Ignorance and just Plain Wrong Headedness

There were two movies in the late 1970s regarding the body-building scene, “Pumping Iron I & II”.  The first was about men and the second about women in the body building scene.

At the time I was studying Tae Kwon Do at Jun Chong’s Dojang in Los Angeles.  I was working out hard doing an hour of the martial arts 4-6 days a week as well as running and hitting the weight machine.  I weighed between 125-130 at the time and was solidly muscular.  I was some 5 years post SRS, and was taking my pussy pills.  I was strong and yet did not bulk up. Neither did the other women at my Dojang who worked out on the weight machine.

Maybe it was the style of work out we were doing.  We got strong, but not bulky.

We were working out with the guys and they bulked up.  Not the same way as the guys in “Pumping Iron” did, but along with strength they gained mass.

When “Pumping Iron II” came out there was a controversy among female body builders regarding those women who approached body-building the natural way using diet and hard work vs those who bulked with steroids and testosterone.  The women not riding the hormone and ‘roid needles spoke out loudly about how the women taking the chemical path weren’t really women anymore.

Some in the feminist and lesbian community were quick to leap to the defense of those pumping ‘roids and testo along with the iron.

I wasn’t among that group.  I sided with the women who did their body building without the chemicals and went so far as to say that the women taking testo and steroids shouldn’t be allowed to compete as women but should compete with the men instead.

You see having been on female hormones for over 10 years I knew what female hormones did to muscle mass and strength.  I had worked out with weights casually as part of training to compete in Alpine skiing some 15 years prior.  I could see the vast difference in my own body. It seemed to me that taking steroids and testosterone was doing to their bodies the same thing that testosterone was doing to the bodies of the transsexual to male guys.

I personally think the IOC made an extremely reasonable compromise regarding transsexual to female athletes.  Female hormones, surgery plus two years.  Time enough to get the testosterone out of the body and time enough to lose  male muscle mass.

Some of the other arguments presented in the 1970s about girls not having the access to the training from the cradle were more valid then than they are now.  Even with the constant gender indoctrination of male warrior vs. princess culture that has reasserted itself since the start of the 1980s misogynistic/homophobic era of backlash against progress made in the 1960s and 70s.

At the same time I am stunned by some of the most absolutely gross ignorance that is being bandied about regarding transsexual to female athletes.

Blither about genetics in a reductio ad absurdum argument that bring up genetics by focusing on XX vs XY as though those are the only chromosomes involved in making someone a world class athlete or not.

I will cede the point about athletes having special genetic gifts that permit them as individuals to run faster, lift more and hit a ball more accurately  than the vast majority of individuals.  This is why they are champions and the rest of us, no matter how hard we work at it are not.

If it were simply a matter of XX vs XY the Williams sister wouldn’t be able to cream 99.9% of male tennis players (Virtually all except for the most elite of male tennis players).  The reality is that both male and female top tier athletes are better at their particular sport than nearly every single male or female amateur athlete out there.

The IOC stopped chromosome testing and started serious testing for steroids and testosterone levels for a very real reason.  They are performance enhancing drugs.  Both males and females have testosterone but the levels are distinctly difference and that higher level of testosterone is what gives males the advantage.

SRS removes the main source of testosterone from transsexual to female athletes.  The two year rule invokes the time for the former levels of testosterone to lose their benefits.

The whole pile of steaming crap about Caster Semenya should have been resolved with a quick physical examination and stringent tests for steroids and testosterone levels.  The genes that play the most important roles aren’t necessarily the XX or the XY ones.

What Lana Lawless is having to fight, just like Renee Richards before her and a number of other sisters who have competed openly is a misogynistic social construct.

When I was a child the mythological social construct of gender/male supremacy said that no matter what the game or sport the males always win because they are superior to females.  Girls were indoctrinated with the belief that even if it was easy to beat the boy/man at the game or sport they were competing at they should let the boy/man win least they threaten his masculinity.

Girls and women who didn’t buy into this prescribed and indoctrinated gender role were called such laudable names as “bitch” and “ball breaker”.

