Transgender, what is fair?

Print
by Cameron Griffin

transgender symbol

First I’d like to dispel any arguments in which people disagree with a transgender athlete competing in a competition involving physical ability are bigots. Arguing such a point proves a political or social bias for an agenda not related to the competition. In the recent months you may have heard the name Chloie Jönsson mentioned once or twice, especially within the CrossFit community. Chloie is a CrossFit athlete and male to female transgender who has recently stirred up a controversy in the world of CrossFit. Chloie has filed a 2.5 million dollar suit against the privately owned company stating the CrossFit Games barred her from competing as a female. Chloie states that the CrossFit Games have violated her civil rights by denying her eligibility to compete in the women’s division because of her male born status. Chloie Jönsson has gone from a CrossFit competitor to an advocate for transgender rights in a matter of months stating that she is suing the franchise for the future rights of all transgender’s. By all means I believe that Chloie Jönsson has the right to self-identify and live as a female but I do believe there is a difference between having these rights and whether or not there is fairness in competing against female born athletes in a sanctioned event.

The definition of fair competition from Merriam-Webster is:
“competition reasonable in view of the interests of those competing and the public and not involving practices condemned by law as inimical to the public interest”

I would like to point out the word “inimical” in the above definition. “Inmicial” is defined as unfriendly or otherwise hostile, which is exactly what Chloie has become in recent months. Raising a suit against CrossFit worth 2.5 million dollars is not only hostile but detrimental to the CrossFit Games by degrading athletes who earn nothing but respect for competing on their own dime the entire time. Chloie references the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when stating her accusations against the CrossFit Games, but each organization has right to govern their own sport. The MLB has different HGH testing rules than the NFL, and the NCAA differs with their transgender rules than the IOC, so why does CrossFit not have the right to refuse any competitor if the science is disputable and testing costly and ineffective?

Allowing science to rule is CrossFit’s mantra through Force*Distance/Time=Power. To be fair the science does show when a male to female transgender properly uses hormone therapy there is significant drops in testosterone (main component in muscle gain and retention), bone density, thinning of skin, and redistribution of body fat. All of the previous conditions lead to a decline in physical ability for any athlete. However hormone therapy does not change the bone shape or angles, lung capacity, or heart size.

Men and women have different angles between the quadriceps and knee. The ability for men to have better patellar tracking in athletic movements doesn’t diminish during hormonal therapy. In fact women are at greater risk for valgus knee positioning, increasing the risk of injury and a decrease of power generation. More physical advantages a man and a transgender male to female person will have are increased lung capacity, larger airways compared to height-matched women. Scientific findings suggest that gas exchange and ventilation will limit women’s ability during exercise. Regardless of hormone therapy a male will retain some of these advantages that can’t just be thrown aside because of legal differentiation.

The IOC does not have a cut and dry transgender policy. Like many have stated they still complete various types of tests that can disqualify athletes. It’s far more complicated with a multitude of testing and measurements which complete their evaluation. To this day no openly transgender athlete has competed in an Olympics event. Keelin Godset, a known female to male transgender athlete, had aspirations to compete in the Olympics for hammer throw. Keelin however sought not to abuse or intimidate other athletes and decided if he were to compete he would do so as the sex he was born as, female. Saldy Keelin was not fortunate enough to make it to the 2012 Olympics. None the less he was content to compete on a fair playing field with other female competitors with equal abilities. Another example of a transgender admitting to advantages is Jakabos Zsuzsanna openly admitting to being faster and stronger as a male to female athlete over other female competitors. So even other transgender athletes accept the fact of reality in which they were born, not what they relate to in the present.

With any drug manipulation there will always be a controversy of the effects. In no way can you expect modifications to be done chemically and not argue an advantage or disadvantage. That’s where the problem lies. There is a perception towards male to female and female to male athletes that has to be studied before being blindly accepted. There is lack of athletic data for male to female athletes in CrossFit and how they literally stack up against the median in the female community. While Chloie may be an above average athlete how you can prove that the advantages aren’t because of past training as a male? While another argument put forth is what if she goes against medical advice and decreases or goes off her hormone therapy thereby allowing her testosterone to increase allowing for greater advances during training, gaining an advantage over other women. Unlike the IOC, CrossFit has limited testing resources and in no way could they oversee an athlete using hormone affecting drugs constantly. It doesn’t matter whether Chloie has ever attempted abusing her therapy. I’d like to think she hasn’t cheated, but the opportunity is there for her and any other transgender athlete. This alone can be disqualifying in the Olympics but would remain untested because CrossFit doesn’t have the proper resources.

