February 24, 2004

The International Olympic Committee will be deciding this week whether to allow pre- and post-operative transsexuals to compete under the other gender. One proposal would let people who have lived as the opposite sex for two years compete, regardless of plumbing. The story leaves off the most famous transsexual athlete, women's tennis pro Renee Richards.

posted by rcade to tennis at 09:08 PM - 13 comments

This is a joke, right? Not to sound crass, but I'm surprised there isn't outrage by female athletes, who have been women all their lives, that this is not right. I probably don't understand everything there is to know about what it is like to be a transsexual, but I assume hormone therapy doesn't interfer with certain physical attributes that give the former male an advantage. And the criterion of wearing a dress for two years definitely doesn't diminish certain physical differences, i.e; aerobic stamina. Perhaps we need to wait for a transexual to sweep a discipline at the Games before we see protest.

posted by garfield at 09:07 AM on February 25, 2004

It appears to be a legitimate proposal. According to this story on a transsexual pro golfer in Australia, the IOC rules change for post-operative transsexuals is going to happen. There are countries where it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of assigned gender. Weird stuff. It seems to me that male-to-female athletes could have a significant physical advantage in some sports, but I can't imagine that would ever persuade a person to have their bits and pieces rearranged.

posted by rcade at 10:00 AM on February 25, 2004

Somehow, I doubt we'll be seeing an Olympic-champion trannie on the front of a Wheaties box anytime soon. Speaking of which, have you seen Bruce Jenner lately? Yikes!

posted by Scott Carefoot at 10:06 AM on February 25, 2004

What boggles my mind is the "regardless of plumbing" catch. How is the two year 'dress' period verified. A sense of humor and photoshop might do the trick? And how does one's wardrobe effect what team one plays for? Let them dress in drag, if its that important to their identity, but play against guys.

posted by garfield at 10:17 AM on February 25, 2004

This is absolutely ridiculous. The IOC should adopt the same policy as the U.S. federal prison system, that is, whatever it says on your birth certificate. This would be extremely unfair for female (real female) athletes.

posted by dales15 at 10:21 AM on February 25, 2004

Yikes. I don't think I'd be using prisons as a guide in this matter. If putting a post-op female transsexual in a men's prison isn't cruel and unusual punishment, there's no such thing as cruel and unusual punishment.

posted by rcade at 12:23 PM on February 25, 2004

I'm with you, rcade. That's just barbaric.

posted by rodgerd at 04:02 PM on February 25, 2004

if the post-op trannie liked alot of attention, it might be a mutually beneficial arrangement.

posted by garfield at 04:35 PM on February 25, 2004

Freaking ridiculous. Just because you've had your nuts lopped off doesn't give you the inalienable right to force your way into women's athletics. I can't imagine this doesn't give some advantage to the post-op. In fact, I'm going to look into being changed into a dog. I've always wanted to compete in those cool canine olympics on ESPN2, and I think I could take Westminster.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:08 PM on February 25, 2004

You sir, need to watch some Man Versus Beast. Them dogs can jump.

posted by 86 at 06:54 PM on February 25, 2004

ok you have to be born a female. honestly that's just playing dirty. I think this woman could learn something from Juwanna Mann.

posted by tommy at 07:16 PM on February 25, 2004

I think this woman could learn something from Juwanna Mann. No doubt she's already learned a lot more than any man. Living as a woman will do that, indeed -- regardless of plumbing. I just don't see it happening that someone is going to undergo a sex change in order to get a competitive advantage. Plus, what with all the stuff you have to put your body through, I'm not at all sure that there would be a competitive advantage. In any case, IMO, competitive advantage would be the only reason to disallow it. I just don't give a damn about anyone's philosophical queasiness about "real" women or men. Grow up and get over it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:42 AM on February 27, 2004

No doubt she's already learned a lot more than any man. How presumptuous of you.

posted by garfield at 08:56 AM on February 27, 2004

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