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Tags cycling , LGBT issues , Rachel McKinnon , sports incidents , sports issues , transgender incidents , transgender issues

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Old 16th October 2018, 11:52 AM   #1
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Women's Cycling Champion is a Man

I debated putting this in sports, but it seems to be more appropriate for a social issues and current events thread.

Quote:
Rachel McKinnon, a Canadian-born philosophy professor, just beat every women (sic) aged 35-39 at this year’s Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Masters Track Cycling World Championships ... despite being a biological male.
Note that in the photo accompanying the article, McKinnon does not appear to be presenting himself as a female, and the text makes it clear that he's operating with testosterone:

Quote:
But while pro-LGBT groups such as PinkNews are celebrating the news as a milestone for “equality,” critics argue that letting men who merely declare “womanhood” compete with actual women puts the latter at an unfair disadvantage. McKinnon spent part of his Sunday disputing the point on Twitter, arguing that “there's no relationship, in any gender, between endogenous testosterone and performance.”
So all those radio ads have been lying to me?

My take? This is going to be a thorny issue for sports and society. I don't doubt that elite male athletes can defeat elite female athletes in virtually every sport. You may think that few men would compete in a women's event; to a large degree that depends on the money involved. Women's tennis players make as much as men; some guy ranked 700th in the world on the men's side would probably vault easily into the top position on the women's tour. Especially if it doesn't require you to do any surgical changes or have hormone treatments.

To me, the whole point of having women and men compete separately is so that the women can experience the joy of winning or at least having a chance to win.
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:18 PM   #2
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In the greater scheme of things exactly how important are sporting competitions? What is the downside to Person A winning Event B instead of Person C? These are games, aren't they? By definition recreation, not work?
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
In the greater scheme of things exactly how important are sporting competitions? What is the downside to Person A winning Event B instead of Person C? These are games, aren't they? By definition recreation, not work?
Well, they are work for some people. The elite of the sport, which is I think what's being talked about.

That and a key component of sport is fairness. This seems unfair.
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Pterodactyl View Post
Well, they are work for some people. The elite of the sport, which is I think what's being talked about.
Some people make careers from singing, playing video games, or performing magic tricks. That doesn't make those things terribly important activities for everyone.

Quote:
That and a key component of sport is fairness. This seems unfair.
Very likely. Unfortunately fairness is not guaranteed in life. A competitor with 0.02 percent better lung capacity has an unfair advantage over one who does not. Who decides where the lines of fairness should be drawn?
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:29 PM   #5
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Some sports allow trans women (born biologically male) to compete as women, but require blood tests for testosterone. They set an upper limit. Depending on when the person began using hormones to transition, there may still be residual effects such larger muscles and higher bone density, not to mention height.

It's not clear if that happened here.

The article does not state whether or not McKinnon was tested for testosterone levels or was using hormones to maintain the transition. That makes a huge difference in the role of trans women competing in sports, and the article fails to mention it at all.
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Some people make careers from singing, playing video games, or performing magic tricks. That doesn't make those things terribly important activities for everyone.



Very likely. Unfortunately fairness is not guaranteed in life. A competitor with 0.02 percent better lung capacity has an unfair advantage over one who does not. Who decides where the lines of fairness should be drawn?
The deliberative body that oversees the sport I assume.
I think everyone understands that fairness isn't guaranteed. The heart of the debate is to whom do you award the fairness?

The transgender who wants to be treated as a female, or the female who wants to compete against only other females.
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Very likely. Unfortunately fairness is not guaranteed in life. A competitor with 0.02 percent better lung capacity has an unfair advantage over one who does not. Who decides where the lines of fairness should be drawn?
At the point where biological females would struggle to win any damn event at all if we took this example/trend (?) to its limits?
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
At the point where biological females would struggle to win any damn event at all if we took this example/trend (?) to its limits?
Suppose your doomsday scenario occurs, and women don't win these contests.

And? What's the harm in that? Aside from hurt feelings?

