Open thread for episode 23.21: Tracie & Jen


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  1. says

    For Mitch from Ohio – there are atheists in bumfuck Ohio who are happy to speak with you (self included). FYI there was just a convention in Cincinnati where a lot of locals came out (@AmericanAtheist) I’m habehumor@gmail.com

  2. says

    This comment is to the guy who called last on the show.

    I don’t know what your motivation is to talk to your parents again, but if it’s to gain some sort of vengeance
    for how they treated you before, don’t worry about it. Just let it go. Believing family members who find out
    about one of their own family members coming out as a non-believer can be devastating to them too.
    And I’m not saying this because I’m a theist who’s trying to illegitimize your falling out of belief. I too am a
    non-believer. I’m just saying that a fracturing in a family of such an encompassing, ingrained and closely
    held belief system can come off as a heavy blow to the life continuity and ideological unity of EVERYONE
    involved. Though I would say that it’s a double whammy for the one who fell out of belief since they now
    have to rethink about how they view the world and their place in it and how they view people and just a
    whole slew of things on top of dealing with the social and ideological decoupling that has occurred with
    their closest relationships.

    Anyways, my main point is that everyone has their own journey in life to go through, including your parents.
    Their lashing out was probably a part of their way of processing what has just occurred in their life. Their son
    is now a non-believer. And it’s unfortunate that this is the rhetoric they turned to, but it is probably not too
    surprising to you, know what they believe.

    So when it comes to a second encounter or discussion with them about why you’re convinced that Christianity isn’t true, I personally would not encourage it because if they are really that entrenched in the belief system, it may only incentivize them to redouble their beliefs. I’m guessing they might believe that you’ve fallen prey to “man’s reasoning” over the witness of the spirit or have fallen prey to the temptations of Satan and that, through you, Satan may be trying to shake their own faith. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they would see such an encounter with you as a test to see if they can remain true to The Word or remain true to their beliefs that Jesus is their savior DESPITE the challenges to it. Of course I don’t really know how they think, but I’ve found that there are manipulative mechanisms within the ideology that prevent people from questioning its validity.

    So I’ve come to believe that everyone has to go through the examination of their own beliefs of their own volition. It’s not only the most effective way for someone to examine the reasonableness of their own beliefs but also I think the most effective way to bypass the thought-stopping mechanisms within the ideology.

    And if that never happens then that’s just the way it goes for them! If THEY want to have a discussion with YOU, then sure, have the discussion, but don’t go looking to change their beliefs or win an argument in order to feel better about having come out to them. They have their own processing to do. And I would say it’s best to try to respect their intellectual autonomy. If they want a discussion, then just talk about ideas, talk about your thoughts about things, but anything more confrontational than that will most likely lead to defensiveness on their end.

    There’s a good YouTube video by Counter Arguments on the subject called: How To Change One’s Mind {Episode 01}

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXjH3duyLKc

    Having said all this, these are my thoughts based on my own experience with my own family members, and though we disagree, I don’t hate each other. We are still completely fine with each other in the vast majority of other areas in life, at least that’s how it appears on my end. We still talk to each other, and there are still areas of life continuity that we both realize haven’t been lost just because I no longer believe.

    Hope everything goes well!

  3. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    It was nice to see Tracie and Jen having none of Rob from Long Island. I’d seen the dude call into Talk Heathen a shit ton of times and while he was initially amusing, his potential as a lolcow was quickly eclipsed by the staggering stupidity of his arguments. It just got to be painful, so when they deemed him a troll and hung up on him I got a nice little chuckle.

  4. uglygeek says

    As an European temporarily living in the States I find it so hypocritical that almost all the people here who define themselves to be “Pro Life” are against universal healthcare. Basically they care about life only from conception to birth, then if a few weeks later the baby dies because the parents don’t have healthcare insurance they could not care less. At least right-wing politicians

    But what’s happening in Alabama and Georgia proves that elections have consequences, and in particular presidential elections. Evangelical voters had a very clear goal and were ready to support the most unchristian of the GOP candidates because he could win and give them Supreme Court nominations. While many leftist electors, and many women, refused to vote for Hillary because she was not Bernie or because she was not ‘woke’ enough. This is the result.

    Not sure if the current SC has already the numbers to overturn Row vs Wade, but if Trump wins again the future SC certainly will. If liberals don’t tune down the rhetoric, especially the identity politics rhetoric, and don’t start voting for electable and more moderate candidates, this will certainly happen. Unfortunately liberals tend to eat other liberals alive, there is always somebody more “ideologically pure” or more extreme in his/her views who treat moderate candidates like the enemy..

  5. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    @uglygeek – 5
    Hahahaha, I think ye’ve hit the nail on the head there. One of the reasons I tend to hold pro-lifers in such contempt is that I’ve yet to meet a single one who gives a flying fuck about the fetus once it’s born. However as ye’ve said, not a one (at least not one I’ve ever met or ever heard of) supports things like Universal Healthcare, Free lunch or school programs, etc to help the mothers once the kids are out.
    Not to get all anecdotal here, but every one, EVERY ONE, I’ve ever met and spoken to, whatever “sanctity of life” rhetoric they want to espouse, the more ye peel away that onion the rotten core is a desire to punish women for controlling their sexuality. Ye can usually play a fun game of seeing how long it takes for a line like “well if she didn’t want the baby maybe she shoulda kept her legs shut” to drop.
    I also agree with ye on the Progressive Cannibalism, but that’s a tale for another day I suppose, hahaha.

  6. frankula says

    Suggested rules for all further phone calls:
    Get the callers off their speaker-phone immediately, or hang up on them. This alone accounts for 60% of the irritation, and audio lag. All speaker-phones work atrociously.
    If the caller can’t figure out to turn off the feed when their call is taken, they’re not bright enough to hold a conversation.
    Wheel-spinning: If the caller is cited five times for badgering, evasion, or talking over you, the call is over.

  7. uglygeek says

    About Asad, and his Muslim friends who justify Muhammad having sex with a nine year old and giving/receiving sex slaves because “It was the custom of the time”: how don’t people realise how these proves that these holy books are man-made?
    Muslim scholars debate whether Muhammad was “the best of all creation” or just “the best of mankind”. Either cases, he is supposed to be a role model at any time. Yet the Muslims who today believe this also concede that having sex with a 9 year old was (in their opinion) only acceptable then. The contradiction could not be more evident.
    And why a god who knows everything could not have suggested to his Prophet right then that paedophilia was not a great idea?

  8. says

    “It was a different time” is a cop-out for so many reasons. It’s curious how people could be so adamant that the Bible is applicable today while at the same time admitting it is outdated.

  9. kimsland says

    Hi Mitch,

    You’re right what you said about this Christian hell belief, it is about fear. I mean Christianity motto (the common saying) is: ‘Fear God’, even your parents would agree with that. Obviously they are speaking of their particular God belief, because they don’t seem overly concerned about Muslim hell, or Hindu hell, or .. well there are so many religions all with different interpretations of their hell.

    Generally in Christianity the Jesus sin that supposedly gets you into their Christian hell, is not accepting their Jesus myth.
    I mean ALL other Jesus sins are fully forgivable (according to them). Literally you could be the most deceiving person out, but as long as you accept their Jesus then all’s fine! Of course if any other religion is correct, then THAT God might not be too happy with Christians! Anyway if we add up all the religions that have some type of ‘hell’ afterlife (claims of eternal torment; or separation from their particular God; or some no man’s land or.. ok this list is pretty long, some even say Earth is hell Lol). Generally most religions have some claim of the opposite to the best thing ever idea.

    Since Christians love stories; poems; and emotional testimonies of claimed personal experiences, then I once did a little story about their afterlife idea. Now I did originally write this before Darkmatter2525 did nearly the exact same story, but I don’t hold claim to it anyway, because literally anyone can work this out. As I think you have done, remembering Christians main point about their Christian hell and Jesus sins nonsense. It was intended for Christians themselves (relevant to topic at the time) but even as a non believer anyone should get it 😉

    Finally you die, hooray! (the hooray is really meant for the believers).
    Anyway, you’re standing with 2 others. A Christian, and a Muslim.
    God (finally) shows himself, and obviously both the ‘believers’, are thinking: I wouldn’t want to be the atheist right now!
    God says to you: YOU didn’t believe in me!!! Why didn’t you believe in an almighty Creator?
    You say: Because there was (exactly) zero sufficient evidence and (exactly) zero good reason to believe.
    God says: Yet here I am, with all the evidence and reason you require.
    God then turns to the believers and says: Both of you believed in a Creator! Why did you believe in me?
    Both the believers (who remain kneeling) say: Through faith; fear; personal experiences; due to our indoctrination; because what else could have it been? Because ‘look at the trees’, and the main thing: To praise you.
    God then makes his judgement! : Life WAS a test! The ‘atheist’ will continue to help lost souls and will become my right arm angel, because he was the only one that used his brain AND body I provided him. YOU ‘believers’ will have your wish and praise me for eternity!
    The believers finally questioning: What the hell?
    God: I’ve changed my mind, the believers will go to HELL.
    The atheist steps forward and says: I can’t be your ‘right arm man’, if you send others to hell and torment.
    God: And there’s your answer ‘believers’. The atheist would prefer to stand up to evil, and YOU ‘believers’ actually praise it. I can actually have an honest conversation with the atheist (insert: ok that part taken from DM2525). Both of you thought I’d send atheists to a hell, for the supposed religious crime of not being gullible and ignorant! What type of monster did you think I was!! Be gone with you.!

    Where the theists are placed is unknown, likely in some void or having their wish of praising their Creator for eternity fulfilled.
    The atheist becomes a winged angel, and continues to help others and himself to be better.

    I mean, seriously Mitch, forget fearing hell, fear not being an atheist 😀
    OR, just continue using your evolved brain 😉

  10. knowitallblogger says

    I listen to each episode every week in hopes that I will somehow discover an emerald prize of wisdom to spread to the religious arguments that will close the mouth of any debater. In my finite wisdom I am fully aware that the brainwashed mind is completely diametrically opposite to logic and reason and that, for myself, engaging with them is nothing less than an abortion of my intellect. I facetiously lose a percentage of brain cells upon every conversation. I download the podcasts every release seeking entertainment and education, but, alas, I find only agony. The callers each week nearly induce physical pain with their waterbed arguments and shut minds. I guess what I’m saying is I don’t understand how you hosts possess such patience. You all deserve medals and prize money.

  11. PETER CUSHNIE says

    It hurt to hear Tracie say that she did not want to discuss trans issues because she did not want to fly in the face of the new dogma, even though it is claimed that hosts on the show have free reign (Yeah. Tell that to rationality Rules). It was especially disappointing because I would have thought Tracie to be among the first stick her finger in authority’s eye. I’m not a contributor to the ACA, or I could take pleasure in now pulling my support. Oh, wait. I do support Matt D. through Patreon, but I’ll wait the hear what the Great Man has to say about “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”

  12. John David Balla says

    @10 PETER CUSHNIE
    >>It hurt to hear Tracie say that she did not want to discuss trans issues because she did not want to fly in the face of the new dogma, even though it is claimed that hosts on the show have free reign (Yeah. Tell that to rationality Rules). It was especially disappointing because I would have thought Tracie to be among the first stick her finger in authority’s eye.

    There are so many ways to address this but it all comes down to the person we think someone is is actually not that person. It’s an inferential error and a falsifiable one at that. Because we’re human, falsification manifests as disappointment and sadness. Such emotions occur when reality does not align with our desires. In the final assessment, it’s our problem, a failure to accept reality as it truly is. The disappointment and sadness will fade away when acceptance of a more rigorous version of reality returns. Either that, or we get resentful (or worse) which is not advisable. At any rate, that’s my preferred way of processing such things.

  13. PETER CUSHNIE says

    I am pro-life, but I am also an advocate of legal and safe abortion. This is my clever way of saying that I have always disliked the anti-abortionist claim on that term, suggesting, as it does, that the rest of us (the majority, as it happens) must be anti-life or pro-death or some such ridiculous thing.

