Culture Opinion

Trans cyclist says, if you believe trans women are real women, then you can’t exclude trans athletes from women’s sports, it’s a ‘human right’

Transgender athlete Rachel McKinnon has said, if society truly believes trans women are women, then there’s no basis for excluding trans athletes from competing in women’s sports.

The 37-year-old Canadian cyclist made headlines last year after setting a world record time winning the women’s 35-44 sprint title at the Masters Track Cycling World Championships.

Speaking with Sky News, McKinnon said: “There’s a stereotype that men are always stronger than women, so people think there is an unfair advantage. By preventing trans women from competing or requiring them to take medication, you’re denying their human rights.”

“If you want to say, ‘I believe you’re a woman for all of society except this massive central part that is sport’, then that’s not fair. So, fairness is the inclusion of trans women.”

McKinnon went on to say: “Trans inclusion is fairness. It is unfair to exclude legal and medical trans women from women’s sport or part of society. So, this is much bigger than sport. It’s the proxy for all of trans inclusion in society. Talk of bathrooms has shifted into sport by people who don’t care about sport. So, I think it’s clear this issue is bigger than sport.”

The thing is, McKinnon is absolutely right. If a “woman” is not determined biologically, then how can biology, a non-determining factor, disqualify a person from entering a women’s only competition?

If we, as a society, are to believe biological men can truly become “real women”, if we’re to think that biology does not determine gender, then there’s very little basis left for excluding transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports.

Either society accepts transgender women as real women and allows them to access everything biological women have access to, or we don’t accept them as “real women” at all. We can’t have it both ways. Consistency won’t allow it.


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