Every time someone comes up with a 'valid' reason to discriminate it always turns out to be over some trivial activity. Beauty contests. Acting jobs. Winning at sport contests.
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Very likely. Unfortunately fairness is not guaranteed in life. A competitor with 0.02 percent better lung capacity has an unfair advantage over one who does not. Who decides where the lines of fairness should be drawn?
There are three primary relevant groups when it comes to determining what is fair. The first is whoever runs the competition. They set the rules, they define what is fair under those rules.

The second group is the competitors. If they don't think the rules are fair, they can appeal to the first or third group, or they can simply choose not to compete.

The third group is the fans. What they consider fair matters too, because they're ultimately the ones who pay for the competitions. If they don't think the rules are fair, they will stop watching. If the athletes competing aren't of high enough caliber, they will stop watching.

The first group has obviously concluded that a man competing in a nominally woman's competition is fair. Most of the second group likely feels otherwise, but social pressure can constrain their ability to voice their opinions. The third group is where the real action is going to be, since you can't really use social pressure to make people watch a sporting event that they aren't interested in.

How will the third group feel about letting men compete in a women's event? They will probably not feel it is fair. If you are watching a women's cycling event, then chances are you want to see women competing, not men pretending to be women. If you want to see men competing, then just watch the men's competition.

This decision will likely cause a decline in the sport until the organizers change it. Whether or not they do change it depends on how much the prosperity of the sport matters to them. Maybe virtue signaling to their peers is more important, so it's by no means guaranteed that they will change course.
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Suppose your doomsday scenario occurs, and women don't win these contests.

And? What's the harm in that? Aside from hurt feelings?
The potential harm is that spectators will lose interest, and the sport will basically die, with neither female nor transgender athletes able to make a living from it.

Quote:
Every time someone comes up with a 'valid' reason to discriminate it always turns out to be over some trivial activity. Beauty contests. Acting jobs. Winning at sport contests.
You say that like people shouldn't be allowed to have preferences about those things.
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
The potential harm is that spectators will lose interest, and the sport will basically die, with neither female nor transgender athletes able to make a living from it.
And the continued existence of a particular sport is important why? And so is the ability of some people to make money from it?

Quote:
You say that like people shouldn't be allowed to have preferences about those things.
On the contrary, they can have as many preferences as they like. That doesn't make their preferences or the activity itself important.
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
In the greater scheme of things exactly how important are sporting competitions? What is the downside to Person A winning Event B instead of Person C? These are games, aren't they? By definition recreation, not work?
They are entertainment, and entertainment is business. It's also a part of culture. Are you suggesting only the stock market and medical research are worthy of comment? Arts, entertainment, a million other things are part of our lives and economy in important ways.

People pay their rent with income from entertainment jobs just the same as people who sit behind desks. Massive amounts of money and people's livelihoods flow through entertainment. Which makes how things are handled just as important as how any other industry is handled. Just because the end product in enjoyment, doesn't make running the business any less serious

As entertainment, the whole purpose of women's events is to appeal to an audience who wants to watch women compete and acknowledge that women won't generally reach the highest levels of sport competing against men.

If there is no barrier, the entire entertainment basis of women's sport collapses. The perception of a certain type of fairness is the basis for the stability of the industry of women's sports.

And aside from the economic concerns, sports have value in a lot of ways. They help children learn the value of exercise and teamwork, and those are driven in part by admiration of professional athletes. Women competing at professional levels help young girls who admire them develop fitness habits by playing sports themselves.
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:52 PM   #13
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Do feminists support this?
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
They are entertainment, and entertainment is business. It's also a part of culture. Are you suggesting only the stock market and medical research are worthy of comment? Arts, entertainment, a million other things are part of our lives and economy in important ways.

People pay their rent with income from entertainment jobs just the same as people who sit behind desks. Massive amounts of money and people's livelihoods flow through entertainment. Which makes how things are handled just as important as how any other industry is handled. Just because the end product in enjoyment, doesn't make running the business any less serious

As entertainment, the whole purpose of women's events is to appeal to an audience who wants to watch women compete and acknowledge that women won't generally reach the highest levels of sport competing against men.