    For as long as I have following the abortion debate (I’m seventy-five years old, so it’s been awhile), I have been hoping that someone on the anti-abortion side would please fer christ sake just once come up with an argument against abortion that is pragmatic, concerns the genuine interests of all of us and not just a noisy few, and not be rooted in religion and emotion and the need for dominion. I’m still waiting. Those attempts that have been made in this direction are woefully inadequate and the reason is not hard to understand: There is no purely pragmatic argument against legal and safe abortion. This leaves religion and emotion, neither of which are good reasons on which to base laws that affect everybody, at least not in a rational society.

    I have never believed that concern for the unborn is foremost in the minds of those who would mandate pregnancy and childbirth. This is evidenced in the fact that those who are vociferously opposed to abortion are nowhere to be seen (except in rare cases) once the deed is done and the baby is in the world. You’re on your own now, kid. Bye bye. And oh, yeah. Remember that privileged position you enjoyed while in the womb, when your rights usurped everyone else’s, even those of your own mother? Well, say goodbye to all of them. You don’t get to keep them and now your just another schmuck who doesn’t count for shit when the next blastocyst comes along.

    One enlightened congressperson in the Great Retrograde state of Alabama (whose name I have forgotten) made the totally sane suggestion that if a woman is going to be compelled by law to bear a child, then the state should absorb all her medical expenses until the child reaches the age of three. This proposal was voted down, of course. Someone else brought up the idea (not a new one) that, if women are to be deprived of easily available birth control products, as many anti-abortionists also want, then men should be penalized for having a vascectomy. Hey, what’s good for the goose and all that, right? No, not right. This issue is about men only to the extent that they want to wield power over the lives of others— women— but without giving up anything themselves.

    Here’s another question. Let’s imagine that Roe v. Wade never became law and that all those abortions that have in fact been performed since then, never happened. In what way would our society be a better place because of it? How would the introduction of those millions of unwanted children into the system have benefitted us as a country? I am at a loss to answer my own question.

    And so it comes down to the need for dominion and the diminution of women among those whose values are as archaic and worthless as the book from which they derive these foolish ideas. And the fetuses? Well, they are just a means to an end and their value ceases at the end of the birth canal.

  14. PETER CUSHNIE says

    kimsland @ 9

    I don’t know if this permitted, but I’m going to suggest a book to you, one brought to mind by your post. The title is: “Sum Tales from the Afterlives,” byDavid Eagleman, consisting of 40 very short imaginings of an afterlife by different authors. Highly imaginative and filled with ideas I never would have thought of. I listened to the audio version, which runs only two hours and forty-five minutes, so it’s a short read.

  15. Murat says

    @uglygeek
    The pedophilia thing, among with zillions of other stuff based on the hadith, have nothing to do with the core of Islam. They were added in later centuries, in order to provide safe grounds for rulers and scholars who were in dire need of points of reference from within the religion. So, they made those up and circulated them.
    This is no way means that the Quran is short of unacceptable, hazardous, inhumane, unjust practices – just that, those particular and widespread things (like Muhammad having sex with a 9-year old) are from a totally different set of sources, mostly “manipulated folklore”. Think of those like Joseph Smith’s additions to Chritianity having been embedded into the classical thing within a matter of centuries.
    I had written about such stuff previously on here, in case you wanna or can find to check out.

  16. Murat says

    At one point, Rob from Long Island said:
    “There are psychologists in this country who help trauma victims, people who have been raped, who have been murdered…”
    *
    Hear, hear Shyamalan! That’d be the ideal sequel for The Sixth Sense.
    What a twist!

  17. Murat says

    Saad and Asad exchange their perceptions of Islam, and I bet Saad will become the one on the verge of atheism, whereas Asad will be quite relieved.

  18. uglygeek says

    @14 Murat
    I think you are dismissing the importance of the Hadith a really too much here. With “The Hadith” Muslims refer to the record of the prophet Muhammed’s life, actions, and deeds. And Muhammed was an important historical figure, whose life was quite documented (he was not an obscure Jewish preacher like Jesus whose very existence is doubtful). Historians documented where Muhammed lived, where he went, the wars he fought, the lands and cities he conquered… his life was not documented only in the Hadith.
    In any case, for our discussion it does not really matter if what is in the Hadith really happened because the Hadith is fully part of the Islamic doctrine, and Muslims BELIEVE it to be truth. And believing it to be true, they have to find excuses about why their prophet should have had sex with a child. And the point here was that those excuses are easily refutable because one cannot assert that Muhammad was “the best of mankind”, god’s prophet and at the same time that he could not understand that paedophilia is bad because “It was the custom of the time”, both things cannot be true. The show hosts could remind Muslim apologists of this.

  19. buddyward says

    I am so glad that Jen and Tracie wiped the floor with Rob from Long Island. Rob is one of those people that throws out some random assertions and hope that people do not know enough to challenge them. He has done this in TalkHeathens and tried to do it TAE but unfortunately for him the two hosts knows more about the information surrounding abortion that his assertions have been challenged at every step of the way.

    I especially like the part where he asked “How long can a woman be in birth control?” This is such an ignorant question specially coming from a man who advocates for controlling a woman’s bodily autonomy.

  20. Marcel says

    Does anyone know if Rob from Long Island is the flat-earther Woton/Wonton that called in some time ago and tried to argue against the Cavendish experiment?

  21. says

    Hey. So I wanted to comment not with a justification, but I think what the apologetic could be. Girls can go through puberty at 9. I actually heard about this from the Stuff You Should Know Podcast, but I was over a friend’s house and I guess everyone was drinking so it was a weird comment. She was complaining that her finance was saying that her daughter went through puberty early due to hormones in food, and apparently she went through puberty at 9 or 10. I even said that from what I heard (hooray for podcasts) that that was normal (plus I was afraid of like, any potential shaming of, oh you went through puberty early, what is wrong with you, and I guess I wanted to make it clear that stuff like that was normal. It’s probably not like, oh this is happens all the time but I don’t think it’s out of the ordinary for a girl to go through puberty at 9. Not that it justifies Mohammad having sex with a 9 year old, it’s still a violation of consent, she’s not old enough to give consent, but just in case you get apologetics about that.

    I also want to shouit out Jen and Tracie about the trans stuff that’s been going on. Fuck the long haired British guy and his ego. Tone policing is only bad when it’s against him I guess.

  22. t90bb says

    Rob claimed several times on TH that he is an “expert” on the holey babble….lol……..I think hes a great caller….for the cause of atheism……I get the idea that each time he hangs up he thinks hes scholled the hosts LOL……that’s the kind of delusion you must have to be a Christian.

  23. jabbly says

    @Andrew MacDonald

    What does his hair length or nationality have to do with it?

  24. jabbly says

    @Andrew MacDonald

    Why would mentioning his name put him over?

    Of course does his ego mean he was wrong.

  25. jabbly says

    So exactly which bits do you think he was wrong on and whether he’s sorry, or not, is irrelevant to that.

  26. Murat says

    Much as I adore Tracie’s reasoning 99% of the time, every once in a while I hear from her something that just does not add up. In this episode, the way she said she reacted to pro-lifers’ “the father should have a say” argument was not really well-thought. I am pro-choice as well, but just like Asad said, I believe the arguments brought up by either side on this unique issue just have to be very carefully constructed.
    Tracie said that, if the father’s consent should be required, then, the father should also be able to demand abortion even against the pregnant woman’s will.
    No, of course this is not how it should work, and I don’t believe anyone to bring up the father into this would even come close to such a poorly thought argument. The idea can be very simple indeed. You just need to think along the lines of Nash’s game theories. There are two people whose agencies matter on the issue. Father and mother. (Let’s call them male and female in order not to get emotional over a fetus) Each has two options. Birth or Abortion. Setting the motion as birth, let’s code these options simply as YES and NO.
    Proposing the father to have a say on this can well mean requiring NO from BOTH SIDES to proceed with the abortion. In other words, one could propose this as, say, “Consent from both parents should be required for any abortion to take place in the 3rd trimester”
    So, no, unlike what Tracie thought, by putting the biological father into the picture, you do not necessarily have to give a man the authority to force a woman to abort her child.
    *
    (Just to make it clear: I am not saying that I believe this would be a good idea – I’m just claiming that it could be laid out in a workable way without putting a potential mother’s expectations in jeopardy.)
    *
    Even though I was not fully on board with Jen and Tracie on every single thing they said, I remained on their side of the arguments with every single caller, and I enjoyed the episode because they were really educational and dedicated.

  27. Murat says

    @Andrew MacDonald

    I think him admitting he was wrong means he’s wrong.

    Sounds like a logical fallacy to me.
    People can admit to being wrong when they are not, just like they can claim to be right when they are absolutely wrong.

  28. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I don’t think the father should have a (legal or significant moral) say because it’s not the father’s body; it’s the mother’s body.

  29. says

    For Mitch, a couple of suggestions on forums: Ex-christian.net has forums, where you can discuss leaving religion, and also other lingering issues you still need to work out. And although it’s not strictly a forum, the commentariat at Roll to Disbelieve is a great bunch, and the comments are well-moderated to quickly remove any preachers that try to hijack threads.

  30. t90bb says

    Andrew McDonald…..helllllloooooooooooooo????????……seems you have run off!

  31. iamElectro says

    Hello, I’m new here! I decided to come here after Tracie asked people to post forum sites for Mitch, and I was interested in that too, cuz I’ve been trying to find some with little success. So, here I am lol. Greetings from Greece… : )

  32. John David Balla says

    @37 Mitchell
    We do have a few bad actors on this blog, and fortunately, they have not appeared on this thread…yet. I say this because I want you to have a positive and safe experience here. And unfortunately, right now, I am not confident that that will be the case. Sounds like you got good information which I believe was Tracie’s purpose for guiding you here, to begin with. Best of luck to you!

  33. paxoll says

    @Murat
    The only way it would be fair to give a man a say in the woman having an abortion, is if you could force the man to carry and birth the child.

  34. says

    @T90bb

    Ummm, excuse me, I was busy not being on my computer all day and doing things. My life isn’t a comment section, thank you.

    @Murat

    So, the big thing with trans women in sports is the idea of Bone density. I’ve gotten into a few arguments about this. Bone density this, bone density that, oh the fists are too big, which is great, especially considering the power of a punch comes from your hips. My brother is a boxer and I was in a class at a work camp. It was run by an amateur MMA guy teaching it, but my brother was telling me different things because he just boxes. The power comes all the way down from your hips, not just a fist. Also, different men and women have different sized fists, even in MMA fights. Jon Jones for instance has an insane reach on him.

    Thankfully, I also got into this argument with someone on the Atheist Experience facebook page, so instead of going back to look for links, I can find them in a convenient spot.

    Firstly, a Wikipedia quote, which was from Eric Vilian. He was one of the people who got Fallon Fox licenced, a trans woman MMA fighter.

    “”Eric Vilain, the director of the Institute For Society And Genetics at UCLA, worked with the Association of Boxing Commissions when they wrote their policy on transgender athletes. He stated in Time magazine that “Male to female transsexuals have significantly less muscle strength and bone density, and higher fat mass, than males”[11] and said that, to be licensed, transgender female fighters must undergo complete “surgical anatomical changes …, including external genitalia and gonadectomy and subsequently a minimum of two years of hormone replacement therapy, administered by a board certified specialist. In general concurrence with peer-reviewed scientific literature,[19] he states this to be “the current understanding of the minimum amount of time necessary to obviate male hormone gender related advantages in sports competition”. Vilain reviewed Fox’s medical records and said she has “clearly fulfilled all conditions.”[2] When asked if Fox could, nonetheless, be stronger than her competitors, Vilain replied that it was possible, but noted that “sports is made up of competitors who, by definition, have advantages for all kinds of genetics reasons”.[11] Fox herself responded to the controversy with an analogy comparing herself to Jackie Robinson in a guest editorial for a UFC and MMA news website:[20]”

    The next link doesn’t have to do with MMA. I don’t want to quote the Washington Post because that’s just simply a news organization, so what I have is the study they quoted.

    https://cgscholar.com/bookstore/works/serve_pdf?category_id=410&version_id=105444&fbclid=IwAR3oWw9RO8w-W80g07WJVgCD-q652t89TMnt_xdrpAsivgz1F5g6LMP7bwg

    This will automatically download a PDF. If that’s not allowed, this could certainly be removed if any mod wants to do that. No viruses but people get nervous about stuff like that. Anyway, this article simply talks about foot racing and not MMA. Basically, the loss of bone density puts a trans woman right around where a normal woman would be (well, a normal woman who can run fast).