While the lawsuit is the largest issue for CrossFit, the long standing issue will be how CrossFit will be perceived. As I stated earlier Chloie Jönsson is seeking 2.5 million dollars, which is an uncalled for amount. How is her disputable right to compete in a private company’s event worth 2.5 million dollars? Since CrossFit is a private corporation chaired by Greg Glassman with thousands of independently owned and operated affiliates, with each owner and affiliate having differing business systems, style of coaching, and unique communities. With that alone CrossFit has the right not to even allow her into the competition, but instead they placed her in the category she was given at birth like everyone else is. To force yourself into a category of fitness and ruin other female born candidates is no less fair if you pose male type advantages. Anyone preaching tolerance is screaming it from a sanctimonious pedestal discounting many professionals’ opinions and factual proof of physiological differences. Regardless of desire to be a female, which is her right, Chloie Jönsson has to accept she was born physiologically a male and in such this gives her natural advantages over all women. If you want to preach acceptance you have to be honest with yourself first then expect the same from society.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Printable Version

We Are Scouting Top Writers

Are you passionate about fitness and have something to say? Reach a huge online community and get the discussion going - start writing for Tabata Times today!

Share this post
@TabataTimes on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook 
Advertise Here

Most Popular of All Time

hashtagmiguel published the post Why are you here? on Tabata Times
Why is a question most people hesitate to answer, hesitate to ask, hesitate to bring up. You can...
zmosbarger published the post It's Okay to Compete on
We’ve taken to the road again after a ten-day pit stop back home in Bellefontaine, Ohio. We...
CrossFit Chesapeake posted an article
Compound CrossFit posted an article
Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Athlete Profile Name: Guch Hometown: Anchorage PCF: When did you start with PCF? G: September 2008 PCF: Favorite WOD G: None PCF: Least Favorite WOD G: None PCF: What is...

CrossFit Falls Church shared an image on Facebook

Thursday, Oct 16

Patriot CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Reston shared a link on Facebook

10 rounds for time of: • 3 power cleans 205/115# • 6 HR Push Ups • 9 wall ball shots 20/14# Compare to 1/27/14

Ballston CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Mark your calendar! http://ballstoncrossfit.com/tuesday-november-11-2014-630pm-veterans-day-wod-with-warriors/

CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

Thrusters and Muscle Ups = a good friendship. Congrats to Katie G. for getting her muscle up in the AM!

Ballston CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Foundations special (only $99 for 6 classes over the next few weeks)! If you have friends interested in joining BCF, encourage them to do it soon! Please share this graphic on your Facebook wall to help promote BCF around Arlington! Next course starts October 28, register before it's full! http://ballstoncrossfit.com/get-started/

CrossFit Falls Church posted on Facebook

Free workout at noon every Saturday for prospective clients. No need to sign up in advance - just show up!

CrossFit Focus shared an image on Facebook

It's Thursday, ladies!

CrossFit Pittsburgh posted on Facebook

I just wanted to say a special thanks to everyone for yesterday's Hero WOD. Thank you for remembering my Brothers. Special thanks to everyone at the 5:30pm.

CrossFit Iron City shared a link on Facebook

Thursday 10/16/14 http://wp.me/p2Jf7S-18Q

CrossFit Iron City posted an article
CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Focus shared an image on Facebook

Now that's teamwork right there!

CrossFit Focus shared a link on Facebook

Only as high as I reach can I grow; Only as far as I seek can I go; Only as deep as I look can I see; Only as much as I dream can I be.

