Now the sport must allow trans athletes to compete with women
Powerlifting is surely one sport where sex matters. Male bodies tend to lift heavier weights than female bodies. To ensure fair competition, therefore, the sport needs separate categories for men and women. Once upon a time, everyone knew this and accepted it.
To its credit USA Powerlifting has maintained a transgender policy that respects the differences between the sexes. Crucially the organisation insists that male advantages “are not eliminated by reduction of serum androgens such as testosterone yielding a potential advantage in strength sports such as powerlifting.” Male transsexuals (like me) are not banned from the sport, but we are expected to compete within our own sex class.
I would argue for records to be kept for the best performance by a male transsexual with hormone levels in the normal female range. Maybe — if numbers permitted — there could be specific competitions restricted to that group. Neither development would impact on anyone else’s rights.
But that was not good enough for JayCee Cooper, a transgender competitor. Two years ago, Cooper filed a lawsuit against USA Powerlifting for discrimination. “I was fed up with the way that I was being treated; I was fed up with the way that my community was being treated, and enough was enough,” Cooper told US TV.
Now it has emerged that the court has sided with Cooper. The ruling also mandated that USA Powerlifting must “cease and desist from all unfair discriminatory practices” because of sexual orientation and gender identity and that it revises its policy within two weeks.
This is an outrage. In such a physical sport as powerlifting, females are at a disadvantage to males as the erstwhile policy made clear. For a court to overrule that indicates to me that feelings are being put over facts. The oft-cited analogy of age comes to mind. If someone feels like they are seventy years old they should not have the right to enter and potentially win an event for seniors. So why should “sexual orientation and gender identity” be seen any differently?
Firstly, I wonder why sexual orientation was tagged in at all. Homosexual men compete against heterosexual men — they are all equally male. But secondly, what is this thing called gender identity, and why does it trump biological sex? It can neither be proven nor falsified.
Cooper’s response? “I feel mostly relief … I think we needed a win here, and it feels good to get that”. I disagree completely. Yet again, the male sex has trampled over the rights of the female sex. Whatever the law might say, it is no victory to steal the property of others, nor is it a win to take the medals of another group.
* This article was first published by Unherd on 6 March 2023: JayCee Cooper’s court victory is a loss for USA Powerlifting.
14 replies on “JayCee Cooper’s court victory is a loss for USA Powerlifting”
I agree that this is a truly outrageous decision by a court. It goes against reality itself. It is all about pretense. But given that this is a state court — and not the highest state court either — there is a good chance that it will be overturned. Minnesota is a fairly liberal state, so it may not be overturned by a Minnesota state court. There is a chance, however, that it could be overturned in federal court. Ultimately, I believe that our conservative Supreme Court will rule that transgender women are not actual women. This conservative Supreme Court is doing tremendous damage to the country in many ways, but on this issue, it is likely to rule correctly. Many of the justices read conservative political periodicals, which have railed against the elements of transgender ideology. Also, two of the liberal justices are women, and because they are women, they may not rule in favor of “gender identity”. Also, if USA Powerlifting has its headquarters in Minnesota, they could resolve the issue by moving their headquarters to a more conservative state (although that would be a huge expense).
I’m very upset by this. People like Cooper make LGBT people, as a group, look VERY BAD.
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What is the ultimate aim of this group of men? Is the removal of all female rights, spaces, sports, opportunities, etc.? It must be because that will be the end result of their nonsense. They know they are not women, as you know you are not a woman, DH. I do not pretend to have any idea of the impulse that compels these men to pretend they are women, to dress as women and try to behave (nor usually terribly successfully) as women. They must know they are harming women everywhere, in every area of life, yet they persist.
Not once, in any material I have read, not once in any interview I have listened to, has any of these men stated categorically that third spaces would solve their problem. Not once, in years, now. Which is proof positive, I believe, as do many, may others, that it is all about harming women and females of all ages, depriving them of the rights they have fought for, but, above all, it is grounded in sexual desires that no female, I believe, can possibly understand. Few women, to my knowledge, have the kind of paraphilias that men do, but many females feel so traumatised in their youth by male sexual aggressions that they want to flee womanhood. More and more detransitioners are explaining their ‘transition’ as down to this.
If these men are driven by sexual compulsions, it is obvious why they would not want third spaces or to give up their hounding of females out of theirs. It is entirely about sex and nothing at all to do with gender dysphoria even, for most of them. They get their sexual kicks from dressing as women, from making women uncomfortable and from terrorising women if all else fails. Very masculine! I do not have Caleb’s confidence that the Supreme Court will find against them. Sexual fetishes are extremely common in the professions, and lawyers and judges are no exception. I think a subconscious or unconscious knowledge of this male sexual predilection is present in many of our male politicians and professionals, and they are enabling this behaviour to the detriment of females and children.
I think you’re a bit confused about this phenomenon, lorncal.
“What is the ultimate aim of this group of men? Is the removal of all female rights, spaces, sports, opportunities, etc.? It must be because that will be the end result of their nonsense.”
This is clearly a logical fallacy. The end result of people’s actions doesn’t always (in fact, rarely does) correspond with their aims.
Then you assert:
“They know they are not women, as you know you are not a woman, DH.”
Do they? Are you sure? How would you know what their private thoughts are?
But then you admit to not knowing what their aims are, while you re-affirm that it’s a pretence:
“I do not pretend to have any idea of the impulse that compels these men to pretend they are women, to dress as women and try to behave (nor usually terribly successfully) as women.”
And then more of your mind-reading:
“They must know they are harming women everywhere, in every area of life, yet they persist.”
Why must they know that? Just supposing you’re wrong about their pretence, at least for some of them, and they actually do think they’re women (suffering the pain of being “trapped in the wrong body”, as current culture has it) – then they won’t imagine for a moment they are harming women, they’re just trying to BE ACCEPTED AS the women they think they ARE. Why would they hurt their own kind?
IF you were to accept that they are deluded rather than vicious, it would also change the following:
“Not once, in any material I have read, not once in any interview I have listened to, has any of these men stated categorically that third spaces would solve their problem. Not once, in years, now.”
If they think they ARE female, it would be understandable for them to be unsatisfied with the “solution” that they be shoved into a third space. Don’t you think? That “solution” would merely assert their failure to be accepted as the women they believe they are.
However, ignoring that obvious possibility, you conclude:
“Which is proof positive, I believe, as do many, may others, that it is all about harming women and females of all ages, depriving them of the rights they have fought for, ”
I hope you can see that this alternative explanation isn’t needed if you accept what they say their reason is. I would be happy if you even considered that SOME are genuine in their delusion. I suspect it is probably virtually all, because of the negative effects anyone will suffer by going against the grain, and because there are a lot easier ways to harm women and try to deprive them of rights than dress up in a skirt and demand to be called “she”. Men are typically more scared of being thought effeminate than almost any other social stigma. A male risks violent retribution from his fellow men (not to mention women, who can be violent, too, and they also risk their procreative success). So they risk ostracism and violence from 100% of the population … to harm women? It’s hard to accept.
“, but, above all, it is grounded in sexual desires that no female, I believe, can possibly understand.”
That doesn’t seem to stop you imagining you understand.
“Few women, to my knowledge, have the kind of paraphilias that men do, ”
That may or may not be true (I have no idea), but what has it got to do with anything? For a start, less than 3% of males ever experience autogynephilia, from a quick google, and for all I know almost none of them have any desire or intention to harm women. They suffer, sometimes greatly, with the shame and confusion of it. Sometimes it persists so fiercly, they end up having treatments. Some become transsexual. We both know of one them and are commenting on his blog.
“but many females feel so traumatised in their youth by male sexual aggressions that they want to flee womanhood. More and more detransitioners are explaining their ‘transition’ as down to this.”
Here I broadly agree with you. A truly horrifying number of girls and women are sexually abused, taunted or bullied by men and boys, and I would accept that this may well account for some of the big increase in FtM transition. But this demonstrates how easy it is to harm females and destroy their rights, the normal way men do it, without a dress and lippy.
“If these men are driven by sexual compulsions, it is obvious why they would not want third spaces or to give up their hounding of females out of theirs.”
I honestly think this is fantastical nonsense. There may be a small minority of sex offenders who – now that transition has landed in our culture – may fake it as a way to exploit women’s spaces. But to conflate these psychopaths with the general case of the gender-confused male is to do a serious injustice to people suffering from a range of psychological conditions. You do understand, don’t you, that people don’t choose their ailments?
“It is entirely about sex and nothing at all to do with gender dysphoria even, for most of them.”
“They get their sexual kicks from dressing as women,”
I don’t think they’re all autogynephilic. I think (and have scientific reason to believe I’m right) that MOST males who entertain the idea they’re female are gay men who cannot handle the cognitive dissonance of that – it’s less painful to risk all the horrific things I’ve mentioned above than accept they’re gay. Detransitioners attest to that, too.
“from making women uncomfortable and from terrorising women if all else fails. Very masculine!”
Putting my offence to one side (as a man who has never lifted a finger to a woman, or a man for that matter), actually, that’s it. Men demand of their mates that they also be hard nuts, compete for the alpha male position, fight, and show off by bullying and harrassing girls. So admitting you’re gay, or just care about people, or that you’re stuck in the wrong body, and you’re likely to get your head kicked in.
“I do not have Caleb’s confidence that the Supreme Court will find against them. Sexual fetishes are extremely common in the professions, and lawyers and judges are no exception.”
That’s a tired old trope, isn’t it? Do we have much evidence of it? And don’t they usually like to be spanked and whipped by dominatrixes while they crawl about in their wigs and gowns? Very masculine!
“I think a subconscious or unconscious knowledge of this male sexual predilection is present in many of our male politicians and professionals, and they are enabling this behaviour to the detriment of females and children.”
Your animosity to men is clear, and I’m sorry it has taken such deep roots in you, but I think it seriously clouds your judgement.
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Lettersquash, you are way too much of an apologist for these people. Lorncal doesn’t have a great deal of sympathy for them, but her view of them is still more accurate than yours is.
You say, “they’re just trying to BE ACCEPTED AS the women they think they ARE. Why would they hurt their own kind?”
First of all, I think that Lorncal is right that trans women know that they are actually men. The nitty-gritty of transitioning is obviously a lesson in reality for them. They all understand that the vagina they have been given is a fake (especially since most of them experience complications). And if they haven’t gotten a fake vagina, then they are still handling their penises every time they pee. If they have convinced themselves that they are women because of how they feel, then they are just being delusional.
What you said above is just stupid. You ask, “Why would they hurt their own kind?” — but as I said, they are well aware that they are NOT real women, and that women are NOT their “own kind”. In fact, my observation is that many trans women are jealous or otherwise resentful of real women because being a real woman is the one thing that they want, but can never have — and so they resent the people who have it.
For a man to believe that he can become a real woman by virtue of feeling like a woman is absurd, and every human being understands that. We are physical creatures, and our biology defines who we are. We all know that intuitively. To pretend otherwise is to be out of touch with reality. Now, if a trans person feels very strongly that he was born in the wrong body, then let him nurse that idea privately. But to think that one’s feelings give him the right to push his way into women’s spaces is just selfish, and it certainly doesn’t show any love for women.
Indeed, if trans women really believed they were real women by virtue of their feelings, then they would be sympathetic towards the feelings of real women. But they aren’t. As I said, they are jealous.
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Hi Lorncal. Well said re i have wondered what their ultimate aim is and why they ignore suggestions of a third space, which already exists in toilets as disabled unisex rooms so why change female ones causing girls in schools to skip drinks (kidney problems) or skip school (that time of mth) if need loo so now more ppl than ever are home schooling?
I thank God for people like Debbie being brave in fighting up for (biological) women and girls … because most are too scared to speak up so are “shutting up” as many are telling them to.
What is the ultimate aim? …
To exclude women? To have religious females who cant share male spaces scared to even leave the house? Well they’re succeeding, 5th of women now avoid leaving home. Women be not seen or heard? Replace women?… well this is happening – taken womens words and referring to women as body parts dehumanising them, is this the start of taking over womens spaces, replacing them except for breeding – sounds like slavery? Society would crumble esp as many households rely on womens income.
Women are and have always been the most persecuted group of people. A woman is murdered every few days in uk, every 26 hours in Argentina (the first country in world to have self ID). One in 2 or 3 women have been sexually assaulted or raped. Girls in unisex loos at schools have been sneakily filmed, sexually assaulted and recently here in uk boys kicked girls cubicles in, bashing one girl in head – she needed hospitalising. Canada, a violent male (admits murder at 10yrs but not convicted cos too young) who raped an infant is now in a womans jail with access to infants belonging to those women. Uk vulnerable women intimate care raped, made pregnant, given aids, by carers cos of inclusive policies, families told same gender care not same sex care… horror stories…. And detransitioners really tragic stories.
I have read of hundreds of harms and discrimination against women from these “inclusive ” policies… ultimately they exclude and physically/mentally harm biological women and girls. Tr charities say if someone says they are tr you must believe them and it is all so inbedded into uk public bodies now, its scary. 2019 i read 80% of tr ppl in jail are sex offenders, compared to women – were less than 2% but now with men counted in the womens stats it is 3 to 4% they say there is a surge in biological female sexual crime! they ignore its biological males who are perpetraters. The gra states if someone changes sex on birth cert it is not public record – eg its secret, so these biological men are put in womens prisons in uk and counted in womens stats…
Above just few facts happened so dread think how this pain harm toward women ends. … and of course equally scared tr ppl are blamed cos most just want to get on with their lives, they arent the people pushing this.
Caleb, you have to be consistent. You say, “they are well aware that they are NOT real women, and that women are NOT their “own kind”. If that were all there is to it, then we just have a simple difference of opinion, but you still have to consider why someone who knows they are male would go to all the trouble, pain, expense, ridicule, abuse, etc., to say they are female. You seem to imply they just WANT to be women, but I don’t think that fits with the level of cost involved. I mean, I want to fly without the use of a machine, but I’m not going to declare I’m a bird and start having surgery to attach wings.
But you then switch tack: “If they have convinced themselves that they are women because of how they feel, then they are just being delusional.” Yes, they’re delusional. Delusion is something one doesn’t choose and can’t dispense with by an act of will. They can’t be both lying and delusional. However, at least you appear to accept that some may be delusional, while you appear to assert that most are lying.
I will need to understand why a man or boy would, simply through a desire to be a woman, while knowing absolutely they can never be one, put themselves through the horrors that transition entails. Jealousy? To ridicule or abuse the thing they want to be but can’t be? It’s a very flimsy hypothesis, and I await a shred of evidence for it.
There is, however, plenty of evidence for delusion. Your belief that such a person looking down and handling their penis to have a pee must realise they’re male is naive in the extreme, especially in the light of this new culture, where there’s a significant proportion of the population backing up the idea that you can be IN THE WRONG BODY, not what you appear to be on the outside. Have you just entered the room? It’s particularly easy to become infected with that weird meme, because the culture is pushing in that direction, and those social cues, pressures and priming are deeply affective. Plenty of science confirms this.
Of course, one can be suffering from a delusion and yet have conflicted feelings, but until someone can wake up from a delusion, they’re stuck with it.
Lying, delusional — what’s the difference?
Lettersquash, you like to argue for the sake of it. You’re not stupid. You can answer your own criticisms as well as I can. People are not as one-dimensional as you make them out to be. I have better things to do than to argue with you forever.
Caleb, stop being obtuse. Merriam-Webster says what you already know. To lie: “to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive” (note the last bit). Delusion: “a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary” (note BELIEF and DESPITE INDISPUTABLE EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY”).
As for your suggestion that my view of people is one-dimensional, it is clearly much more nuanced than yours or lorncal’s. It is also internally consistent and consistent with scientific literature on the subject. But if you claim you don’t know the difference between lying and innocently telling an untruth, you’re either lying or badly educated. Which is why I’m arguing, not just “for the sake of it”: I am interested in the truth.
Why don’t you stand in front of a mirror and argue with yourself?
That’s actually quite a good technique for challenging one’s own views, since we all have biases and blind-spots. We don’t need a mirror, just the commitment to question what we think we already know, and the courage to change our minds.
It’s the whole attitude that depresses me. The ‘ victim’ mentality and the ‘ entitlement ‘.
It’s just so obviously unfair on the biological woman who get up early am and train every day to attain a dream only to see a loser bloke/woman ,ha, who couldn’t cut it in their own biological arena, stomp all over them and snatch that medal from its rightful owner. And we’re supposed to play along with this madness or be labelled an anti trans neo nazi.
Maybe in a couple of years down the line it’ll be custom in the West for biological women to walk two yards ahead of their owners and to stop every now and then and bend over to receive the ‘ kick up the arse’, or the ‘ shut it’ policy.
I was a happy socialist in the 80’s. Still think I was on the right side then. Today I feel lost. A dinosaur at 53. The left wing flapping out of control. Even if I dropped some acid today I don’t think I could even nearly attain the unreality that’s going on in real life and that’s truly depressing.
A glimmer of hope comes from transgender men/ women like you Debbie who speak bloody sense so thank you for that.
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Thank you Debbie for your journalism
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Well said Debbie. Thankyou. It seems American courts have put feelings over fact once again. Maybe thats why they did this – because there is a precedent from 50 years ago. ….. I vaguely remember a “strange looking female” American tennis player 50 years ago. Long before it was commonly stated or anyone knew people could say they are the opposite sex. It was unheard of. So i thought that person looks like a very- kindest way to say is looked masculine and old and cant be a woman! But as a child i thought he wasnt a she but had to be! This tennis player in a dress had to be a woman.
50 years later the mystery is solved. Hope ok to share this… This tennis player was old, in his (biological male, so he) late 40s he competed against women in their teens and early 20s, who were at the height of their competitive ability, while he wasnt fittest or healthiest, beating all but the top 5 tennis seeds for the decade or so he competed in womens categories. He was a biological man who played professional tennis in the 1950s, playing very well. He transitioned age 40, took to american courts saying, youve said i can be a woman now let me compete as one. They agreed. Never competed in Europe because it was deemed unfair to biological women because he was and always will be a biological male. He won many competitions as a “woman” but not the US open because our Virginia Wade, seeded number one, beat him in the first round.
Now 30- 40 years after retiring from tennis, he is said to regret transition. If that is true, it is sad. Said to be an amazingly nice person, whom the female tennis players liked (tho they left changing rooms, embarrassed when he walked in and husbands dragged women off court saying your not playing against a man its not fair).
Highly skilled at day job outside tennis. Tennis was a hobby. He regrets competing against women saying he did it to prove to himself he was a woman but knows he clearly had an advantage because he wasnt his healthiest and was 20 years older than them at their fittest. But just loved to play tennis. So to play against women and beat most of them in the 1970s to 1980s, just shows what an advantage the biological male body has.
Was the time of the well publicised tennis’s battle of the sexes when the great billy Jean with 39 grand slam titles to her name beat a 55 year man! You’d think this would add to the proof re unfairness to biological females and if it continues, they’ll be no females in female sports. In canada i read biological men got gold silver bronze in one sport. Whats the point of competing knowing the best you can do is 4th!
Maybe biological women should set up their own biological female sport… wait they did that but forgot the word “biological” so need to try again with “bwsports”.
Renee Richards was the name of that male tennis player in his 40’s. S/he now admits that s/he was wrong. In fact, s/he was Martina Navratilova’s coach for many years. I was in my mid-twenties, and I thought it was outrageous that Richards won his/her court case. The judge was utterly stupid (as most of them are today).