    Now, on the flip side, another interesting person to read about. Patricio Manuel. He won his first pro boxing fight recently. A trans man.

    I think a lot of it can also boil down to anti-intellectualism. I’m gonna guess, due to the outrage involving trans people in sports that sadly now appears on the Atheist Experience facebook pages and will probably haunt the organization for the rest of its existence. Fallon Fox’s doctors and the commission aren’t just handing people licences willy nilly. Fallon, and other trans athletes, have to jump through a ton of hoops. And if they win, well, it’s because they have an advantage. Here’s a sad fact about life. Some people have better genes then other people. Some people are just naturally bigger, faster and stronger. Some people have bigger hands, some people have longer limbs, that’s just the way it is.

    This happened recently with Caster Semenya situation, a cisgender woman who happens to have a lot of genetic gifts and advantages. She’s like a Pokemon with 31 IVs in all her stats, and it’s like people who play competitive Pokemon want Pokemon that don’t have 31 IVs in all their stats.

    And by the way, google Fallon Fox. See the hate that she got. She caved in someone’s skull with a knee. And everyone’s like, oh, she’s a man, they’re having men fight women. A few years later, Michael Vernan Page did the exact same thing to his opponent, and funnily enough, threw a Pokeball at him. It’s the same move, a knee to the forehead. And yeah, Michael got shit for that, but that’s because he wanted to be a Pokemon master. Though maybe it’s like how Ash-Greninja works, and Michael literally became one with his Greninja, and it was actually a Pokemon in there fighting.

  35. mcnelton says

    My first post. Just registering and posting so I can get moderated and possibly participate in future.

  36. Murat says

    @Andrew MacDonald
    I don’t see how any of this contradicts with what RR talked about on that infamous video.
    His point was that, if personal advantages and disadvantages were so random and not really so much dependant on one’s sex, then we wouldn’t really have good reasons to stick with age as a category either, nor segregate men from women, etc. Are there lines that we draw? Do we accept an exceptionally and extremely developed 15 year old compete against others of the same age who are still way behind in development? Yes we do because the line is drawn with that criteria. What RR asked was if and why the line was getting blurred in the case with the trans.
    I don’t think what you see on the discussions here is “outrage towards trans people”. We don’t even know what is in the best interest of trans people with regards to how to participate in sports.
    My take is that, if the social outcome of having trans women compete against cis women is believed to be the best way of inclusion, then, this should be acknowledged and those who felt to have experienced unfair losses against trans women should know that their portion of unfairness was for a greater cause. We don’t really need to push the idea that it is totally fair on a personal basis.

  37. Murat says

    @paxoll

    The only way it would be fair to give a man a say in the woman having an abortion, is if you could force the man to carry and birth the child.

    Like Arnold did in Junior.
    Maybe so, but that wasn’t my point already.

    Just to make it clear: I am not saying that I believe this would be a good idea – I’m just claiming that it could be laid out in a workable way without putting a potential mother’s expectations in jeopardy.

  38. says

    @Murat

    Because with sex segregation, at least in some facets, you can see some difference, especially in something like fighting. The line isn’t really getting blurred with trans people though, because, they’re kind of in that category.

    As said with the Fallon Fox thing, people are putting in the effort to change and work within the rules, but it’s viewed as being not good enough, and I’ve seen people toss around the idea of trans exclusive leagues, which is patently absurd. If trans people have trouble in the supposed enlightened atheist community, how are they going to be able to have the general public get behind that.

    With age, I think the reason is a bit arbitrary, but it’s also the same with sex and consent. There are 16 year olds who maybe more mature then 19 year olds, but we kinda have to put that number in there is still maybe some growth to be had for the majority of children. There could be some 15 year old wrestler who could just destroy someone twice his or her age, but we generally try to take into consideration the general population of children. With trans men and women, they’re going into the general population of cis men and women, and at least in running, the differences aren’t really noticeable.

    To be honest, I think trans people kinda just want to be accepted, and being able to freely participate in sports without supposed allies trying to shit all over them. The problem is, I don’t think it is unfair. The fact is, life isn’t fair. Some people, be they cisgender or transgender, are simply better athletes then other people. Some people aren’t natural athletes. Fun fact about me, I tried to be a pro wrestler. My footwork was shit. He told me I could fail a sobriety test sober. Now, people could pick it up, but that’s in something that doesn’t have competition but you still need to be an athlete in. With things like basketball, baseball, amateur wrestling, running, name your sport, some people are more inclined to be athletic, and some people aren’t. I think that last line is very condescending towards trans people, that cis women should think, well, it is unfair, but you should feel better about it helping further a cause.

  39. Murat says

    @Andrew MacDonald
    I’m not too sure that the arguments you make are in line with the outcome you reach.
    Overall, I get the feeling the remarks in the post lean towards some kind of special pleading towards the trans, but let’s see if anyone else gets the same impression from your way of reasoning before I try to dissect the components of it.

  40. says

    @Murat

    Ok, so is it special pleading, or is it,I have made a conclusion based on the information I have, instead of, well, they said it was unfair, and that settles it. I’m trying to back up my information with credible sources. Eric Vilan, who I mentioned with the Fallon Fox deal, this is his bag. sex and genetics. The study about the running, again, I tried to make it important that it was about running and nothing else, so I can have a few different perspectives. The science seems new, but like, I don’t know what else to do, haha. I clearly shouldn’t search out more studies because it would be a waste of time.

  41. jabbly says

    @Andrew MacDonald

    Check out Noel Plum’s YT channel as he has a few good videos on this topic especially his latest going through some of the papers that are being cited.

    Personally I think quite a few of the arguments that have been put forward are problematic as they fall to recognise that this is in the context of sport where you have winners/losers and a strong ethos of ‘unfair’ advantage.

  42. t90bb says

    46….Andrew….Your argumentation isn’t much better than your pro wrestling..lol…..

    An open and honest discission like RR provided is in no way hatred for trans…….

    It seems part of your argument is that if a trans athlete has any advantage..tough because life is not fair…..that’s deep man,,,i mean deeeeep

  43. Murat says

    @t90bb
    Let’s change the angle a bit and re-evaluate the problem of fairness:
    Joe and Beth are twins. They are both athletes. Their parents encourage the two all the way, and in order to further motivate the siblings, they say whoever among them gets an Olymic medal first will have even more of a special place in their hearts. It seems neither Joe nor Beth are top athletes, but they both struggle through their teen years. Still, Beth is doing a bit better in women’s category than Joe is in men’s.
    Later on, Joe discovers more about himself and embraces his true genter. Picks up the name Jeanette and goes through treatment. A few years later, she is racing alongside her twin, Beth, for the national selections for the Olympic Games. All others bite the dust one by one, and the twins end it so close to each other that the final decision has to come by photo-finish.
    Jeanette is going to go the Olymics. She’s very happy as both her parents embrace her.
    Beth looks at the family celebration. Part of her wants to join in, but she just can’t.
    When asked why she is not happy for her sister, she says “That was not fair…”
    What should Jeanette say to Beth?
    a) Deal with it, bitch! I’ve always been the better one! Ha!
    b) Oh, I see… But, you know, life is not fair anyways.
    c) You may suck as an athlete, but you should at least have the decency to join in on the fun when your family has good reasons to be happy. How many households do you think harbor champions?

  44. buddyward says

    @Murat #49

    Nice hypothetical. What if Beth won? Would you say that the competition is fair?

  45. Murat says

    @buddyward
    It would have one less level of unfairness.
    Sarah, who finished 3rd right after the twins, comes from a poor family. Had she been fed better as a baby, she’d be way ahead of both Jeanette and Beth. Alas…
    The unfairness with Sarah has been there in the picture all the time, invisible, yet solid. As long as either of the twins was there, Sarah was going to be eliminated. For her story was irrelevant to whether trans women bring with a certain unfairness to the competition, it was left unmentioned.
    Life not being fair should not mean we should simply ignore detectable and avoidable, emerging kinds of unfairness.

  46. buddyward says

    @Murat

    It would have one less level of unfairness.
    Sarah, who finished 3rd right after the twins, comes from a poor family. Had she been fed better as a baby, she’d be way ahead of both Jeanette and Beth. Alas…
    The unfairness with Sarah has been there in the picture all the time, invisible, yet solid. As long as either of the twins was there, Sarah was going to be eliminated. For her story was irrelevant to whether trans women bring with a certain unfairness to the competition, it was left unmentioned.
    Life not being fair should not mean we should simply ignore detectable and avoidable, emerging kinds of unfairness.

    How so? Are you defining fairness as transgender women not winning at all? If not, what would be the definition of fairness? How do we measure it? At what point in the competition would it be fair for a transgender woman to win?

  47. starfleetdude says

    @Murat

    The fact that there isn’t even one Olympic-level running event where men don’t outperform women is why there are separate events held for men and for women. The “treatment” you mention might as well be wearing five pound weights on your ankles. Males who go through puberty are generally taller, have more muscle mass, and have a skeletal structure that’s more efficient for running. These sex-based differences do generally give men an athletic advantage over women, which is why there are separate events for each sex for the sake of fairness.

  48. Murat says

    At what point in the competition would it be fair for a transgender woman to win?

    This is not an issue on which I made up my mind. Never claimed so. Hence, for the moment, I do not believe that there is a point in the women’s category of a sport for it to be fair for a transgender woman to win against cis women.
    (That *believe* there should be read as an agnostic atheist’s disbelief in God, and not like that of a gnostic antitheist’s)
    *

    Are you defining fairness as transgender women not winning at all?

    I’m not making a definition on this. Just exposing what I see as unfairness with trans and cis women competing against each other. I also do not see why the idea of special categories for trans athletes (for trans men and trans women) is frawned upon. If it is solely out of the necessity for an option for trans people to remain incognito, okay, understandable, but isn’t that in contradiction with the idea of providing platform and voice for the trans?
    *
    See, that’s what I find particularly problematic with anyone known as “rational”. Because, rationality requires us to draw lines somewhere on the board in order to provide a legit structure on which to work things out. If the very same people were talking about evolution, at one point they’d mention mammals being either male or female, not focusing on exceptions. But now that the topic is different, many take the path of “what is sex after all, does it really matter, it’s not really a yes or no question” etc. Indeed, the discussion itself is heavliy embedded in the registreation of TWO sexes for the human kind. BECAUSE the opening up of women’s categories was to avoid women eating the dust of men 90% of the time due to UNFAIR disadvantage of strength. Ok, there are uncountable genders and there is no control over THAT, but SEXES? The blundering of where the line is drawn is anti-rational in nature, because it boils the perception down to considering the segregation to be a GENDER-BASED one and not a SEX-BASED one, which eventually means “Ok, women gotta be protected, but only against heterosexual men, as anyone else will need more urgent inclusion into society than cis women now do!”

  49. buddyward says

    @Murat

    This is not an issue on which I made up my mind. Never claimed so. Hence, for the moment, I do not believe that there is a point in the women’s category of a sport for it to be fair for a transgender woman to win against cis women.
    (That *believe* there should be read as an agnostic atheist’s disbelief in God, and not like that of a gnostic antitheist’s)

    I am sorry but you have stated the following:

    It would have one less level of unfairness.
    Sarah, who finished 3rd right after the twins, comes from a poor family. Had she been fed better as a baby, she’d be way ahead of both Jeanette and Beth. Alas…
    The unfairness with Sarah has been there in the picture all the time, invisible, yet solid. As long as either of the twins was there, Sarah was going to be eliminated. For her story was irrelevant to whether trans women bring with a certain unfairness to the competition, it was left unmentioned.
    Life not being fair should not mean we should simply ignore detectable and avoidable, emerging kinds of unfairness.

    Claiming that something is unfair is no longer an agnostic position. Your arguments also leans more towards how ciswomen will feel when a transgender woman wins. Your example highlights how even if a transgender woman does not win, the fact that there are other ciswomen that placed behind them is unfair because, how did you say it? “invisible, yet solid”.

    I’m not making a definition on this. Just exposing what I see as unfairness with trans and cis women competing against each other. I also do not see why the idea of special categories for trans athletes (for trans men and trans women) is frawned upon. If it is solely out of the necessity for an option for trans people to remain incognito, okay, understandable, but isn’t that in contradiction with the idea of providing platform and voice for the trans?

