A call for female athletes to speak out despite threats

Paula Scanlan, a former University of Pennsylvania (UPEN) first division collegiate swimmer, has joined Riley Gaines in speaking out about males in female sporting divisions. 

Paula said her only regret in not speaking out sooner. 

The female athlete described her all-consuming journey to achieve her place on the women’s swim team. For 20 hours a week,50 weeks a year, over many, many years she got up for 5am swim meets and competitions. 

The NCAA’s policy that males can identify as female created an unfair competition and massive divisions within the team and the sport. Criticising the policy led to girls like Riley and Paula being branded transphobic and threats issued to silence them.

The UPEN athletic department issued a threat via email to female swimmers who considered opposing the male bodied swimmer.

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Paula announced she is joining with Riley Gaines to fight for female sex-based rights in sport and called others to join her.

Watch her powerful video here: 

Australia’s weightlifting female champion Deborah Acason (nee Lovely) has been speaking out for some time on this issue. 

Deborah is an Australian sporting hero and weightlifting royalty. Representing Australia at five Commonwealth Games where she has won a gold, three silver and bronze medals, and at two Olympic Games. Deborah was the first female inducted into the Australian Weightlifting Federation Hall Of Fame and served her sport as a previous Director of the Australian Weightlifting Federation. 

Deborah was also forced to compete against male-bodied weightlifter Laurel Hubbard at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. The former female champion has described in the past that she was also warned not to oppose his inclusion in her female division or she could risk her place on the team or in the village.

It is outrageous that in this day and age women are threatened and even penalised for defending women’s sex-based rights.

I am defending accusations of violence because I have campaigned against males in female sporting divisions. Other Australian women are also being penalised for stating the truth that men are not women. 

Right now in Australia female athletes across a whole range of sports are being threatened with sanctions, suspensions and exclusion if they want to advocate for female-only sporting divisions. 

Many people ask why don’t they just refuse to compete? That is one option, but if they do they will lose their opportunities to compete and achieve their dreams.

So why should they? Why should it be up to these females who have trained for countless hours, sacrificed so much, achieved so much?

Why aren’t the officials, coaches and parents speaking out?

Why are they bowing down on the altar of lies that lead to an unfair and often unsafe playing field?

The threats of sanctions are real whether it is coming from the UPEN athletic department or peak sporting bodies in Australia.

Who in Australia will have the courage and integrity to join Deborah Acason and the brave US swimmers to stand up and save women’s sport? 

Who will join me in proclaiming the truth that men are not women, women deserve a fair and safe playing field, and children deserve to be safe?