A coalition of international women’s groups have signed a petition urging the International Olympic Committee to suspend their guidelines allowing transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports.
Save Women’s Sports spearheaded the petition Monday, pushing the IOC to re-evaluate their transgender participation guidelines, which permit biological males who identify as female to participate in women’s sports.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were postponed until July 2021. The IOC announced that it would wait until after the Olympics to publish new guidelines on transgender athletes.
Save Women’s Sports is urging the IOC to use the delay as an opportunity to re-examine the policies allowing transgendered people to compete in women’s sports, which the group says has “potentially devastating effects” and discriminates against women on the basis of sex.
“I looked at the IOC standards in 2015 thinking it would be the gold standard,” Linda Blade, a co-founder of Save Womens Sports told the Daily Caller. “And out of the blue they decided a man can self-identify as a woman and live like a woman and decrease testosterone a little bit, which is still more than what females are allowed to have, and just go into Olympic sports.”
Guidelines established in 2015 allow some biologically male athletes to compete in female events if those athletes maintain testosterone levels below 10 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) for no less than 12 months. Athletes who transition from male to female can compete in the women’s category without requiring surgery to remove their testes.
“This level is still an order of magnitude higher than the average testosterone level in most females. Most women’s testosterone is in the range of 0.0-3.0 nmol/L,” Save Women’s Sports said.
Men’s testosterone levels are typically between 7.7 and 29.4 nmol/L.
“There just won’t be female sports anymore if there’s also male bodies,” Blade said.
Blade, who has been involved in athletics for most of her life and competed in track at the University of Maryland in the 80s, fears for the future of women’s sports if biological males are allowed to compete alongside women.
Beth Stelzer, an amateur powerlifter and the founder of Save Women’s Sports, warns that “if we continue to allow males to compete as females in the Olympics, There will be men’s Olympics, there will be co-ed Olympics, but there will no longer be women’s Olympics.”
The two women are not alone. Since launching the petition, they’ve garnered signatures from people of 28 countries, and formed a coalition of women’s organizations who back the effort.
Blade, who is the head of a Canadian athletic organization based in Alberta, describes how the Olympic Committee doesn’t represent the views of the majority of people she knows — athletes and parents who are concerned about the future of fair sports for women.
“This is temporary virtue signaling where executives can pretend like they’re being ‘woke’ and do all the virtuous stuff with the latest ideology, but we are delivering sport on the ground,” she said.
Biology has taken a backseat to the ideology of a very small minority, she explains.
“Sport is beautiful because it doesn’t matter if you’re Christian or Muslim, or Republican or Democrat. You leave your ideology at home and everybody goes on the track and competes on the basis of biology.”
“We don’t pick a sport category on basis of religion or politics or any other ideology, and gender ideology is just that, an ideology.” How in the world could we pick a sport category on the basis of ideology?”
Concerned Women for America, a legislative action committee based in Washington, D.C., also supported the effort to change the IOC guidelines allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s Olympics sports. Doreen Denny told the Caller that they’re standing with women and girl athletes around the world who’ve been sidelined by political activism.
“Female athletes are being forced to compete on an unfair playing field when males identifying as women are allowed to compete against them in women’s sports,” she said. “The IOC policy denies the inherent advantages of male physiology and refutes scientific research proving that the distinction of sex matters in sports.”
The topic of transgender athletes competing as the gender they identify has not only faced backlash at the Olympic level, but also at the high school level. Last month, Attorney General William Barr signed a statement of interest arguing against a policy allowing transgender athletes to compete in Connecticut high school sports s the gender they identify.
The move to involve the Justice Department comes after the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference argued that athletes can be allowed to compete as the gender they identify in accordance with state law.
Multiple female track stars files a lawsuit against the CIAC and several other local boards of education, alleging that two transgender athletes in particular have taken away titles from biological females. (RELATED: Attorney General Barr Gets Involved In Connecticut Transgender Athletes Case)
Denny says female athletes are “confused, defeated, and increasingly angry” in response to the policies.
“Girls are saying ‘what’s the point if this is how it’s going to be?’ Many are too scared to speak up. Female athletes know their opportunities are on the line. They are being silenced by a cancel culture that is denying women the dignity, status, and equal opportunity that our laws and policies should affirm and protect.”
“Women fought long and hard to achieve the right to vote 100 years ago. Today we find ourselves having to fight over the meaning of sex and our status as women,” she added.
Blade and Stelzer said the petition has amassed support from individuals and groups from all sides of the political spectrum, including left-leaning feminists and those who lean conservative.
“This an incredible experience seeing these people from all backgrounds and beliefs come together to protect the definition of woman,” Stelzer told the Caller. “Fairness for women in the Olympics relies upon separation on the basis of the two sexes. Transgender women are male and it is not fair, by any means, for them to compete against women.”
Blade says this cause is a “hill she’s willing to die on,” and that while the minority of vocal transgender activists are a decade ahead, the silent majority of people are catching up.
“We need to start getting back to a biological reality here. Traditional sports categories worked for a long time, and always will.”