    If you see “unfairness” then you have some measure of “fairness” to base the negative from, otherwise you will have no basis at all to make that judgement. The idea of a special category for trans athletes is not frowned upon. It has not been determined to be necessary.

    See, that’s what I find particularly problematic with anyone known as “rational”. Because, rationality requires us to draw lines somewhere on the board in order to provide a legit structure on which to work things out. If the very same people were talking about evolution, at one point they’d mention mammals being either male or female, not focusing on exceptions. But now that the topic is different, many take the path of “what is sex after all, does it really matter, it’s not really a yes or no question” etc. Indeed, the discussion itself is heavliy embedded in the registreation of TWO sexes for the human kind. BECAUSE the opening up of women’s categories was to avoid women eating the dust of men 90% of the time due to UNFAIR disadvantage of strength. Ok, there are uncountable genders and there is no control over THAT, but SEXES? The blundering of where the line is drawn is anti-rational in nature, because it boils the perception down to considering the segregation to be a GENDER-BASED one and not a SEX-BASED one, which eventually means “Ok, women gotta be protected, but only against heterosexual men, as anyone else will need more urgent inclusion into society than cis women now do!”

    A rational position does not require a line to be drawn. It is perfectly rational to say “I don’t know.” if there is not enough information to base a rational decision. This position allows us to go and further investigate.

    The history of women’s sports did not start with already knowing that one sex is athletically superior to the other. It started with a discrimination that women are the fairer sex and should not engage in strenuous activity because their place is in the home bearing and caring for children. It is only later when science have advanced enough to show that men, on average, performs better in sports. It is only later that was discovered that men due to the process of puberty becomes more physically athletic than women. This is why the justification for the separation between sexes in sports becomes rational. However, the lines are blurred when it comes to transgender women and we as a society need to investigate further instead of making claims that something is “unfair” with no basis for it.

  50. Murat says

    @buddyward
    Let me be more clear:
    The issue I have not yet made my mind up about is whether trans women should keep competing against cis women in sports.
    However, with my current understanding, I am positive that there is a special level of unfairness involved with this situation. I do acknowledge that, for the better of social justice and gender equality, some sort of unfairness may be absorbed, neglected, not made the focus, etc.
    What I have not yet made my mind up on is, whether THIS solution is the best available.
    *

    The idea of a special category for trans athletes is not frowned upon. It has not been determined to be necessary.

    Determined how? Unilaterally for sure, but by the use of what measures? I argue that science does not suffice when the issue is sports, which includes sociology. “Determined” sounds quite fascistic to me in the course of such discussions where people’s opinions may differ. Right under that infamous video of RR was a comment that read “I’m a trans woman and I totally agree”.
    *

    A rational position does not require a line to be drawn. It is perfectly rational to say “I don’t know.” if there is not enough information to base a rational decision. This position allows us to go and further investigate.

    Do we not know how many sexes there are for mammals? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the number is two. A zoologist could agree that an elephant is either male or female. Regardless of its penis missing, its uterus going unfunctional etc, we DO know this, right? And if an elephant has both male and female reproductive organs, then we say it has the features of both sexes. It doesn’t qualify as a third, mysterious sex. So, why do we not register that there are TWO sexes, and IF and only IF the proper way to separate groups of people with regards to their sex-related, innate strength and stamina, then it’s genetical sex that matters. And if the proper way to separate people into two categories is not really necessary, then fine, let’s move on what path to take in order to merge women’s and men’s categories within the matter of a decade or so.
    I have absolutely no reserves against the notion of saying “Life is not fair after all, so, let’s see what happens…”

  51. Murat says

    @buddyward

    It is only later that was discovered that men due to the process of puberty becomes more physically athletic than women. This is why the justification for the separation between sexes in sports becomes rational. However, the lines are blurred when it comes to transgender women and we as a society need to investigate further instead of making claims that something is “unfair” with no basis for it.

    There, you have the basis of what I named “unfair” in that very paragraph:
    “…men due to the process of puberty become more physically athletic than women…”
    We see the same thing, yet, we choose different words. I believe my choice of words to be more direct, maybe less politically correct, but better embedded in rationality.

  52. buddyward says

    @Murat

    Let me be more clear:
    The issue I have not yet made my mind up about is whether trans women should keep competing against cis women in sports.
    However, with my current understanding, I am positive that there is a special level of unfairness involved with this situation. I do acknowledge that, for the better of social justice and gender equality, some sort of unfairness may be absorbed, neglected, not made the focus, etc.

    You are positive that a special level of unfairness is involved??? What level is that? How did you determine that it is unfair? What objective data did you use? You are here claiming that you are agnostic in the issue but clearly you are not.

    What I have not yet made my mind up on is, whether THIS solution is the best available.

    Which solution are you referring to? Are you referring to the inclusion of trans women to cis women sports? If so, then it is fine if you are not sure but to advocate that it is unfair requires that you justify your position.

    Determined how? Unilaterally for sure, but by the use of what measures? I argue that science does not suffice when the issue is sports, which includes sociology. “Determined” sounds quite fascistic to me in the course of such discussions where people’s opinions may differ. Right under that infamous video of RR was a comment that read “I’m a trans woman and I totally agree”.

    Scientifically, much like how science determined that it is justified to separate women’s sports from men’s. Science has no political agenda which is makes me wonder why the word “determine” is fascistic to you. Science is objective no matter what people’s opinions are. Science has determined that the shape of the earth is an oblate spheroid no matter what the flat earther’s opinions are.

    Do we not know how many sexes there are for mammals? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the number is two. A zoologist could agree that an elephant is either male or female. Regardless of its penis missing, its uterus going unfunctional etc, we DO know this, right? And if an elephant has both male and female reproductive organs, then we say it has the features of both sexes. It doesn’t qualify as a third, mysterious sex. So, why do we not register that there are TWO sexes, and IF and only IF the proper way to separate groups of people with regards to their sex-related, innate strength and stamina, then it’s genetical sex that matters.

    Because sex is not the same as gender. As far as the Olympics and the NCAA is concerned the separation is on the basis of gender not sex. Both of those organizations are making this rule based on scientific findings and are both continually revising their requirements based on what science can provide as opposed to making an assumption with no basis.

    And if the proper way to separate people into two categories is not really necessary, then fine, let’s move on what path to take in order to merge women’s and men’s categories within the matter of a decade or so.

    Then you are ignoring the established scientific differences between the two sexes which is not what is in question here. It is now the difference between genders that is in question right now.

    I have absolutely no reserves against the notion of saying “Life is not fair after all, so, let’s see what happens…”

    And yet you continue to call out how “unfair” the competitions are when trans women perform.

  53. buddyward says

    @Murat

    There, you have the basis of what I named “unfair” in that very paragraph:
    “…men due to the process of puberty become more physically athletic than women…”
    We see the same thing, yet, we choose different words. I believe my choice of words to be more direct, maybe less politically correct, but better embedded in rationality.

    How does this apply to trans women who have undergone HRT? You are using a cismale property and applying it to a transwoman. Those are not the same. Do you have any scientific findings that on the average transwomen performs just as well as cismen? That HRT or whatever procedure trans women go through DO NOT diminish their performance simply because they have gone through cismale puberty?

  54. aironna says

    I have a question regarding critical thinking.
    While noticing bamboo rapidly growing, I have come to hypothesize that since it grows so rapidly that it probably has a high metabolism and thus produces large amount of oxygen, and even consumes higher amount of Carbon dioxide.
    While trying to find answers to this idea; I found that Bamboo does in fact produce 30 % more oxygen then the “Average tree”.
    However; This raises more questions; what is the average tree? How much oxygen does “The average tree” produce? what “Tree” produces the most and the least oxygen? What species (Not just trees) produces more and less oxygen? What species consumes the most C02 and the least, and other pollutants as well? How do we know? And how did we find out?
    What is this called when seeking answers raises more questions.

    PS’; I have nerver blogged before except on FB. I dont know if this is the proper place to ask this qiestion. Any helpful feedback would be very much appreciated.

  55. Murat says

    @buddyward
    I doubt you take your time reading my posts. Every single thing you repeatedly ask have already been answered.
    Please read again, think on them and then ask me once more if you still have confusion over what I am saying.

  56. buddyward says

    @Murat

    I doubt you take your time reading my posts. Every single thing you repeatedly ask have already been answered.
    Please read again, think on them and then ask me once more if you still have confusion over what I am saying.

    I do take the time to read your post and I am asking you questions to make your position more clear. So far you do not answer them. You claim that something is unfair and yet you do not provide a definition of what is fair. You claim to be “agnostic” about the situation and yet you call the competition unfair. You have not provided any scientific evidence that transgender women out performs ciswomen to a degree that would justify excluding them from competition. You are also claiming that science is not sufficient to determine whether or not a separate category for transwomen is necessary and you have not justified that.

    So the only possible way that you and I can have a disagreement is for me to not understand. It is not a possibility that you are wrong or that you do not understand. That is such a condescending dick move. If you do not want to have to justify your claims then simply say so and I will leave you alone. Consider this as my last response to you.

  57. Murat says

    @buddyward

    How does this apply to trans women who have undergone HRT? You are using a cismale property and applying it to a transwoman. Those are not the same. Do you have any scientific findings that on the average transwomen performs just as well as cismen? That HRT or whatever procedure trans women go through DO NOT diminish their performance simply because they have gone through cismale puberty?

    It was you who brought up male puberty as one major factor that determines WHAT CATEGORY a person is supposed to compete in. And I told you that you provide yourself the very definition of UNFAIR there: Had someone who had gone through male puberty competed with one that didn’t, there, you have one thing that is not EVEN about the two. You now mention HRT as something to SUBTRACT an advantage from one side in order to make them EVEN. Do sports work that way? Are people allowed on every single category and every single level to use medication for the sole purpose of CHANGING their levels of strength and stamina? If, due to a tactical group decision, 3 of 4 Russian athletes were given medication that would lower their capacity so as to make the other one score better, would that be legit? Define DOPING. Tell me how the definition works with anyone and everyone. There IS a problem here, but you are normalizing every extra measure in order for the matter in hand to provide the desired outcome.
    *

    “I have absolutely no reserves against the notion of saying “Life is not fair after all, so, let’s see what happens…”
    And yet you continue to call out how “unfair” the competitions are when trans women perform.

    Definitely! That’s a no-brainer. I can’t see what part of it you don’t get. Let me break it down:
    IF the consensus is on that LIFE IS NOT FAIR AT ALL and sports will be re-spahed in the light of that broad notion, then, there will be no categories whatsoever, and the probably-minimal-but-still-significant difference between trans women and cis women will no longer be an issue.
    But IF the categories are going to keep existing, designated among sexes (not as genders the way you seem to think they are, no, we don’t have gay men, bisexuals, lesbians etc. as categories, we have MEN and WOMEN as they correspond to the genetical sexes assigned pre-birth) they yes, I do have a problem with some from one category having certain advantages subtracted by use of treatment in order to compete against cis women. The problem I have is on a logical basis. I argue that, a very major criteria is being CHANGED in order for one group to be included. You can not twist and bend rules like this. If you will, yes, go on and merge the two major categories.
    *

    Then you are ignoring the established scientific differences between the two sexes which is not what is in question here. It is now the difference between genders that is in question right now.

    No.
    Are you or are you not referring to the established scientific differences between the two sexes? I am. There is no question of GENDER on this issue. For the categories are separated in the light of SEX, and that is genetical sex, it DOES matter. Weather we like it or not, it just does. That’s how I see it rationally.
    Emotionally and on a social basis, considering that sports can not measured just via usage of scientific data, I would be OKAY with the integration of trans women into the men’s category, as is the situation now, but NOT with the kinds of arguments I see around. The issue should be addressed honestly, taking into consideration that even APPEARANCES matter in sports as psychological factors that have significant effect on opponents’ psychology, and every cis woman competing against a trans woman should know that the situation being so MAY be unfair for them on a personal level whereas this was the best solution to the problem of how to integrate trans people into sports.
    Science can be used to construct illusions, manipulations and lies. That has happened in the past, for evil purposes. The purpose for this particular matter is a good one, yes, but still, selective usage of scientific data can not suffice to “determine” anything on an issue that just has to consider other, beyond-science aspects.
    And chasing away people of different opinions, using words like bigotry when addressing them, does not help.

