“She’s really good. She’s really fast. And she’s only a freshman.

What will raise some eyebrows is her performance in her very first meet this season, taking two first-place finishes in the 100- and 200-meter sprints. Her time in the 100 — 11.99 seconds — was just one one-hundredth of a second off the time that won the state championship last year.

Her ability to be on the girls team, to be called Andraya, to win and lose as a girl, help keep her alive. Literally.

That was her first race. In the cold. With no starting blocks.

It doesn’t take an Olympic analyst to forecast where Yearwood could be headed in her high school track and field career. Putting up state-champion times in her first race as a freshman projects her to potentially dominate the sport across the state for her entire high school career.

Her 100-meter time in her first race was less than a half-second off of the Connecticut state record for girls in the event.”

I wonder how hard that girl had to work to reach that state record. Obviously, not as hard as Andraya – because Andraya is, at the moment, a fully functioning male.

If I were that girl, I would be upset if my record was beat by Andraya. And given that this was Andraya’s FIRST race with supposed disadvantages, and he was off by less than half a second, it looks like he will probably beat the state record. I am saying “he” because who are we kidding? As a past female athlete I am not going to do a disservice to high school female athletes by calling him “she” and acting like they and Andraya are all girls and thus equal competitors. They are not. And even though the coach and a few of his teammates have said how happy they are to have Andraya on their team, you can bet his competitors are pretty unhappy – as are girls who may have lost a spot on the team because of him (which as happened to other high school female athletes).

Track and field is one of the most unequal sports between males and females for a number of reasons. Height is one. Musculature is another, and this includes not just strength but also the amount of fast-twitch muscles in an individual. This gives men bursts of speeds with which females can’t compete. This is not a dis on female athletes  – just watch the Olympics. This differences in times is vast. Upper body strength is important, too – of which Andraya has in abundance, particularly important if he decides to participate in, say, the shot-put.

Andraya may feel like a female, but that doesn’t make him a female. Teen girls who dream of winning championships, of setting and maintaining records, should not have to give up their dreams to accommodate an individual’s inner gender identity. If allowing Andraya to compete on a girls track team is what is keeping Andraya alive, as the article claims in what I guess is a reference to suicide, than frankly Andraya needs a bit more therapy. This sounds harsh, but putting Andraya’s mental fragility ahead of every female track athlete in this particular region is unfair and a misguided way in which to treat mental anguish. And I question this fragility because, like Caitlynn Jenner, Andraya clearly has no problem benefiting from his maleness – otherwise he would AT LEAST have the HRT treatments before competing against girls.

For all his claims of being a girl, Andraya has no problem building a male physique and then using it to his advantage.

To me this reeks of sexism – that women’s athletic aspirations are not to be taken seriously and must be put aside for the good of males who think they are female.

And in case you think that transitioning will alleviate the problem – consider Jillian Bearden, the first transgender athlete to win El Tour de Tucson. Or Laurel Hubbard, who won the Australian International weightlifting competition by twenty pounds despite undergoing the required amount of estrogen therapy. By competing, Laurel also caused the defending female champion to weigh down so as not to compete against Laurel, as she felt Laurel had an unfair advantage (she lost, apparently it’s not that easy to switch between weight classes).

There is also Lana Lawless, a 58-year-old man who launched a late-in-life career in women’s professional golf, and immediately became the World Champion in the Women’s Long Drive competition. One observer remarked: “Guess what Lawless’ distance was at the 2008 Long Drive Championship? Three hundred thirty five yards. That’s nearly 100 yards longer than Paula Creamer’s average. And Lawless complained that taking the hormones had caused her to become weaker. How far did she hit when she was a he? Apparently not long enough to beat the men.” As an “embodied man”, Lawless had played golf for 21 years at a private golf club and in 2006, AFTER her gender reassignment, she FINALLY decided to compete professionally.

And then there’s Fallon Fox, who delivered one of the most violent beat downs in women’s MMA history to Tamikka Brent, followed by misogynistic glee at the severe, possible career-ending injuries Brent, an out and proud lesbian, sustained during the fight. The entire fight reeked of male rage towards a female, and the fight shows not only how Tamikka was easily overpowered, but also displayed Fallon’s clear male musculature. Furthermore, everyone also seems to have ignored Tamikka’s comments of being completely overpowered during the fight in a way she has never experienced – they must have simply believed she was lying.

Sure, Billy Jean King beat Bobby Riggs – but Bobby Riggs was 55 at that point, and Rigg’s sexist argument was that any man, average or super athlete, at any age, can beat any woman at any time. This is a VERY different scenario from any of the above. And yes, there are two women signed to the minor leagues in baseball, but according to my sports fanatic boyfriend, baseball is one of the few potential sports where there may be opportunities to even out strength differences (emphasis on “may”). And there is not a similar minor league for women; if there was, these women would probably be playing for that league, and not the men’s minor league.

What is most telling is that in all the hubbub surrounding trans women’s fight to compete against women, no one has brought up the issue of sex division in sports in which it is not necessary, such as diving, ski high jumping, shooting, and archery. In fact, when Chinese female competitor Zhang Shan beat all the men for the gold medal in the 1992 Olympic skeet shooting event, the event was closed to women in 1996 and a woman’s event wasn’t added until 2000 – when Shan was apparently too old to compete.

The message is clear: men can beat women in sports, but women can NEVER be allowed to show up a man. One might argue that the aforementioned trans women are women – but they aren’t. They developed as males and the science is still out on whether years of estrogen completely reverse the advantages afforded by such development – despite the recent ruling of the International Olympic Committee. And Andraya is CERTAINLY not in any way female – he has not had any sort of HRT regimens (nor do I believe he should, as due to growing evidence I am against physically transitioning minors).

Andraya should not be allowed to compete against girls, period. Until trans women can be completely turned into women, they should not be allowed to compete in events against women in which male strength gives an advantage – and given that this will never actually be possible, my stance is that transwomen should never be allowed to compete in certain women’s events. If transwomen want to compete against women in diving, shooting, the ski high-jump, fine. The fact that these sports are divided by sex is ridiculous. But please leave strength and speed-based women’s sports to the people for whom these events and leagues were created – women. It is not the responsibility of the female athlete to make potential sacrifices for the decision of men to undergo hormone treatments. And I do believe this is a choice because gender is not innate, and gender expectations are constantly changing – the very existence and growing popularity of female sports such as boxing and MMA should make this abundantly clear.

People who believe Andraya is inspirational need to get a reality check – this situation is clearly unfair to the girls because male bodies, which Andraya still clearly maintains, are grossly advantaged over females in track and field.  If all these people are really interested in promoting women’s sports, and not just trans rights, than they should rally behind actual female athletes, who are still fighting to be paid equally as men and to be taken just as seriously.

 

Sources:

For reactions of the Fallon Fox Club towards Tamikka Brents’ bloody defeat: https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/fallon-fox-why-hormones-dont-make-a-woman/

http://www.outsports.com/2017/4/13/15259382/andraya-yearwood-trans-athlete-track