If there is no barrier, the entire entertainment basis of women's sport collapses. The perception of a certain type of fairness is the basis for the stability of the industry of women's sports.

And aside from the economic concerns, sports have value in a lot of ways. They help children learn the value of exercise and teamwork, and those are driven in part by admiration of professional athletes. Women competing at professional levels help young girls who admire them develop fitness habits by playing sports themselves.
If women can't win bicycling races the entire sex will cease riding bicycles? If a recreation is enjoyable people will participate in it, even if there are no contests or professionals at all. I do not see it as necessary for the existence of a sport that an industry exist to make gobs of money off of it, or that anybody on earth should make a living from doing it.
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Old 16th October 2018, 12:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
In the greater scheme of things exactly how important are sporting competitions? What is the downside to Person A winning Event B instead of Person C? These are games, aren't they? By definition recreation, not work?
Pretty damned important to the people taking part. Like all-encompassing. More hours and effort than anyone in a normal job ever puts in. The one expectation that they all have is that they'll be competing on an equal footing. That there'll be fairness.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
The potential harm is that spectators will lose interest, and the sport will basically die, with neither female nor transgender athletes able to make a living from it.
//This might "broaden the topic" too much and go too far outside this particular case. Anyone wants this spun off into a new thread I won't be bothered.//

There are, I think, some legit questions to be asked as to how concepts like inclusions work in the concept of entertainment where personal enjoyment is a determining factor in success.

Someone's personal enjoyment of something is not (generally) something that you can argue them out of in the context we are discussing.

I once used, in radically different context, the, what i call, the IBS in the pool metaphor. I want to take a nice swim in a local community pool. While swimming in the pool I see a nice big turd floating in the water. I get out of the pool. Someone comes up to me and explains, in perfectly polite and 100% valid terms that another person in the pool has IBS, that they are completely unable to control it, that they mean me zero harm or discomfort, and that they have every right to be in the pool. I agree with that 100%, I have nor offer any counter argument or disagreement.

Here's the kicker that gets lost in the discussion some time. I'm still gonna leave the pool. I'm gonna leave because my purpose in going to the pool was enjoyment and I no longer enjoy it because there's a turd in the water and my enjoyment or not enjoyment of something isn't something that can be over ruled by procedural compliance or a technicality.

And this does create a no-win scenario some of the time. Yeah the guy with IBS gets to enjoy the pool but everyone else leaves, you can't support a pool on one customer, the pool shuts down and now nobody gets to enjoy the pool.

Now is that an extreme and rather silly hypothetical? Yeah but there's a point in there somewhere. If being inclusive causes an entertainment venue to loose customers to the point it either shutdowns or reduces operation to the point that it can't entertain anyone, including the people it was trying to include, is that really a net win for anybody?

Now I get that it's a short drive from this to "I can't hire a black waitress because it will scare the white customers away" nonsense, but I don't think there's no legit issue anywhere in that spectrum.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:01 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Suppose your doomsday scenario occurs, and women don't win these contests.

And? What's the harm in that? Aside from hurt feelings?
It means biological females don't even bother to compete, as they can't win. That's more than 'hurt feelings' in my book - it deprives them of partaking in something significant.

If your viewpoint is "all sport is nonsense" then why not train dolphins to win all the swimming races? Train gorillas to win the wrestling competitions? Allow parents to compete against their kids in the first school races on sports day?

Very silly.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Suppose your doomsday scenario occurs, and women don't win these contests.

And? What's the harm in that? Aside from hurt feelings?

Every time someone comes up with a 'valid' reason to discriminate it always turns out to be over some trivial activity. Beauty contests. Acting jobs. Winning at sport contests.
For a lot of people sport is their job

It is their chosen professional field

Your argument could just as easily be applied to any other profession

"Who cares if all the CEO's are men?

What difference does it make?