  58. buddyward says

    Ok fine I will response just so that people do not think that I am running away.

    It was you who brought up male puberty as one major factor that determines WHAT CATEGORY a person is supposed to compete in. And I told you that you provide yourself the very definition of UNFAIR there:

    Yes, on the basis of sex. I did not say that it can be used to justify attributing the advantage to be the same as a transgender woman. I am describing the difference between cis men and cis women not between transgender women and cis women.

    Had someone who had gone through male puberty competed with one that didn’t, there, you have one thing that is not EVEN about the two.

    And at what point am I advocating that cismen and ciswomen should compete against each other?

    You now mention HRT as something to SUBTRACT an advantage from one side in order to make them EVEN. Do sports work that way? Are people allowed on every single category and every single level to use medication for the sole purpose of CHANGING their levels of strength and stamina? If, due to a tactical group decision, 3 of 4 Russian athletes were given medication that would lower their capacity so as to make the other one score better, would that be legit? Define DOPING. Tell me how the definition works with anyone and everyone. There IS a problem here, but you are normalizing every extra measure in order for the matter in hand to provide the desired outcome.

    Show me where in sports is it not allowed to diminish your performance? I can understand that it is not allowed to enhance your performance through the use of drugs but please feel free to show me where taking drugs to diminish your performance is not allowed or even makes sense when trying to compete to be the best.

    We are talking about gender and not sex. We are not arguing whether or not cis men should compete with cis women. The issue at hand is whether or not to allow transGENDER women to compete with ciswomen. We are having these discussion to figure out if that makes sense or not. You are arguing that since its always been separated between cismen and ciswomen therefore it should not change which is wrong. It is wrong because it offers no path to progress, it discriminates against a group of people for no good reasons. It is wrong because what may made sense in the past does not necessarily mean it makes sense now or in the future.

    Science can be used to construct illusions, manipulations and lies. That has happened in the past, for evil purposes. The purpose for this particular matter is a good one, yes, but still, selective usage of scientific data can not suffice to “determine” anything on an issue that just has to consider other, beyond-science aspects.

    Just because science can be misused does not mean that it will. You are preempting progress simply because you are positing the possibility of some conspiracy as opposed to actively investigating and finding out what the objective data and findings will say before making any judgements.

    And chasing away people of different opinions, using words like bigotry when addressing them, does not help.

    Am I doing that? If so, please show me where I did that, if not then why are you bringing this up?

  59. says

    For Mitch and whoever is struggling with religious doctrine:

    I also want to recommend a very therapeutic book called The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture, by clinical psychologist Darrel Ray.

    I can totally see this book as an extremely helpful guide out of religious doctrine.

    Also remember http://www.recoveringfromreligion.com is full of excellent resources, including a live chat and call helpline at which I volunteer.

    Best of luck in this difficult but totally worthy journey!

  60. uglygeek says

    @buddyward 64

    I see that you are very aggressive in your comments regarding the RR saga so I’ll tread very carefully here: I think we should give time to the scientific community to really analyze advantages the and disadvantages that trans women may have over ciswomen on each specific sport, and then let the sport authorities decide on the basis of this scientific data. Any decision not based on data would be purely ideological, in a sense or the other. The IAAF authorities seem to have clear ideas on this matter: https://www.iaaf.org/news/press-release/cas-dsd-experts and are setting clear eligibility standards based on testosterone levels. If this decision has or not a scientific base, it’s up to scientists to decide. (Then, I’ll be curious to see if the Left will accept those decisions, should the science reach conclusions the Left doesn’t like :-)).

    But regarding what Murat @42 wrote:

    … if the social outcome of having trans women compete against cis women is believed to be the best way of inclusion, then, this should be acknowledged and those who felt to have experienced unfair losses against trans women should know that their portion of unfairness was for a greater cause.

    I think that instead that is really not acceptable. If it turns out that trans women really have a competitive advantage over ciswomen then they should not be entitled to compete with ciswomen, no matter if this is good or bad for their sense of inclusion. People train all their lives to become professional athletes, and an unfair loss, if it is indeed unfair, if it’s really not acceptable for a greater cause, if you take off identity-politics lenses.

    In other words, if it really turned out that trans women have on average a competitive advantage over ciswomen, it would clearly not be acceptable to have for example “Ladies single” tournaments at Wimbledon with all trans-women players in the final rounds. The case of Renee Richards, who in 1976, entered the WTA circuit – obtaining decent results even though she was already 42 – is quite emblematic. If science will determine that trans women really have a competitive advantage the sport world is not going to make a parody of itself just in name of politically correctness, no matter what is my opinion or your opinion on the subject.

    The virulence with which this debate is addressed also in this forum indicates that not only religious people but also Liberals can be biased and dogmatic too.

  61. Murat says

    taking drugs to diminish your performance does not even make sense when trying to compete to be the best.

    Exactly! This is part of what doesn’t make sense to me with this whole narrative of HRT’s role in sports.
    *

    Yes, on the basis of sex. I did not say that it can be used to justify attributing the advantage to be the same as a transgender woman. I am describing the difference between cis men and cis women not between transgender women and cis women.

    Where do transgender women come from?
    The terminology itself requires one to be a cis man at one time to later be a trans woman. Yet, you act like there is a separate set called transgender women, and that some cis men later use HRT to take a step back to their level of strength. No. The only “source” for trans women is the population of cis men.
    Earlier, on a different thread, someone wrote that “trans woman” is something like “black woman, old woman, Chinese woman” etc. Meaning that, the “womanhood” is the same with all of these groups. Do you have the same perception? Here and there I come across the term “real woman”, which I can not imagine to be used in a “scientific” way, something I get only as hyperboly or a compliment of some sort. Do you validate this terminology? If so, what people do you define as the set of “real women”? As for myself, I’d never even consider calling one a “real” or “unreal” woman within the context of such a discussion.
    *

    Show me where in sports is it not allowed to diminish your performance? I can understand that it is not allowed to enhance your performance through the use of drugs but please feel free to show me where taking drugs to diminish your performance is not allowed.

    Call it just a hunch, but I get the feeling you were never a good follower of sports, at least not of team sports on high level competition. First of all, we are talking about what is “fair” and what is “unfair”. So, being “allowed” is not the same as being “fair”. There are situations in which an act or a tactical choice is considered to be fair on unfair. This is the context here. Not weather a commitee would necessarily consider it reason for disqualification.
    Just search what Bobby Fischer accused the Russian national chess team of doing back in the early 60s. Some on the team were deliberately losing against their opponents in order to make sure that Fischer was going to have a match against only the top Russian player, if ever. These things happen in many tournaments. Many times in UEFA Champions League, two or even more teams from the same country made it to the quarter finals or semi finals. In such cases where there are two ongoing matches, simultaneously, depending on news from one, the strategy of a team can change in the other. Out of local rivalry or friendship, a team can deliberately concede a goal or drag their feet so as to make sure that the other team playing the other match finishes that leg in such a way that they avoid facing the better adversary before the final match. This kind of strategy is considered “unfair” because it contradicts with the very basic notion that each team has to do their best in the determination of which one is the rightful owner of the title. Is it “allowed”? No. Is it legit? Kinda, yes. But it’s frowned upon.
    Just search conceding a goal deliberately, scoring an own goal, etc and you will many instances of how lowering your capacity to win is considered unfair depending on the occasion. Of course, there also are instances where the opponent suffers from an unfair disadvantage, and by deliberately scoring an own goal, their competition shows “fairness”. So, considering this is an issue of “fairness”, yes, it is a valid topic to entertain thoughts on.
    What I find faulty about this whole thing is that, people are arguing that HRT diminishes one’s performance to the level that they now can fairly compete against cis women. The way I get sports, it’s basically about enhancing your performance. So, I see a unique complication there with regards to the spirit of sports in general.
    *

    And chasing away people of different opinions, using words like bigotry when addressing them, does not help.
    Am I doing that? If so, please show me where I did that, if not then why are you bringing this up?

    No, you didn’t. I was only referring to that initial ACA statement about RR. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  62. Murat says

    @uglygeek

    I think that instead that is really not acceptable. If it turns out that trans women really have a competitive advantage over ciswomen then they should not be entitled to compete with ciswomen, no matter if this is good or bad for their sense of inclusion.

    I agree. Maybe I was not clear or careful enough with that remark there, but what I was trying to offer was this:
    IF we determine that overall trans women do not have significantly high competitive advantages over ciswomen, they should keep being welcome to compete against them. But still, on an individual basis, here and there, one transwoman can have an unfair advantage against a ciswoman, most probably due to having gone through male puberty in the past. In such a case, the ciswoman should know that, her loss was within the margins of accidental unfairness, not really so different than losing against another ciswoman, and that, the exclusion of transwomen from her category would cause greater social harm than the personal loss she might be suffering.
    So, it was more about what people could feel individually.

  63. jabbly says

    @Murat #66

    A slight aside, using the CL semis/quarters doesn’t really make sense as it’s two legged and knockout affair, only one team goes through.

    In the group stages, then things are slightly different but I’m still struggling to think of many examples of the behaviour you’ve suggested that would be considered unfair.

  64. Murat says

    @jabbly
    It’s quite a common example to “unfairness”, indeed: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/afl/deliberately-losing-is-not-in-the-right-spirit-of-afl/news-story/537aa4cdec81da128677c3af0872874b
    Nowadays, I’m not really in tune with what’s going on with football. But ten years ago, I could probably come up with a list of matches that were “deliberately lost”, not due to “match fixing” but simply out of sympathy for a team that is not on the field at the time, but that would, as a direct result, benefit from the “thrown” game. “Unfairness” is widespread and not really avoidable completely. The question on my mind is, if a certain regulation is bringing on the table one new level or kind of it, or not.
    I find trans sports issue “debatable”, in short.

  65. jabbly says

    @Murcat

    The point I was making is that in the knockout stages “throwing” a game for the reasons you mentioned just doesn’t make any sense. If we are just saying is it unfair to set out to lose a game, then I agree and the laws of the game even cover it. Do I think that it is in anyway common, absolutely not.

  66. Murat says

    @jabbly
    https://voxeu.org/article/world-cup-football-and-game-theory
    “… It shows that cases could arise where a team would have to avoid winning to advance. It also lays out the general intuition for thinking about how rules misalign incentives in sport tournaments.”
    *
    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/74831-barbados-vs-grenada-in-94-the-most-bizarre-match-ever
    “One Barbadian striker realised that his team were unlikely to score another goal against Grenada, with only a few minutes to go and Grenada playing an ultra-defensive tactic. Instead, he decided that their best chance of winning was to make the game go into extra time and score a golden goal, which would count as two goals.

    So he promptly powered the ball past his own stunned goalkeeper to make it 2-2.

    Now, Grenada needed to score a goal—at either end—to avoid extra time and to go through to the final. The Grenada players, initially stunned by the goal and suddenly realising what was going on, turned around and headed for their own net.

    Now the comedy really starts as the Barbadians had anticipated this move and rushed to defend the Grenada goal—in addition to their own—until the whistle went for extra time. Now be honest, who could make up a story like this?”
    *
    I dunno what you mean by “common”. Of course, they do not happen more than half of the time. But there are hundreds of examples to such things, making them common as particularly interesting examples about unfairness.
    P.S.
    I still fail to remember the most famous, most classical example to this. It was in one major championship, but I just can’t recall what country was involved, nor what year it was, so, couldn’t reach it by google search.

  67. buddyward says

    Exactly! This is part of what doesn’t make sense to me with this whole narrative of HRT’s role in sports.

    Then perhaps you need to read up on the researches made on the effects of HRT as it relates to human physical performance.

    Where do transgender women come from?
    The terminology itself requires one to be a cis man at one time to later be a trans woman. Yet, you act like there is a separate set called transgender women, and that some cis men later use HRT to take a step back to their level of strength. No. The only “source” for trans women is the population of cis men.

    This whole paragraph demonstrates your lack of understanding between the difference of sex and gender. Trans-women does not necessarily come from cismen. A transwoman could have always identified as a woman at a very early age despite being assigned male at birth; meaning they were never cismale.

    Scientific research seems to indicate that transwomen runners who underwent HRT for about a year performs comparably to ciswomen. Meaning that your idea of the “source” is irrelevant. If you are going to argue that the “source” matters, then that is something that you would have to demonstrate. You can do so by presenting a scientific study that concludes transgender women who have undergone HRT have significant athletic advantage.

    Earlier, on a different thread, someone wrote that “trans woman” is something like “black woman, old woman, Chinese woman” etc. Meaning that, the “womanhood” is the same with all of these groups. Do you have the same perception? Here and there I come across the term “real woman”, which I can not imagine to be used in a “scientific” way, something I get only as hyperboly or a compliment of some sort. Do you validate this terminology? If so, what people do you define as the set of “real women”? As for myself, I’d never even consider calling one a “real” or “unreal” woman within the context of such a discussion.

    This is just irrelevant. I don’t care how others do their word play and it is not relevant as to whether or not it makes sense to exclude transwomen from competition. My definition of “real women” are women that manifest in reality.

    Call it just a hunch, but I get the feeling you were never a good follower of sports, at least not of team sports on high level competition.

    Call it a hunch but I bet you have never heard of the no true Scotsman fallacy or the non sequitur fallacy. What criteria did you use to conclude that I never followed sports well? Are only people who agrees with you the ones that follow sports well? That is the no true Scotsman fallacy.

    Irrespective of whether or not I follow sports well has no bearing on whether or not my arguments are sound and valid. You are concluding that I did not follow sports well does not follow the premise that my arguments might not be sound and valid. That is the non sequitur fallacy. Of course I am assuming that you are basing your conclusion on my arguments as I see no other factors for you to base your conclusion nor did you state why you are making that assumption.

    Even though I can demonstrate that I follow sports, I think it is irrelevant in these discussion.

    First of all, we are talking about what is “fair” and what is “unfair”. So, being “allowed” is not the same as being “fair”. There are situations in which an act or a tactical choice is considered to be fair on unfair. This is the context here. Not weather a commitee would necessarily consider it reason for disqualification.

    You are refusing to answer the question. Please show me where taking drugs to diminish your performance is not allowed.

    If you do not want to answer that question and would like to talk about what is fair then please define what is fair and how do we measure it.

    Just search what Bobby Fischer accused the Russian national chess team of doing back in the early 60s. Some on the team were deliberately losing against their opponents in order to make sure that Fischer was going to have a match against only the top Russian player, if ever. These things happen in many tournaments. Many times in UEFA Champions League, two or even more teams from the same country made it to the quarter finals or semi finals. In such cases where there are two ongoing matches, simultaneously, depending on news from one, the strategy of a team can change in the other. Out of local rivalry or friendship, a team can deliberately concede a goal or drag their feet so as to make sure that the other team playing the other match finishes that leg in such a way that they avoid facing the better adversary before the final match. This kind of strategy is considered “unfair” because it contradicts with the very basic notion that each team has to do their best in the determination of which one is the rightful owner of the title. Is it “allowed”? No. Is it legit? Kinda, yes. But it’s frowned upon.
    Just search conceding a goal deliberately, scoring an own goal, etc and you will many instances of how lowering your capacity to win is considered unfair depending on the occasion. Of course, there also are instances where the opponent suffers from an unfair disadvantage, and by deliberately scoring an own goal, their competition shows “fairness”. So, considering this is an issue of “fairness”, yes, it is a valid topic to entertain thoughts on.

    First off, your representation of the Bobby Fischer story with the Russians is completely wrong. The Russian players colluded to quickly drew their matches against each other so that they can save their energy when they all faced Bobby. It has nothing to do with forcing Bobby to face the top Russian player.

    Second, this is a false analogy as it does not address diminishing one’s performance in order to make the competition more acceptable for the opponent. Your analogy are people purposefully throwing a match in order to later gain an advantage in the later stages of the competition. This type of behavior is unacceptable as demonstrated in the 2012 Summer Olympics in the Women’s doubles badminton. This resulted in the ejection of 8 players. However, this is not the same as having HRT for a year where the effects are immediately negated at the end of the match or at the later stages.

  68. buddyward says

    @uglygeek #65

    I agree that we need to allow science to determine whether or not to exclude transwomen from competing against ciswomen. If science does determine that there is a significant athletic advantage possessed by transwpmen over ciswomen then I would have no choice but to accept the facts. That have always been my position.

    However, what I will not do is prematurely make any judgements or accept on what is fair or unfair without good reason.

  69. jabbly says

    I have watched lots and lots of football and I really find it difficult to see where these hundreds of examples (besides political pressure or match rigging) come from. Taking your links, the first just mentions something that is possible and even says it’s unlikely.

    The second, well it’s called bizarre for a reason and more importantly they weren’t trying to lose the game but instead win it even if they were trying to ‘game’ the rules as to how the won it.

  70. Murat says

    @buddyward

    A transwoman could have always identified as a woman at a very early age despite being assigned male at birth; meaning they were never cismale.

    Identified as??? How?
    Despite being assigned male, they were never cismale???
    What does that even mean? A one-year-old kid with male genitalia is not a cismale? At that particular time?
    Tell me from the perspective of here and now, not looking at the personal histories of people who now identify as transgender, how can you say that about a baby? Does the baby not have a gender at that particular point in time?
    *
    Furthermore, why keep focusing on gender? What does gender have to do with the genetical sex?
    Is the separation of men from women in the world of sports based on genetical sex, or not? Do you think these are “gender categories” that we see in sports? Then simply, explain to me why there are TWO of them… It’s obvious as daylight, the categories are in line with SEXES and the line here just has to be drawn somewhere, and I argue that we need some social understanding and tolerance for the sake of gender equality in order for this SEX-BASED segregation to make the current exception for whom you think had their genders assigned at birth, which is not true on many levels, both relating to gender and sex, for the chromosomes are there pre-birth already.

  71. Murat says

    @buddyward
    You:
    “taking drugs to diminish your performance does not even make sense when trying to compete to be the best.”
    *
    Me:
    “Exactly! This is part of what doesn’t make sense to me with this whole narrative of HRT’s role in sports.”
    *
    Do you not see the contradiction pointed out here?

  72. jabbly says

    @Murat

    I’m not sure how you get to several examples from your first link or indeed how this supports the idea of hundreds of examples.

    The other links I didn’t bother reading as they aren’t about football which I believe is the issue in hand.

  73. Murat says

    @jabbly
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325965451_It_may_happen_that_no_team_wants_to_win_a_flaw_of_recent_UEFA_qualification_rules
    *
    The link above is more on the theory of such tournaments.
    I’ll post the famous and best examples to this problem if and when I find them. One I remember that happened many times is two clubs from the same country competing in separate groups, and one, in order to make sure the other does not get to face the better adversary, losing deliberately (as their win was already not going to provide them a place in the next round).
    It does happen. Tactical losses are a problem against the spirit of fair play which practically goes “may the better one win”.

  74. jabbly says

    If it happened many times then I’m sure it’s going to be relatively easy to post links to those games.

  75. buddyward says

    Identified as??? How?
    Despite being assigned male, they were never cismale???
    What does that even mean? A one-year-old kid with male genitalia is not a cismale? At that particular time?
    Tell me from the perspective of here and now, not looking at the personal histories of people who now identify as transgender, how can you say that about a baby? Does the baby not have a gender at that particular point in time?

    Wow, you really do not know the difference between sex and gender. Here is an article that might help you.

    *

    Furthermore, why keep focusing on gender? What does gender have to do with the genetical sex?
    Is the separation of men from women in the world of sports based on genetical sex, or not? Do you think these are “gender categories” that we see in sports? Then simply, explain to me why there are TWO of them… It’s obvious as daylight, the categories are in line with SEXES and the line here just has to be drawn somewhere, and I argue that we need some social understanding and tolerance for the sake of gender equality in order for this SEX-BASED segregation to make the current exception for whom you think had their genders assigned at birth, which is not true on many levels, both relating to gender and sex, for the chromosomes are there pre-birth already.

    For the billionth time we are trying to determine if it makes sense for TRANSGENDER women to compete with cis women. This is why we are talking about gender and not sex. You keep trying to make the conversation about sex when it is all about gender. Perhaps I should not be surprise as you are demonstrating the lack of understanding of the difference between the two.

  76. buddyward says

    @Murat #76
    You have accused me of not taking the time to read your post and to take the time to think on them and yet here you are arguing to a fragment of my sentence that is taken out of context.

    Let me put this all into context:

    @ #62 Murat wrote:

    Are people allowed on every single category and every single level to use medication for the sole purpose of CHANGING their levels of strength and stamina?

    My Response @#64:

    Show me where in sports is it not allowed to diminish your performance? I can understand that it is not allowed to enhance your performance through the use of drugs but please feel free to show me where taking drugs to diminish your performance is not allowed or even makes sense when trying to compete to be the best.

    You asked if people are allowed to use medication for the sole purpose of CHANGING their levels of strength and stamina. The response I gave you is that enhancing your performance using drugs is not allowed but I do not see anything that says diminishing your performance is not allowed so please show me where it is not allowed to take drugs to purposefully diminish your performance.

    Your response to a fragment of my sentence @66 is:

    Exactly! This is part of what doesn’t make sense to me with this whole narrative of HRT’s role in sports.

    To which I said in #72:

    Then perhaps you need to read up on the researches made on the effects of HRT as it relates to human physical performance.

    Meaning, if it does not make sense to you then you should do some research so that you might understand. The role of HRT in sports is to be able to reduce the performance of transgender women so that they become eligible to compete with ciswomen.

  77. paxoll says

    we are trying to determine if it makes sense for TRANSGENDER women to compete with cis women. This is why we are talking about gender and not sex.

    Hmm the discussion revolves around BOTH. The differentiation in sports is a sex differentiation, and we are trying to find a fair way for transgender people who WANT to either take hormones OR participate with other people of the same gender.

    The role of HRT in sports is to be able to reduce the performance of transgender women so that they become eligible to compete with ciswomen.

    Hmmm no. The role of HRT in sports is to either support an athletes mental health by allowing them to transition if they have body morphic dysphoria, or deal with a hormonal imbalance that makes the competition unfair. This can be giving either taking hormones or blocking hormones. As Jabbly pointed out, Noel Plum did a pretty good job of identifying the issue, and evaluating the scientific research that is being paraded around on this topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwFZBG_ts4k

  78. Robink says

    Wonder how many more times Saad is going to call up only to have the exact same discussion. It’s clear he has a huge emotional pull to his religion and is desperately trying to reconcile that with the view he has of himself as someone who looks at the world rationally. He’s twisting himself in all directions to justify his view points and when presented with counter arguments (ie just admit you don’t know) he seems unable to accept that. I think he needs to go away and do some soul searching and question why he’s even looking for a religious answer to his questions in the first place.

  79. jabbly says

    @Robink

    That’s kinda the impression I get but the problem I have is that for someone who seems to want to appear rational/reasonable he doesn’t put much thought into his arguments, in particular the counter arguments that are likely.

    The strange part though is when things are pointed out to him he pretty much agrees that his argument is flawed but still hasn’t changed his mind on anything of substance as far as I can tell.

    In many ways it’s like listening to someone who really wants to convinced that his beliefs are wrong,

  80. jabbly says

    @paxroll

    An interesting point, well to me anyway, that Noel Plum made was his belief that sporting bodies have framed the conversation around what they have some control over and not for example height, which the don’t.

    Personally I’m still unsure as to the answer as I’m pulled between the fairness of competition and the fairness of inclusivity.

  81. Lamont Cranston says

    paxoll says

    As Jabbly pointed out, Noel Plum did a pretty good job of identifying the issue, and evaluating the scientific research that is being paraded around on this topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwFZBG_ts4k

    I agree this is a pretty good job of summarizing the available scientific research on the issue and I found that I was largely in agreement with his assessment of the various papers. That is why I said the science is not as settled as some would like to make it appear. Joana Hubbard’s work does still seem to be the best truly applicable work on the subject at this time and it is not even definitive as she says herself.

    Ultimately it appears the 5 nmol/L limit does seem to be about as close as we can currently come to trying to level the playing field (advocated by Joanna Hubbard, a transgender female athlete herself). The previous limit of 10 nmol/L limit (which she took issue with) would literally allow some cis-men to compete in women’s sports (there have been men athletes that are naturally just under the 10 nmol/L limit).

    In case anyone doesn’t know, the range in women generally is about 2 nmol/L with a 1 nmol/L 3 sigma value (I’m using average values). This means 99.7% of women would be under 5 nmol/L. Considering the percentage of women competing in sports under these conditions results in virtually zero chance that a woman athlete would have a value above this point. It also means zero men could qualify as a woman. This is in full recognition that nothing you do can totally undo the pre-transition effects of testosterone on the body (bone length, muscle mass, etc.). There has yet to be any study on other effects that might compensate for those.

    So is this fair? Well sports is inherently unfair. Someone always has an advantage. However, advantage does not always equal better performance on any given day. It takes whatever you have, plus hard training, plus sometimes sheer luck to equal a good performance or winning. In the mean time you try to keep people from gaming the system by increasing their odds with man-made advantages the best you can.

    In the mean time, for the record as the father of a transgender son that I fully support, I still do not consider anything RR or Noel Plum said to be transphobic.

    Lamont Cranston

  82. buddyward says

    @paxoll #83

    Thank you for the link, it is a very interesting video.

    Hmm the discussion revolves around BOTH. The differentiation in sports is a sex differentiation, and we are trying to find a fair way for transgender people who WANT to either take hormones OR participate with other people of the same gender.

    I am not sure why it has to revolve around both. I would agree that as a frame of reference we look at the cismale development but what needs to be done is to take performance measurements on transgender women and figure out if that makes sense in judging whether or not it is fair for them to compete. So in this aspect we should be focusing on the gender and not the sex.

    Hmmm no. The role of HRT in sports is to either support an athletes mental health by allowing them to transition if they have body morphic dysphoria, or deal with a hormonal imbalance that makes the competition unfair. This can be giving either taking hormones or blocking hormones. As Jabbly pointed out, Noel Plum did a pretty good job of identifying the issue, and evaluating the scientific research that is being paraded around on this topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwFZBG_ts4k

    I would have to disagree as sport organizations are using HRT to lower the testosterone count to a level they have determined to be acceptable for a transwoman to compete. It was initially set at below 10nM/Liter to less than 5nM/Liter. Even Noel Plum, at the end of the video stated that he thinks this level is what makes the most sense.

  83. paxoll says

    @Jabbly
    There is always levels of sports that are specifically for inclusivity so even my old overweight ass can participate. We call it playing “for fun”. If you don’t want to “play for fun” and want to make money then you are in different area. There are 2 ways to look at this area of sport competition. From the athletes perspective they either want to make money or they want to see where their maximum potential lies compared to other people.
     
    If they want to make money then they want what is going to draw attention to the sport, so why do we like to watch sports? I think in general we like to watch the spectacle with some harbored belief that we could do those amazing things if we put the effort into it, and we like to gamble, we like to not know the outcome, we like to see a mixture of variables so complex that we not only can’t know the outcome, but that the deciding factor is athletes will-power to win. If that is the case then we want to watch the most fair competition possible. We divide the competition as much as we reasonably can and still maintain enough competitors to be entertaining while maintaining a little variability to allow an underdog moment to happen. I think that underdog moment sums up what we as spectators look for in sport, and that begins with fairness of competition.
     
    For the athletes that want to see where their maximum potential lies. They also want most fair competition because they are comparing themselves against the other athletes. This is why these types of competitions are refining. Not everyone can simply walk into the olympics and compete. They start with local competitions, move up to state, regional, national levels, these are exclusive competitions, and the athlete wants the race as fair as possible, they don’t want to compete against a bunch of people that have been doping, or are so much less qualified than you. These athletes always want to play up to the challenge, but conversely the other athletes do not want to play down. A 50 year old runner might want to compete against a bunch of 20 year olds, but not vice versa, even if their skills are comparable, the fastest ranked female swimmer doesn’t want to be in a race with male swimmers that are not even ranked even if their swim speeds are comparable, and they same males will not find any satisfaction if they won a race against a bunch of females.
     
    It is similar to the difference in equality of outcome and equality of opportunity. The individual is looking for equality of opportunity, and the group is looking for equality of outcome, and BOTH require levels of segregation to achieve their end goals.

  84. paxoll says

    @buddyward
    Lol, I really think you have that backwards. The issue is males, taking HRT are fairly comparable to females. The science and sporting rules are all based on sex differences. The reasons for the HRT is largely unimportant. Should a female weight lifter who wants to compete against males be able to legally take steroids? Does that put her on fair competing grounds as males, or does she have an unfair advantage?

    sport organizations are using HRT to lower the testosterone count to a level they have determined to be acceptable for a transwoman to compete

    This is the issue and the whole point of this is that they have made these “determinations” not based on any good science. Is it fair to let Shaq play basketball with a bunch of freshman highschool students, if he ties one arm behind his back? If he doesn’t have the highest points for the team does that indicate that it is ‘fair’? Would the freshman who are milling around him while he stands with his arm up in the air untouchable looking for an open teammate find it fair.
     
    The research conclusion was hormone levels of 5nmol for female athletes to compete against female athletes NOT on that level being “fair” for males on HRT to compete with females. I think you need to pay better attention.

  85. buddyward says

    @paxoll

    Lol, I really think you have that backwards. The issue is males, taking HRT are fairly comparable to females. The science and sporting rules are all based on sex differences. The reasons for the HRT is largely unimportant. Should a female weight lifter who wants to compete against males be able to legally take steroids? Does that put her on fair competing grounds as males, or does she have an unfair advantage?

    You see this is the problem with people who has an agenda as opposed to those who are willing to let the science make a determination on what maybe the proper way to proceed. Extreme examples are presented with no actual effort made to think things through. First off it is simply stupid to expect that a female weight lifter should be allowed to use PED in order for her to compete with men where the rules of using PEDs for men are not allowed. Currently, the use of PEDs are prohibited in any sport (AFAIK) and there are no logical reason why in this extreme example should an exception be made. The discussion we currently have is how to find a fair situation for a transgender woman to compete with ciswomen and not the other way around.

    This is the issue and the whole point of this is that they have made these “determinations” not based on any good science. Is it fair to let Shaq play basketball with a bunch of freshman highschool students, if he ties one arm behind his back? If he doesn’t have the highest points for the team does that indicate that it is ‘fair’? Would the freshman who are milling around him while he stands with his arm up in the air untouchable looking for an open teammate find it fair.

    Oh great, yet another extreme unrealistic example which simply distracts from the actual conversation. Well tell you what, I think that it would be fair for Shaq to tie one hand behind his back and compete in high school women’s gymnastics or how about in women’s figure skating. This is plainly ridiculous.

    My position in these discussions is simple. I am of the opinion that we need to find a way to make the competition fair and the path to finding that is through science and not some ridiculous, unrealistic scenarios one can think of. There are people like Joanna Harper who are actively working on this and according to the very same video by Noel Plum that you yourself linked, people are being encouraged to do further the research.

    The research conclusion was hormone levels of 5nmol for female athletes to compete against female athletes NOT on that level being “fair” for males on HRT to compete with females. I think you need to pay better attention.

    You need to pay attention to what we are discussing. First off the topic for this particular point is whether or not HRT is being used to lower the amount of testosterone a transgender woman has in order for her to be able to compete with ciswomen. You disagreed with that point and I pointed out that there are actual numbers being used to measure this. I would also add that the IOC and the IAAF have policies regarding this that is specifically targeted towards transwomen.

    The 5nm/L requirement, although not yet adopted by either the IOC nor the IAAF is seriously being considered and like I said, even Noel Plum seems to think that it is what makes the most sense. Joanna Harper is also of the opinion that if a transgender woman were to compete in the women’s division that their T levels should be the same of other women which would be around 3nM/L. If this is what the science says as “fair”, then I would have no problems accepting this. I would also have no problems accepting a separate transgender division should the science prove that there is no way for a transgender woman to fairly compete in the women’s division. There are so many factors involved in this topic that each and every sporting event, may have to be evaluated separately. It may make sense that some sport may exclude transwomen and some may include.

  86. paxoll says

    @buddy
    These are not extreme examples they are just examples that demonstrate why your arguments fail. Transgender athletes are “extreme” examples by your definition. If a transgender woman athlete does not want hormone treatment is it fair to let them compete with females athletes? Obviously not. The current rules does not make something fair or rational. Your argument that the IOC or IAAF rules are somehow evidence of your position being true is synonymous with an anti-abortion activist claiming the laws are evidence that abortion is wrong.
     
    I ALSO would agree that if the science says that transgender women below 3nmol can fairly compete with females, I would have no problem with them doing so. BUT the science does not demonstrate that yet. As I have stated previously and Noel also stated in his video, it is up to anyone wanting exemption from the rules to provide that evidence. What that big study on testosterone demonstrates with the recommendation of lowering the allowable T levels in females sports (FOR FEMALES) is that it is highly unlikely that the pubertal changes males experience are not likely to fairly overcome by post pubertal HRT.

  87. buddyward says

    These are not extreme examples they are just examples that demonstrate why your arguments fail.

    Really?? In what weightlifting event is a woman allowed to use PED in order to compete with men? In what reality will Shaq be allowed to compete with highschool kids considering the fact that Shaq was a professional basketball player and not in highschool?

    Transgender athletes are “extreme” examples by your definition. If a transgender woman athlete does not want hormone treatment is it fair to let them compete with females athletes? Obviously not.

    Please show me where it is allowed by sports organizations that allows transgender women to compete without lowering their T levels to the specified level? I am not now nor have I ever advocated for transgender women to compete without hormone treatment so I do not know why you are saying this. Did you or did you not understand what is my position on this matter? If not, please tell me what it is that you do not understand and I will gladly explain.

    The current rules does not make something fair or rational.

    What does and how do we attain that degree of fairness and rationality? Are you saying that the current rules are not fair because you said so? Is it rational to amend the rules in accordance to the current understanding of the situation based on the findings in science? Are you advocating to exclude transgender women from competition until we have absolute knowledge that the rules set forth are fair?

    Your argument that the IOC or IAAF rules are somehow evidence of your position being true is synonymous with an anti-abortion activist claiming the laws are evidence that abortion is wrong.

    You have no understanding of the word synonym. Those two are not synonymous. My argument is actually following the rules as it is stated while yours is going against it. Those two are opposites.

    If this statement is in regards to lowering the T levels of transgender women in both the IOC and the IAAF in order for them to compete then I can show you articles and documents that says so just in case your Google machine is broken.

    I ALSO would agree that if the science says that transgender women below 3nmol can fairly compete with females, I would have no problem with them doing so. BUT the science does not demonstrate that yet.

    Correct, that is why there are currently no rules that tries to enforce that requirement. The current 10nM/L and the proposed 5nm/L guidelines are based on some science which are the only ones we currently have. This science is further supported by the statistical results of the performance of transgender women in the 15+ years since the Olympics and the NCAA have accepted transgender women. Could science later on prove me wrong? Yes, it can. Up until then, I am using what science and the resulting statistics currently offers. I am not saying that this is perfectly conclusive, I am saying that it suggests strongly that we are on the right path. We currently have no competing study that would be convincing otherwise. The more research we get, the more information we will have and the better decisions we can make.

    If you want to prove your point to be true, then go out there and do the research and\or support the researchers. Prove that it is unfair and I will have no choice but to be on your side.

    As I have stated previously and Noel also stated in his video, it is up to anyone wanting exemption from the rules to provide that evidence. What that big study on testosterone demonstrates with the recommendation of lowering the allowable T levels in females sports (FOR FEMALES) is that it is highly unlikely that the pubertal changes males experience are not likely to fairly overcome by post pubertal HRT.

    That is correct, but the measurements made post puberty are physiological measurements and not athletic performance. Even though there are correlations between physical sizes and athletic performance, it is not always the case and it is not the same across all sports. When it comes down to it sports is a measure of athletic performance.

  88. paxoll says

    @Buddy
    Jesus, I am so losing patience with this.

    In what weightlifting event is a woman allowed to use PED in order to compete with men? In what reality will Shaq be allowed to compete with highschool kids considering the fact that Shaq was a professional basketball player and not in highschool?

