Australian Sports Commission report favours males over female athletes

The Australian Sports Commission has released a new report on Transgender and Gender Diverse Inclusion Guidelines for High Performance Sport.

The guidelines show great preference toward males who appropriate female stereotypes.

The language is insulting, with the frequent use of the word ‘cis’ to label men and women who simply are just males and females.

The report is false and deceptive in its claims that transgender people are excluded from playing sport if they can’t participate in their imagined gender preference.

No one is excluding trans-identified people from playing sport. We simply want sporting bodies to observe and stick to biological divisions of male and female. It is more than reasonable to create open, mixed or transgender categories for those who are still not satisfied. That is a perfect solution to ensure all are included.

The laws surrounding discrimination are not helpful as they include both sex and gender identity. The issue is that sex relies on biological reality while gender identity denies biological reality. They are at odds and cannot both be upheld at the same time. To include males in female sporting divisions is to exclude some females.

The report notes that, “While the Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against individuals on the basis of sex or gender identity, an exemption exists for (single-sex) competitive sport in which the ‘strength, stamina, or physique’ of competitors is relevant.”

However, the rest of the report is trying to provide justification to allow male bodies to compete in female divisions, regardless of how the females feel about it.

Incredibly, the report suggests that lowering testosterone in males makes it fair competition if they want to participate in the female category.

As a general guideline the AIS recommends that, where a sport requires hormone (testosterone) suppression of trans athletes in the female category as part of its eligibility rules, an appropriate range is < 2.5 nmol/L for 24 months prior to competition, medically supervised and with ongoing monitoring.

What the report fails to mention is that the normal range of testosterone from females is between 0.3 and 2.4 nmol/L. The report does mention that advantages of male puberty are not negated by lowering testosterone.

Competitive sport distinguishes between male and female categories due to physical advantage acquired in male puberty across the full spectrum of power and aerobic sports (advantages include higher haemoglobin levels; longer, stronger bones; a higher percentage of lean body mass; larger, stronger muscles). Given that transition via hormone suppression and/or gender affirmation procedures may not, in every case and without exception, extinguish the full spectrum of performance advantage, the appropriate management of safety concerns if and as they arise will need to be accommodated as a matter of policy and procedure.

There is no mention of the fact females must endure a monthly menstrual cycle disadvantaging them against male competitors. There is also no consideration of privacy, dignity and inclusion for females who feel uncomfortable competing against male bodies or sharing a change room with them.

It doesn’t matter whether it is community or elite level sport. Male and female divisions exist for a reason. The ASC have displayed great contempt toward female competitors by imposing these guidelines without consultation or consideration of their needs and desires.

The avenue for complaints is vague and heavily favours males over females.

To be clear, an avenue for raising concerns should be an extension of a sport’s existing member-protection or safety-and-wellbeing frameworks. It is not a substitute for consultation, nor is it designed for individuals to debate the overarching principle of inclusion.

The fact is, consultation does not happen and when players, parents, coaches or officials complain they are met with silence or in some cases threats of sanction.

Football Australia received 2300 emails objecting to male participation in soccer but refused to engage with any of the concerns.

If a male bodied athlete insists he is female then no female athlete, parent, coach or official is allowed to argue the fact. They must comply with the lie that the male has changed sex and uphold the charade.

In order for a trans athlete to comply with HP inclusion policies, they must first be identified as trans or gender diverse. Any such process of identification must be initiated, managed, and controlled by the athlete; the ‘outing’ of a person as trans or gender diverse without their knowledge or authorisation is entirely inconsistent with standards of athlete wellbeing.

The report has no consideration for female athletes concerned about their sex-based rights. The ASC prefers that all people involved in sport undergo education or re-education to deny biological reality and women’s sex-based rights.

NSOs should educate HP athletes, coaches, staff, and wider stakeholder communities around safety protocols and support that is reflective of trans-athlete needs. LGBTQ+ and Gender Inclusion training for coaches, parents, and staff may be conducted to ensure inclusive practices.

Remember, to ‘include’ male bodies in female sport is to exclude some females.

It goes on to say that only “subject-matter experts or individuals with lived experience to conduct training or education sessions.”

My guess is that female athletes such as Deborah Acason Lovely and Karen Long will not be included experts, despite the fact that as women they have been forced to compete against male bodied athletes.

Male boss and former athlete, Kieren Perkins, ASC CEO, said: “Sport can be a powerful vehicle for affirming an individual’s gender identity.”

No mention or regard to how female athletes feel about males colonising their sport.

Another male lectures us all about how we should view trans in sport. Matti Clements, Executive General Manager, AIS Performance, said: “Supporting trans and gender-diverse athletes to authentically participate in high performance sport has significant implications for mental health, wellbeing, and quality of life.”

No mention of the negative impact it has on female athletes who have to forsake their positions on teams or prize money or awards.

Finally, it is interesting that several images used throughout the report are para-athletes, not males appropriating female stereotypes.

I suppose using true images of male bodies in female sports doesn’t help sell the lie that it is fair, inclusive or safe?