Fairness? Get over it women, life isn't fair"
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:08 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
And the continued existence of a particular sport is important why?
This is a stupid question trying to masquerade as a clever question, and failing.

It's important to the people who enjoyed watching the sport because people value enjoyment. It's important to the people who make a living from the sport because that's how they earn the money they need to live. No deeper answer is necessary.

The fact that it may not be important to anyone else doesn't stop it from being important to them. This should be obvious, it shouldn't need explaining. If you are indifferent to the issue (and I make no claim that you shouldn't be), then the logical choice is to not participate in the discussion. Crapping on others for having an interest in something you have no interest in isn't enlightened.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:10 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Some sports allow trans women (born biologically male) to compete as women, but require blood tests for testosterone. They set an upper limit. Depending on when the person began using hormones to transition, there may still be residual effects such larger muscles and higher bone density, not to mention height.

It's not clear if that happened here.

The article does not state whether or not McKinnon was tested for testosterone levels or was using hormones to maintain the transition. That makes a huge difference in the role of trans women competing in sports, and the article fails to mention it at all.
Here's a link to a CBC article, for those who would rather not give clicks to anti-gay outlets like LifeSiteNews. It says she's had to suppress her testosterone to what she considers to be an unhealthy level.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:13 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by River View Post
Do feminists support this?
I've seen quite a few examples of males dominating against women in sports, with no apparent objection from women, that I'd have to say yes.

Perhaps they are afraid to object?

This would seem to lead to the end of women's sports, as men can now compete against women.

Maybe we should just have "sports", no gender mentioned, despite the fact that one gender is actually likely to be totally dominant.

Didn't they used to try to sneak men into women's events back in the day?
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:15 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by WingerII View Post
Here's a link to a CBC article, for those who would rather not give clicks to anti-gay outlets like LifeSiteNews. It says she's had to suppress her testosterone to what she considers to be an unhealthy level.
She is very clear that there should be no restrictions on those levels, though. She believes she should be able to compete as a woman, as she is. That is, a man.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:16 PM   #23
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All this sort of does call into question what the point of separate mens and womens sports is then.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:18 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If women can't win bicycling races the entire sex will cease riding bicycles?
If women don't see role models succeeding in sports fewer of them will be excited about them.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If a recreation is enjoyable people will participate in it, even if there are no contests or professionals at all.
You must be aware that's factually and historically untrue. It isn't rocket science. Women's sports at youth levels exist in a positive feedback loop with women's professional sports. Go back a few decades and you'll see fewer women in competitive sports and far fewer girls taking up those sports.

Surely those sports haven't changed in enjoyability over the years?
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:30 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Pretty damned important to the people taking part. Like all-encompassing. More hours and effort than anyone in a normal job ever puts in.
The same is true of people making costumes for comic book conventions.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:32 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
It means biological females don't even bother to compete, as they can't win. That's more than 'hurt feelings' in my book - it deprives them of partaking in something significant.
If they chose not to compete they can hardly complain they didn't get to participate. The grievance here is that they want to win, which is something that shouldn't be guaranteed to anyone in any competition.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:33 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Suppose your doomsday scenario occurs, and women don't win these contests.

And? What's the harm in that? Aside from hurt feelings?
If only feminists felt this way, we wouldn't have all the Title IX nonsense.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:35 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
And? What's the harm in that? Aside from hurt feelings?
"Hurt feelings" are practically currency these days. I wish I could invest in "Hurt Feelings Futures."
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:35 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The same is true of people making costumes for comic book conventions.
Again, what's with this need to crap all over people for caring about something you don't care about?
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:37 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
This is a stupid question trying to masquerade as a clever question, and failing.

It's important to the people who enjoyed watching the sport because people value enjoyment. It's important to the people who make a living from the sport because that's how they earn the money they need to live. No deeper answer is necessary.

