Dear 100 Hour Board,
What're your thoughts on legislative efforts to restrict biological males, including ones who self-identify as transwomen, from competing in women's sports?
As expected, LGBT activists have denounced these efforts as "transphobic" and "anti-LGBT." However, from an objective, scientific perspective, it's clear that male athletes have advantages in terms of muscle mass, bone density, and stamina. Even though these advantages are obvious, LGBT activists cannot concede that point without making the broader concession that "transwomen" aren't the same as biological women.
Do you think these legislative efforts are anti-LGBT, or are they scientifically-supported necessities in the name of fairness?
Michael Shumway Lee
The stance to allow trans-women on women sports teams isn't about proving that trans-women are the exact same as cisgender biological women. It's about creating space for people so they don't need to choose between renouncing a core part of their identity and pursuing something they love. Fairness encapsulates more than just potential biological advantages. I would say it's deeply unfair to deny trans-women opportunities simply because they're trans. These are women who deserve to be treated as women. Even if trans-women do end up having a biological advantage (which I'm dubious about because a lot of athletes have various biological advantages for various reasons and we aren't discriminating for those!), at some point we need to decide what society should care about more: only the physical aspect of sports, or literally all other factors. Personally, I rank creating a society that has space for people to both embrace their identity and pursue their dreams over "she might be stronger because she's trans".
Here's a quick video that runs through some common arguments regarding trans athletes. I think it's only fair to allow trans women to play in women's sports. Trans women are women.