You see men in general and white men in particular had until recently this ubiquitous form of white male affirmative action that formed the foundation of both male supremacy and white supremacy.  If you don’t have to compete against women or minorities then your supremacy is never challenged.

The canard regarding the idea that so-so male athletes would get their dick and balls cut off in order to compete against women is pretty freaking absurd since doing so would require these very same men (who are ostensibly doing this to beat women in women’s sports) would have to join one of the more despised and discriminated against minority groups on the planet.

Further transsexual to female surgery isn’t about getting your dick and balls cut off.  SRS is a complete reassigning of some pretty primary sex identifiers from male to female or from female to male as the case may be. People who are down with the transgender argument might be dismissive of the body “essentialism” involved but SRS does signal a total commitment to spending the rest of your life as a member of the sex to which you are reassigned.

In the case of transsexual to female people this means accepting the burden of being female in a misogynistic society.  It is a position accorded more privilege and protection than the position of living as a non-operative person with transgenderism, but is none the less a position where one has to deal with the misogyny inherent within the ideology of male supremacy.

The mindset of male supremacy says that even someone who has had SRS should be able to defeat or beat any person assigned female at birth.

Experience teaches otherwise.  I competed in Tae Kwon Do, I was pretty good actually.  I won a second place in one tournament.  Of the trophies I got one was because the  woman I was competing against hit me in the face and was disqualified.  She was a lot better than I was and accidents happen.  The point is I wasn’t some super competitor.

Neither was Renee Richards.  Or as far as I know any other transsexual to female person.  For one thing we tend to be older and sports are the realm of the young.

I sometime think that what the male sports pundits fear is not that T to F people will dominate women’s sports but rather that we won’t.

Think about it for a second.  What does T to F people competing in women’s sports and losing do the the paradigm of male supremacy based on any male at any time always being better than any female?

Now before you jump on me with, “But we aren’t and weren’t really male”, hear me out.  I know that and I’m not the one arguing that we were.

I’m talking in the minds of the trans-hating bigots who deny we are female even with SRS and hormones.  They are the keepers of the paradigm of male supremacy, I am not.

I believe that male and female people have much more in common than different and that gender is a social construct.

I also believe that hormone level and steroid testing are far more important than genetics in determining high end sports performance.

The chromosome test as any sort of standard is bogus.

Let transsexual to female post-SRS women compete with assigned female at birth women.  It will do more in the long run to fuck with the male supremacist gender construct than any protests will.

6 Responses to “Ignorance and just Plain Wrong Headedness”

  1. Dymara Says:

    Why require SRS? After a year or so on estrogen and t-blockers to normalize hormone levels, why the hell should testicles be regarded as some magical performance-enhancer? This is a really classist and fairly transphobic argument in itself.

    • Suzan Says:

      Because that’s the IOC rules. And they are rules I can accept. The line has to be drawn somewhere and if you still have testicles you still have male strength enhancement.

      So SRS and two years on hormones, the Olympic Standard

  2. Dymara Says:

    What nonsense. You’ll notice I gave a distinct line, too, one that can even be policed: hormone levels, period. Testes/ovaries are only relevant to the extent that they produce hormones; writing “if you still have testicles you still have male strength enhancement” is as patently false as saying ‘if you have XY chromosomes you still have ‘male strength enhancement” – after all, chromosomes ARE very highly correlated with hormone levels, which is the actual relevant factor in athletic performance. If overall hormone levels have normalized, what can you possibly complain about?

  3. Dymara Says:

    Why? Why are they rules you can accept? Because that rule doesn’t affect you, and you can accept hurting trans people who aren’t trans enough, or are too trans, for you to defend them? If that’s not it, then WHAT IS?

    • Suzan Says:

      Gee, let’s see of all the possible issues… If you want to fight for this then go right ahead.

      If you want to pick a fight with me it ain’t going to happen here.

      Call me names if you want but I won’t support people with male genitals competing against female bodied people.; I don’t buy “gender identity essentialism”

      This is closed to further comments from you on this subject.


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