The fact that it may not be important to anyone else doesn't stop it from being important to them. This should be obvious, it shouldn't need explaining. If you are indifferent to the issue (and I make no claim that you shouldn't be), then the logical choice is to not participate in the discussion. Crapping on others for having an interest in something you have no interest in isn't enlightened.
Had this thread appeared in the Sports forum you might have a point. But it didn't. It appeared in Social Issues because we're supposed to have a social response to it: we're supposed to be outraged at the Massive Injustice that someone won a bicycle race. My position is that bicycle races are not important enough to even generate Mild Injustice. Apparently everyone else disagrees, and that's fine. But I certainly have every right to have made my point, which, for the record, is neither "stupid" or "crapping on" anyone (stay classy, bro!).

Since the counterpoints so far are that bicycle races are important because people feel strongly about them, and that some people make money from them, I'm not really impressed by the brilliance of the opposite view.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:39 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
All this sort of does call into question what the point of separate mens and womens sports is then.
Indeed. I don't see how women tolerate being placed in a separate-but-equal league in which their triumphs are necessarily appended with "that's great!...for a woman".
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:39 PM   #32
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I guess I don't see the distinction. Yes it being about sports does make it pointless for most definition of pointless, but inevitable social reaction to it would not be.

Basically TM you can't argue that other people aren't going to get worked up about things you and I agree are pointless.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:40 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by River View Post
Do feminists support this?
I think there's a pretty big internal division within feminism on the topic.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:40 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Indeed. I don't see how women tolerate being placed in a separate-but-equal league in which their triumphs are necessarily appended with "that's great!...for a woman".
And I agree with you, but we have to at least acknowledge that fact that other people don't.

It would be a magically wonderful world TM if the only "Social Issues" we had to worry about where ones where we acknowledge the importance of the catalyst for them. We do not live in that world.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:43 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If they chose not to compete they can hardly complain they didn't get to participate. The grievance here is that they want to win, which is something that shouldn't be guaranteed to anyone in any competition.
Being guaranteed to lose is a bit of a disincentive, no? Like the humans vs.the dolphins? (freestyle and maybe butterfly only - i don't know if dolphins can manage breaststroke and backstroke)
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:44 PM   #36
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If I may a slight addendum.

It's not that people want to compete and win pers se. People want to compete and feel competitive, as they at least feel like they have a chance to win..

Gender segregated sports was one of the ways we provided that. It's also why we have weight classes in boxing.

Again whether this is good or bad is a linked but separate question. But we can't maintain it with one hand and undermine it with the other and expect this center to hold.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:47 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Indeed. I don't see how women tolerate being placed in a separate-but-equal league in which their triumphs are necessarily appended with "that's great!...for a woman".
If you're being facetious, this basically undermines everything you've said in this thread because none of your posts can be taken at face value. If you're being serious, this... basically undermines everything you've said in this thread because you can't understand basic demonstrated human behavior.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:48 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Again, what's with this need to crap all over people for caring about something you don't care about?
Disagreeing with someone about the relative importance of a thing, even a thing near to their heart, isn't "crapping on it".

I am very fond of literature and read a lot. I would not, however, expect a massive surge of righteous outrage should one particular author win a literary prize over another author. Nor would I be sympathetic should the losing author undertake a media campaign to complain about it. Even if I personally agree the losing author had the superior work. Because I can differentiate between things I like and things that are important.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:50 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
If I may a slight addendum.

It's not that people want to compete and win pers se. People want to compete and feel competitive, as they at least feel like they have a chance to win..

Gender segregated sports was one of the ways we provided that. It's also why we have weight classes in boxing.
And age groups as well--the guy in the OP won the age 35-39 championship.
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:53 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Disagreeing with someone about the relative importance of a thing, even a thing near to their heart, isn't "crapping on it".

I am very fond of literature and read a lot. I would not, however, expect a massive surge of righteous outrage should one particular author win a literary prize over another author. Nor would I be sympathetic should the losing author undertake a media campaign to complain about it. Even if I personally agree the losing author had the superior work. Because I can differentiate between things I like and things that are important.
Would it bother you if an adult entered and won a writing contest meant for children? Would you be confused about why it bothered other people?
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