    The fucken point of the examples is that the reason behind an individual wanting to compete in a category they do not qualify for is irrelevant to if it is FAIR for them to compete in that category. It is special pleading to say a trans athlete can change categories that were set out to make competitions more fair but others cannot, and we can easily recognize how it is not fair by looking at examples that are not being set out as special pleading.

    Please show me where it is allowed by sports organizations that allows transgender women to compete without lowering their T levels to the specified level? I am not now nor have I ever advocated for transgender women to compete without hormone treatment so I do not know why you are saying this.

    This is proof that this issue is NOT about Gender it is about sex and biological differences between males and females.
    Up until then, I am using what science and the resulting statistics currently offers. I am not saying that this is perfectly conclusive, I am saying that it suggests strongly that we are on the right path. We currently have no competing study that would be convincing otherwise. A) no you are not using what science and statistics offers you are using an appeal to authority, the IOC and NCAA are political organizations that are making decisions based on the politics of trans activism and public opinion, if a trans athlete does not medal at the olympics or hold some kind of record for the NCAA than any actual statistical advantage is “insignificant” to those organizations. B) We do have studies that are convincing otherwise, which is why this topic has so many people disagreeing and the policies have been changing on a regular basis. Right now we have essentially anecdotal (“15 years”) of performance data which is by and large insignificant to identifying fairness of the rules, and then the rest of the “science” that shows transwomen retain a 50% muscle mass and 100% height advantage from their male puberty. At the moment the number of trans athletes is so small that “statistical” fairness is very hard to measure, as it becomes more readily accepted internationally, we will more easily measure how it is fair, and the current policy is going to harm the athletes it was unfair against. Just like in the past with steroid use.

  89. buddyward says

    Jesus, I am so losing patience with this.

    Then do better in explaining, answer questions directly and stop using unrealistic examples. The analogy of Shaq tying one arm behind his back to compete with high school kids is not even fucking close to how a transgender woman would compete.

    The fucken point of the examples is that the reason behind an individual wanting to compete in a category they do not qualify for is irrelevant to if it is FAIR for them to compete in that category. It is special pleading to say a trans athlete can change categories that were set out to make competitions more fair but others cannot, and we can easily recognize how it is not fair by looking at examples that are not being set out as special pleading.

    How the fuck do you measure fair? What can a trans athlete do in order to make the competition fair? What does the trans community have to do in order to be accepted? Is it your opinion that there is nothing that they can or will ever do to make the competition fair? What is it that trans athletes are doing to make some competitions more fair while others cannot? Is the trans community calling to make the use of PED an exception while the rest of the athletes are prohibited? What is the real world example of this special pleading that you are talking about?

    This is proof that this issue is NOT about Gender it is about sex and biological differences between males and females.

    It is about gender, it is about recognizing the differences in the genders and finding out how the different genders can compete fairly through the use of objective scientific findings.

    However, let me talk about this from the point of view of sex. If a man wants to compete in the women’s division, what (if any) can he do in order to make the competition fair? If this man is willing to do just about anything possible, what can he do? Should he try and work with the women in the sport as well as scientists that might be able to help figure out how to make the competition fair or should he just be excluded simply because he is a man?

    A) no you are not using what science and statistics offers you are using an appeal to authority, the IOC and NCAA are political organizations that are making decisions based on the politics of trans activism and public opinion, if a trans athlete does not medal at the olympics or hold some kind of record for the NCAA than any actual statistical advantage is “insignificant” to those organizations.

    An appeal to authority is stating that something is true simply because some authority figure said so even if the statement is not true. I am not saying that allowing transgender women to compete in the women’s division is fair because the IOC and the IAAF said so. I am objectively looking at what they are doing in order to make the competition more fair. They are currently consulting with the scientific community to figure out how to do this and using the findings to make decisions on what appropriate steps to take. They are also offering fundings for more research on this issue. Adding to that is the statistical data for the past 15+ years of transgender women performances and you have an argument that they might be on to the right path.

    If you are going to make an accusation that they are making decisions based on politics then you have acquired the burden of proving this claim. This is a very serious claim which would require some serious evidence. Do you have this evidence or are you just saying this just to make your argument seem more valid?

    B) We do have studies that are convincing otherwise, which is why this topic has so many people disagreeing and the policies have been changing on a regular basis.

    Great show me the studies that says transgender women athlete’s participation is unfair.

    Right now we have essentially anecdotal (“15 years”) of performance data which is by and large insignificant to identifying fairness of the rules,

    Is this in reference to the 15+ years of transwomen athlete’s performance in the Olympics and the NCAA? If so, why do you consider this as anecdotal?

    and then the rest of the “science” that shows transwomen retain a 50% muscle mass and 100% height advantage from their male puberty.

    So, you ignored the part where I said that even though muscle mass and height may not affected by HRT it does not necessarily mean that performance is unaffected. That the measurement should be based on performance since sport is a measure of performance. This is one of the reasons why you are having a difficult time communicating, you are ignoring pertinent information.

    At the moment the number of trans athletes is so small that “statistical” fairness is very hard to measure, as it becomes more readily accepted internationally, we will more easily measure how it is fair, and the current policy is going to harm the athletes it was unfair against. Just like in the past with steroid use.

    I agree with the idea that the more data we have the better informed we will be not matter where the evidence leads. However, I disagree that it is synonymous to steroid use and would argue that it is a false analogy. The use of steroids is prohibited in sports because of its harmful side effects. The drug is easily abused due to the drive that athletes have to be the best. Even if the use of PEDs are closely monitored they are also viewed as unfair and unethical. Being a transgender woman athlete is nothing like this at all and the fact that scientists are looking for ways to minimize the advantage is a step in the other direction as compared to the use of steroids. The fact that there are organizations out there who are looking to make the competition fair is the antithesis to the use of steroids which is to gain an unfair advantage.

    Does the current policy harm current athletes? I don’t know. If this is what you are proposing then please present your arguments along with your evidence that they have been harmed. Are you proposing that we need to have absolute knowledge that the policies are fair before we accept the transgender community into the competition? Are you willing to exclude a group of people from competition simply because we are not absolutely certain that their acceptance would be fair?

  90. t90bb says

    the topic of trans competing is sports is so boring to me…I do not know how you guys do it. Makes me long for the good ole days where Kafaifie and the Cookiemonster where here!

  91. PETER CUSHNIE says

    t90bb @ 96 says
    May 25, 2019 at 11:04 am
    “the topic of trans competing is sports is so boring to me…I do not know how you guys do it. Makes me long for the good ole days where Kafaifie and the Cookiemonster where here!”

    I agree. Give it a rest or take it somewhere else. Trans has nothing to do with atheism anyway, no matter what the ACA and their New Atheist Dogma have to say.

  92. Murat says

    @buddyward
    Both of the following are your statements:

    taking drugs to diminish your performance does not even make sense when trying to compete to be the best.

    The role of HRT in sports is to be able to reduce the performance of transgender women so that they become eligible to compete with ciswomen.

  93. Murat says

    @Peter
    I slightly disagree.
    Atheism, or skepticism in general, has a lot to do with reasoning, rationality, solving problems without referring to any dogma, etc.
    The transgender may not be directly related to skepticism, but this particular issue about trans women in sports, with regards to examining if people are doing a good job assessing such issues, is related to how rational the society (as a whole) and the progressives with it are doing.
    So, well, there’s some kind of a link there.

  94. Murat says

    However, let me talk about this from the point of view of sex. If a man wants to compete in the women’s division, what (if any) can he do in order to make the competition fair? If this man is willing to do just about anything possible, what can he do? Should he try and work with the women in the sport as well as scientists that might be able to help figure out how to make the competition fair or should he just be excluded simply because he is a man?

    OMG! I usually love it when one refutes their own position, but THIS… Wow… What a mess… I can not fathom how to correct such a weirdly recoiled rant. Men ARE excluded from women’s leagues. THAT is the whole spirit of having two separate categories for two sexes… Male and female… That’s it… It’s not a gender issue… It’s about the chromosomes…
    The best way you can advocate the current situation is by referring to why we, on a social basis, need the exception. But no! You keep taking the way of considering this as a solid, scientific, clear-as-daylight decision! THAT is the problem with your approach.
    Are you suggesting that, anyone to go through HRT should be able to compete against women?
    Should a heterosexual male also be allowed, after reaching the accepted hormone levels, to change the category he is in?

  95. buddyward says

    @Murat 101

    Are you suggesting that, anyone to go through HRT should be able to compete against women?

    You do not have any concept of context, do you?

  96. Murat says

    @buddyward
    The context is fairness.
    You just have to present a theory of how to define it and how you expect to keep it in check with regards to your particular take on the issue. But nothing you say suggests that you have thought this over. You create pockets of exceptions along the way while the argument itself is already along the lines of special pleading.

  97. buddyward says

    @Murat

    The context is fairness.
    You just have to present a theory of how to define it and how you expect to keep it in check with regards to your particular take on the issue. But nothing you say suggests that you have thought this over. You create pockets of exceptions along the way while the argument itself is already along the lines of special pleading.

    Ever since we started our conversation I have been asking you to define what is fair and how do you measure it. You are the one claiming that something is unfair which means that you have some definition of fairness. So please, try to be consistent in your position and not try shifting the burden of proof.

    Also, no, when you stated the following:

    Are you suggesting that, anyone to go through HRT should be able to compete against women?

    The context is not fairness. You are seriously all over the place here just trying to pick out statements that you try to make fun of while taking it out of context. This seems to be a pattern in your arguments. I have had a long drawn out discussion with you and I have no interest in repeating myself nor does anyone here have any interest in reading a rehashed version of our conversation.

  98. Murat says

    @buddyward
    Your full sentece, here:

    Show me where in sports is it not allowed to diminish your performance? I can understand that it is not allowed to enhance your performance through the use of drugs but please feel free to show me where taking drugs to diminish your performance is not allowed or even makes sense when trying to compete to be the best.

    *
    Your full sentece, here:

    The role of HRT in sports is to be able to reduce the performance of transgender women so that they become eligible to compete with ciswomen.

    *
    Now, tell me what the difference of context is between the two.
    The second one LITERALLY is part of what you yourself claim DOES NOT MAKE SENSE in the end of the first.
    FAIR PLAY is a wide and touchy concept. You keep focusing on weather it will be unfair to cis women if and when a trans woman beats them, but no, this is just one aspect of the broader discussion. Is it fair to them, to the spectators, to any other party involved? The things you mention help surface better the problem with the issue, but you act as if they support your “No unfairness involved! Nothing to see here! Science proved it, all is okay!” thesis.
    NO, there IS a particular issue of unfairness here.
    Can it be dealt with? Absorbed? Neglected?
    Maybe.
    But it can’t be DENIED.
    *
    The context is fairness.
    It has been so all along. And my perception of fairness about this particular issue is clear:
    To respect the norms of the level.
    That’s it.
    If there is age segregation, if all those under 16 are in one category and 16-19 are in another, then, you should not take a 17 year old into the U-16 by claiming to have “lowered” his/her physical capacity by use of drugs. I claim this not to be fair. Because we already do not know the individual physical capacities of every single player. The line is drawn at AGE. So, just respect it.
    In the case of the trans athletes, it’s a question of being MALE or FEMALE. And not of the gender identity. Long before one is born, the sex is set. And it is this and this only by which the TWO categories, addressing to TWO sexes were set. The exception to be made here is, technically, no different than letting in a 17 year old to the U-16. BUT okay, you can have good reasons to allow that. Social justice, integration, etc. It’s an exception. That is what you should be arguing for. You don’t do this. You take the path of claiming it is totally okay to allow the 17 year old into the U-16 long as he/she is drugged enough to lower his/her capacity. Which is also in dire contradiction with your own statement that “taking drugs to diminish your performance does not even make sense when trying to compete to be the best”, which I totally agree with.
    It doesn’t make sense to me either.

  99. buddyward says

    @Murat

    If you cannot be bothered to read what have already been discussed then I am sorry to tell you that I am not interested in repeating them. Have a nice day.

  100. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Is it fair […] to the spectators, to any other party involved?

    What am I reading? What should this matter at all? This is ridiculous.

  101. Michael Johnson says

    My first post. Just registering and posting so I can get moderated and possibly participate in future.

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