disadvantages and insecurity toward women, the Olympic medalist asked sports authorities not to allow transgender women to participate in women’s competitions.
Jane Flemming, a 55-year-old Australian Olympic athlete, has already withdrawn from competition. Recently, according to Neon Nettle, she expressed her concern about transgender athletes participating in women’s sports competitions, arguing an imminent danger to women, as well as a notorious and unfair competitive disadvantage.
The debate is already underway and Flemming did not hesitate to side with those who defend, without making value judgments on the personal choices of each being, that those who identify as women but were biologically born as men should not be able to participate in sports competitions alongside women.
While the argument used by proponents of Flemming’s position is entirely reasonable and difficult to refute logically, the reality is that legislation in Australia, specifically the Federal Sex Discrimination Act, interprets the act of excluding a participant from competition on the basis of their sexuality as discrimination on the basis of gender or gender identity.
In an interview with ABC, Flemming said, “The difficulty is that for the human species that’s been born a biological male, if they go through puberty in particular, they have, absolutely, have some physiological advantages.”
She added, “Whether it is bone strength or extra capillarization or larger muscle bulk, but then there are other aspects of that as well, not only does that affect performance but there is a health or a danger aspect.”
Unfortunately, gender equality advocates, unable to find logical and rational grounds for addressing the arguments put forward by Jane Flemming and those who follow her line of thought, often try to discredit them by accusing them of being homophobic and intolerant of what is different, when the issue is raised from the sporting rather than the ideological standpoint.
In the United States, where this discussion is also taking place, Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler, Mike Lee, Marsha Blackburn, Tom Cotton and James Lankford, joined forces to introduce a bill that aims to withdraw funds from any school that allows transgender women to participate in women’s sports competitions.
According to the Washington Examiner, the senator who originally pushed the legislation is Kelly Loeffler. According to Loeffler, the legislation is necessary to ensure that women have equal access to sports opportunities.
According to the bill, when athletes are accepted to participate in school sports competitions, the sex of women and girls should be determined solely on the basis of a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth. In addition, schools that allow transgender women to compete against women and girls in sports would be in danger of losing federal funds.
Lee, also a participant in the project, said, “Men and women are biologically different. That’s just a scientific fact. For the safety of female athletes and for the integrity of women’s sports, we must honor those differences on a fair field of competition.”