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comment by Foveaux
Foveaux  ·  278 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: USA Powerlifting to allow trans athletes to compete with women after losing suit

As possibly the only resident powerlifter here.. I say "Yes let them lift", with a sprinkle of "It's tricky". When it comes to team/contact sports, I understand (on paper) the need for division. Rugby: When I was in high school, the girls 1st XV (18 years old) challenged the boys 1st XV to a friendly match. The girls team were back to back regional champs, and had competed in the national comp, narrowly losing the final. They were extremely good, and a number of them have since gone on to play professionally. The teachers and coaches of both teams, said "No". So the girls challenged the 2nd XV (still 18 years, but less good) and again, were told "No."

They made their way down to the Under 15s side (14/15 years old) and they were met with a reluctant "Allright". Come match day, what would have been a 70 minute game of two 35 minute halves, was called off at half time as the boys side racked up 50 points and battered their opponents. It wasn't even close to a competition, and the boys side was reluctant throughout, opting to just attack the gaps and avoid contact as much as possible. Now, as the women's game has grown into a full-fledged professional setup here in New Zealand, we're now seeing phenomenal athletes get the air-time, money and fame they deserve. You couldn't fuckin' pay me to get in front of Portia Woodman. But splitting the genders in a high contact sport makes sense, cause Portia Woodman would get demoed in the men's game, and Portia Woodman is a terrifying powerhouse.

The only question I think worth asking around this in team/contact sports is, "Is anyone going to get hurt by this?". Be it a trans woman playing with women or a trans man playing against men. I will note I never see the latter of these situations making headlines. Nobody seems worried if a small trans dude wants to kick it with his brethren. It's always the trans women wanting to play with her sisters that gets people out of sorts. We certainly aren't seeing a sudden influx of men transitioning to women to play high level rugby with high level athletes bodies. So even then, my only question isn't likely ever going to be asked. Not in good faith, anyway.

But with powerlifting, the old adage is that you're really only competing with yourself. There's no contact. It's just you, the bar and the weights. Do the job right, you get the three white lights. Do the job really right, you get to take home a trophy or a record. Nobody is getting physically hurt by another competitor. While I can understand the fear of the scenario, where a young powerlifting prodigy in the women's grade is outshone by a trans woman who is simply stronger and nobody can compete with them, as far as I know it hasn't happened. Janae Maree Kroc stopped competitve lifting once she begun hormone therapy to aid her transition, and she's about the only person I can think of who could have fit the 'scenario'.

Jaycee Cooper, from the article, has a decidely unremarkable powerlifting record. And I use the word unremarkable to support her in her ventures. She didn't transition to sneak in a world record. In the 2022 comp, she successfully lifted:

Squat: 150kg

Bench: 97.5kg (failed 102.5kg)

Deadlift: 155kg

She, and everyone else, were eclipsed by Amanda Lawrence. Who, in the same weight class as Jaycee, lifted:

Squat: 242.5kg

Bench: 130kg

Deadlift: 252kg

You have to drop down weight classes to about the 60kg range, before finding people that Jaycee would be on par with in the competition, and even then it's only on bench. That could be a holdover from her body having more testosterone pre-transition? But it's not my business. All I know is that typically, men have noticeably stronger upper bodies. Case in point, I can bench more than Amanda Lawrence. No fucking way I can squat or deadlift more than her, and she's about 10kg lighter than I am.

Sorry that's a lot of waffle, it's something I get asked about at work as these conversations come up, and I've been in that powerlifting community for the better part of a decade. A longwinded way of saying I'm with kb and say "Let them lift". Jaycee was never going to set records, and it was never about that. She just wants to compete and be valid.

kleinbl00  ·  278 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Nobody seems worried if a small trans dude wants to kick it with his brethren.

This is a great observation and the thing that brings me hope. In my life I have gone from Klinger in a dress to Crocodile Dundee outing a trans woman for laughs to Boys Don't Cry to Caitlin Jenner on the cover of Esquire to "nobody seems worried if a small trans dude wants to kick it with his brethren."

I really think that GenX on down simply doesn't care. As soon as the 'boomers die this is all going to simplify.

usualgerman  ·  185 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think I’m a bit more conservative on this as an American woman. The big issue even on non-contact sports is scholarships. College sports in America are a critical way that kids who otherwise could not afford a good college get in, especially for minorities. But, women cannot possibly compete for those spots even in the situation where a man, even one on hormone replacement is available. And with the prospect of free tuition on the side of a male student, this might be something they’d be willing to do simply to escape poverty. On the coaches side (again in the USA) there’s huge pressure to build a winning team. Coaches of Division I sports are often the highest paid people in that college. It’s a huge business, and if you can get just under the NCAA hormone levels with a couple of B p-team men, you can wipe the floor with a woman’s team. And thus, now you’ll essentially shut a lot of women out of those scholarships and those teams because they’re unable to keep pace with the men playing.