Swimming's governing physique has successfully banned trans girls – Mic

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Over the previous few years, transmisogyny’s elevated traction in sports activities has been well-documented as particular person states try to ban trans women’s participation. Now, sports activities organizations on the highest stage are stepping in — and never for the higher. Starting Monday, trans women are effectively banned from high-level worldwide swim competitions in a transfer that has been condemned as a human rights violation.

On Sunday, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), which is the world’s governing physique for swimming, voted to undertake a new policy. Under it, solely swimmers who transitioned earlier than the age of 12 are allowed to finish in girls’s occasions. FINA has defended its coverage as a manner to make sure equity, with FINA President Husain Al-Musallam saying, “We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions.”

James Pearce, who’s the spokesperson for Al-Musallam, echoed the identical sentiment, stating, “They’re not saying everyone should transition by age 11, that’s ridiculous. You can’t transition by that age in most countries and hopefully you wouldn’t be encouraged to. Basically, what they’re saying is that it is not feasible for people who have transitioned to compete without having an advantage.”

These considerations about equity are only a dogwhistle. To be 100% clear: There aren’t even any trans girls competing on the world swimming championships proper now. FINA is simply one other sports activities group implementing discriminatory guidelines using the excuse of defending cis women.

While FINA described the coverage as gender inclusive, it’s something however. On Twitter, the Human Rights Watch wrote, “This policy change only furthers the discrimination transgender athletes face already. We should be creating policies inclusive of trans athletes — not ones that seek to exclude.”

FINA’s new coverage comes solely three months after Lia Thomas grew to become the primary trans lady to win an NCAA Division I swimming championship. Per FINA, over 70% of its members voted to undertake the coverage after listening to speeches from representatives from a working group consisting of athletes, scientists, and a human rights group.

Clearly, all of these working teams had been slacking. As if stating individuals who transitioned after 12 can’t compete isn’t sufficient, the coverage additionally requires athletes to “certify their chromosomal sex with their Member Federation in order to be eligible for FINA competitions.” FINA isn’t the primary group to require girls “prove” their womanhood with testosterone or chromosomal exams, which have been condemned by the Human Rights Watch and the United Nations. In 2019, the U.N. wrote that requiring athletes to cut back hormone ranges to compete “plays into a discriminatory and stereotyped equivalence between testosterone, masculinity, strength and achievement that has been challenged by medical doctors, human rights, and intersex advocates, with the scientific basis questioned.”


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