Salvador published the post To cheat or not to cheat? The "misscounting disorder" on
You hear the signal "3-2-1...go!", the adrenaline starts pumping, you are fully beast-mode. You...
Fentress CrossFit posted on Facebook

Thursday's WOD: "Randy" For Time 75 Power snatchs 75/55 (Note Time) Then 2000m Row

CrossFit Prime posted an article
CrossFit 77 posted an article
CrossFit 77 posted an article
CrossFit LKN posted an article
CrossFit Shadyside posted on Facebook

http://crossfitshadyside.blogspot.com/2014/10/thursday-101614.html

Oak City CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Members of the OCCF Rowing Team are at the box RIGHT NOW getting those last meters in before the Concept2 Fall Challenge ends. Nice work y'all!

Fearless Athletics CrossFit South Philly posted an article
CrossFit Athletics posted an article
CrossFit Invoke posted an article
paleobutter published the post Sicilian Stuffed Peppers on Nutrition WOD
[yumprint-recipe id='124']
Ballston CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Invoke shared an image on Facebook

Emily is putting in work with sand bag thrusters! #getit #workout #workhard #cfinvoke #cfiathlete #cfibootycamp #relentlesslife #crossfit #strong #barbellbabes #fitness #fitlife

Outlaw CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS! http://outlawcrossfit.com/2014/10/15/bring-a-friend-promotion/

CrossFit Rosslyn shared a link on Facebook

Thursday, 10/16/14:

CrossFit Rosslyn posted an article
Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Pregnancy and CrossFit This post isn’t going to apply to all of you, but I think it is worth addressing, so bear with me. I’ve been approached by quite a...

CrossFit Novem posted an article
CrossFit Old Town shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Love shared an image on Facebook

LV III – 10.16.14 Competition Programming Swim Intervals 50 meters x 15, Rest is :30 - :60 between each Inflammation Maintenance Mobility Weakness Work - spend 20:00 improving range of motion "Optional" - Performance Upper Body Strength Programming

CrossFit Focus shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit RTP shared an image on Facebook

The community keeps you coming back! Check out our community at our FREE intro class this Saturday at 10:50 am!! Tag a friend who wants to try crossfit. #CrossfitRTP #Crossfit #DurhamNC #Community #TeamPlayer

CrossFit Gastonia shared a link on Facebook

Thursday's WOD http://www.crossfitgastonia.com/w-o-d

CrossFit Arlington shared a link on Facebook

Thurs 16 Oct 2014 http://wp.me/p2SUDs-1fh

CrossFit Pittsburgh posted an article
CrossFit Wilmington posted an article
Trident CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Integrated Fitness shared a link on Facebook

http://if-fit.com/workout-of-the-day-october-16th-2014/

CrossFit Arlington posted an article
CrossFit Harrisburg posted on Facebook

Barbell for boobs. Sunday, October 19 at 3:00pm Deload week, will max next week. Thurs Squat Clean and Jerk (5x5 @ 60%) Touch and go Speed and technique stay light Metcon (AMRAP - Reps) 12 min Amrap 3-6-9-12… slamball 30/20 box jump 24/20

CrossFit Main Line shared an image on Facebook

Our 6am class took on a 20 minute AMRAP loaded with lots of fun movements today! 14 Oct 2014 WEDNESDAY 10.15.14 W.O.D. WEDNESDAY 10.15.14 W.O.D. Explosive Strength Skill: Seated Box Jumps (Max Height) ** Sit on box at knee height WOD: 20min AMRAP 50 Wallballs (20,14) 50 Dubs (x3) 40 Box Jumps (24,20) 40 T2B 30 C2B 30 Burpees 20 Power Cleans (135,95) 20 Push Jerks (135,95) 10 Snatches (135,95) 10 MUs

CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Center City shared an image on Facebook

Woohoo! These dumbbells now have clearly labelled homes and are also much easier to find to use. By our powers combined we can keep these organized! Jordan, Meg, and Perrin are the heroes responsible for this little project! #captainplanet

CrossFit Wake Forest posted on Facebook

10/16/2014 WOD: A single set of Strict Pull-ups for max reps. Then: Helen 3 rounds for time of: Run, 400 m 21 Kettlebell Swings, 1.5/1 pood 12 Pull-ups

Raleigh CrossFit posted an article
Raleigh CrossFit posted an article

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV