The USA Rowing gender policy has kicked an own goal. It might be the wrong sporting metaphor, but it’s no exaggeration.
Science is denied and feelings are elevated as absolute truth with no questions asked.
Youth Level (Youth, Junior, High School, Scholastic, U19, U17, U15). Athletes at the youth level (youth, junior, high school, scholastic, U19, U17, U15) shall be allowed to participate in a rowing activity in accordance with their expressed gender identity irrespective of the sex listed on the athlete’s birth certificate or student records, and regardless of whether the athlete has undergone any medical treatment, subject to the Eligibility Procedures set forth below.
2) Adult Athletes (includes masters, senior, intermediate, U23, 18 and over who are not in college or high school). Athletes over the age of 18, who are not considered a youth or collegiate rower, shall be allowed to participate in a rowing activity in accordance with such athlete’s expressed gender identity irrespective of the sex listed on the athlete’s birth certificate and regardless of whether the athlete has undergone any medical treatment subject to the Eligibility Procedures set forth below.
Hilariously, one of the criteria admits biology is important. Look carefully at the following:
Women’s Events: Events exclusively for athletes who identify as a woman at the start of the rowing season and/or those who are assigned as female at birth.
- Men’s Events: Events exclusively for athletes who identify as a man at the start of the rowing season and/or those who are assigned as male at birth.
- Mixed Events [masters only]: Boat entries in this category must consist of 50% athletes of any gender and 50% athletes assigned as female at birth.
- Open Gender Event: These events are for athletes of any gender.
In a quad, four seats in a boat, two males and two males who identify as women is not acceptable.
US Rowing understands that would be unfair to the other mixed crews, because it would be four men against two men and two women! BUT if males want to identify as female in any other scenario they are permitted because it is only unfair to the female participants.
Men are allowed to appropriate womanhood and compete as female – except when there could be other males in the boat!
Binary spokeswoman Kirralie Smith said it was blatant misogyny.
“This policy is a joke, but not a funny one,” she said.
“US Rowing are deliberately and unapologetically putting female rowers in a lower position than males.
“It is hypocrisy and it is offensive, either males can be women or they can’t.
“It is impossible for anyone to change sex and we all know that males will have an advantage over females.”
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